Defying his parents, Hsiao Kang drops out of the local crammer to head for the bright lights of downtown Taipei. He falls in with Ah Tze, a pretty hood and their relationships is a confused... See full summary »
Intended as the concluding film in the trilogy on the modern history of Taiwan began with Beiqing Chengshi (1989), this film reveals the story through three levels: a film within a film as ... See full summary »
A strange disease starts to affect people in Taiwan just before the year 2000. The authorities order everyone to evacuate, but some tenants of an apartment building stay put, including a ... See full summary »
In Taiwan, Xiao-kang, a young man in his early 20s, lives with his parents in near silence. He is plagued by severe neck pain. His father is bedeviled by water first leaking into his ... See full summary »
When a young street vendor with a grim home life meets a woman on her way to Paris, they forge an instant connection. He changes all the clocks in Taipei to French time; as he watches ... See full summary »
Based from true story, primarily a conflict between two youth gangs, 14-year-old young boy's girlfriend conflict with the head of the gang for unclear reason, until finally there was a painfully incident.
Lung, a former member of the national Little League team and now operator of an old-style fabric business, is never able to shake a longing for his past glory. One day, he runs into a forme... See full summary »
While Hou is concerned with socio-political themes, Goodbye South, Goodbye's story is far less interesting than the method of its presentation. Not until the second screening did I care much about the events of the plot, but the intricate direction is amazing.
The acting appears very realistic, not, I think, because of great actors, but because Hou controls their environment so carefully. I feel they directly express less than the subtler expressiveness of Hou's style: long takes, colour filters, off-screen sound effects, vehicle-based dolly shots, compositions through doorways and over foreground obstacles, music.
But Hou doesn't even seem preoccupied by his motifs. Driving this film is a precise rhythm. Hou is perfectly willing to shuffle his scenes out of narrative order so long as it produces the desired change in tone and tempo. Also, some moments of dramatic importance are prequeled in the previous four or five (less relevant) scenes. And just before these consequential moments he pulls off the most interesting gimmick of all: long (3-4 minutes) shots of miniscule (?) narrative value; it's all so superficially dull!
Which seems to be the exact point. Successfully, Hou lulls us into a relaxed state-of-mind before hitting us on the head with a pivotal scene. Very manipulative but how clever! When you're in the safe hands of a proficient director, the devices they use to assault the senses become digestible. So, even though my sense of narrative timing and progression was confronted in Goodbye South, Goodbye, it didn't lower my level of appreciation. As for the story? Well....
But Lim Giong is terrific and so is his music!
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