(aka "Zui hao de shi guang" or "Three Times")

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hou.htm
Taiwan 2005

 

Three Times marks Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien's sixth bid for the Cannes Palme d'Or. In 1993, he was awarded the Jury Prize for The Puppetmaster; his Good Men, Good Women was chosen for screening in the Official Selection in 1995, as were Goodbye, South Goodbye (1996), Flowers of Shanghai (1998), and Millennium Mambo (2001), the film where European audiences discovered actress Shu Qi, a star in Asia. Shu Qi takes the leading role in today's Three Times, alongside Chang Chen, an actor who, as a teenager, starred in Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day (1991), and whose career has continued with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and 2046.

Three Times relates a series of three love stories which, although they take place at different points in time (1966, 1911 and 2005), are played by the same couple of actors (Shu Qi and Chang Chen). "It seems to me that by contrasting love stories from three different times, we can feel how people's behavior is circumscribed by the times and places they live in," explained Hou Hsiao Hsien. This work, whose Chinese title would literally be translated "Our Best Moments", happens to draw upon the director's own memories. He confided: "Now I'm pushing sixty, and these things have been hanging around for so long it seems like they're part of me. Maybe the only way I can discharge my debt to them is to film them."

****

Hou Hsiao Hsien's latest title Three Times has been named Best Taiwanese Film of the Year in the Golden Horse Film Awards 2005, and Shu Qi took home the Best Actress award for this film. She and Chang Chen each play three different roles in three love stories that are reincarnations of each other. The three episodes, "A Time of Love", "A Time for Freedom", and "A Time for Youth", each document a period in Taiwanese history. Bygones in our memories are always the best of times - this may be the underlying theme of the three vignettes in Three Times. These fragmentary memories bear no name, nor belong to any categories, but they are the best of times that lodge in our mind.

 

  • In "A Time of Love", set in 1966, a young man who is about to enter the military service falls in love with a girl working in a parlor. She disappears when he returns from holiday, so he begins the search... The parlor and the popular song Smoke Gets in Your Eyes all reminds us of the influence of American culture in Taiwan in the late 50s.

  • "A Time for Freedom" sidetracks the conflicts and tensions during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. A female courtesan meets a man who is promoting freedom of Taiwan from the Japanese occupation, and she starts to wonder about her own freedom, too. The segment's silent film format is another remembrance of the old cinematic form.

  • The third episode "A Time for Youth" is a tale happening in Taipei in 2005, in which a bisexual young woman who suffers from epilepsy falls in love with a photographer in a printing shop. In a disordered contemporary city, what remains in a triangular love relation is only confusion...

  • Poster

    Theatrical Release: France 20 May 2005 (Cannes Film Festival)

    Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

    DVD Comparison:

    Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC

    Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the Artificial-Eye Screen Caps!

    (Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

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    Distribution

    Artificial-Eye

    Region 2 - PAL

    CN Entertainment LTD
    Region 0 - NTSC
    Runtime 2:09:44 (4% PAL speedup) 2:09:51
    Video

    1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

    16X9 enhanced
    Average Bitrate: 6.80 mb/s
    PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

    1:1.78 Original Aspect Ratio

    16X9 enhanced
    Average Bitrate: mb/s
    NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

    NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

    Bitrate:

     

    Artificial-Eye

     

    Bitrate:

    CN Entertainment LTD

    NOT AVAILABLE

    Audio Mandarin / Taiwanese (Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0)

    Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0)

    Subtitles English, None English, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), none
    Features Release Information:
    Studio: Artificial-Eye

    Aspect Ratio:
    Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.85

    Edition Details:
    • Interview with Hou Hsiao-Hsien (25:48)
    • Trailer (2:32)
    • Filmography
    • - Hou Hsiao-Hsien (9 pages)
    • - Shu Qi (3 pages)

    DVD Release Date: 13 Nov 2006
    Keep Case

    Chapters 12

    Release Information:
    Studio: CN Entertainment Ltd.

    Aspect Ratio:
    Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.78

    Edition Details:
    • Trailer ( (2:41)
    • Photo Gallery (1:33)
    • Biographies
    • Preleude (Text / English)
    • Synopsis (Text / English)
    • Director's statement (Text / English)
    • Director's interview (21:46 / NO ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

    DVD Release Date: December 23, 2005
    Keep Case in a slip case

    Chapters 12  

     

     

    Comments:

    The CN Entertainment DVD is transferred from a Film Copy for theatrical use, where the Artificial-Eye DVD is most probably from the film-negative or a inter-positive copy. The color timing is made for DVD. The difference is vast: The AE black level has a wonderful depth, and the image has far more details. As I thought from the beginning the CN Entertainment picture is cropped on all sides. On a projector the AE disc is not pristinely sharp, even though it's flawless otherwise. The sharpness in numbers could be 85%. This is nothing to be worried about, it's typical for many DVD's.

    Where the CN Entertainment had a hiss almost 2/3 of the entire film, the AE disc has also some error on the soundtrack. Either the Dolby Digital 5.1 or the DD 2.0 track has an technical error. I believe it's the 5.1 mix, that lack information. The DD 2.0 track is very dynamic, where the 5.1 track is on a low level, using almost entirely the front speakers. Even the music is like it was played from a distant record player. The DD 2.0 track have the music like main music and on a high level. On the 5.1 track it's almost only the disco surrounding in the end that uses the back speakers. I don't believe it's intended. But the DD 2.0 sounds quite normal, with a lot of dynamic, and most probably it's the one to use, despite you have opportunity to play the 5.1 track.

    Does anybody know if the French DVD has a similar problem?

     - Per-Olof Strandberg

     

     

     



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    Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


     

     


     

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    (Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

     

     


    (Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

     

     


    (Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

     

     


    (Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

     

     


    (Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

     

     


    (Artificial-Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. CN Entertainment LTD - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

     

     


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    Image:

    Artificial Eye

    Sound:

    Artificial Eye

    Extras: -
    Menu: Artificial Eye

     
    DVD Box Covers

    CLICK to order from:

    Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

    Distribution

    Artificial-Eye

    Region 2 - PAL

    CN Entertainment LTD
    Region 0 - NTSC




     

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