Author Topic: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)  (Read 14447 times)

Offline stlrob

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"Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« on: May 23, 2006, 07:40:36 pm »
From the Hollywood Reporter:

CANNES -- Oscar winner Ang Lee is reuniting with longtime collaborator James Schamus and Focus Features to direct his follow-up to "Brokeback Mountain," the espionage thriller "Lust, Caution." Set in World War II-era Shanghai, the Chinese-language film is expected to begin production this fall. The film will be exec produced by Focus CEO Schamus. The screenplay will be adapted from Eileen Chang's short story by Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" screenwriter Wang Hui-Ling. Bill Kong, who produced "Crouching Tiger" is reteaming with Lee to produce, and Schamus will serve as exec producer. "Ang is going to be making a very exciting film that's unlike anything he's done before," said Schamus, who's collaborated with Lee on nine features." ‘Lust, Caution' is a uniquely Asian story which, in Ang's hands, will surprise and attract audiences around the world." Focus has worldwide rights to the film, excluding Asia. Focus Features International is handling overseas sales and distribution.

Yet another genre that Ang will make his own.

--Modified title to include film name.  --Lynne
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 01:24:57 pm by Lynne »

Offline JennyC

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Re: Ang Lee's Next Film
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 07:54:41 pm »
Interesting news!

I have heard from Pre-sequel to CTHD to The Seven Sages in the Bamboo Forrest.  This is a new one. Let's hope it's true.  I am going to find out which Eileen Chang's short story this is.  Quite a few stories (short and long) have already been adapted to the screen.

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Re: Ang Lee's Next Film
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2006, 08:22:37 pm »
I'm lookin forward to it!  I had heard that he had considered retirement.....I'm glad he didn't!

Offline Lynne

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Lust, Caution Gets Financing
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 04:25:46 pm »
Interesting glimpse into how this whole movie-makin thing works:

Focus Features Gets Firm Financing

Focus Features, which has given us "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Lost in Translation," and "Garden State," has made a slate financing deal with Dresdner Kleinwort, the investment branch of Dresdner Bank AG, worth a reported $200 million.

Slate financing is basically an investment in a film portfolio, rather than a single film, in order to spread out the risk that comes in placing all the eggs in a single basket. In this case, the dollars will cover between 20-25 upcoming films, which include the next projects from David Cronenberg ("Eastern Promises") and Ang Lee ("Se jie" aka "Lust, Caution").

The resources cover only production aspects of film projects, and the investment has no stipulations or ramifications for project selection, or for any creative aspects. Focus Features is also, under the terms of the deal, still free to seek other forms of financing, though perhaps they won't, as they're trumpeting the deal as the largest yet made for a specialty-films division.

They also clarify that this deal does not mean larger budget films are on the way, only that it takes some of the guesswork out of their production bookkeeping (and possibly an expanded slate in the near future.)

http://www.filmfodder.com/mt-weblog/archives/003528.shtml
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Ang Lee's Next Film
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2007, 02:00:00 pm »

Offline Lynne

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Re: Ang Lee's Next Film
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2007, 03:39:43 pm »
Great photo, Elle! Thanks!
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 11:51:55 am »
If I ever put aside my fascination with Brokeback Mountain, it will not be until this movie comes out! So, when is it expected in theaters?
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2007, 04:02:41 pm »
If I ever put aside my fascination with Brokeback Mountain, it will not be until this movie comes out! So, when is it expected in theaters?

Accordng to its IMDb page http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808357/, Se jie is due out September 28, 2007 - one week after Heath in I'm Not There.  We should gather somewhere and see them both together!  :)


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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007, 05:34:30 pm »
Well, sfericsf was thinking about putting together another viewing at the Castro in late summer. Maybe he could be persuaded to make it a triple billing??
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2007, 03:03:51 am »
A video preview of "Lust, Caution" on the Focus Features website.

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2007, 04:12:32 am »
Release dates
Italy   29 August 2007    (Venice Film Festival)
USA   28 September 2007    (limited)
Germany   18 October 2007   
Spain   14 December 2007   
Turkey   4 January 2008   
UK   4 January 2008   
Netherlands   31 January 2008   
Norway   1 February 2008   

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2007, 11:23:13 pm »
Thanks for the info Elle!  I'm looking forward to this one.
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2007, 03:35:24 pm »
Hey Buds,

I'm posting this link to an article I just found on the CNN website about Ang Lee's new film Lust, Caution and about how it may be assigned an NC-17 rating.  It sounds like an interesting situation.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Movies/08/24/film.lust.reut/index.html
« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 01:01:48 am by Lynne »
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: NC-17 rating for Ang Lee's new film?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2007, 09:15:53 am »
From the New York Times. It looks like the film will be rated NC-17.



August 26, 2007
Love as an Illusion: Beautiful to See, Impossible to Hold
By DENNIS LIM

IN “Brokeback Mountain,” the 2005 critical hit and cultural flashpoint that won Ang Lee an Academy Award for best director, love is a haunting, elusive ideal briefly attained but forever out of reach. Mr. Lee’s new movie, “Lust, Caution,” which will have its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival this week, is also a tragic melodrama, one in which the lovers are up against forces beyond their control, but it takes a harsher view of romance. This time love is a performance, a trap or, cruelest of all, an illusion.

“ ‘Brokeback’ is about a lost paradise, an Eden,” Mr. Lee said this month, taking a break from a final sound-mixing session in Manhattan. “But this one — it’s down in the cave, a scary place. It’s more like hell.”

Based on a short story by the popular Chinese writer Eileen Chang, “Lust, Caution” is set in the early 1940s during the Sino-Japanese war, mostly in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. The heroine, Chia Chi (Tang Wei), belongs to a university drama troupe plotting to assassinate a collaborator named Mr. Yee (Tony Leung). Assigned to seduce the target, an official in the puppet government, she falls into a desperately physical affair, driven (as the title suggests) by both passion and suspicion. The cast also includes Joan Chen as the grasping, gossipy Mrs. Yee, and Wang Lee-hom, the American-born Asian pop star, as the student ringleader. (The film, which will also be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, is set for release on Sept. 28 by Focus Features.)

Mr. Lee said that when he first read Chang’s story, which she started writing in the ’50s then obsessively revised and eventually published in 1979, it struck him in much the same way as the Annie Proulx story that was the basis for “Brokeback Mountain.” “At first I thought there’s no way I can make it a movie,” he said. But he couldn’t stop thinking about it. “There’s a point where I feel this is my story. It becomes a mission.”

Like Mr. Lee, 52, who was born in Taiwan but has lived and worked in the United States since the ’80s, Chang had a foot in two worlds. Her celebrated early stories and novellas, written in the ’40s, evoked the heady, glamorous fusion of East and West, old and new, that characterized Shanghai before the Communist takeover.

After the 1949 revolution she fled to Hong Kong and then to America, where she continued to write and translate but became ever more reclusive, even as her fame grew throughout the Chinese diaspora. She died in Los Angeles in 1995. Her work has been adapted for the screen by the Hong Kong directors Stanley Kwan (“Red Rose, White Rose”) and Ann Hui (“Love in a Fallen City”).

For Mr. Lee, an astute observer of the warping power of sexual desire and repression (not just in “Brokeback Mountain,” but also in films as disparate as “The Ice Storm,” “The Wedding Banquet” and “Sense and Sensibility”), the allure of “Lust, Caution” lies in the irreducible mystery of its love story, which culminates in a seemingly rash and irrational act. “It’s complex and hard to pin down,” he said. “Maybe it can’t be pinned down.”

To expand Chang’s slender story to a feature-length script (the film, which is in Mandarin, runs two and a half hours), Mr. Lee worked first with Wang Hui-Ling, a co-writer on some of his Chinese-language films, including “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994) and the martial-arts fantasy “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000). He then turned to James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features as well as the producer of all of Mr. Lee’s films and the writer or co-writer on most of them. Mr. Schamus’s lack of familiarity with Chang’s work was an advantage.

“I didn’t have the innate reverence that I think Chinese readers do,” he said. “I didn’t have to worry too much about suggesting significant changes.”

