10 November 2007

Help me eros

Help me eros or Bangbang wo aishen is one of the films that was screened at the recent film festival here at Esplanade. Thanks went to Tik for complimentary tickets for this wonderful film. It's another film that attempts to make urban loneliness beautiful. The main characters are Ah Jie and Chyi, whose sophisticated romance develops in loveless Taipei.

Ah Jei is a suicidal man who grows marijuana at home. It may not totally wrong to say that he's a loser in a dog-eat-dog urban arena, with nothing to look forward to. Desire is important in this film. Even though Chyi falls for Ah Jie, it doesn't seem their love is romantically reciprocated in a traditional sense. Of course they have sex, but sex has been rendered worthless in this city. (Chyi herself works as a hostess.) Ah Jie also longs for another woman, a beautiful girl whom he takes to be the person who responds to his helpline calls. But it turns out the real woman who is attentive to his calls and problems is an overweighed woman, estranged in her relationship with a husband who is more interested in cross-dressing, rather than her love.

Somehow the complicated situation reflects the mental state of urbanites who are never satisfied with their present state, always on the lookout for a brighter future, more money, etc. No one seems to be happy in this film, but somehow this state of unhappiness is made beautiful. The scene to look for is a sexual scene where patterns of luxury bags such as Vuitton, Fendi, etc. are projected on the naked bodies, perhaps signifying that bodies are commodities as well as the need for this luxury "branding" to survive in the urban space. Also, the scene with the overweighed woman lying in a bath with phallic eels. I think these two surreal scenes say just about everything about the film.

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