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aka QIANXI MANBO
USA: Palm Pictures
Cast: Shu Qi, Jack Kao, Tuan Chun-Hao, Jun Takeuchi, Niu Chen-Er, Kao Kuo Guang, Chen Yi-Hsuan, Jenny Tseng, Wat Tramy, Jo Jo Huang, Huang Hsiu Jessie, Peng Kang-Yu, Chang Pro , Ting Chine-Chung, Hsu Huei-Ni Kitty
Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien
Countries: France / Taiwan
Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)
USA Release Date: 31 December 2003 (Limited Release - New York)
Vicki (Shu Qi, THE TRANSPORTER) works as a hostess in a trendy bar and is totally absorbed in her nightclubbing/Ecstasy pills lifestyle. However, her boyfriend Hao-hao (Tuan Chun-Hao) who she currently lives with is overtly jealous and constantly checking up on her suspecting her of being unfaithful. Irritated Vicky decides to split up with him but only after she has withdrawn $500,000 from their bank account.
Enter Jack (Jack Kao) a gangster who has a stake in the bar where Vicky works and they embark on a love affair but it's unclear where their relationship will lead and he becomes both a source of trouble and salvation in her life.
Set to a dynamic techno soundtrack, MILLENNIUM MAMBO is a story of female entrapment that attempts to show the changing lifestyles of people in Taiwan.
Looking at the youthful friends around me, I find that their cycle and rhythm of "birth, age, illness and death" are moving several times faster than those of my generation. This is particularly true among young girls: like flowers, they are fading almost immediately upon blooming. The process occurs in an instant. I do not remember who said this: "Of so many leaves drifting everywhere in the sky above us, there is but one (falling) leaf which comes to an eternal halt at the very moment of being watched persistently by us with understanding and sympathy."
With this image in mind, I hope to shoot a movie of the story of this youthful girl.
- Hou Hsiao-hsien