Help Me Eros (Bangbang wo aishen)
EmptyVenice International Film Festival
VENICE, Italy -- "Help Me Eros" begins with a scene from a television cookery show in which a trout is flayed and prepared for a dish in which it is eaten alive. Audiences may feel the same way after watching director and star Lee Kang-Sheng's tediously self-indulgent film about a young layabout who considers suicide after losing all his money on the stock exchange.
Aside from some unnecessarily gymnastic sex scenes, there's very little action in the picture. It follows a gloomy young man named Ah Jie (Kang-Sheng) as he transfers his fantasies about the woman behind the voice on a help line to a girl who works selling betel nuts and cigarettes from a glass and neon sidewalk booth.
Chyi (Jane Liao), on the help line, is a woman of plump proportions who is also married, while Shin (Yin Shin), the salesgirl, is slim, pretty and available. It's an odd sort of menage destined for trouble. Screened in competition at the Venice International Film Festival, the film is unlikely to travel much beyond its home territory of Taiwan.
Cooking features quite a bit in the film, with dishes prepared from ostrich eggs and live eels, while Ah Jie mopes about smoking endless numbers of joints and cigarettes. He really likes to smoke, and enjoys exhaling onto women's hair and into their mouths. Smoke, however, drifts away leaving a bit of a stink, much like this movie.
HELP ME EROS (Bang Bang Wo Aishen)
Director, writer: Lee Kang-Sheng
Producer: Vincent Wang
Executive producer: Tsai Ming-Liang
Director of photography: Liao Pen-Jung
Production designer: Tsai Ming-Lang
Music: Fumio Yasuda
Costume designer: Wang Jia-Hui
Editor: Lei Chen Ching
Ah Jie: Lee Kang-Sheng
Shin: Yin Shin
Chyi: Jane Liao
Ah Rong: Dennis Nieh
No MPAA rating, running time 103 minutes