7.0/10
4,981
47 user 87 critic

Zui hao de shi guang (2005)

Three stories set in three times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Two actors play the two main characters in each story.

Director:

Hsiao-Hsien Hou

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6 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Qi Shu ... May / Courtesan / Jing
Chen Chang ... Chen / Mr. Chang / Zhen
Fang Mei ... Old Woman
Shu-Chen Liao Shu-Chen Liao ... Madam / Jing's mother
Mei Di Mei Di ... May's mother / Madam
Shi-Shan Chen Shi-Shan Chen ... Haruko / Ah Mei
Pei-Hsuan Lee Pei-Hsuan Lee ... Hostess / Micky
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lawrence Ko ... (special appearance) (as Ko Yu-Luen)
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Storyline

(1) "A Time for Love": In 1966, in Kaohsiung, Chen meets May playing pool in a bar when he is joining the army. He sends letters to her and he comes to the bar to meet her again in his leave. However, May had traveled to another place and Chen seeks her out. (2) "A Time for Freedom": In 1911, in Dadaochend, the writer Mr. Chang works for Mr. Liang and frequently travels to a brothel, where he meets the singer. He financially helps the courtesan Ah Mei to become a concubine. When the singer asks him if he would help her to leave the brothel, there is no answer. (3) "A Time for Youth": In 2005, in Taipei, the messy relationship of the photographer Zhen, his girlfriend Jing and a bisexual singer. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Ocean Films [France]

Country:

France | Taiwan

Language:

Mandarin | Min Nan

Release Date:

28 October 2005 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Times See more »

Filming Locations:

Taiwan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,197, 30 April 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$151,662, 6 August 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song Rain and Tears is based on Pachelbel's Canon See more »

Connections

Referenced in Moonlight (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Rain and Tears
Written by Johann Pachelbel, Boris Bergman and Vangelis
Performed by Aphrodite's Child
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lovely, but not without its demands...
2 January 2007 | by chris-2512See all my reviews

My girlfriend is always complaining that I rent gory, hateful Italian horror movies like 'Strip Naked For Your Killer' and 'Cannibal Holocaust', so I figured I'd switch it up and introduce her to the wild world of Hou. I should have stuck with 'Strip Naked...'! She complained the entire time that the film was too slow, that the characters were too vague and the whole thing, well, 'sucked'.

In my opinion, this was a graceful, magnificent film, but it is, what I like to call a 'Phantom Masterpiece' that is, a film which culminates a director's many obsessions, but doesn't really have that special punch that makes masterwork status unequivocal. I felt 'In the Mood For Love' by Wong Kar-Wai was a similar disappointment when compared to his 'true' masterpieces 'Happy Together', 'Chungking Express' and 'Fallen Angels'.

So, while you're right to expect a lot from this movie, don't expect a 'Flowers of Shanghai'.

Regardless, I found this film very fascinating, and one viewer's comment on IMDb about the film as a meta film is interesting, especially when you consider that framing shots of different actors in different times and places are virtually identical sequence to sequence. For instance, when a woman opens a letter, she's shot from exactly the same vantage point every time, regardless of the origins of the letter or herself. Its just too idiosyncratic to not be meaningful.

Also, a lot of this film is playfully back lit as characters are reduced almost to shadows for much of the action, however, as they move through the frame, light finds them and its really quite incredible.

If you are a true film fan, or a fan or Ozu, Haneke, Bresson, or Antonioni, you'll love this.


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