A grand production on a modest budget of under $15 million, “Lust, Caution” was shot over four months in Hong Kong, Malaysia (standing in for old Hong Kong) and Shanghai. The most ambitious undertaking was a full-scale re-creation, built in only three months on a Shanghai soundstage, of a section of Nanking Road, the city’s commercial thoroughfare, complete with more than 100 storefronts. But above all it was the raw intensity of the intimate scenes that made for a grueling shoot. “We didn’t have to stick our stars 60 feet in the air above a bamboo forest,” Mr. Schamus said, referring to the wire-work ballet of “Crouching Tiger,” “so in that sense it was easier. But especially for Ang this was a much more difficult film. It took him to a place that was really emotional and extreme.”

Mr. Lee’s “Lust, Caution” makes overt the first part of its title, which Chang only hinted at in her lush, stylized prose. “It was very brave of her to fit this story of a woman’s sexual pleasure into a story of war, something so patriarchal and macho,” Mr. Lee said. “How she put that subject matter in this huge canvas — it’s a little drop but the ripple is tremendous.” He said he felt no obligation to retain the relative discretion of the writing: “In Chinese literature the art is the hiding. But movies are another animal. It’s a graphic tool.”

Accordingly, his film features a few notably revealing and acrobatic sex scenes. (A less explicit cut is being prepared for a possible Chinese release.) These were shot over 11 days on a closed set, with only the main camera and sound personnel present. Leaving room to improvise, Mr. Lee talked through the physical and emotional content of each scene with Mr. Leung (the Hong Kong star best known here for his roles in Wong Kar-wai’s films) and Ms. Tang (who had never before acted in a film). “Ang’s a unique director because he trained to be an actor,” Mr. Leung said by e-mail from China, where he is shooting a film with John Woo. “He’s very quick and intuitive and is always offering his actors something new to work off of.”

The process was harrowing. “We could only shoot for half the day because we’d be exhausted,” Mr. Lee said. “I almost went insane.” But he was convinced of the necessity of the sex scenes. “They’re like the fight sequences in ‘Crouching Tiger,’ ” he said. “It’s life and death. It’s where they really show their character.” He added, “And it’s part of the plot, since it’s all about acting, levels of acting. You’re performing when you have sex.” (At press time “Lust, Caution” had not yet received a rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, but both Mr. Lee and Mr. Schamus said they were expecting an NC-17.)

“Lust, Caution” conjures not just ’40s Shanghai but ’40s Hollywood, summoning the ghosts of film noirs and wartime romantic melodramas. The shadow of Alfred Hitchcock looms large. A poster of “Suspicion” — which Mr. Lee noted was “the biggest hit of 1942 in Shanghai” — is glimpsed at one point. “Notorious,” with its intricate entangling of perverse love and espionage business, is the obvious influence (possibly even for Chang, an occasional film critic who wrote screenplays for Hong Kong’s Cathay Studios in the ’50s and ’60s). Mr. Lee cites another touchstone: Josef von Sternberg’s 1931 “Dishonored,” starring Marlene Dietrich as an Austrian secret agent spying on the Russians.

For Mr. Lee, whose parents were exiles from mainland China, “Lust, Caution” resonates on a political level. “It’s about occupying and being occupied,” he said. “The peril here is falling in love with your occupier.” But he was also drawn to the poignant notion that the story, though inspired by an actual assassination plot in the 1930s, incorporated elements of Chang’s own life: a university education in Hong Kong interrupted by war, and a doomed romance with an older man publicly known as a traitor. Chang’s first husband, the writer Hu Lancheng, briefly served in the puppet government and was an inveterate philanderer.

“It was hard for me to live in Eileen Chang’s world,” Mr. Lee said. “There are days I hated her for it. It’s so sad, so tragic. But you realize there’s a shortage of love in her life: romantic love, family love.” He added, “This is the story of what killed love for her.”
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: NC-17 rating for Ang Lee's new film?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2007, 12:40:23 pm »
From the New York Times. It looks like the film will be rated NC-17.



August 26, 2007
Love as an Illusion: Beautiful to See, Impossible to Hold
By DENNIS LIM

IN “Brokeback Mountain,” the 2005 critical hit and cultural flashpoint that won Ang Lee an Academy Award for best director, love is a haunting, elusive ideal briefly attained but forever out of reach. Mr. Lee’s new movie, “Lust, Caution,” which will have its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival this week, is also a tragic melodrama, one in which the lovers are up against forces beyond their control, but it takes a harsher view of romance. This time love is a performance, a trap or, cruelest of all, an illusion.

“ ‘Brokeback’ is about a lost paradise, an Eden,” Mr. Lee said this month, taking a break from a final sound-mixing session in Manhattan. “But this one — it’s down in the cave, a scary place. It’s more like hell.”



The whole issue of the new film aside... I love the way Brokeback is described and discussed in this article.
:)

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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: NC-17 rating for Ang Lee's new film?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2007, 04:52:45 pm »
The whole issue of the new film aside... I love the way Brokeback is described and discussed in this article.
:)


Yes, me too, which is partly why I posted the article. I thought it would resonate with folks here.

L
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Offline Kd5000

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"Brokeback's Director's latest is getting an NC17
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2007, 02:35:44 pm »
This is how my news read on my cellphone.  Well, I get CNN sent to me daily and I got this on Friday. Will Ang Lee's name be replaced with "Brokeback director!"  :)  I guess Brokeback in a headline news sentence is more likely to get one's attn then just saying ANG LEE's latest...   

WIth a headline like that, I didn't know if the media was trying to say that Lee keeps pushing the envelope with more racey sex material, like what is he going to do next.   Am I being too sensitive/concerned how the media is going to typecast an Ang Lee film? ;)

Offline SFEnnisSF

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Re: "Brokeback's Director's latest is getting an NC17
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2007, 02:47:07 pm »
News always goes for sensationalism to sell the news. 

When ever there is an accident with a train for example, they don't say "kids in a stolen car drive around lowered crossing gates and meet their unfortunate death", no, they say "TEENS WITH WHOLE LIVES AHEAD OF THEM RAMMED DOWN AND MURDERED BY BARRELLING FREIGHT TRAIN".


To me, yeah, it's a little insulting they referenced BBM to a NC-17 rating, but on the other hand, it's more free press for folks to watch BBM, and then they find out how great the movie is, and how the sensationalism of linking it to an NC-17 headline was just unwarranted and silly.

Offline Meryl

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2007, 11:09:58 pm »
The link to the New York Times article is here.  There are a couple of nice pictures.
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Offline Kd5000

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2007, 11:17:00 pm »
Just off the wire, Taiwan is unhappy that the Venice Film Festival is saying country of origin for LUST, CAUTION is Taiwan, China.  Taiwan says it's not a province of China, but it's own country.  I can see international incident all over this.   ;)   Between the NC17 and the dispute as to which country is submitting this film, it's bound to get a bit of publicity.  I hope it's a good film.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2007, 11:01:17 am »
Knowing Ang Lee, I'm sure it will be a good film.  But, topic-wise, it honestly doesn't sound all that appealing to me personally.

It's definitely interesting to see how much controversy this film is already generating.
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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2007, 12:48:36 pm »
From EuroNews:

The 64th Venice Film Festival has got underway in Italy, with a screening of the British film "Atonement". Based on the 2001 best-selling novel by Ian McEwan, the film is hot favourite to win the festival's top prize, the Golden Lion. The winners will be revealed during the course of a gala event on September the 8th.

British actress Keira Knightley stars in the film along with actor James McAvoy, fresh from his success in the critically acclaimed "Last King of Scotland".

Later today, the Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee, who won the Golden Lion in 2005 for his film "Brokeback Mountain", will present his latest thriller "Lust, Caution." A complex tale of sex and spying in 1940's Shanghai, the film is based on a short story by revered Chinese writer Eileen Chang. It stars Asian cinema icon Tony Leung opposite newcomer Tang Wei.

British actor-director Kenneth Branagh will also attend the premiere of his film "Sleuth" a remake of a 1972 thriller and starring Sir Michael Caine along with Jude Law.
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2007, 12:57:03 pm »
And another news story:


By  AFP

The tense drama set in Shanghai in the 1940s stars novice actress Tang Wei as a resistance spy who slowly, creepily, lets her target, a powerful political figure played by Tony Leung, "worm his way into her heart."

