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Three Times [DVD]

Qi Shu , Chang Chen    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Qi Shu, Chang Chen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Taiwanese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Nov 2006
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HN32PK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,018 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

'Millennium Mambo' director Hou Hsiao-hsien explores the ever-repeating pattern of love in this romantic trilogy. The three separate love stories are set in three different times: 1911, 1966 and 2005 - but feature the same two actors in the leading roles. In 'Episode 1 - A Time for Love', Chen (Chang Chen), a young man about to embark on his national service, falls in love with May (Shu Qi), who works at the pool hall he frequents. He decides to track her down, only to discover that she has left her job and left no forwarding address. In 'Episode 2 - A Time for Freedom', a beautiful young courtesan (Shu Qi) is caught between the attentions of a rich tea plantation owner and his son. In 'Episode 3 - A Time for Youth', singer Jong (Shu Qi), who suffers from both epilepsy and failing sight, becomes an object of attraction for photographer Zhen (Chen Chang). But as each of the pair is in a relationship with another woman, things start to get complicated.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable 16 Nov 2007
Three love stories, the same couple at the beginning, the middle and end of the C20th. Simple device for the depiction of love, perhaps echoing Virginia Woolf's Orlando and the more recent bestseller Cloud Atlas. Simple, at times impoverished sets, presumably minimal budget. The first mid century story is that of a girl working in a snooker parlour. A customer is conscripted into the army and writes to her. When he returns he tracks her down and they meet. The second time is the early story, she is a musician in a teahouse. Admired, will she be loved, saved? Both stories are very slow, decidedly tedious. But persevere. The final story has them in a contemporary city leading a low grade 'fast' life - she is a singer at a coffee bar/night club. He takes photographs. They text each other (in Chinese - mesmerising..) and she has a futile lesbian affair with her flat mate, whom she lets down. A bit irresponsible, she is an epileptic, unhappy. All sounds pretty grim, but there are two moments of great tenderness and perception of ordinary lives. Boring to watch, very good indeed to think about - keeps retuirning to memory, wondering, maybe it is the best film I've seen this year? True to life? Abundantly! Do try it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty for its own sake. 14 Feb 2010
This film is a true masterpiece and should go down in the history of cinema as a classic. It's beauty for beauty's sake, no frills, just stunning. I love Chinese/Taiwanese films anyway, but this should be in anyone's collection whether they're a sinophile or not. If your skin doesn't break out in goosebumps at the end of '1966', watch it again. And again, until it does. The inclusion of a Demis Roussos song (Rain and Tears), also in this section, completes it and ensures this film is polished to be more than an emotional cinematic experience and turned into a work of art. Hou Hsiao-Hsien is a genius.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Refracting history through the personal 3 Dec 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien is a critically acclaimed auteur whose work is maddeningly unavailable on DVD. Of his 20 films only three are currently being offered at prices collectors can afford. Can someone (Artificial Eye, are you reading?) please give us his films from the 80s/90s preferably in a couple of cheap box sets? The Boys From Fengkuei (1983), A Summer at Grandpa’s (1984), A Time to Live, A Time to Die (1985), A City of Sadness (1989), The Puppetmaster (1993) and Good Men, Good Women (1995) all won prizes at major film festivals and it is criminal that we are denied a chance to see them. As it is we have only Café Lumière (2003), Flight of the Red Balloon (2008) and the film under review here, Three Times (2005). Of these three I find the last the most satisfying. Café Lumière is an excellent Ozu homage which accurately catches the transience of today’s Japan while Flight of the Red Balloon involves an even greater cultural leap to the problems of single parenting in France. Fascinating as they are, I feel both lack the ingredient which many hold out as being the quintessential essence of Hou’s world, namely his passion for history, especially as refracted through people’s personal lives. Three Times marks a resoundingly successful return to this theme.

The film started out as a portmanteau project of three love stories lasting roughly 40 minutes apiece taking place at different times with the same two actors (Shu Qi and Chang Chen) involved in each one. Hou was only going to direct the 1966 segment subtitled ‘A Time for Love’ with Huang Wen-Ying directing the 1911 part ‘A Time for Freedom’ and Peng Wen-Chung doing the concluding story ‘A Time for Youth’ set in the 1980s.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars boring 23 Jan 2011
What an unpleasent surprise. I was ready to enjoy a cultural feast and ended up with a bad taste in my mouth. Boring and gets worse with each story.It makes you go fast forward. I have bined it...
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring! 27 April 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I tried so hard to follow these three films and on each film it left me sitting wondering what each film was about! I love Shu Qi to bits and seen her in her comedy roles (Gorgeuos) and straight acting (A Man Called |Hero) and many others. But this film was such a disappointment and will be shelved ready for my next clear out. A good film is like art, either you see what the artist is trying to show you or you cannot interpret it at all. I am afraid I must have missed the point in these three films.
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