San tiao ren (1999) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • The protagonist is Asano who has had an amazing memory since his youth spent in Okinawa. Words have tangible shapes, tastes and colours for him. This goes so far that he is not even able to forget words once he has heard them. He travels the seas and because 'Hong Kong' feels wonderful, he goes ashore there. He chances upon the Dive Bar, that soon turns out to be the haven of comfort he has been seeking since his youth. The bar is run by the flamboyant, hospitable Kevin, who is also an alcoholic, eclectic lover and a perfect confidant to Asano. But Kevin keeps forgetting all kinds of things and that gets him into trouble sometimes. Words seem only to stand in the way of the relationship between Asano and Kevin...

  • Since his childhood in Okinawa, Asano has had a mnemonic memory. For him, words have tactile forms and tastes that make them constantly present in his mind; as a result, he can't forget a word once he's heard it. Now he is in "gridlock," his memories blocking the flow of life. Asano finds himself in Hong Kong's Dive Bar, drawn by the colour of the gay club's couches, a shade of blue which reminds him of the sea. Kevin, the bar's flamboyant owner, is a lush, unable to recall most of his booze-soaked, wild life. He is arrested every night because he cannot remember how to pronounce the name of his street in Cantonese. Asking instead to be taken to the police station, he is promptly arrested for public mischief. The film chronicles Kevin and Asano's meeting, in which words are a burden.


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