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Film / Vive L'Amour

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Epic weep

Vive L'Amour is a 1994 Taiwanese film by Tsai Ming-liang. It is dedicated to three down on their luck people in the modern Taipei. They all cannot be happy as the urban malaise has stricken them hard.

A female real estate agent, May Lin, and two males, a hetero street peddler, Ah-Jung, and a gay ossuary salesman, Hsiao-Kang, roam the streets of Taipei. They all meet in an appartment which a real estate agent tries to sell without any success. May Lin herself brings Ah-Jung to the appartment to make love with him while Hsiao-Kang finds the way on his own. Both men steal the keys and now have access to the appartment where they sometimes live.

The film is made in the manner resembling that of Michelangelo Antonioni only even slower. Each scene is protracted. The characters move slowly, they are mostly silent, very few conversations happen.


The movie earned a great success for Tsai Ming-liang as it won him a Leone d'Oro on the Venice festival of the same year.


  • Adult Fear: Urban malaise. The future of all three characters is uncertain.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Hsiao-Kang masturbates under the bed to the lovemaking of May Lin and Ah-Jung
  • Downer Ending: And how! Poor May Lin cannot start her car so she goes in the park sits down on the bench and starts to weep.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Hsiao-Kang slashes his wrists in the appartment attended by May Lin but then the couple of other characters arrive to make love and he stops the blood.
  • Leave the Camera Running: This is a very slow cinema and the scenes last for a very long time by the standards of mainstream movies.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: The urban malaise is too strong here.
  • Love Triangle: Hetero couple is attracted to one another while a gay character is interested in the male lover.
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  • Minimalist Cast: Apart from three main characters only one more is credited.
  • Mood Whiplash: The final scene where May Lin cries.
  • My Car Hates Me: The car of May Lin does not want to start in the end of the film. So she goes to the park sits down on the bench and cries as the life has taken the better of her.
  • Noiseless Walker: Both male characters in the appartment which a female character unsuccessfully tries to sell. They both stole keys from the flat and try not to reveal their presence on several occasions when she comes to check it.
  • The Oner: May Lin sitting on the bench starts to weep when rougly ten minutes of the film's running time remain. Then she proceeds to weep for all this time. This is the scene everyone remembers from this film.
  • The Peeping Tom: Hsiao-Kang who peeps at May Lin and Ah-Jung having sex.
  • Silence Is Golden: This trope in combination with Leave the Camera Running makes this film accessible only for the happy few.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the works by Michelangelo Antonioni but even slower.
  • Unkempt Beauty: May Lin in the last scene.
  • Untranslated Title: It is Vive L'Amour in many European languages.
  • Wham Episode: When Ah-Jung and Hsiao-Kang see each other in the appartment which May Lin tries to sell. Previously they both visited it secretly, hiding from the realty estate agent and from each other. Now they have to deal that they both know about the other's presence.