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The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who's stolen the key and uses the apartment as a retreat. Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
It's always nice for me to see a film like Ming-liang Tsai's "Vive L'Amour" because I get so tired of the mentality that says that in order to be truly cutting-edge a film-maker must rely on music video style. "Vive L'Amour" is a film that offers another way: the mixing of old cinema asthetics with modern theme. It is unwise to discard 100 years of knowledge and Ming-liang Tsai knows that well. In fact, while watching "Vive L'Amour" I kept thinking of Japanese film-maker Kenji Mizoguchi, whose films it often resembles. The film's long-shots and long-takes are very reminiscent of Mizoguchi's meditative detachment. "Vive L'Amour" is a superb film. It is a tale of despair, isolation, and the alienating effect of the Taipei city-scape (which can be applied on a larger scale to any urban wasteland). It is almost entirely wordless (the first 25 minutes pass without dialogue) and has shots that are held for an incredible length of time - a technique that some may find boring and some may find to be genius. When the film finally does end with a powerful seven minute-long closeup that really drives home the significance of all that has happened before, those that haven't been bored will walk away from "Vive L'Amour" feeling as if they are coming away better for the experience. For those that can immerse themselves in the film's peculiar rhythm, "Vive L'Amour" will stay with you for days.
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