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(aka 'Aiqing wansui')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/tsai.htm
Taiwan 1994

 

Solitude. Urban alienation.
Three searching characters lives coincide in the backdrop of a vacant apartment in the overcrowded city of Taipei.

 

This second film by prominent Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang is a brilliant portrayal of isolation and urban disillusionment in modern Taipei. The movie focuses on three lonely souls: Hsiao-kang, a gay salesman of crematorium niches who wanders the city on his scooter; Ah-jung, a handsome street hawker of counterfeit designer goods; and May Lin, a struggling real estate agent. Hsiao-kang sneaks into a vacant apartment with a stolen key, takes a bath, and tries to slash his wrists. Meanwhile, May picks up Ah-jung and enters the same flat for a late-night tryst. As the film progresses, each character goes through the tedium of their lives: May waits in empty houses for prospective clients; Ah-jung hawks his wares while avoiding the police, and Hsiao-kang places fliers in anonymous mailboxes. All three use the unoccupied apartment at various times for their own needs without realizing the presence of the others, until Hsiao-kang and Ah-jung run into each other. After they both flee the place when May arrives, they develop an odd sort of friendship.

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: September 14th, 1944 - Toronto Film Festival

Reviews                                                                                More Reviews                                                                   DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Bitwin- Region 3 - NTSC vs. Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. REMASTERED (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) Sony Music (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

3) Sony (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Out-Of-Print

North Americans:

Rest of World:

REMASTERED and sold as part of the Tsai Ming Liang Collection: Rebels Of The Neon God / The River / Vive L'amour

North Americans:

Rest of World:

Distribution Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray REMASTERED (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:56:44  1:56:40  1:56:55.000 1:56:55.000
Video 1.64:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.70:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Disc Size: 22,598,169,208 bytes

Feature Size: 21,881,290,752 bytes

Average Bitrate: 21.93 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-2 Video 1080P

Disc Size: 22,606,436,108 bytes

Feature Size: 21,881,290,752 bytes

Average Bitrate: 21.93 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-2 Video 24fps / 1080P

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

Bitrate:

Bitwin

Bitrate:

Fox / Lorber

Bitrate 2011:

Blu-ray

Bitrate: Remastered:

Blu-ray

Audio Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio Chinese 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit LPCM Audio Chinese 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, Korean, Chinese Simplified, none English, (burned-in) English, traditional Chinese, Chinese Simplified, none English, traditional Chinese, Chinese Simplified, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Bitwin (Korea)

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.64:1

Edition Details:

• Production Credits (text screens)
• Filmographies and Awards *text screens)

DVD Release Date: September 10th, 2003

Book-style digi-Case
Chapters: 5

Release Information:
Studio: Fox / Lorber Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.70:1

Edition Details:

• Production Credits (text screens)
• Filmographies and Awards *text screens)

DVD Release Date: May 21st, 2002

Keep Case
Chapters: 5

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Music Entertainment (TW)

Disc Size: 22,598,169,208 bytes

Feature Size: 21,881,290,752 bytes

Average Bitrate: 21.93 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-2 Video 1080P

Edition Details:

• None on Blu-ray
• Bonus DVD also includes cast and director interview

Blu-ray Release Date: April 28th, 2011
Book-style Blu-ray digi-Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Music Entertainment (TW)

Disc Size: 22,606,436,108 bytes

Feature Size: 21,881,290,752 bytes

Average Bitrate: 21.93 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-2 Video 24fps / 1080P

Edition Details:

• Restoration advert (2:15) Blu-ray
• Book

Blu-ray Release Date: May 27th, 2015
Custom Blu-ray Case (see photos)
Chapters: 12

 

Central Pictures Corporation has digitally remastered six classic films from the 80s and the 90s, producing brand-new digital prints that guarantee to overcome the test of time. After Dust in the Wind, four more of these films are arriving in high-definition on Blu-ray for fans to see these films the best way they have ever looked before.

Edward Yang's The Terrorizers

Chen Kuo Fu's The Personals Yu-Hsun Chen's Tropical Fish Hsiao-hsien Hou's Dust in the Wind

North Americans:

Rest of World:

North Americans:

Rest of World:

North Americans:

Rest of World:

North Americans:

Rest of World:

  

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: REMASTERED (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - (March 2016) - This is the same 'Sony Music Corp.' transfer as released in 2011 - same MPEG2 (which is unusual as both Rebels Of The Neon God and The River are MPEG4 AVC) - 1080P 24fps, same menus as the 2011 release, same linear PCM audio, same running time to the 1/1000th of a second - but it is sold as part of the Tsai Ming Liang Collection with Rebels Of The Neon God/ The River and Vive L'amour. The disc has a negligibly larger file-size (a few bytes) and I can't determine why but the feature is exactly the same transfer. No extras aside from a 2-minute advert on the restorations. This package had the 3 films on Blu-ray and no DVDs. It does include a wonderful picture-book with plenty of photos and, what appears to be, a film cell from each of the films.

From the Rebels and The River comparisons: "These are totally English-friendly - menus, subtitles on both feature and supplement (a 6 minute conversation with Tsai - and some clips) and the impressive book has minimal text - but also English when listing the films and some cool (what appears to be mock films cells - see photo below). Not my favorite film from the director (would REALLY have liked The Hole) but this package is recommended since we have suffered so long with ineffectual SDs. Like watching the film for the first time..."

