Vive L'Amour

Director: Tsai Ming-liang
Year Released: 1994
Rating: 3.0

"Long live love" is what my French translation manual tells me, but the presentation is the antithesis of that statement: the three main characters may be taken with one another, but the emotion is buried under multiple levels of self-loathing and incurable loneliness. It's Chungking Express re-worked by Edward Yang - most of the picture is silent (reflecting the oft-discussed cultural 'communication problems') and has no distinctive plot to speak of, but unlike some of Yang's pictures, I was completely drawn into the workings of these people, no doubt because their problems seem so current and real (and, to help things, Tsai isn't afraid to move his camera in for a closer look). Not for everybody, but no doubt the work of a major filmmaker.