Tsai Ming-Liang’s enigmatic ‘Vive L’Amour’, which won the Golden Lion at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, turns 25

Posted on August 29, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/venice-film-festival-tsai-ming-liangs-enigmatic-vive-lamour-which-won-the-golden-lion-in-1994-turns-25-7240691.html/

Tsai Ming-Liang likes watermelons. In The Wayward Cloud (2005), which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the fruit is used in a sex scene. In Vive L’Amour (1994), its appearance is far more benign, at least at first. A young salesman named Hsiao-kang buys a melon at the market. He’s after something very specific. He picks one up, taps it with his fingers, close to his ear, and rejects it. Then he picks up a second… We don’t see the actual purchase, but a little later, the fruit is in a plastic bag that he places on the bed in the place he’s at. I won’t call it “home”. It isn’t. It’s an empty Taipei apartment (it’s for sale) he’s let himself into, and because no one seems to be in a hurry to move in, he’s moved in himself.

You can see he’s lonely. Perhaps he’s gay, too. Through the course of the film, Hsiao-kang finds out that there’s another squatter in the apartment, another young man, named Ah-jung. They become friends. Towards the end, Ah-jung has sex with the real-estate agent in charge of this property. Her name is May Lin, and she is, in a sense, a squatter, too. She keeps returning to the place. We find her in the bathroom, in the bedroom… Anyway, back to the sex scene. Afterwards, May Lin showers and leaves. Ah-jung falls asleep. And Hsiao-kang emerges from under the bed they were just having sex on. Yes, under — where he was masturbating. He now looks at Ah-jung. He lies on the bed, crawls closer and closer to Ah-jung. He kisses Ah-jung on the lips. Is he gay? Or is he just lonely?

Continued at the link above.

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