Love and Her Consequences
April 27, 2019
by Bridget Ho
One either lives to love or dies trying. Love is universally intangible that some either learn, find, or lose. This intangible feeling is commonly used and seen in a positive light. But where can this thing called love go wrong? How does it mess with someone’s soul to the brink of death? Director Wing Ding Ho’s latest work CITIES OF LAST THINGS strongly highlights the consequences of one man’s yearning for love, showcasing the essence of noir and romance. With exaggeration, Ho perfectly presents the flaws of a stubborn human being through emotions of regret, desperation, and loneliness.
The narrative follows an ex-policeman, Zhang Dong Ling, who gets himself into situations where the lust, desperation, and lost of love is prominent. It starts off with Zhang’s gruesome suicide, and continues to display the unfortunate events that led up to this point. The structure of the film brings a unique twist to the audience where they have to mentally piece together this whole puzzle of Zhang’s life.
Throughout these events, Zhang encounters women during different parts of his life who have had different impacts on him. From a failing marriage to a lost forbidden lover, Zhang experiences a roller coaster of emotions which pushes him to the extreme.
Ho challenges today’s societal issues in the dystopia of the technological advanced future, which include gender roles, body image, government corruption, and more. CITIES OF LAST THINGS can be comparable to Netflix’s BLACK MIRROR as it follows the negative outcomes and development of technical advancement. As problems arise within each stage of Zhang’s life, we start to question: is this chase for love all even worth it?
You can watch CITIES OF LAST THINGS at Regal L.A. LIVE on Monday, May 6 at 6:30 pm.
This film is part of “Spotlight on Taiwan,” supported by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles.
Bridget Tien Ho is a fourth-year CSUN student majoring in Multimedia Production with a double-major in Asian American Studies. She loves being involved on-campus and within her community. Her interests include finding memes and new food places to try.