Ang Lee's LUST, CAUTION

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Ang Lee's LUST, CAUTION

Postby Ribbons on Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:56 am

So, I've kind of been looking for an excuse to start a thread about this movie anyway, and what with the news that Focus Features will be releasing the same cut of Lust, Caution that the MPAA rated NC-17, I figured that was just flimsy enough of a pretext for me.

Here's Harry with an op-ed on the decision:

HEADGEEK wrote:Hey folks, Harry here.. today - over at Variety, they've announced that the MPAA has given Ang Lee's LUST, CAUTION an NC-17 rating. Now, this is an erotic spy film in Chinese based upon a short story by Eileen Change. The film has been set for debut at the Toronto Film Festival - and the big news is... FOCUS FEATURES has decided NOT to protest the rating, NOT to appeal the rating, but to accept it and decree that this is "a masterpiece about and for grown-ups!"

Now the problem... They can't have television spots, most newspapers won't print ads for the film and a whole lot of chickenshit theater chains won't even consider playing an NC-17 film.

So what that means is this... If this movie comes to your town - and you see it and love it - work to get as many of your adult friends to see it as well. I hope this is the film to help break this barrier and not just be an exploitive film. I have the utmost confidence in Ang Lee and this film and am incredibly jealous of all of you at Toronto that see it first!


And here's the teaser, which is beautiful but a little light on details:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/focus_features/lustcaution/
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Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:45 am

Looks gorgeous, I'm in.
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Postby Chilli on Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:23 am

Ang Lee made The Hulk into a flawed masterpiece, so he's pretty much got me for most his work. But erotic spies? How can that not be fascinating?
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Postby LeFlambeur on Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:47 pm

This just won the Golden Lion at Venice. Looking at the trailer and still images from the movie, you get the feeling that Ang Lee really, really, wants to be Wong Kar-Wai. The festival win is encouraging, but given the flatness of his In the Mood for Love homage in Brokeback Mountain, I don't think he has half of Wong's talent, and the ease of comparison won't do Lee any favors.
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Postby magicmonkey on Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:09 pm

LeFlambeur wrote:This just won the Golden Lion at Venice. Looking at the trailer and still images from the movie, you get the feeling that Ang Lee really, really, wants to be Wong Kar-Wai. The festival win is encouraging, but given the flatness of his In the Mood for Love homage in Brokeback Mountain, I don\'t think he has half of Wong\'s talent, and the ease of comparison won\'t do Lee any favors.



Lee is a master, Wong is a punk (in the best sense of the word, of course)... \'nuff said. Please see "The Ice Storm", "Ride with the Devil" if any more clarification is needed.
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:28 pm

The Ice Storm is awesome. I am looking forward to this film.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:35 am

LeFlambeur wrote:Ang Lee really, really, wants to be Wong Kar-Wai. The festival win is encouraging, but given the flatness of his In the Mood for Love homage in Brokeback Mountain


wasn't Brokeback more an homage to Happy Together?

'cuz, you know, the buttsex?
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:38 am

I will not stand for this Brokeback Mountain hatin'!!!! Take it back!!!
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:03 am

It reminds me of a prettier Black Book...
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Postby LeFlambeur on Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:44 am

What I meant by the In the Mood for Love homage in Brokeback was a brief moment when Jack was cruising for prostitutes in Mexico, and in the background was the song Quizas, Quizas, Quizas. As for what I thought of the film itself, its importance was more social (ie g@y cinema in a mainstream setting) than it was artistic. It wasn't a bad film in any sense of the word, but I dont think it was the masterpiece so many touted it as.

I don't claim to be an Ang Lee expert or anything, the only film's of his that I've seen are Brokeback, Crouching Tiger, and Hulk. So I'll reserve more further judgement until I've seen some of the films magicmonkey suggested, or at least the film in question here. My reaction was mostly kneejerk. The overall tone of, and alot of the images in, the trailer struck me as vaguely familiar. I couldn't copy them all because of quicktime, but take the poster for instance:
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Postby magicmonkey on Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:05 pm

I see where you are coming from LF. I saw the trailer and it did not exactly ring my dingaling either... but, it is only a trailer I guess. I also echo your thoughts on Brokeback too.