Based on a short story by popular Chinese writer Eileen Chang and set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the 1940s, the film's many sex scenes are as explicit as they are emotionally ambiguous.

"I found some dark and obscure elements to adapt for my film" from a story that runs to only 28 pages, said Lee, whose "Brokeback Mountain" took the Golden Lion here in 2005 as well as the best director award at last year's Oscars.

Also on Thursday's menu is British director Kenneth Branagh's "Sleuth" starring Michael Caine and Jude Law, with a crisp screenplay by English playwright and Nobel literature laureate Harold Pinter.

The two-man remake of the 1972 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film, in which Caine played the part now taken by Law, is an exercise in second-guessing and sang froid -- or what Branagh described as a "short, sharp, concentrated boxing match."

It's Law's second attempt at filling Caine's shoes, following his starring role in the remake of the 1966 comedy "Alfie" about a Cockney womaniser's comeuppance.

But "Sleuth" can hardly be considered a remake, Caine said. "This is a completely different take, much more severe."

He added: "Once Harold was on board, we were in whole new world. The simplicity of the idea is such that you can take it anywhere."

Wednesday's opening gala of the festival, which runs through September 8, saw the world premiere of British psychological drama "Atonement" with Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.

Based on the best-selling novel by Ian McEwan, the movie plays out the consequences of an impressionable girl's tragic misreading of events at an upper-class English home in the years leading up to World War II.

Despite a preponderance of British and US entries this year -- totalling nine of the 22 candidates for the Golden Lion in the main competition -- the festival also boasts a sizeable Asian contingent.

Festival director Marco Mueller let drop Wednesday that the "surprise film" to be screened next week will be from an Asian country, specifying only that it is a country other than China, South Korea or Japan.

"Only from Asia do we have that special kind of present," Mueller said, adding: "It will be a brand new film -- he's still mixing it -- by an Asian master."

All 22 of the films in competition will be world premieres, a feat achieved only once before -- last year.

Another 22 films will vie for prizes in the avant-garde Horizons and Horizons Documentaries categories, while 13 will be screened out of competition.

A restoration of the 1964 Sergio Leone shoot-'em-up classic "A Fistful of Dollars" starring Clint Eastwood is to be screened on Thursday.

The out-of-competition menu will later offer Woody Allen's "Cassandra's Dream," a drama set in London, "La Fille Coupee en Deux" by French veteran Claude Chabrol and a new comedy by Japanese director Takeshi Kitano, "Kantoku Banzai!" (Glory to the Filmmaker!).

Chinese director Zhang Yimou, who won Golden Lions for "The Story of Qiu Ju" (1992) and "Not One Less" (1999), will head the jury made up of directors only, as was the case with the festival's 50th anniversary.

"It's the first time I've taken part in an all-directors jury, and I have every expectation that we will work with success," Zhang said Wednesday.
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2007, 04:42:44 pm »
A review from the film festival:

review: Se jie (Lust, Caution) (Venice 2007)     
 
Written by Boyd van Hoeij   

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Se jie (Lust Caution) film review"Movies are for people with time to kill," says the main character of Ang Lee’s new film Se jie (Lust, Caution), and in this particular case this means killing two-and-a-half hours, though there are certainly worse ways to pass the time. The Taiwanese director’s adaptation of a novella by Eileen Chang is an uncompromising and incredibly seductive piece of filmmaking that is too long but has so many good elements going for it that it is hard to really care that on certain points the director seems to have thrown caution to the wind. Acting and technical credits are more than first-class and newcomer Wei Tang, starring alongside veteran Tony Leung, is simply riveting. Appropriately marketing this film -- almost certainly the most explicit Chinese-language film this side of porn ever made -- will be a challenge, though, ideally, Lee’s reputation should do the heavy lifting in that department.A prize at the Venice Film Festival, where it plays in Competition, could be a first push to wider recognition.
 
Set during the Japanese occupation of China in the early 1940s, Se jie plays out between Hong Kong and Shanghai and centres on the character of Wang Jiazhi (Wei Tang), a young student who gets caught up in a resistance cell formed by the patriotic theatre group she was part of. Her big mission: infiltrate the household of Mr Yee (Tony Leung), a high-placed official who openly collaborates with the Japanese occupiers. The goal: put everything into place to have the traitor killed in cold blood. The means: using her womanly wiles.
 
One can imagine this scenario going various ways (Verhoeven would have made an interesting film out of this and his Zwartboek  / Black Book shares more than a few elements with this film), but Lee has chosen to approach it in the only way he knows: searching for the humans behind the dangle of story threads and plot twists. Se jie is a thriller and has many chilling moments, but the real danger comes about only because we care for the characters. No jumps from the dark or sudden explosions here.
 
The sure-to-be-talked-about explicit sex scenes only make an appearance well after the mid-point of the film, when Lee has had more than enough time to invest the two characters with so much emotional baggage that it is impossible to only consider the bodily acts that occur between them. It is one of the few instances in the history of cinema that pinpoints the complicated wrangle between love -- or hate -- and lust that occurs during lovemaking with such precision. Of course for a spy in bed with the enemy, there can never be no such thing as complete and utter nakedness, whatever the state of undress. The film nicely plays with these contrasts of love and lust, caution and abandon, weaving a web of complex emotions that typifies so many of Lee's films.
 
Lee also makes a point of playing up other erotically charged moments that happen when the characters are fully dressed, from their very first glance at one another at a mahjong table to an absolutely chilling moment in which they barely touch hands in a Japanese brothel. This charge is only really present when the two lovers have fallen in lust, and up until that point the film meanders.
 
This early section is too leisurely set up to make any direct impact, though it does sketch all the main characters extremely well, including Mrs Yee (Joan Chen) and Kuang Yu-Min (Lee-hom Wang), the theatre director who persuades Tang’s character to go undercover and who seems to be interested in her himself as well. Shifts back and forth in time seem arbitrary at first but make sense in retrospect, while Lee, more so than in his previous films, pays explicit homage to many films from the past, especially those from the period in which Se jie is set and which served as an obvious first template for this film.
 
The major discovery of the film is Wei Tang, who is completely believable as the shy young girl-come-professional seductress, and Leung once again shows why he is not only considered one of the world’s best actors. Technical aspects of the film are all extremely polished, including costume and production design (sometimes a little heavy on the CGI in the cityscapes), Rodrigo Prietos’ stunningly lit cinematography that plays with light and shadows throughout the film and Alexandre Desplat’s lush period score that is perfectly suited to the old-fashioned yet contemporary tone of the film.
 
This film was screened as part of the 2007 Venice Film Festival.
 
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2007, 04:47:23 pm »
And here is the review from Variety:

Too much caution and too little lust squeeze much of the dramatic juice out of Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution," a 2½--hour period drama that's a long haul for relatively few returns. Adapted from a short story by the late Eileen Chang, tale of a patriotic student -- who's willing bait in a plot to assassinate a high-up Chinese collaborator in Japanese-held WWII Shanghai -- is an immaculately played but largely bloodless melodrama which takes an hour-and-a-half to even start revving up its motor.

A handful of explicit sex scenes (in the final act) have earned pic an NC-17 rating in the U.S., where it goes out in limited release Sept. 28. But beyond the notoriety of a Chinese-language picture with full-frontal female nudity, pic lacks the deep-churning emotional currents that drove Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" and his best other works. B.O. in the West looks to be modest, once the initial ballyhoo has died down.

Story opens in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in 1942, at the home of Yee (Hong Kong's Tony Leung Chiu-wai), head of the secret service of the collaborationist Chinese government, and his wife (Joan Chen). One of Mrs. Yee's mahjong partners, swapping gossip over the tiles, is the much younger Mrs. Mak (Tang Wei), the half-Cantonese, half-Shanghainese wife of a businessman who was recently in Hong Kong.

