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Three Times (2005)

Cast: Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Mei Fang, more...
Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien
    see all cast/crew...
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Independent, Romance, Taiwan
Running Time: 130 min.

Synopsis
Millennium Mambo director Hou Hsiao-hsien explores the ever-changing cycle of love in this collection of three romantic stories set in 1911, 1966, and 2005 and utilizing the same actors in all three tales. In "A Time for Love," a fresh-faced soldier boy named Chen (Chang Chen) searches for a pool hall hostess named May (Shu Qi) who captured his heart before disappearing into the crowd. The second tale, set against the backdrop of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan and entitled "A Time for Freedom," finds an elegant courtesan tending to a young intellectual in a lavish brothel. The trilogy draws to a close with a segment entitled "A Time for Youth" in which a present-day Taipei singer who is also an epileptic neglects her female lover to seek the romantic attentions of a talented photographer. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Three Times Three by RJones3 May 19, 2007 - 8:10 AM PDT
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0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Anyone who thinks that a foreign movie could be heavy-handed, mannered, or glacially paced has not taken the trouble to learn the culture. If it is foreign, it is either inscrutable or brilliant. Our own ethnocentric standards need not apply. For two hours and nineteen minutes at least, the running time of Three Times, we can forget everything that we think we know about what we like. Consider the popular tune "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," written in 1933 by Otto Harbach (lyrics) and Jerome Kern (music) for the hit musical Roberta, starring Bob Hope. Some people believe that the rather hammy version by the Platters in 1959, despite its popularity, misses the essential wit of the lyrics. In the hands of director Hou Hsiao-hsien, however, the tune lends depth to an otherwise inarticulate adolescent flirtation culminating in a mutual groping for hands at a bus stop. In the middle segment of this triptych what appears to be a belabored parody of a silent-era film is actually a clever dig at the hypocrisy of the eternal male. Finally, for those who think the ills that accompany modern technology are exclusively American, there are the narcissistic youth of the final segment zipping about Taipei on their motor scooters. Foreign, in a word, is better.

First Time's the Best, Then Downhill... by talltale September 30, 2006 - 4:08 PM PDT
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4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
A trilogy featuring the same two stars (Qi Shu and Chen Chang) in three love stories set 50 years ago, 100 years ago and present day, THREE TIMES is one-third of a fine film. It's the first episode that may sweetly tear you apart then leave you quietly fulfilled: a near love story of missed connections in pool halls of various cities. The second section, which takes place in the early 1900s, is, for some reason, like a silent movie, with Chinese subtitles that are then translated into English. I'm not sure why director/co-writer Hsiao-hsien Hou chose this method, since the cinematography is in gorgeous, sharp-relief color (nothing like the quality of a black-and-white silent film). Yet the beauty of people and place carries you along to number three--which is pretty much an unmitigated disaster: a modern piece of Asian anomie that--though it deals in love (hetero & homo), drugs and sex--is tiresome, repetitive and ugly. Figure an eight rating for #1, six for #2 and three-to-four for #3.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.28)
29 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2005
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Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
kraigpdx

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