Vive L'Amour

Vive L'Amour is a 1994 Taiwanese New Wave film directed by Tsai Ming-liang. It is Tsai's second feature film and premiered at the 51st Venice International Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Golden Lion. The film is about three people who unknowingly share an apartment in Taipei.

Vive L'Amour
MandarinÀiqíng wànsuì
LiterallyLong live love
Directed byTsai Ming-liang
Produced byChung Hu-pin
Hsu Li-kong
Written byTsai Ming-liang
Tsai Yi-chun
Yang Pi-ying
StarringYang Kuei-mei
Lee Kang-sheng
Chen Chao-jung
CinematographyLiao Pen-jung
Lin Ming-kuo
Edited bySung Shia-cheng
Distributed byStrand Releasing (USA)
Release date
2 September 1994 (premiere at Venice Film Festival)
22 July 1996 (USA)
Running time
118 minutes


Hsiao-kang (Lee Kang-sheng), a young salesman, discovers a key to an apartment in its lock and takes it. He soon moves into one of the bedrooms, and one night he attempts to commit suicide by slitting his wrists while lying on the bed.

Meanwhile, Ah-jung (Chen Chao-jung) is drinking coffee at a cafe when a beautiful real estate agent, May Lin (Yang Kuei-mei), sits at the table next to his. Intrigued, he follows her as she walks down the street. Lin catches on and eventually joins him. She leads him to a vacant apartment that she is trying to sell — the same apartment that Hsiao-kang is staying in — and they have sex in one of the bedrooms. Hsiao-kang hears them and stops the bleeding from his wrists.

Ah-jung steals the key to the apartment from Lin and later returns with his belongings. He moves into one of the adjoining bedrooms. That night, he and Hsiao-kang encounter each other in the apartment and have a short argument.

May Lin spends her day trying to sell property. While taking a break, she returns to the apartment when Hsiao-kang and Ah-jung are both there. The two sneak out quietly together and soon form a friendship.

One night, Hsiao-kang goes out for a walk and meets Ah-jung selling dresses on the street. May Lin walks past but does not notice them. Soon, Ah-jung joins her at a food stand and the two return to the apartment and sleep together in the same room as they did the first time. Unbeknownst to them, Hsiao-kang is hiding under the bed as they arrive, and he masturbates as the bed creaks above him.

The next morning, May Lin gets dressed and leaves. Hsiao-kang lies next to the sleeping Ah-jung and kisses him before slowly pulling away. Lin goes to her car but cannot start it, and instead walks on a path in the unfinished Daan Forest Park.[1] She then sits down on a bench and starts to cry uncontrollably.



Vive L'Amour won three Golden Horse Awards, for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Sound Effects. It also won the Golden Lion award at the 51st Venice International Film Festival.[2]

On AllMovie, reviewer Jonathan Crow praised the film, writing that "[director Tsai Ming-liang] presents Taipei as a soulless, ultra-modern labyrinth where individuals cannot communicate other than in one-night stands or business transactions. The film's style is masterful in both economy and emotional power. With very long takes, little narrative tension, and almost no dialogue, the style reinforces the cold, alienating world in which the characters live."[3]

The film has an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[4] It also received two critics' votes and three directors' votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound polls.[5]


  1. Davis, Darrell Williams; Chen, Ru-shou Robert (2007). Cinema Taiwan: Politics, Popularity and State of the Arts. Routledge. ISBN 9781134125838.
  2. "Vive l'Amour Awards". Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  3. "Vive l'Amour (1994)". Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  4. "Vive l'Amour (1994)". Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  5. "Votes for AIQING WANSUI (1994) | BFI". Retrieved 2019-01-13.
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