As Yee returns from work and passes by the mahjong table, it's clear there's something between him and Mak, though neither one lets their façade slip. Later, Mak makes a coded phone call to Kuang Yumin (U.S.-born pop star Wang Leehom), who says "the operation can start."

After this lengthy 15-minute intro, largely occupied by idle chatter around the mahjong table, the film flashes back four years to Hong Kong to show who Mak really is: Wang Jiazhi, a first-year university student whose family fled Hong Kong for the U.K. Through her friend Lai (Chu Tsz-ying), Wang falls in with a patriotic, anti-Japanese group that is mounting a play to fund their activities.

Leader of the group is the passionate Kuang, who hears that Yee, a high-ranking collaborator with the Japanese, is in Hong Kong on a recruitment mission. Kuang hatches a plan in which Wang plays the fictional Mrs. Mak and insinuates herself into Mrs. Yee's confidence. But Mrs. Yee's cool, wily husband, though attracted to Wang, slips through the net.

Cut to Shanghai, 1941 -- a year before the opening timeframe -- and it's round two between Yee and Wang. After Wang is rehired by the resistance to continue her Mrs. Mak role, this time their liaison is far more full-on, and as lust raises its sometimes violent head, it looks as if caution may be thrown to the wind by one or both parties.

Both Leung and newcomer Tang -- whose characters are far more charismatic and attractive than in Chang's original short story -- do strike some sparks, especially in the sex scenes, which are very bold by Chinese standards. (A tamer version will reportedly be released in mainland China.) But for most of the film, the two dance around each other in conversations that don't have much electricity or sense of repressed passion -- and vitally, no sense of the real danger that Wang is courting in the game of cat-and-mouse.

Moments of either grim wit (as in the messy stabbing of a blackmailing traitor) or spry comedy (Wang getting rid of her virginity to further the cause) occasionally vary pic's tone but don't bolster the underlying drama.

Wartime Shanghai was far more realistically drawn in Lou Ye's Zhang Ziyi starrer "Purple Butterfly," which also conveyed a stronger sense of resistance and collaborationist politics. (Here, Yee's work, which involves interrogation and torture, is never shown.) Lee's '40s Shanghai, though immaculately costumed, has a standard backlot look; the Hong Kong sequences, largely shot in Malaysia, are much more flavorsome.

Tang, a Beijing drama student who's previously played in some TV series, holds her own against Hong Kong vet Leung, who suggests the cold calculation of his character without ever going much deeper. Fellow vet Chen doesn't get many chances beyond the mahjong table, while Wang Leehom, as the leader of the resistance cell, is just OK, sans much personality.

Alexandre Desplat's music injects some badly needed emotion and drama at certain points, while lensing by Rodrigo Prieto has little of the variety and atmosphere he's demonstarted on recent assignments like "Babel," "Alexander" and Lee's previous "Brokeback Mountain."

Camera (Deluxe color), Rodrigo Prieto; editor, Tim Squyres; music, Alexandre Desplat; production designer, Pan Lai; supervising art director, Olympic Lau; costume designer, Pan; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS Digital), Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Drew Kunin; assistant director, Rosanna Ng; casting, Ng. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (competing), Aug. 29, 2007. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Special Presentations.) MPAA Rating: NC-17. Running time: 157 MIN.
 
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Offline Meryl

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2007, 09:13:30 pm »
Thanks for the reviews, Leslie.  Sounds like a really interesting film.  I think I'll probably like it, since films that have a leisurely exposition are usually the klnd I like, similar to reading a nice long novel.  And Ang's way with character development is unparallelled, so it's bound to be fascinating.
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Offline Kd5000

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2007, 09:42:42 am »
IMDB.com is reporting that the film has been censored in CHINA.  It must be upsetting to him.  At least CHina is still going to show the film.  They didn't even allow BBM to be shown in the country.
   


Ang Lee's new thriller Lust, Caution has been cut for Chinese audiences, just a week after U.S. censors gave the film a restricted rating. The Taiwanese film-maker admits Lust, Caution is "unsuitable for children" but was surprised it had fallen foul of censors in north America. Last month, the Motion Picture Association of America gave Lust, Caution an NC-17 rating, which means only adults aged 18 and over can watch the movie. Screen Daily reports explicit scenes in Lust, Caution will be censored for the Chinese audience. 
 

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2007, 10:22:45 am »
Caution Urged for Ang Lee's Tedious Lust, Caution

VENICE, Italy (Hollywood Reporter) - Ang Lee's lugubrious spy epic "Lust, Caution" brings to mind what soldiers say about war: that it is long periods of boredom relieved by moments of extremely heightened excitement.

There's a long and nasty murder scene in which several inept resistance fighters make a bloody mess of stabbing a man to death and a series of sex scenes so close to the knuckle and more lubricious joints as to appear real. No wonder the MPAA has slapped an NC-17 rating on the picture, which screened in competition at the Venice International Film Festival.

But getting to those episodes, which are of dubious merit, means enduring 156 tedious minutes watching a group of not very interesting young Chinese people learn how to fight the occupying Japanese during World War II. Needlessly long and filled with beautifully staged and filmed sequences where not very much happens, the film is unlikely to capture the word-of-mouth buzz required to overcome the handicap of its rating.

The plot is much like "Black Book," Dutch director Paul Verhoeven's tale of a young Jewish woman who sleeps with a Nazi on behalf of the resistance, though it has none of the flair of that film. In "Lust, Caution," it's an idealistic young Chinese woman named Chih-ying Chu (Tang Wei) who volunteers to become the mistress of Mr. Yee (Tony Leung), a traitor who runs the brutal secret service on behalf of the hated occupying force.

The idea is that if she intrigues him enough, he will breach his super-cautious regimen and place himself at risk so the others in Chih-ying's group can assassinate him. Kuang Yu-Min (Wang Lee-Hom), who heads the group, is handsome and noble, and also attracted to the girl, though he reveals that about three years too late.

Starting off as a theatrical troupe producing patriotic plays, they graduate to armed activity as part of a cell run by the organized resistance. They're just not very good at it. Chih-ying, however, having demonstrated onstage that she's a superb actress, takes to subterfuge like a natural-born Mata Hari.

With her shy beauty and pleasant manners, she is invited to join the mah-jongg circle of Mrs. Yee (Joan Chen) among the Chinese elite permitted to enjoy a privileged life by the Japanese. They are ladies who lunch and talk about the luxuries that they miss but are sometimes available from Hong Kong.

Chih-ying soon catches the eye of Mr. Yee and before long becomes his mistress. That's when she starts really earning her resistance pay. Mr. Yee is a brutal rapist, and their sexual encounters become sadomasochistic episodes in which the man shows a glimmer of humanity only at the point of sating his lust.

There's a fair bit of that, and it is well choreographed with lots of flesh on display, though entirely devoid of passion. The film looks gorgeous, but the plotting is clumsy and the acting is flat. It takes a long time before the idea of killing Mr. Yee gets going, and by then it appears that director Lee has lost the plot, and his laborious tale appears to have no point at all.
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Offline Casey Cornelius

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"Lust, Caution" Calgary Premiere
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2007, 09:23:52 pm »
Lust, Caution has its Western Canadian premiere here in Calgary at the end of the month.
http://calgaryfilm.com/schedule.php?fd=977

I will definitely aim to get a ticket for the gala event - especially if there could be the slight chance that Ang Lee might show up.  He made a surprise, totally unannounced visit to Calgary to screen Brokeback for his Alberta crew in November 2005, a month before the official North American opening [about which I've posted in Movie Resources] and he has stated unequivocally his interest in returning to Alberta for pleasure and personal reasons.
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2007, 09:30:16 pm »
That sounds really exciting Casey!  Definitely keep us posted about this event!
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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2007, 04:27:20 pm »
Ang Lee Film Surprise Winner in Venice

VENICE (Reuters) - Taiwanese director Ang Lee's sexually explicit "Lust, Caution" was the surprise winner of the Golden Lion for best picture at the Venice film festival on Saturday, just two years after he won with "Brokeback Mountain."

The movie is a World War Two thriller set in Shanghai featuring long and sometimes violent sex scenes which Lee has hinted were real.

