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Three Times [DVD]
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'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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Three separate slow-moving Taiwanese dramas about love set in different eras; 1966, 1911 then 2005. The same pair of actors plays in each story, a large part of which figures is how we communicate between ourselves, letters being important in the first two stories and mobile phone texting in the final one.
In 1966 the characters are optimistic in tune with the times, and life seems simpler with minimal dialogue necessary. In 1911 in occupied Taiwan, roles are much more defined and restrictive, the atmosphere is claustrophobic and the dialogue is silent written on title cards. In 2005 life seems a lot more complicated and frantic with apparently easier ways to send messages but less communication.
I liked the first story the most, and found the silent movie treatment in the second story slightly irritating after a while, although overall it was a nice film to watch and interesting to see the scenes in Taiwan.
Both the main actors are Taiwanese; Shu Qi is beautiful in all three roles; funnily enough I last saw her in The Transporter (2002) a very different kind of movie. Chen Chang is also an actor who is good to watch and who was also in the fantastic movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
4 stars 18/11/15
The movie won Best Taiwanese Film of the Year, plus Best Actress for Shu Qi, in the 2005 Golden Horse Awards, plus was nominated for the Palm d'Or at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. It also won the Golden Apricot Best Film in the 2006 Yerevan International Film Festival; plus had 9 other nominations, 8 in the Golden Horse Awards, and 1 in the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Three shories set in 1966, 1911 and 2005, in Taiwan reflecting the mood of each era and showing how couples react to each other and meet in each year. Read morePublished on 28 May 2014 by Gavin Fleming
I tried so hard to follow these three films and on each film it left me sitting wondering what each film was about! Read morePublished on 27 April 2011 by Frankyboy
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. Read morePublished on 23 Jan. 2011 by amazonfly