As for the other Ang Lee stuff, my god sir, do check it out! I think you\\\'ll be rather surprised, it is very different.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:06 pm

You guys are heartless, the both of youse!!!
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Postby magicmonkey on Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:08 pm

:twisted:

I do love his pastoral take in Brokeback, the shot of the sheep at the beginning is awesome and, for me, beats LOTR, in all its CGI glory! I feel like a sad person saying that...
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:09 pm

No, you get 5 bonus points for that. I concur.
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Postby magicmonkey on Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:13 pm

:D

Five of my lucky magic charms to you sir too!
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:06 am

Ang Lee's latest is coming out here on Thursday... I'll make a huge effort to go and will return with my thoughts. I saw that it's already had a "limited" release in the U.S., has no one seen it?
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Postby stereosforgeeks on Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:09 am

Pacino86845 wrote:Ang Lee's latest is coming out here on Thursday... I'll make a huge effort to go and will return with my thoughts. I saw that it's already had a "limited" release in the U.S., has no one seen it?


It's out here I just havent had a chance to go yet. The theater is a pain in the ass to get to as well.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:20 am

So I watched Lust, Caution last night and I really really liked it, but I find myself unable to write a review about it. The short of it is the film is very subdued, understated for the most part, and yet terribly haunting.


Clearly the muted expression in the film was done intentionally, but I'm still not sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing. Ang Lee has very easily jerked tears out of me before, but here everything sort of gets stuck in the back of your throat, as though it were a tightly sealed jar about to explode.

To quickly address some of the concerns voiced here or elsewhere:

1) Lust, Caution only bears a superficial resemblance to Wong Kar Wai's films. With the exception of only a couple of shots in the film, Lust, Caution has its own beautiful, mesmerizing look.

2) It bears more of a resemblance to Verhoeven's Black Book, which coincidentally I only saw a couple of days ago. Thematically it's similar to that film, except more focussed, more plausible, more human, and therefore BETTER. Thematically it also gives at least a nod to Ibsen's A Doll's House (which is casually namedropped early on).

3) I don't know what all this bull shit about the sex is. There are only three sex scenes in the entire running length of the film. They come to represent the film's core in some sense. They are beautifully filmed, brutal, raw, frightening, and arousing all at once.

The production values aren't production values anymore, Ang Lee apparently took all his actors and crew through a time machine to shoot the film. The performances are terrific, but subdued, as the roles required.

Um, that's about all I can muster for the time being, the film's images are still looping in my mind, still haunting me. Just go watch it. One of the year's best.

9/10
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Postby Maui on Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:54 am

Pacino86845 wrote:So I watched Lust, Caution last night and I really really liked it, but I find myself unable to write a review about it. The short of it is the film is very subdued, understated for the most part, and yet terribly haunting.


Clearly the muted expression in the film was done intentionally, but I'm still not sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing. Ang Lee has very easily jerked tears out of me before, but here everything sort of gets stuck in the back of your throat, as though it were a tightly sealed jar about to explode.

To quickly address some of the concerns voiced here or elsewhere:

1) Lust, Caution only bears a superficial resemblance to Wong Kar Wai's films. With the exception of only a couple of shots in the film, Lust, Caution has its own beautiful, mesmerizing look.

2) It bears more of a resemblance to Verhoeven's Black Book, which coincidentally I only saw a couple of days ago. Thematically it's similar to that film, except more focussed, more plausible, more human, and therefore BETTER. Thematically it also gives at least a nod to Ibsen's A Doll's House (which is casually namedropped early on).

3) I don't know what all this bull shit about the sex is. There are only three sex scenes in the entire running length of the film. They come to represent the film's core in some sense. They are beautifully filmed, brutal, raw, frightening, and arousing all at once.

The production values aren't production values anymore, Ang Lee apparently took all his actors and crew through a time machine to shoot the film. The performances are terrific, but subdued, as the roles required.

