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Goodbye, South, Goodbye (1996)
"Nan guo zai jian, nan guo" (original title)

 |  Crime, Drama  |  12 April 1997 (Japan)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 913 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 19 critic

A glimpse at the lives of two petty criminals in Taipei.

Director:

(as Hsiao-Hsien Hou)

Writers:

, (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Goodbye, South, Goodbye (1996)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shih-huang Chen ...
Flathead's uncle
Hsiang Hsi ...
Hsi
Kuei-Ying Hsu ...
Ying
Annie Shizuka Inoh ...
Pretzel
Jack Kao ...
Kao
Ming Kao ...
Ming
Ming Lei ...
Kao's Father
Kuei Li
Pi-tung Lien ...
Tung
Giong Lim ...
Flathead
Vicky Wei ...
Hui
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Storyline

A glimpse at the lives of two petty criminals in Taipei.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 April 1997 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Adeus, ao Sul  »

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Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Considered by Cahiers du Cinéma to be one of the three best films of the 1990's, alongside The Bridges of Madison County and Carlito's Way. See more »

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Referenced in Wschód (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
How to watch this film? Don't fall asleep at the wheel.
3 April 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Those about to watch this modern masterpiece, be advised: you're going down a road of unexpected darkness and terror, cloaked in what appears to be the banal trappings of ordinary existence. But through the lens of Hou's camera, this is anything but ordinary.

To see this, one has to rid oneself of conventional thinking of what it means for a movie to "take" you somewhere. So when a critic whines, "I'm dying for a change of scenery!", it's obvious that they've too accustomed to standard-issue Hollywood storytelling to appreciate something entirely different and new: the mysterious, inexplicable rhythms of REAL LIFE. A life that alternates between static, stagnant waiting for things to happen, and sudden moments of motion and . The first shot explains so much of this: people who are moving and standing still at the same time -- who pass through light and darkness with the same impassive, zonked out expression, waiting for SOMETHING to happen while letting their favorite punk tune release their pent up energy, ambitions and frustrations.

So much of this film is like listening to a good song -- just allowing yourself to be bathed in sensation, to delight in little things that you notice but add so much to the overall experience. You simply can't demand standard point A to point B plot points on a movie that is interested in something entirely different. Because LIFE DOES NOT HAVE PLOT POINTS. What it does have are a multitude of wonders, in gestures, colors, and moments of surprising joy and terror. And what does it all lead to? Who knows. That's why it's life. So when someone says "Why watch a film if there's not a single worthwhile aspect to offer?" he's obviously dissassociated the experience of movies from the experience of real life.

As I've re-watched and reflected on this film, I find it to be one of the essential statements on what it's like to live in the fast lane of modern-day, globalized civilization. This film may resemble American small-time gangster flicks (most notably MEAN STREETS and GOODFELLAS) but compared to this movie those movies, as great as they are, seem simple-minded in their narrative structure and explicated themes. This film gives you the feeling of what it FEELS like to be in the shoes of these sorry saps, with all their petty ambitions and fears that end up meaning quite a lot by the time we get to that terrifying last shot, where a big nothing moment amounts to everything.


13 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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