"It is overwhelming, because this movie has taken me to some very difficult places," Lee told the red carpet award ceremony on the Lido waterfront.

"I have invited you to come along with me and in the end to stay down there with me ... You are the seven samurais, I needed your help," he added, addressing the seven-member jury.

Brian De Palma, whose "Redacted" shocked audiences in Venice with its brutal reconstruction of the real-life rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by U.S. soldiers, won the Silver Lion award for best director.

Tunisian-born director Abdellatif Kechiche and his drama "La Graine et le mulet" ("The Secret of the Grain"), was one of two runner-up jury prize winners, and was described by the jury as the "revelation" of the 2007 edition of the festival.

The film is about an old Arab man and his family seeking to realize their dream of opening a restaurant in southern France.

While not overtly political, it touches on the issue of integration by immigrants, and whether they have what the director called the "right to be different."

Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," one of six U.S. productions in the 23-strong main competition, took the other runner-up prize for his conceptual biopic about singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.

In a bold piece of casting, Australian-born Cate Blanchett was one of six performers to play the singer at various stages of his life, and it paid off when she was named best actress in Venice this year.

Hollywood star Brad Pitt was the surprise winner of the best actor award for his portrayal of outlaw Jesse James in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

His co-star, Casey Affleck, who played James' killer Ford as a creepy social misfit, had been widely expected to scoop the prize.

Venice director Marco Mueller, facing competition from festivals in Rome and Toronto, succeeded in attracting some of Hollywood's biggest stars, although his decision to invite so many U.S. films was criticized for making Venice too commercial.

Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie came to the canal city with their children, and George Clooney, Woody Allen, Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron and Keira Knightley all wowed the noisy crowds gathering along the red carpet each night.

Reuters
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Offline Kd5000

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2007, 05:49:55 pm »
Yep, saw it posted as the main story on THEDRUDGEREPORT.  I know, it's such a right-wing website, but he just loves to cover Hollywood.  Hopefully, the American Academy will give it a nom to give their show some "controversy."  You know, so some rightwing bloggers  or right wing film critics (MICHAEL MEDVED) can go off about how low Hollwyood has sunk.  ;)

Offline Meryl

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2007, 11:37:51 pm »

YES!

Go, Ang, go!  And James Schamus, too! :-*
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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2007, 01:14:58 am »
Wow--I did not expect this, considering some of the equivocal comments I'd encountered on this latest film. Congratulations to Mr. Lee (could another Oscar be in the works?).

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2007, 01:20:16 am »
Bravo, Ang!


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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2007, 02:10:51 am »




WOW, this news made my day!
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2007, 02:26:33 am »
I cannot wait to see this!  Very cool that Ang Lee has done it again!
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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2007, 06:08:01 am »
Wow, that's great news. Congrats to Mr. Ang Lee  :D!

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2007, 09:59:00 am »
So glad it happened again! Here's the link to the website of the Biennale for the latest official information on the winners:

www.labiennale.org

And don't forget that besides Ang, also Rodrigo Prieto got the Lion as best photography.
Go Ang, go Focus, go Schamus, go Rodrigo, and (let me be nationalistic...) go Italy for being once more the country highlighting excellent cinema!!!!
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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2007, 11:07:09 am »
go Italy for being once more the country highlighting excellent cinema!!!!
Yes, Venice is the oldest film festival in the world, and to my mind, is even more prestigious than Cannes, though the latter has enjoyed a higher profile. I think the Golden Lion at Venice is worth more than a dozen Oscars.

Offline Meryl

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2007, 11:30:53 am »
Yes, Venice is the oldest film festival in the world, and to my mind, is even more prestigious than Cannes, though the latter has enjoyed a higher profile. I think the Golden Lion at Venice is worth more than a dozen Oscars.

I agree.  They actually have a skilled jury.  Marketing campaigns, mass distribution of DVD's, slander, pocket-lining, voting without seeing the movie, etc., have little or no impact on this award.  Y'know what I' m sayin'?
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Offline luigival

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2007, 12:20:39 pm »
I agree.  They actually have a skilled jury.  Marketing campaigns, mass distribution of DVD's, slander, pocket-lining, voting without seeing the movie, etc., have little or no impact on this award.  Y'know what I' m sayin'?
Absolutely right Meryl and moremojo. In a world that is more and more nourished by image other than substance, it's good to see that still some good and foolproof jury exists, hopefully uninfluenced by all these gimmicks thrown out by the big moneymakers. At Venice the jury was made up of six film directors (two Italians, one Mexican, one French, one Newzealander, one Chinese), aiming at quality and values more than simple public appeal. Just as they did two years ago...
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New Article from USA TODAY: Ang Lee shares 'Lust' for life, filmmaking
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2007, 06:15:14 pm »
Ang Lee shares 'Lust' for life, filmmaking
By Susan Wloszczyna, USA TODAY

TORONTO — Ang Lee just flew back to this city's film festival after a quick stop in Venice, all the while toting a Golden Lion in a large box. And, yes, his arms are tired.

Actually, his whole being is exhausted after a quick trip to pick up the top prize at the Italian festival. He made the same journey when Brokeback Mountain took home the trophy in 2005.

This time, the win is for Lust, Caution, his espionage thriller opening Sept. 28 that is set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II. Beyond the fact it is Lee's first feature since taking the best-director Oscar for Brokeback, the movie has been gaining attention with its box-office-poison rating of NC-17.

The restrictive label is the result of three bouts of acrobatic sex between a collaborator with the Japanese (Tony Leung) and a seductive young student (Tang Wei), who goes undercover to set the stage for an assassination.

Just as the risk-taking Brokeback benefited from the awards attention, Lust, Caution needs similar help to attract more than the merely curious.

But Taiwan-born Lee, 52, and James Schamus, head of Focus Features and the movie's co-writer and executive producer, aren't about to cut a single frame of the explosive passion, save for showings in China, where Brokeback was banned.

"It's a miracle they let me do Lust, Caution there," Lee says. "This regime was never allowed to be portrayed on film before. I just hope in Taiwan I can show an uncensored version in every theater."

Lee, fortifying himself with sips of hot tea, talks about the depiction of lust in Lust, his continuing passion for boundary-pushing projects and the Brokeback aftermath.

Q: Your films often take a frank approach to the repercussions of desire and repression. Should we be surprised that you went for an NC-17?

A: Usually it's more subtle. I never really came from the exact desire, so to speak. It was never my thing. It's new territory. But it's Lust, Caution, and the lust itself is the theme of the movie. Not only lust for sex, but lust for life. I knew I wanted to go deep, I didn't know how deep. In making a movie, I'm a different person.

Q: At least the rating is making headlines.

A: People say it's the hottest sex scene they have ever seen. I don't know if it means they enjoyed it, because it is so intense. It's just the movie I wanted to make. I didn't care if it would lose money.

Q: What was it like to direct those episodes?

A: I coached the actors through the scenes and verbalized it. It kills. I'm embodying both of them. I end up playing both parts. With the girl, I put myself into her heart. It's driving me crazy. It's a film experience I never experienced before.

Q: Did the making of Brokeback free you somehow to do this?

A: That movie was easy for me, actually. I was kind of collapsing after the two big movies (2003's Hulk and 2000's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). I was wrecked. I sort of earned that relaxation making Brokeback Mountain, and I think people appreciated the modesty. It helped me recover my love for people and filmmaking. Lust, Caution scared me more. It came from a woman writer who examined female sexualities and challenged the patriotism of the Chinese. It was very brave of her.

Q: Why did you want to do another film in your native language and to shoot it in China?

A: The Chinese language takes so much more out of me. It's more personal, it's harder to make art out of it, and historically I feel more responsible to make it accurate. I'm kind of a big figure in filmmaking over there and also culturally. It's a lot of burden on my shoulders.

Q: There are more games of mah-jongg in Lust, Caution than steamy encounters. Why do the women engage in these marathons?

A: The short story it's based on, which is 28 pages in Chinese, a quarter of it involves mah-jongg.

Q: You were annoyed at your Venice press conference when someone asked whether the sex was real and you replied, "Have you seen the film?" But isn't that a compliment?

