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Nan guo zai jian, nan guo AKA Goodbye, South, Goodbye (1996)

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joachimt
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Nan guo zai jian, nan guo AKA Goodbye, South, Goodbye (1996)

#1

Post by joachimt » May 21st, 2017, 7:05 pm

Film of the Week #177: Nan guo zai jian, nan guo AKA Goodbye, South, Goodbye (1996)

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Summary:
Tattooed mobster, Kao (Jack Kao), and his quick-tempered, aptly named protégé, Flathead (Lim Giong), along with their girlfriends, Ying (Hsu Kuei-ying) and Pretzel (Annie Shizuka Inoh), are desperately trying to make it big. Their master plan is open a disco in Shanghai, but that scheme seems less and less likely with each call they get from their cell phone. Corrupt mainland potentates want a king's ransom in kickbacks while Pretzel racked up a king's ransom of debt herself at the mahjong table, prompting her to make a half-hearted suicide attempt. To make ends meet, these would-be entrepreneurs make a stab at swindling the government over swine -- selling sows when they are supposed to be the more valuable studs. They wine and dine the farmers in rural backwater Chiayi only to get cut out of the deal and kidnapped by the corrupt police.

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#215 on 500<400, with 288 checks.
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#215 (+207, #422) Nan guo zai jian, nan guo (1996, Hsiao-Hsien Hou) - Points: 429.57 Votes: 11 Checks: 270 (IMDb)
11 votersShow
beavis (#471)
clemmetarey (#25)
Ettinauer226XL (#131)
fori (#24)
JackInTheBox (#132)
Kasparius (#293)
Melvelet (#59)
tarr (#19)
Veterini (#104)
weirdboy (unranked)
zhangalan (#71)
This movie fits the current TSPDT Challenge.
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joachimt
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#2

Post by joachimt » May 21st, 2017, 7:37 pm

Seen this 3.5 years ago. Hardly remember it. Rated it 6/10.

I'm not the biggest Hou-fan. Seen 9 movies he directed. Mostly 6/10 and 7/10. Just one 8/10: A time to live, a time to die.
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#3

Post by RBG » May 22nd, 2017, 2:24 am

not the biggest hou fan either (i prefer yang and tsai) but this one is my favorite (l)
Last edited by RBG on May 22nd, 2017, 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#4

Post by weirdboy » May 22nd, 2017, 2:41 am

I like this one quite a bit, although it is not my favorite from Hou. The sort of strange political showdown at the end is the highlight for me.

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#5

Post by viktor-vaudevillain » May 22nd, 2017, 11:28 am

Could be watching this! Just saw Three Times this weekend, and loved it!
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#6

Post by tirefeet » May 22nd, 2017, 3:40 pm

This is one of the his greater ones, though I find all Hou films from 1987 to 2001 to be pretty good (8 in total). Opening is pretty crafty and motocycle riding scene is pure brilliance.

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#7

Post by OldAle1 » May 22nd, 2017, 4:01 pm

I do remember the great motorcycle scene, but not a lot else; saw this in 2000 with the rest of the Hou retro in Chicago and haven't seen it since. I have it rated as 9 but I'm a high rater it must be admitted; in any case I do think Hou is pretty great overall and this certainly seems in dim memory to be up to snuff. Should go through and watch them all again - the ones I've seen multiple times (Summer at Grandpas, The Puppetmaster, Good Men Good Women) have all improved with re-watches. Someday when there are 30 hours per day to watch movies in, I'll do a festival.
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#8

Post by cinewest » May 25th, 2017, 10:22 am

I'd like to see this one (any links to watch it?).

As far as my assessment of Hou, I lean towards mixed approval, in general but really fell for Three Times, which was a film I really didn't think that much of the first time I saw it.

Having seen it several times since, I now believe it is a masterpiece. It is at once an examination of love during three different periods of Chinese history, roughly 50 years apart, and at the same time seems to sum up and make use of many elements from his other films (including a couple of long takes on motorbikes, bicycles, and boats).

Deceptively simple in structure, this meditative film reveals much about the changes in romantic relations in China over the past 100 years, while also reflecting changes in the social mores

The first section seems to be a nostalgic reflection of Hou's own somewhat innocent young adulthood
and from there the film travels backward (to a time just prior to the first revolution) and then forward in time to modern day Taiwan.

Each time period is bathed in different colours and sounds that immerse the viewer in a different way of life, as the two main actors morph into different masculine and feminine roles of the time.

After my first somewhat dull experience of this film, I was called back to it by the memory of images and sounds that stayed with me, and upon every re-visitation my experience of the film has deepened and become more intimate, until it has become one of my two favourite Chinese films, and iseems a perfect triptych.

Hou is aided tremendously in his vision by the support of a master cinematographer (Ping Bing Lee), and master sound designer (Duu-Chih Tu), and the two main actors are perfectly cast.
Last edited by cinewest on May 25th, 2017, 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#9

Post by Armoreska » June 4th, 2017, 9:20 pm

3.5. almost worth watching for a few nice looking scenes but only bc of the surroundings and the rest was tedium.
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