***

ADDITION: Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - (May 2011) - This is the same 'Sony Music Corp.' that gave us the Dust in the Wind Blu-ray (reviewed HERE) of Hsiao-hsien Hou's film. While that was interlaced - this is MPEG2. So the 1080P image, on a single-layered disc, is imperfect but a significant improvement over the DVD transfers. I can't speak to colors (blue overtones) but assume they are more correct - certainly the vibrancy and detail have escalated. What is also notable is that there is a large amount of additional information in the frame - mostly on both side edges.

The case is unique (see image below) - although fans can be picky and want congruity to their blossoming Blu-ray collection as they sit on their shelves.

Audio (linear PCM) is kind of a non-event as there is hardly any dialogue in the film and no score. When words are spoken (Mandarin) they are audible but subtitles have some grammar missteps - which I forgive since I don't believe there is any important sub-text to those communications. There is no hiss or drop-outs. My Momitsu has verified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.  

Before the film we get a few words from director Chen Kuo-Fu  on the restoration (removing dirt, print damage, stabilizing the frame/color grading etc.) of these 'Taiwan New Cinema' films that have been revamped and digitally remastered by the 'new management' of the Central Pictures Corporation of Taiwan. Then there are some split-screen samples (the menu itself does this as well for Vive L'amour). This introduction into the transfer is about 2-minutes long with some eventual caveats that they cannot improve upon the source of synchronization issues. There is nothing on the Blu-ray in terms of extras.

There is a second disc - a dual-layered DVD in its own case that has the feature film and a 30-minute piece -> a subtitled 'interview' with Tsai. It has some merit as an interesting discussion on the film. Before this the same 2-minute 'intro' on restoration is shown.

Okay, despite the notable mistakes -> subtitle translations (not fatal), the MPEG2 transfer as opposed to AVC and sharing the 'interview' on the same DVD as the feature when it could have more easily fit on the Blu-ray disc - I am not deterred as I am such a big fan of the movie and this is the best way to see it outside of a retrospective (Good luck!). It was my introduction to Tsai and for many years it was in my top 10 films of all time. While I can forgive those authoring mistakes - for most the price is out-of-line. I can only recommend to those BIG fans of both the film and the director. Personally, I LOVED seeing it so improved from the DVDs. Perhaps it will come on sale one day. Let's hope. I'd endorse if it was 50% of the current price. As for now - few would consider it being worthy of the $40 US price tag.

***

ON THE DVDs: I recently viewed your comparison of Tsai Ming Liang's Vive L'amour and was wondering if you noticed that Bitwin region 3 version is censored. The scene where Lee Kang-sheng enters the tub naked was edited so that we can't see his butt. Fox Lorber, even though it has inferior image quality, has a uncensored version of him entering the tub. (Thanks - Mitchell)

***

Well, both DVDs leaves a bit to be desired. I didn't find excessive examples of 'combing' or 'ghosting' in the Fox but the Bitwin shows some pronounced 'combing' in horizontal pans telling us it is not progressively transferred. Both are non-anamorphic widescreen with the Fox being cropped in certain areas. The subtitles are ingrained on the Fox and removable on the Bitwin with the inclusion of English, Korean and Chinese.

In regards to the image the Bitwin is sharper with far better color separation.  On the Fox the colors can tend to bleed a bit and overall appears to be a bad Video transfer (flatline bitrate dead giveaway). Neither should be considered the definitive edition at this stage and with the director gaining popularity (and this one of his strongest films) perhaps there is hope for a better 16X9 progressive transfer in the offing. This remains one of my most watched DVDs solely for the film itself and from that standpoint we recommend the Bitwin which is the superior of the two.

NOTE: The Bitwin comes in a very cool book-style case!

Gary W. Tooze

 

Tsai Ming Liang Collection: Rebels Of The Neon God / The River / Vive L'amour (Blu-ray) (Remastered Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray Package with Book

 


Menus

 

(Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC LEFT vs. Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)


 

Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-rays

 

DVD included with 2011 Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE BELOW  TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

Individuals may rejoice at seeing Kang-sheng Lee's bare bum signifying the BLU-RAY is NOT the censored version of the film!

 

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 

More Sony Blu-ray Captures

 

Central Pictures Corporation has digitally remastered six classic films from the 80s and the 90s, producing brand-new digital prints that guarantee to overcome the test of time. After Dust in the Wind, four more of these films are arriving in high-definition on Blu-ray for fans to see these films the best way they have ever looked before.

Edward Yang's The Terrorizers

Chen Kuo Fu's The Personals

Yu-Hsun Chen's Tropical Fish

Ming-Liang Tsai's Vive L'Amour

Hsiao-hsien Hou's Dust in the Wind

North Americans:

Rest of World:

North Americans:

Rest of World:

North Americans:

Rest of World:

North Americans:

Rest of World:

North Americans:

Rest of World:

 

Box Covers

Out-Of-Print

North Americans:

Rest of World:

REMASTERED and sold as part of the Tsai Ming Liang Collection: Rebels Of The Neon God / The River / Vive L'amour

North Americans:

Rest of World:

Distribution Bitwin - Region 3 - NTSC Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray REMASTERED (part of Tsai Ming Liang Collection) Sony Music Entertainment (TW) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-rays

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras: Collection Blu-ray with book




 

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