Vive L’Amour (Ai qing wan sui)
Introduced by Kent Jones
Followed by a reception sponsored by the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York
Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 1994, 118 mins. Archival 35mm print. Chen Chao-jung, Lee Kang-sheng, Yang Kuei-mei. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and, for critic Robin Wood, Tsai’s “finest,” Vive L’Amour is the film that introduced him to an international audience, garnering comparisons to Antonioni’s studies in urban anomie. Lee plays Tsai’s emblematic onscreen double Hsiao-kang, who works in the funeral urn business and is unsurprisingly death-obsessed. When he goes to attempt suicide in a mostly vacant apartment building, Hsiao is distracted by the sounds of a steamy affair between a real-estate agent and a street vendor in an adjacent apartment. As Hsiao shadows them, a strange love triangle emerges, with tension building until the wrenching emotional outburst of the famous final shot.
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