Monday, 21 January 2008
Lust, Caution...Keeping the Hobby on Sunday
(photo taken from wikipedia)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ang_Lee
Drizzling and grey this last Sunday and what to do on such
dreary and cold day in Germany? Two options are always left to
us, me and hubby on such days when things i.e. like papers
to be sorted out, reports to be submitted and I particularly
not in the mood as usual to do great cooking - go to the city
and dine and see films or stay at home, dine and see tv films.
This time we found a new cosy and elegant Italian Restaurant
where I tasted this red wine from Sicily...a sort of Nero d'
Avola from Pietra Sacra (sacred rock) which I quickly and
secretly scribbled for googling later to get original source
and not the pricey bottles from Italian restaurants.
Lust and Caution!
Then we found this film of Ang Lee Lust, Caution
Macht und Begierde in German. Let me insert here the
info taken from Wikipedia about Ang Lee and his
NC-17 rated but much awarded film. NC-17 means No Child below 17.
The story is mostly set in 1942 Shanghai under Japanese
occupation. It depicts a group of patriotic Chinese students
plotting to kill a member of the Japanese collaborationist
government of Wang Jingwei, using a young woman as a lure.
"Mrs. Mak" (played by Tang Wei -- a sophisticated and
well-to-do woman -- sits, remembering in a café, how her story
began several years earlier, in war-torn 1938 China. A shy student
-- Wong Chia Chi -- has been left behind by her father, who has
escaped to England. While in her freshman year at her university,
a male student named Kuang Yu Min (Wang Leehom) makes her acquaintance.
Kuang has started a dramatic theatre group, in which Chia
Chi becomes leading lady, moving and inspiring both her audience
and her new-found friend Kuang.
It is Kuang who devises a daring plan to assassinate Mr. Yee
(Tony Leung)a high-ranking Kuomintang official with overt ties to
the collaborationist government headed by Wang Jingwei who was
widely denounced as a national traitor -Hanjian. Chia Chi, already
the star performer in the theatre group, is chosen to penetrate the
police security surrounding the Yee family. In the guise of Mrs.
Mak, she insinuates herself in the social circle of Mrs. Yee
(Joan Chen). She catches the eye of Mr. Yee and tries to lure
him into a location where he can be assassinated. In preparation
for a possible affair with Yee, Chia Chi sacrifices her virginity
to a fellow conspirator. The plot goes awry, and Wong flees,
following an unexpected fatality.
In Shanghai three years later she again encounters Kuang, who --
now part of an organised underground resistance group seeking to
overturn the Japanese occupation -- enlists her into a renewed
conspiracy to kill Yee. By this time, Mr. Yee has become the head
of the Chinese secret-police working for the occupation to hunt
down Chinese resistance agents.
Eventually, Chia Chi becomes the mistress of Mr. Yee. After
several clandestine sexual encounters, Mr. Yee gives her a sealed
envelope to deliver to a jewellery store. She believes the letter to
be a covert message for the secret police. When she arrives at the
shop,she is surprised to find that the message is his expression of
his feelings towards her - he had purchased an enormous 6ct
diamond for her.
In a meeting with her superior officer in the Chinese resistance, the
officer states that they want to delay the assassination in order to
get more information from Yee. Chia Chi vehemently objects,
explaining her emotional turmoil due to the long months of
masquerading as Mrs.Mak and her real-world relationship with
Yee(as opposed to the un-realized feelings between her and Kuang).
In order to place Mr. Yee in a location where the Chinese
resistance agents can kill him, Chia Chi asks to return to the
jewellery store to look at the completed diamond ring. When they
enter the shop,she notices the resistance agents awaiting to spring
the trap. As Mr. Yee was unaware of his danger, Chia Chi finds
herself in a situation in which even her identity itself is pushed
to breaking point. She makes a split-second decision to expose the
plot to Mr. Yee and let him escape before being killed.
By the end of the day, most of the resistance group including
Kuang and Chia Chi herself, are captured. Mr. Yee signs their death
warrants and the group members are executed that night.
Personal Note: I admire Ang Lee and have seen his films.
Setting and shots of films are really wonderful...this is Chinese
professionalism in film-making or simply Ang Lee's genuis.
But I really was keeping my eyes closed in some scenes...too
bloody and brutal. Many viewers were saying...aaah, nein, No!
It was simply horrible! Atrocious!
Then came the love/sex scenes...silence...not a word from the
horrified audience. But I simply can not bear to watch the
two lovers grappling each other. I found something
funny in the scenes...not anymore erotic but just two bodies
perspiring and groaning like human pretzels.
Adding to it, the main actor-his face reminds me of a cross
between a friend who teaches in a university and the young
face of a once dictator in Asia.
(Siguro kung kasama ko ang mga kaibigan babae, baka
naghagikgikan kami lang during the scenes except for the
scene when this collaborator was raping her...it was
No, Ang Lee...I can't help but remember the words of
another film director...anything more than torrid
kissing will simply turn any sex scene to a comedy!
Will google who said these words and if you know,
then let me know. Thanks.
And of course, the source for not so pricey but
lustfully tasting red wine from Sicily. Cheers!