Fruit Chan :: China (HK) :: 2005 :: 1h31
While they wait for their furniture to be shipped over from Europe, Mr and Mrs Li float through their empty lives, leading her back in dreams of beauty and the simple desires of youth. Her dreams are an iron will pushed to the extreme by Ms Mei, who cooks up her recipe for a vampiresque fountain of youth. In short, the horrors of the nouveau riche superficiality of having aimed at the wrong target in life. The complete a-moral void into which they throw themselves, and utter hopelessness of the spectator who has nothing to hold on too makes for a free fall to nausea. Your compensation en route is some original and well used Degas photography although contrasted sharply with over-the-top sound effects. Your reward is nihilistic revulsion. Make a conscious decision on whether or not to go and see this one.
The title is symbollically well found.
Realistically: seeing the characters’ non-relationship as their unbuilt kitchen (house)
Conceptually: contemporary cooking’s promise of a refined purity of taste … but in essence ephemeral and too un-nutricious to achieve even its principle purpose, namely to feed.