Thursday, October 5, 2006

Three Times

Posted on Thu, Oct 5, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Three Times
Studio: IFC Films
WorkNameSort: Three Times
The only downside to IFC Films' Three Times DVD is the absence of extras for a film so rich in tones, textures and profundity that it demands intellectual analysis of Criterion caliber. Rest assured, though, the latest masterpiece from Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-Hsien looks just as beautiful on DVD as it did on 35mm, and it's certainly the best film the Weinstein Company picked up since the big divorce. Hou chronicles the permutations of love through time in three vignettes: fairy-tale '60s romanticism, rigid turn-of-the-20th-century restriction and modern-day dehumanized excess. The filmmaker dares to shoot an entire section of the movie as a silent tone poem, to film mundane activities while leaving important plot points to our imagination and to resurrect a forgotten psych-pop nugget like Aphrodite's Child's 'Rain and Tearsâ?� for the most poignant moment of any picture in 2006. Three Times is a meditation on decades' worth of changes in cinema as well as communication and love, and for the patient and attentive spectator, the resonance of Hou's formalist vision cannot be undervalued.


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