Three Times / Zui hao de shi guang

Director: Hsiao-hsien Hou (Cafe Lumiere, Flowers of Shanghai)
Cast: Chen Chang, Qi Shu
France / Taiwan, 2006

Seen: June 14, 2006 at the Royal

Reason to see: Premise sound intriging, and I am also attempting my #7 on my 101 list: See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. This is week 2/52.

This film was not exactly what I expected but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The two leads were familiar but I couldn't place them until I researched. Both have numerous film credits but where I know them from is: Chen Chang played Lo in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Qi Shu is from The Transporter. Wonderful chemistry between the two leads, especially in the first of the three stories which was my clear favorite of these tales of love. I loved the score, music and the singing - especially in the third story. All of the stories had quite gentle pacing and were quiet, which can come across in film as empty or boring but in this film it was a masterful choice as it was enough to allow the viewer room to effortlessly fill the space to unlimited depths. Although, the third section felt a little stereotypical. Ironically it may have been the one with the most dialogue and I understood it the least.

Shannon's Overall View:
I liked it
I would watch it again
I recommend it

Spoiler Zone (specific content mentioned ahead)
I was very curious as to the choice of style for the 2nd section. Shown as silent film, but without the highly stylied reactionary shots. Also, often the speaker wasn't shown straight on in profile or not even facing the screen making it hard to tell who was saying what. There was singing and music used in some scenes that matched up, and then some talking at the end. I was confused by this choice. The singing was awesome though.


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