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Sunday, April 13, 2014


Trailer for Ang Lee's Lust,Caution. The scenes I am referring to are the clips with the diamond ring and his throwing himself into his car.

For Lee, an astute observer of the warping power of sexual desire and repression (not just in "Brokeback Mountain," but also in films as disparate as "The Ice Storm," "The Wedding Banquet" and "Sense and Sensibility"), the allure of "Lust, Caution" lies in the irreducible mystery of its love story, which culminates in a seemingly rash and irrational act. "It's complex and hard to pin down," he said. "Maybe it can't be pinned down." LINK

This pivotal scene takes place when the two lovers are in the jeweler's shop viewing the large pink diamond he has bought for her which they see set for the first time. He does not want to see the ring, but only to see it on her hand. She puts it on and leans into him whispering/saying:

"Go. Now."

He is uncomprehending so she repeats it:

"Go. Now." 

He gets it, runs down the stairs, across the street sliding on his stomach into the back seat of his car which roars away.He escapes the assassins clustered around the jewelers waiting for his exit to kill him.

Since the entire movie has been about her playing a part to seduce him (he is a collaborator with the occupying Japanese in the 1940's in Shanghai) in order to assassinate him, this turn around has been the subject of much lit crit and has confounded all interpretations. WHY DOES SHE DO IT? Ang Lee has said he had great anxiety about this scene and trusted the actors to convey it intuitively and accurately, which they did. This is Eileen Chang's novel who was considered the cruelest writer writing in Chinese.

He will order the round up of her and her partisan group, have them lined up, shot and dumped in a large trench for a grave that is in front of them.

I think Neil Burger has replied to Ang Lee in the pivotal scene in Divergent:

Pivotal Scene to Wake Four Up

Tris enters the control room to stop the simulation program, sees Four connected to a drip, releases him only to have him come at her to kill her. A violent physical fight begins and then Tris gets a hold of her gun on the floor, saying,


and holding it on Four. He stops and freezes. He has no fear of being shot.  But she can't kill him and we know that.

His second greatest fear is killing an innocent whom he must look away from to perform the ordered killing. Tris has been in his fearscape and knows this. She turns her gun on herself, pointing it at her forehead and Four leaps to grab the gun, to take control. She is bloody, crying his name to wake him up from the simulation serum saying, "It's OK, it's OK, I love you, it's OK. Four it's me, Four wake up, wake up. Now he is close to her and in control so she can touch him, touch his lips, his mouth, his face, his skin while she is saying his name to wake him up. He turns his head away as he cocks the gun and she pulls his face back saying, "Look at me, look at me. It's me, it's me." And then he begins to wake up and says, "Tris?" And Tris smiles and says, "It's OK, I love you."

Then she says softly and carefully:


And he turns on a dime and mows down the ones with guns behind him and becomes a killing machine while Tris goes after Jeanine to stop her. When it is over both will have to run because the leadership of Dauntless is coming after them. So they hop the train with Caleb, Peter, some other Abnegation members including Marcus.

In Lust,Caution why does Wang warn Yee? Why does she save him? I think Burger is saying it is love, just as Tris is saying, 

"I love you enough to die for you. I cannot kill you. Wake up."

And the enigmatic word GO links these two films with love.

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