Um, that's about all I can muster for the time being, the film's images are still looping in my mind, still haunting me. Just go watch it. One of the year's best.

9/10



Very nice Pacino! I just read the other day that this movie may not qualify for Oscar nods due to the lack of "foreign" staff. :(

The sex scenes were necessary to show the transgression of their relationship. They were all that you stated:

beautifully filmed, brutal, raw, frightening, and arousing all at once.

Apparently Tang Wei is a newcomer to the scene - she certainly has a bright future.

Simply loved this movie. True, one of the best this year.
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Postby Maui on Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:19 pm

So Pacino:

2 tragic love stories. One that never got off the ground, the other taken to dangerous & sensual limits.

How did you feel about the ending? They just left Mr. Lee sitting on the bed, then he got up walked away - then the scene just slowly fades on the sheets where she used to sleep.

I can't write much about this film either. You are correct - Lee gets you close to the point where you want to cry, but then you just stop.

I've never seen intimacy depicted this way on film before. The range of emotions during their love scenes. I can't even begin to explain how much was revealed during these scenes.

Again, still WOWed by this movie.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:32 pm

Maui wrote:So Pacino:

2 tragic love stories. One that never got off the ground, the other taken to dangerous & sensual limits.


I guess we're entering spoilerish territory...

What was the first one? The students' "leader"s affection for Wang Jiazhi? I totally wrote that one off, nothing tragic about it 'cause the putz didn't make a move until it was too late. To me, he perfectly represented the hot-air-blowing student "revolutionaries" of the world... :twisted:

How did you feel about the ending?


Damn, that ending tore me up... I kept wishing he hadn't killed her. It was such a vicious reminder that finally he WAS the film's villain... moments before we had been made to warm up to him when he'd offered Wang Jiazhi the badass ring his wife would never get, when she said the words that saved his life. Through her, we grew to love him. We saw him through her eyes, and with one deft stroke of the hand, everything was brought apart. I kept asking myself why he did it, 'cause as a moviegoer I am only willing to accept so much ugliness, so much villainy, so much cold cruelty. In the end, it's probably what would happen in real life, and that's what makes the ending truly horrible IMO.

I've never seen intimacy depicted this way on film before. The range of emotions during their love scenes. I can't even begin to explain how much was revealed during these scenes.

Again, still WOWed by this movie.


Yeah, same here. I just don't feel I could begin to do those scenes any justice by writing about them. I have a lot to say really, but I feel as though anything I might write would just not be good enough, so I'll leave it at that. Only three films received a 9/10 from me this year, the other two being Paprika and Grindhouse for very different reasons. Lust, Caution will most probably make my top 10 list at the end of the year.

What'd you think was the relevance, if any, of how different the three (were there only three, I can't remember there being more? ) sex scenes were than each other?
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Postby Maui on Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:18 pm

Oh man, I just don't think I can truly capture my thoughts properly here, but I'll do my best:

Re. the Political Leader:
[size=50]I didn’t write it off. I felt it was always there lurking between them - an unspoken, unacted upon love. She did put him in his place when he kissed her, then she quickly said “why didn’t you do that 3 years agoâ€
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Postby Maui on Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:03 pm

Bump - for KIRK!! :twisted:
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Postby Maui on Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:57 pm

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Some of the most well-regarded foreign-language films of 2007 will not be eligible for this year's Oscar.

The Ang Lee-directed "Lust, Caution," a tale of romance and betrayal set against the backdrop of Japan's occupation of Shanghai in the 1940s, was disqualified by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences even though it had been submitted as Taiwan's official entry. The Academy ruled that Taiwan did not prove that "creative talent of that country exercised artistic control of the film," as required by rule 14 in its official rule book -- obliging Taiwan to substitute another film, "Island Etude," in its place



Disappointed about this. :(

More on Oscar Rules for Foreign film:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071109/film_nm/oscars_foreign_dc;_ylt=AmRoyi6sK79eyIOkM0vBSk8wFxkF
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Postby Pacino86845 on Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:04 pm

That's bloody r-tarded, but does this mean it can enter the "regular" categories still?