A. It's hard enough to direct those scenes. It's very hard to talk about it.

 
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2007, 12:52:41 pm »
I *cannot* wait to see this film.  And not because of the NC-17 rating.  Actually, with just about any other director, that would scare me away.  But with this one I know it will be beautiful and haunting.
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2007, 01:10:50 am »
I linked this thread to the forum calendar.  LUST, CAUTION opens for limited release in the US on 9/28.  This link shows release dates for other countries including Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, etc..

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808357/releaseinfo

I'm still unclear about where it will be screened on limited release day and if or when it will have a wider release in the US, but I will keep looking.
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2007, 10:54:21 am »
Cool!  My favorite local theater doesn't show listings that far ahead yet, but I'll keep checking for it.  It's playing "Across the Universe" in limited release now, so I have high hopes.

Thanks, Lynne.  :)
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2007, 11:24:36 pm »
Official trailer

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CizN-DvGhrc[/youtube]

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2007, 11:28:37 pm »
Press conference in Shanghai.  It looks like the photo I posted at the beginning of this thread is from that time.

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohHzZj211cQ[/youtube]

Offline Meryl

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2007, 11:30:48 pm »
That's neat, Clarissa, thanks!  8)

Interesting choice of music for the trailer.  It's an arrangement of King Phillip's aria from Verdi's Don Carlo, titled "Ella giammai m'amo."  The translation is "She never loved me."
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2007, 11:31:52 pm »

Interesting choice of music for the trailer.  It's an arrangement of King Phillip's aria from Verdi's Don Carlo, titled "Ella giammai m'amo."  The translation is "She never loved me."

Hunh.  It's beautiful and haunting.  Thanks for telling us what it is, Meryl.  I was wondering.

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2007, 07:48:18 pm »
Does anyone know how to figure out where in the US it will be with its 'limited release'?  Or do I just wait a few more days and check listings?
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2007, 09:55:17 am »
All I can find is that it opens in New York on September 28 and goes into a limited release a week later, on October 4th. But I can't find any listing of cities for the limited release.

L
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 09:16:56 pm by MaineWriter »
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Offline notBastet

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #52 on: September 25, 2007, 09:14:14 pm »
Thanks for trying Leslie!  I'm sure if you couldn't find it, the info just ain't available!
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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2007, 09:53:52 am »
Another news item....

Lee has modest expectations for ‘Lust’

The Star’s News Services

Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee has low expectations for the U.S. box office of his new spy thriller “Lust, Caution.”

“Its pace, its film language — it’s all very Chinese,” said Lee, who won the best director Oscar for “Brokeback Mountain.” “I also used Western film noir. It’s a new start for me. It’s not very audience-friendly for a market like the U.S. It’s not their subject matter.”

Lee was speaking at a forum for young directors Sunday in Hong Kong. He acknowledged that the NC-17 rating “Lust, Caution” is getting won’t help.

Variety has reported that “Lust, Caution,” which won the top Golden Lion prize at the recent Venice Film Festival, features lovemaking involving “provocative” sexual positions, implied oral sex and full frontal female nudity.
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution" - Showtimes by Trial & Error
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2007, 10:45:21 am »
By typing in random cities, I found one additional city for Lust, Caution:

Looks like it opens in Atlanta 10/12:

http://www.fandango.com/lust,caution_102131/movietimes?location=Atlanta%2c+GA&date=10/12/2007

But, no info for SF, Seattle, LA, Dallas, DC, Chicago, nor Miami yet.  Looks like you can set Fandango up to send you an alert when it gets to your nearest major city...I set one up for SF.

P.S. Elle - Thanks for posting those video clips!
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Offline Kd5000

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #55 on: September 28, 2007, 09:45:41 pm »
An audio interview with Ang Lee in today's New York Times about "Lust, Caution."  I'm glad the film is getting so much publicity.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2007/09/27/movies/20070928_ANGLEE_FEATURE.html?8dpc#

Offline Lynne

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Re: Ang Lee's New Film, "Lust, Caution"
« Reply #56 on: September 29, 2007, 01:01:30 am »
There is a small to medium chance that some of us may try to see this in NYC this weekend:

3:55 Sunday at Lincoln Plaza

 :D :D :D :D
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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #57 on: September 30, 2007, 11:08:58 am »
In this weekend's Wall Street Journal, Ang Lee mentions his favourite dark romances, a thinly veiled promo for his fim that debuted two days ago. They include Laura, Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and The Big Sleep.

Reviews of Lust, Caution (w/o spoilers) wanted!
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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2007, 12:11:01 pm »
In this weekend's Wall Street Journal, Ang Lee mentions his favourite dark romances, a thinly veiled promo for his fim that debuted two days ago. They include Laura, Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and The Big Sleep.

Reviews of Lust, Caution (w/o spoilers) wanted!


Meryl posted one over on the "Resurrecting the Movies" thread. She saw it this weekend with a few other Brokies.

L
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Offline Lynne

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We saw "Lust, Caution" in NYC yesterday!
« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2007, 09:29:22 pm »
I have some pics to post too, but that'll take me awhile to download, etc..  Mostly I want to say that I thought this was a great film, unmistakably our Ang Lee, beautifully crafted.  And at least one shot screamed 'Rodrigo' to me.

I don't want to post any spoilers or start much in the way of discussion until more people get a chance to see it - I now see that it will be in SF starting 10/12, so it won't be much longer before it gets wider distribution.  I will say that I found the sexual violence absolutely shocking but it makes complete sense in context.

I think I would have had a deeper understanding of the film if I were more knowledgeable about the history of the period.  I recommend a review of WWII in the Pacific - specifically Japan's occupation of China and what was going on in Hong Kong and Shanghai from say 1939-1944.

So - here is a short but incomplete list of things to keep an eye out for so we can talk about it in another month or so.  :D

-The use of food or the lack of food
-The use of colors - navy, deep blues, pale lavender, grays
-The significance of mah-jong games

I have another list of spoiler-type stuff to talk about that I'm holding in reserve for now.
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Offline SFEnnisSF

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #60 on: October 01, 2007, 10:25:18 pm »
It will be in the big main cities (SF, LA, Chicago, Seattle etc.) on Oct 05th, with another expansion to the "medium" and surrounding cities (i.e. for us in the Bay Area: Berkeley, San Jose, etc)  on Oct 12th.

Offline Lynne

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"Lust, Caution" Theatre Posters
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2007, 01:53:07 am »



"Laß sein. Laß sein."

Offline Lynne

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"Lust, Caution" Lincoln Plaza Marquis
« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2007, 01:58:51 am »






"Laß sein. Laß sein."

Offline Lynne

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Brokies after "Lust, Caution" Having Chinese Food
« Reply #63 on: October 02, 2007, 02:10:57 am »

newyearsday, Lynne, JCinNYC, Meryl, jmmgallagher
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #64 on: October 03, 2007, 05:10:28 am »
:-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :)

 :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :)

:)  What a loverly bunch a Brokie-nuts!  :)

Offline Lynne

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #65 on: October 03, 2007, 09:38:32 am »
Here's a nice Q&A with Ang Lee about Lust, Caution:

Excerpt:

TIME: You've said the three sex scenes in the film were harder to shoot than the martial arts scenes in Crouching Tiger. Why?

Lee: I'm a shy human being. I don't make pornos so I'd never done that before. To verbalize the feelings and lead the actors through those acts and witness how much they devote to it, it's very painful. Usually we don't go there. I don't intend to go there again. After half a day's shooting we had to stop, it was so exhausting. You're so hyper... emotionally, sexually, everything is so charged up.

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1667513,00.html
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Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2007, 09:47:31 am »
So what did you think of the movie?
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Offline Lynne

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #67 on: October 03, 2007, 10:08:42 am »
So what did you think of the movie?

