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.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Oh man, that final scene is so relatable. Sometimes the bleakness and general BS of life really does become unbearable, and you just want to go sit in a quiet park and cry your ass off for a little while. Vive la catharsis!
Alone together, as they say: young people who can't afford luxury and haven't found soulmates see if they can fake both in this beautiful drama whose minimalist script sneaks up on you with gradually revealed wisdom. It's looser and less forceful than Tsai's later masterpieces (my votes are for Wayward Cloud and What Time is It There?), but his themes and style were coalescing. Lovely melancholy by any standard.
The sarcophagi metaphor works, and the last minutes are a blazing homage to Antonioni. Principled, but an inevitable absence of characterization in the trio of actors, who are, after all, tropes of the dejected, not Mastroianni, Delon, and Vitti.
It's one of the most heartbreaking films I've ever watch. It felt tremendously personal for me: this thirst for companionship and this self-awareness of one's alienation and the fact that you are truly alone in this world. I see myself in the last shot, also crying of how lonely it is to live alone.
An early film by a director who was to become a master of Slow Cinema. Vive L'Amour contains some of Tsai's brilliance already, but has also left room for development throughout his career. His funny sense of humour comes through here already, and once you have seen the film you get a typical This-is-so-Tsai-feeling :)
Using only photography Tsai Ming-Liang reveals the misery & poverty of young people trying to eke out a living in Taiwan. There is hardly any dialogue & what little there is, is unnecessary. A beautiful film of quotidian misery.