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Falling in love with occupier-外语

  IN Brokeback Mountain, love is a distant ideal briefly gained but forever out of reach. Ang Lee's new movie, Lust, Caution (Se Jie), which has its opening at the Venice International Film Festival this week, is also a tragic tale.

  The lovers are also up against forces beyond their control, but this time it's a harsher view of romance: Love is a performance, a trap or, cruelest of all, an illusion.

  "Brokeback is about a lost paradise," Lee told the New York Times this month. "But this one – it's down in the cave, a scary place. It's more like hell."

  Based on a short story by the popular Chinese writer Eileen Chang (Zhang Ailing), Lust, Caution is set in the early 1940s during World War II, mostly in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. Chia Chi (Tang Wei) belongs to a university drama group planning to kill Mr Yee (Tony Leung), who's cooperating with the enemy. Chia is assigned to seduce the target, but she falls into a desperate affair, driven by both passion and suspicion.

  The cast includes Joan Chen (Chen Chong) as the gossipy Mrs Yee, and Wang Lee-hom as a student leader.

  Lee is a careful observer of the power of sexual desire and repression to change people. The attraction of Lust, Caution lies in the mystery of its love story, which ends in a seemingly rash act. "It's complex and hard to pin down," Lee commented in the New York Times interview. "Maybe it can't be pinned down."

  Lust, Caution openly reveals the first part of the title, which Chang only hinted at in her book. "It was very brave of her to fit this story of a woman's sexual pleasure into a story of war, which is so manly," Lee said.

  He said he felt no need to be as conservative as the novel: "In Chinese literature the art is the hiding. But movies are another animal. It's a picture tool."

  His film features a few notably open sex scenes. A less open cut is being prepared for a possible Chinese release on October 26.

  After life

  Lee was drawn to the idea that the story, which was inspired by real events and incorporated elements of Chang's life: an education in Hong Kong interrupted by war, and a romance with an older man publicly known as a traitor. Chang's first husband, the writer Hu Lancheng, briefly served in the puppet government and was a playboy.

  "It was hard for me to live in Chang's world," Lee said. "There are days I hated her for it. It's so sad. But you realize there's a shortage of love in her life: romantic love, family love."

  He concluded, "This is the story of what killed love for her."

  ---------------------------------------

  caution 谨慎

  conservative 保守的

  illusion 幻觉

  lust性欲

  repression 抑压

  seduce 诱使

  traitor 叛国者

  Bonus points

  pin down: 确定,下结论

  The question simply has too many possible answers. I can't seem to pin it down exactly. 这个问题有太多可能的答案。我很难作出确定的结论。

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