I thought it was beautifully done.  You can see Ang Lee and Rodrigo throughout - one of Rodrigo's shots near the end practically eviscerated me.  It's a tragic story but applying the term 'thriller' to it works for me as well - I didn't see the ending coming in exactly the way it did.  The actors were incredibly brave - the violent sex was viscerally disturbing and incredibly realistic, but it needed to be there.  I can see why Lee has said (paraphrasing) that Americans probably won't get the movie.  You really need to understand what it was like to be occupied by Japan during WWII to fully grasp the significance of the resistance movement.  The movie presupposes that you have this cultural awareness.  I need to see it again because there were a lot of details I missed - the mahjong games went incredibly fast, and I'm sure they're important.  And I would suggest sitting further back than the 3rd row so you can more easily see while also reading the subtitles.
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Offline Meryl

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2007, 10:22:05 pm »
:-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :)

 :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :) :-* :)

:)  What a loverly bunch a Brokie-nuts!  :)

 :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Lynne, I agree that the third row is not the ideal place to sit for any film!  :P

I know what shot of Rodrigo's you're referring to.  OMG.  So devastating.

Like Brokeback, I find that this film has stuck with me, and I've come to terms with its non-Hollywood ending as being very Ang and very necessary.  He is the greatest.
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Lynne

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2007, 11:23:06 pm »
:laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Lynne, I agree that the third row is not the ideal place to sit for any film!  :P
:laugh: :laugh: We DASHED and that was still the best we could do!

Quote
I know what shot of Rodrigo's you're referring to.  OMG.  So devastating.

Like Brokeback, I find that this film has stuck with me, and I've come to terms with its non-Hollywood ending as being very Ang and very necessary.  He is the greatest.

I know...it's sticking with me too...It has to end the way it does, but I'm really wanting to talk about characters and their motivations.  So EVERYBODY - go see as soon as humanly possible and let's talk - maybe November  ;)??  I'm keeping notes as I think of things....
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Offline Meryl

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2007, 11:56:09 pm »
In case this thread becomes the one that we end up discussing the details of the movie on, I'm quoting my review from the other movie thread:

Quote
Well, we saw Lust, Caution tonight, and it was really good.  John Gallagher, Jenny newyearsday, Juan (JCinNYC2006) and Lynne were there.  If it hadn't been for Lynne, I would have forgotten to even go!  But she was in Connecticut at a wedding this weekend and made the effort to get down here to see the movie.  What a Brokie!  ;D

The movie is beautiful to look at, thanks to Rodrigo Prieto, and has an authentic period feel, like the better Merchant-Ivory productions.  It takes place in Hong Kong and Shanghai during World War II, when the Japanese occupied parts of China.  A group of idealistic young students decide to serve the cause of patriotism by targeting an infamous Japanese collaborator for assassination.  Throughout the film they become more hardened and sophisticated by the experience and have some harrowing ordeals.  One young girl becomes the mistress of the villainous collaborator, and it is the story of what she goes through emotionally that is the core of the film.

We noticed several things that made us think of Brokeback, particularly a couple of shots of the full moon, Ang Lee's attention to colors (the heroine wore mostly shades of blue) and an elegiac last shot that made us think of the last shot in Brokeback.  As reviewers mentioned, the sex scenes were indeed explicit and powerful.  Those were brave actors!   :P

I do want to see this film again because it's very layered and rich, as you might expect from Ang.  But I agree with Jenny, who commented "I'm certainly not going to see this one 13 times!" as we left the theater.  ;D
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Offline Lynne

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #71 on: October 04, 2007, 12:05:12 am »
Thanks, Meryl!  I do think Lust, Caution and all future Ang Lee movies deserve their own threads!  8)
Fangirl Lynne
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Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #72 on: October 05, 2007, 10:00:33 am »
James Vermiere has this review in the Boston Herald (it is not entirely positive):

http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/movies/reviews/view.bg?articleid=1036024

What I found interesting was this part:

Quote
Similar in subject matter to Paul Verhoeven’s recent “Black Book,” “Lust, Caution” is a movie-besotted, cloak-and-dagger romance-cum-film noir, a variation on a theme of Hitchcock’s “Notorious” (1946) set in a China occupied by the Japanese.

As the controlling, extremely cautious Mr. Yee, Leung is too stiff and remote to register as a romantic hero.

Tang’s heroine is not nearly as problematic. A peasant-turned-student who finds her metier on the stage where she plays a heroine chafing against the foreign yoke, she is recruited by the troupe’s revolutionary head to help assassinate Yee.

To do so, she must first transform herself with makeup and wardrobe into a 1940s femme fatale, a real-life version of the Marlene Dietrich of “Shanghai Express” (1932) and the Ingrid Bergman of the aforementioned Hitchcock classic.

I've written before about Lee's interest in Hitchcock, and how I see him using themes and ideas from other Hitchcock classics in BbM, so I am very interested in seeing how this will carry through in "Lust, Caution."
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Offline Meryl

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #73 on: October 05, 2007, 10:48:05 am »
Thanks for the link, Bruce.  I agree that it's interesting how Ang used the heroine's infatuation with American movies to help explain her acceptance of the job she was given to do.  The reviewer also said that the sex scenes seemed anachronistic, what with the film recalling the style of those earlier movies.  It's true that it would still be a good film without them, but I love that Ang was brave enough to follow the relationship into the bedroom, not just because he could--today's standards are much less restrictive--but because those scenes got to the heart of what was going on between them.


Here's a favorable review from Alison Bailes and Jeffrey Lyons of Reel Talk:

http://video.reeltalktv.com/player/?fid=28804#videoid=161804
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Offline Lynne

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #74 on: October 06, 2007, 12:30:53 pm »
Quote
As the controlling, extremely cautious Mr. Yee, Leung is too stiff and remote to register as a romantic hero.

Hey Bruce!  Thank you for posting that review!  I really wish I were more of a Hitchcock scholar - I've only seen a few.  But I do know romantic heroes.  ::)

In romance, heroes are divided into essentially three categories:  alpha males are larger than life, take charge, take care of their love interest, always know what's best for them; beta males are sensitive ordinary guys, frequently geeks who rise to the occasion when needed but see their love interest as equals; gamma males are remote, inscrutable, cruel, even especially to their lovers, frequently scarred from some past trauma, redeemable in the end (perhaps?) by the power of love.

So, I completely think the reviewer misses the boat with the above statement.  It is precisely Yee's remoteness and inscrutability that make him a perfect gamma hero.  His inaccessibility makes him compelling to the heroine; she is drawn to him, even at the expense of her own survival.  Supporting the resistance is her motivation initially, but IMO, it becomes more than that.  I found myself drawn to him too.
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Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #75 on: October 06, 2007, 01:01:07 pm »
gamma males are remote, inscrutable, cruel, even especially to their lovers, frequently scarred from some past trauma, redeemable in the end (perhaps?) by the power of love.

So, I completely think the reviewer misses the boat with the above statement.  It is precisely Yee's remoteness and inscrutability that make him a perfect gamma hero.  His inaccessibility makes him compelling to the heroine; she is drawn to him, even at the expense of her own survival.  Supporting the resistance is her motivation initially, but IMO, it becomes more than that.  I found myself drawn to him too.

The review itself is a kind of mixed bag.  It is the reference to Hitchcock that intrigues me.  I've now read three reviews of "Lust, Caution" that draw comparisons to themes in Hitchcock's work.

Your description of the "gamma" type is very intriguing.  One could easily argue that the heroic description (remoteness, inscrutability) easily fits with Hitchcock's sensiblities. 
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Offline belbbmfan

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #76 on: October 19, 2007, 01:06:11 pm »
Ang Lee's 'Lust, Caution' was refused by the Academy to enter in the 'foreign language' film competition, apparently because the link with the country that wanted to enter it, Taiwan, isn't strong enough. The Academy objects to the fact that the cinematography is done by an Italian (Rodrigo Prieto) and that the film score was composed by a Frenchman. So this year's winner of the Golden Lion at Venice will not be competing for an Oscar. I find that quite astonishing.

http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2007/07.10.17a.html
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #77 on: October 19, 2007, 01:10:09 pm »
Ang Lee's 'Lust, Caution' was refused by the Academy to enter in the 'foreign language' film competition, apparently because the link with the country that wanted to enter it, Taiwan, isn't strong enough. The Academy objects to the fact that the cinematography is done by an Italian (Rodrigo Prieto) and that the film score was composed by a Frenchman. So this year's winner of the Golden Lion at Venice will not be competing for an Oscar. I find that quite astonishing.

http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2007/07.10.17a.html

Could it be nominated as Best Picture? Although I realize that is highly unlikely, I still wonder if it would be eligible for that category.
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Offline Meryl

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #78 on: October 19, 2007, 05:48:04 pm »
Ang Lee's 'Lust, Caution' was refused by the Academy to enter in the 'foreign language' film competition, apparently because the link with the country that wanted to enter it, Taiwan, isn't strong enough. The Academy objects to the fact that the cinematography is done by an Italian (Rodrigo Prieto) and that the film score was composed by a Frenchman. So this year's winner of the Golden Lion at Venice will not be competing for an Oscar. I find that quite astonishing.

