Hou Hsiao-hsien’s entrancing film delves into Taipei’s nightlife with style and atmosphere to spare. Disaffected bar hostess Vicky (Shu Qi) is bored with the life she shares with her overbearing, jealous boyfriend Hao-Hao, and she soon finds herself gravitating toward a cool gangster named Jack (Jack Kao)—but this enigmatic new connection can only go so far toward lending a sense of purpose and belonging to her drifting, neon-lit existence. Alternating between quiet, intimate moments and group scenes saturated with overwhelming techno, Hou trains his focus more than ever before on one actor in one space, best exemplified by the film’s first and most indelible image: Vicky skipping through a tunnel in slow-motion, strikingly rendered with the help of Steadicam, fully immersing the viewer in her nocturnal world.