CC: Vive L’Amour (1994)

2019/20 SEASON!

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - Thursday, March 19, 2020

Vive L’Amour (1994)

Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 7:00 PM  POSTPONED
Globe Cinema
- 617 8 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB
$12 General | $10 Members/Seniors/Students | $40 5-Pack Punch Pass | $99 Season Pass

The final film in the Taiwanese New Wave series, Vive L'amour follows three lonely denizens of Taipei who unknowingly share an apartment.

Winner of the Golden Lion at the 1992 Venice Film Festival, Vive L’amour focuses on three individuals connected provisionally by way of an unoccupied duplex that they each use for various trysts or as a kind of isolation cell, a retreat, or a zone of suspension. The three characters in Vive L’amour are little more than extensions of the spaces that connect them in their disconnectedness.

Director Tsai Ming-liang was born in Malaysia of Chinese ethnic background and did not find himself in Taiwan until he was already an adult. He has often spoken in interviews of habitually feeling like an outsider, a foreigner in any community.

Tsai’s films consistently focus on urban spaces and shared living spaces. Places and spaces often figure as radically untethered non-places, and there is a presiding sense of disorientation and dislocation. Information is often strategically withheld in order to keep the viewer unbalanced and geographically confused. An inability to connect endemic to this broken-up urban landscape and its atomized denizens is exacerbated by breakdown in communication. Vive L’amour, like subsequent Tsai films, contains long sequences of slow-burn emotional rawness in which the performers commit themselves with brave dedication. Desire is routinely suppressed, but is everywhere operative, and frequently causes spasms and various forms of acting out, leading to breathtaking feats of performance.

-Written by Jason Wierzba


In the early 1980s, Taiwanese cinema was at a crossroads. Nobody was watching locally made melodramas or kung fu movies anymore, instead opting for films from Hong Kong. Taiwanese society was also rapidly changing, with soaring high-tech economic growth driving people into the concrete jungles of Taipei and the cities. To revitalize the film industry, the state-run Central Motion Picture Corporation turned to a time-tested method to revitalize national cinemas – give the reins over to young filmmakers. These filmmakers, including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang, and Tsai Ming-liang, pursued a radical break from the previous stylistic and aesthetic traditions, favouring location shooting, long takes, and deliberate editing to reflect the rapidly changing world around them. Each responded to the alienation wrought by globalization in their own unique ways: Hou with pensive reflection, Yang with meticulous exhumation, and Tsai with melancholy detachment. With this series, Calgary Cinematheque presents five key films from one of film history’s most influential movements.

About Calgary Cinematheque

We are a non-profit film society dedicated to presenting significant, challenging, and essential works of cinema art in Calgary. During our season, which runs from October to April, we screen films weekly, in curated programs which situate each film in a thematic and historical context. We do this because we believe cinema is an essential form of artistic, social, and political expression. Audiences should be able to engage with a wide range of cinematic expression, not only with what is commercially viable. We believe in the power of sharing these experiences with other people in a theatrical setting and we strive to cultivate a community around that experience.  

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NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to