I think this is a sign that the Academy's rules for submission are in serious need of an update.  If restrictions regarding the nationality of artists working on a movie make ineligible such a quality film, how can the Oscars be viewed as a real forum for honoring the significant films of any given year?  This just makes the Academy look more hidebound and out of sync than ever.  Films are only going to get more international, not less. 
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Offline notBastet

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #79 on: October 26, 2007, 08:43:24 pm »
I think this is a sign that the Academy's rules for submission are in serious need of an update.  If restrictions regarding the nationality of artists working on a movie make ineligible such a quality film, how can the Oscars be viewed as a real forum for honoring the significant films of any given year?  This just makes the Academy look more hidebound and out of sync than ever.  Films are only going to get more international, not less. 

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Offline Lynne

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"Lust, Caution" a Hit in China
« Reply #80 on: November 07, 2007, 03:47:02 am »
According to today's NY Times, Lust, Caution is a big hit in China!  Go Ang Lee!!  :D

Ang Lee's ''Lust, Caution'' raked in $5.4 million in its first four days of release in China, despite cuts by censors.  Citing the film's distributor here, China Film Group Corp., the official Xinhua News Agency said the sexually explicit spy thriller already was on track to become one of the year's biggest box-office draws.  ''The movie has so far had the best box-office returns of all the movies shown in our theater over the past three months,'' Xinhua quoted Chen Ji, a manager with the Oriental New Century Theater in Beijing, as saying.

The full article is here:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/arts/AP-Film-Lust-Caution.html?ex=1195016400&en=e84923d10627f753&ei=5070&emc=eta1
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Offline BelAir

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #81 on: November 11, 2007, 08:35:03 pm »
I saw this today.
 ;D  (wasn't sure if it was going to show in theaters in my town or not)

A few preliminary thoughts - definitely stomach-churning; I thought very well done; yes there was some explicit sex, but it wasn't gratuitous - can't imagine the movie without those scenes, actually; Ang's reference that Brokeback Mountain was heaven, but this was hell, seems fitting; I knew the movie was going to be long, but I didn't find the pace bothersome, and it certainly didn't seem any more slowly paced than Brokeback Mountain.

I would definitely like to see the movie again, so I can pay more attention to things other than the immediate plot...

I thought all the actors did great...
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 04:13:06 pm by BelAir »
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Offline belbbmfan

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #82 on: December 08, 2007, 03:08:42 pm »
Ang Lee keeps winning more prizes...

Lee film sweeps Taiwan 'Oscars'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7134533.stm
'We're supposed to guard the sheep, not eat 'em'

Offline Meryl

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #83 on: December 08, 2007, 09:46:24 pm »
Thanks so much for the article, Fabienne.  Go Ang, go!  8)
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #84 on: December 09, 2007, 05:22:12 pm »
It is to be expected in his home country, but it's nice to know that they appreciate him!!

Best picture, best director, best actor, best screenplay, best newcomer, best score...

May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline belbbmfan

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #85 on: February 18, 2008, 04:25:17 am »
Well, we finally saw Lust, Caution last week.

I found this bbc-review

Ang Lee's follow up to Brokeback Mountain is another tale of forbidden passion, but instead of dewy-eyed cowboys, the lovers are opponents in a deadly game of espionage. In Japanese occupied Shanghai, a young woman named Wong Chia Chi (Tei Wang) is recruited by the resistance to seduce the powerful Mr Yee (Tony Leung), a collaborator with the invaders. Over the course of several years, their relationship develops from mutual deception into a terrible sado-masochistic dependence.

Lust, Caution sees Ang Lee using the sedate formality of his earliest releases to tell a far more explosive story. Be warned: this is a film which proceeds at exactly its own pace, allotting as much screen time to the gossip of society ladies playing Mah-Jong as it does to a heart-stoppingly brutal killing. Much fuss has been made of the extremely frank sexual encounters between Leung and Tang, but the controversy is pointless: the sex is integral to the film. More than that even; the sex is the film. That title says it all really, Lust, Caution exists in the uneasy territory between orgasmic abandonment and suspicion. It's more like a chess game than a romance.

"A MESMERISING STUDY IN EMOTIONAL CRUELTY"

Leung and Tang, the old timer and the newcomer, both submerge themselves in the emotional muck with enormous courage, and Lee frames their helpless struggles with the cool detachment of a lepidopterist pinning a butterfly. This is a stern, steely film that requires considerable patience, but stick with it for long enough and you'll be rewarded with a mesmerising study in emotional cruelty.


I agree that the film is all about emotional cruelty. It's intens and hard to watch at certain times. But I disagree that it requires considerable patience. I knew it was a long movie and was worried a bit that my attention would drop at a certain point, but it didn't.

The cinematography is stunning. And despite the fact that as the review says, the sex scenes are the heart of the film, I think that the scene where the young woman sings for mr. Yee, really shows the intensity of what's going on between them, what the 'lust' is based on.

I think it's a must see movie.
'We're supposed to guard the sheep, not eat 'em'

Offline Meryl

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #86 on: February 18, 2008, 01:41:51 pm »
Thanks for the review, Fabienne.  I think it's one of the best summing-ups I've seen of it.  I'd forgotten the scene where she sings for Yee.  So many terrific details, thanks to our Ang.  8)
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #87 on: February 18, 2008, 03:33:31 pm »
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
"dewy-eyed cowboys,"  Now, that's a new way to describe Jack and Ennis.  It's sort of weird and sort of cute at the same time.

What exactly are the connotations to "dewy-eyed" anyway?

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Offline Lynne

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #88 on: February 18, 2008, 04:47:53 pm »
I echo what Meryl said - that's a great review, Fabienne.  I really want to own the DVD of Lust, Caution.  I remember thinking during the singing scene about how vulnerable, yet powerful she was...This one really demands repeated viewings.  The line about Lee's detachment - 'lepidopterist pinning a butterfly' - spot on image, huh?

Ah, dewy-eyed cowboys...I think I take the meaning, but it doesn't literally translate well, in my opinion.  When I think of dewy-eyed cowboys, I remember the scene where Ennis looks at Jack with such affection, a softness of gaze and loving smile, teasing him about the harmonica and how he'll run those sheep off again if he doesn't quiet down...'Dewy' implies moisture, which makes me think of tears - hence my remark about literal translation being different from the meaning.

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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #89 on: February 18, 2008, 04:50:55 pm »

Ah, dewy-eyed cowboys...I think I take the meaning, but it doesn't literally translate well, in my opinion.  When I think of dewy-eyed cowboys, I remember the scene where Ennis looks at Jack with such affection, a softness of gaze and loving smile, teasing him about the harmonica and how he'll run those sheep off again if he doesn't quiet down...'Dewy' implies moisture, which makes me think of tears - hence my remark about literal translation being different from the meaning.



Thanks Lynne.  :-*

I'm still sort of loving that kooky/ cute description. :laugh: :laugh:


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Offline shortfiction

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Re: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)
« Reply #90 on: March 07, 2008, 05:34:27 pm »
I watched it recently on DVD and thought it was very well done.  It explores an era and culture that I am not very familiar with.    The title is absolutely perfect, regarding the two leads, who crave each other but must be cautious, though for very different reasons.  I don't want to spoil it by saying what they are.

Be aware that the sex scenes are more graphic than what you might be used to; and that there is one scene of a stabbing that goes on for several minutes.

"This is the most uncomfortable coffin I've ever been in!"