Three separate stories of love, desire and/or obsession are presented. "The Hand" tells of the desire that builds in the several years long largely professional relationship (his profession) between Xiao Zhang, the apprentice to tailor Mr. Jin, and Ms. Hua, a prostitute, the two who meet when he is first sent to take her measurements for a new dress. Sexually inexperienced, that meeting awakens Zhang's sexual desires. The story takes place during a phase of Ms. Hua's life when she becomes ill, making her unable to work and thus live to the style to which she is accustomed. In "Equilibrium", Nick Penrose is having his first session with Dr. Pearl, a therapist, Nick's anxiety and thus want to see a therapist probably due to a combination of starting a new project with his colleague Hal in their job as advertising executives, and a recurring dream he is having about a woman who he doesn't know but knows in the dream, that woman who is not his wife, Cecelia. These issues may be at play ...Written by
The version screened at the Venice Film Festival presented the three short films in the following order: "The Hand" (Kar-Wai Wong), "Equilibrium" (Steven Soderbergh) and "Il Filo Pericoloso delle Cose" (Michelangelo Antonioni). When the film was released theatrically in Italy, "Il Filo Pericoloso delle Cose" was presented as the first and "The Hand" as the third. See more »
by Caetano Veloso
(courtesy Universal Music Brazil)
[Played during the linking sequences before and after each of the three segments] See more »
One great film among two lesser.
I rather enjoy watching short films. Like short stories, there's seldom room for more than one good idea, so that idea has to be done well--in the hands of a skilled director, this is an opportunity rather than a limitation. Eros is a collection of three such films, ostensibly sharing a similar theme.
Wong Kar Wai's "The Hand" is the first film, and is a premiere example of what a short film can achieve. A concise story about a tailor and a high class prostitute, "The Hand" distills the love/lust theme into a beautiful, intoxicating gem. It is by far the best film of the bunch, perhaps even one of the director's finest.
Steven Soderbergh's "Equilibrium" is the second film in the trio, and features a few shots of a naked woman and a long and unrelated dialog between Robert Downey Jr and Alan Arkin. As far as I can tell the film has vanishing little to do with love, lust, passion or sex--and not much else to say about anything. Soderbergh, who's often hit-or-miss, misses big time with this convoluted short.
Michelangelo Antonioni's "Dangerous thread" (or however it is properly translated) is quite different from the previous two films. It is certainly on message, featuring lots of full frontal nudity and some sex, but doesn't really have much of a story. It actually feels like it is much closer to succeeding than "Equilibrium", if only because it seems to fit comfortably within its time constraints, but the vacuous plot leaves you bored.
In the end Eros is a missed opportunity. After the first film you expect a beautiful tapestry of ideas and perspectives, but it never materializes. Nevertheless, the first film is well worth watching--easily justifying a rental or screening.
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