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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ang Lee's Lust, Caution

I've been a huge fan of Ang Lee as a director from the first of his films I saw many years ago - Eat Drink Man Woman.

I loved The Ice Storm, Sense & Sensibility, Crouching Tiger, Brokeback Mountain and now, Lust, Caution.

One of the things I love about Lee is that he seems to have no genre. He'll make any movie that interests him and each one of them is different. One of the the other things I love is that each movie - at least for me - has a central theme that is generally not stated but is always a part of the look and feel and sense of the movie - for example, Brokeback Mountain is all about silence, about the inability to express one's self, and for the first part of that movie there is almost no dialogue. In fact, throughout that movie, there is very little dialogue at all and what there is does not seem to be of note though of course it is.

Lust, Caution is another one of those incredibly beautiful movies and it looks and feels like a movie made in the 40s. There are close-ups and emotion is expressed by the slightest movement of an eyelid or a mouth or a cheek muscle. Ingrid Bergman could have been in this movie. And that look is obviously purposeful - there are plenty of references to old movies in this film.

The acting is amazing - there are two scenes that should be required viewing for any actor, one by Tony Leung and one by Tang Wei. This movie is all about violent emotions, about physical and emotional violence, but very little of the physical violence is shown. It is all implied and is much harsher for all of that.

If you love Ang Lee, if you love period films, if you want to see something about a part of history that you may not know much about, see Lust, Caution. It's a long movie but I wasn't bored for a single second.


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