Close Up

20 June 2019: Vive l'Amour


Vive l’Amour
Tsai Ming-liang, 1994, 118 min
Mandarin with English subtitles

"Tsai found international acclaim in his second feature, Vive l’Amour, which traces the odd, accidental love triangle that loosely binds a realtor, her street vendor lover and the lonely young man secretly smitten with the street vendor. A crisp and often satiric snapshot of an anxious Taipei, the film’s moody portrayal of urban alienation and lovesick sexual games – and its brilliant use of contemporary architecture – continues to draw insightful comparisons to Antonioni. The empty apartment that serves as the uncanny center of Vive l’Amour defines the hauntingly underpopulated, makeshift spaces that will recur throughout Tsai’s cinema and serve as ambiguous stages, full of both melancholy and possibilities, where his characters comic, tragic and erotic struggles take on a strange and beautiful theatricality." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our Taipei Stories programme