Taiwan/Japan, 2006, 118 minutes
Sat, Apr 28 / 09:00 / SFMOMA / AMOU28S
Wed, May 2 / 04:30 / Kabuki / AMOU02K
Sun, May 6 / 09:00 / Kabuki / AMOU06K
Wed, May 9 / 09:00 / Aquarius / AMOU09A
They say no man is an island, yet Oshima, the protagonist of amour-LEGENDE, means "big island" in Japanese. In this stylish puzzler, Oshima journeys to a remote island, arrives suffering from memory loss, finds himself with a different young woman than the one he started out with and begins to question his own existence, island or no. A married man caught in an affair, Oshima has fled the high-rises of Taipei with his paramour, May, to vacation at Snow Mountain, "somewhere in South America," hoping things will return to normal when they get home. But a series of misadventures as mundane as getting locked out of a rental car and as strange as dodging a prairie full of suicidal squirrels leaves him unconscious and unremembering, waking up on a sand dune next to a polyglot young woman named Coco. Accepting her offer to help find May, he heads with her toward Snow Mountain, along the way hearing ominous stories about that destination’s effect on couples who think they have a future together. This elusive romantic drama rumbles like a rented Mercedes across rough psychological terrain, opening up the viewer to a surreal and disturbing landscape most would rather avoid on a vacation, no matter how exotic. (All scenes were reportedly, and surprisingly, shot in Taiwan.) Yosuke Kubozuka, the Japanese pop idol who was so effective in Go and seems to have recovered from his 2004 fall from a ninth-floor balcony, captures the frustrations of a mind-traveler stuck somewhere between the improbable and the inevitable.
International Premiere. In English, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish with English subtitles. Presented with support from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, San Francisco.