It should, 'cause it's the best film I saw this year so far.
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Postby Maui on Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:06 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:That's bloody r-tarded, but does this mean it can enter the "regular" categories still?

It should, 'cause it's the best film I saw this year so far.


Perhaps Pacino.

I read more in a different article that their issue with Lust was that there just wasn't enough Taiwanese on staff for it to properly qualify as a 'foreign' film.
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Postby Al Shut on Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:07 pm

Yes it can, Taiwan just couldn't submitt it as their foreign language entry.

Davis adds, "If your film doesn't meet those requirements, don't whine about it. Take comfort in the fact that there are 17 other Oscar categories in which your film does qualify."
Note to myself: Fix this image shit!
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Postby Maui on Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:39 pm

Al_Shut wrote:Yes it can, Taiwan just couldn't submitt it as their foreign language entry.

Davis adds, "If your film doesn't meet those requirements, don't whine about it. Take comfort in the fact that there are 17 other Oscar categories in which your film does qualify."


Good - I certainly hope that it does run for best picture - it deserves the nods.
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Re: Ang Lee's LUST, CAUTION

Postby Spandau Belly on Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:55 pm

I saw:

LUST CAUTION

This is Ang Lee's followup to his Oscar-winning directorial effort, Brokeback Mountain. It is a WW2 espionage thriller-drama. I found it pretty good. I generally prefer these espionage WW2 movies over the battlefield movies. This is one is better to me than Valkyrie (which I thought was good enough), but it is not as good as Black Book.

This dedicates itself to moods and the feelings of the main characters and creating many erotic moments between them and it succeeds. But this film simply lacks the detective work and mystery solving that made Black Book so engrossing. Like Black Book, it is based on history, but not any specific event like Valkyrie was, so they can play around a bit more and make it more interesting. I think there were a couple good twists in here and I will say that I really liked the ending.

Like Black Book, the lead character is a woman in the underground resistance trying to destabilize the Japanese occupiors in WW2 China. She utilizes her pussy to gain proximity to a top official in the collaborationist government. But her feelings make her tasks complicated. I think they handle her inner conflict well. They don't make her mark a likeable guy like the stamp-collecting Nazi in Black Book. This guy obviously has issues and takes a lot of them out on her, but she also kinda likes it. So as you can see, this is a bit of a kinky movie.

Like I said, there aren't as many twists and turns or as much of a mystery, but when the ending is delivered you realize just how blind all these characters were to what was going on around them the whole time.

I would recommend this film to anybody who likes WW2 espionage films and really explicit sex scenes. If you are offended by seeing a dude's balls or watching people fuck in all sorts of positions and slap each other, then I think you should rent Valkyrie or Black Book. But Black Book also has some of your trademark Paul Verhoeven tittylicking, so if you're really touchy about sex shit just rent Valkyrie.
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Re: Ang Lee's LUST, CAUTION

Postby DaleTremont on Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:24 pm

Spandau Belly wrote:Like Black Book, the lead character is a woman in the underground resistance trying to destabilize the Japanese occupiors in WW2 China. She utilizes her pussy to gain proximity to a top official in the collaborationist government. But her feelings make her tasks complicated. I think they handle her inner conflict well. They don't make her mark a likeable guy like the stamp-collecting Nazi in Black Book. This guy obviously has issues and takes a lot of them out on her, but she also kinda likes it. So as you can see, this is a bit of a kinky movie.


They should have some sort of kink warning on these types of movies. Okay it may be NC-17 and may have "explicit sex" but this is America so anytime I see that I figure, all right maybe we have some full frontal and arty European type fucking going on. If they had warned me there would be S&M type shit I would have been much more prepared sitting on the couch next to my mom when Tony Leung starts whipping that chick with his belt before tying her up and doing the dirty. "Prepared" in the way that I would have never watched it in the first place with any parent or guardian present because that shit was just awkward.

My poor grandmother saw this in the theater and I have to give her credit for even sticking around for the whole show. She was probably expecting some romantic spy drama from that nice man who made that Crouching Tiger movie.

All that being said, it is a great flick. Though I agree that Black Book is better.
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