Author Topic: "Lust, Caution" (Ang Lee's Next Film)  (Read 14465 times)

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)
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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:

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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."
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

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. 
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

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. 

Yes.
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