"Vive L'Amour" Taiwanese masterpiece...

Gary Tooze

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Pascal A

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I really like Tsai's ability to inject subtle, understated humor throughout an otherwise serious film on alienation and missed connection. The episode where they insert themselves in a mausoleum tour is one of my favorites.

The Hole is a little more lighthearted, whimsical, and accessible film than Vive l'amour, so it will most likely be up your alley. The River is a very bleak and thematically dark film on the complete breakdown of human interaction that physically manifests itself as a painful and incurable ailment. Although significantly more depressing than either previously mentioned film, it is also the most symbolically complex and all encompassing film on Tsai's familiar themes, and is equally rewarding. The River was my favorite Tsai film until a few weeks ago when I saw his latest film, What Time is it There?. He just seems to keep getting better.
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Strictly Film School
 

DonaldB

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Wow, What Time is it There? is better than The River? As if I wasn't already psyched to see it, now I really can't wait!
Tsai is unique in that his sense of humor intertwines itself with his sense of pathos without either subverting the other. The patently bizarre musical numbers in The Hole, the father's struggle with the leaking ceiling in The River, the hiding under the bed in Vive L'Amour never feel cheap or contrived, but instead add another layer of complexity to an already intricately woven cloth of emotion and depth-of-character. Few filmmakers are capable of striking such a balance, delicately juxtaposing sadness and tragedy with the comically absurd while never resorting to sentimentality or gimmickry. Even fewer can convey so much with so little dialogue.
It should be noted that even though the DVDs of The Hole and Vive L'Amour are by Fox Lorber, they look terrific and are must-haves for anyone interested in the exciting state of contemporary Asian cinema.
 

Gary Tooze

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