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VIVE L'AMOUR

Taiwan, 1994 (MIFF 1995)

Director: Tsai Ming-liang

Few recent Films have divided audiences and excited debate like Vive L'Amour, winner of the Golden Lion at Venice last year. Despite the romantic title, the film is about lack of love and fulfilment in the overworked 1980s. But what sends its supporters out of the cinema on a high is its daring use of film language. Without any music and very little dialogue writer-director Tsai Ming-ling depends on his years of screen-writing experience to keep us engaged at all times. But for some, he goes too far and the result is too severe.

Yang Kusi-Mei from Ang Lee's Eat, Drink Man Woman enters leanne Moreau territory here. She gives the performance of a lifetime as a real estate agent d'un certain age who uses her empty apartments for quick sex. Spare keys fall into the hands of a lover and another young man unsure of his sexuality, and all three end up using the one space.

Vive L'Amour is a hyper-realist film that drops all the manipulative devices of film drama. But it is also highly symbolic. In fact, few people in Taipei reaily live alone, and so the empty apartments which are a feature of Taipei's speculative con­struction boom express character psychology, as does the remarkable barren parkland which fea­tures at the close of this instant classic.

See also...

GOODBYE, DRAGON INN

Taiwan, 2004
Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Bu San) TaiwanAs rain buckets down outside a cavernous cinema, inside a screening of the 1966 classic Dragon Inn heralds the closure of this run-down movie palace. The audience c… More »

MISSING, THE

Taiwan, 2004
The Missing (Bu Jian) Taiwan ... Taiwanese actor Lee Kang-sheng is best known for his numerous lead roles in the films of Tsai Ming-liang, including What Time is it There' (MIFF 2002) and Goodbye, Dr… More »

Love will tear us apart

Hong Kong, 1999
On the surface, [Love Will Tear Us Apart] is a chamber piece about four Chinese mainlanders now living in Hong Kong. But the film resists simple depictions of its characters and their circumstances. … More »

wayward cloud, the

Taiwan, 2004
Celebrated auteur Tsai Ming-liang returns to MIFF with his daring [The Wayward Cloud], which won the Fipresci and Silver Bear at Berlin, 2005. Loneliness and disconnection are at the heart of the fil… More »

I DON'T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE

Taiwan/France/Austria, 2006
“Albeit closer to ballet than drama, this urban nocturne is one of Tsai's most beautiful and naturalistic films.” - Village Voice Taiwan's champion of minimalism, Tsai Ming-liang (What Time is I… More »

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