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Three Times (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Shu Qi (Actor) | Chang Chen (Actor) | Hou Hsiao Hsien (Director) | Zhu Tian Wen
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Three Times (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.7 out of 10 (3)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.2 out of 10 (5)

YesAsia Editorial Description

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...

    Three Times Offcial Site.

  • © 2005-2018 Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

    Technical Information

    Product Title: Three Times (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 最好的時光 (2005) (DVD) (香港版) 最好的时光 (2005) (DVD) (香港版) 百年恋歌 (最好的時光) (香港版) Three Times (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
    Artist Name(s): Shu Qi (Actor) | Chang Chen (Actor) | Zhu Tian Wen 舒 淇 (Actor) | 張震 (Actor) | 朱天文 舒 淇 (Actor) | 张震 (Actor) | 朱天文 舒淇(スー・チー) (Actor) | 張震(チャン・チェン) (Actor) | 朱天文 서기 (Actor) | 장첸 (Actor) | Zhu Tian Wen
    Director: Hou Hsiao Hsien 侯 孝賢 侯孝贤 侯孝賢 (ホウ・シャオシェン) Hou Hsiao Hsien
    Release Date: 2005-12-23
    Language: Mandarin
    Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
    Country of Origin: Taiwan
    Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
    Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
    Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0
    Disc Format(s): DVD-9, DVD
    Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
    Rating: IIA
    Duration: 136 (mins)
    Publisher: CN Entertainment Ltd.
    Package Weight: 120 (g)
    Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
    YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004090630

    Product Information

    * Screen Format : 16:9 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
    * Sound Mix: Dolby Digital 2.0
    * DVD Type: DVD-9
    * Extras:
    - Theatrical Trailer
    - Photo Gallery
    - Biographies: Director/Cast/Crew
    - About the Film: Prelude/Story
    - Exclusive Bonus: Dialogue with Hou Hsiao Hsien

    國際大導演: 侯孝賢
    Director: Hou Xiao Xien

    金馬獎影后 舒淇
    金馬獎最佳男主角提名 張震

    《最好的時光》( THREE TIMES)是國際大導演侯孝賢的最新作品,他巧妙地將女主角舒淇和男主角張震的一段不悔愛情,自20世紀初起跨越了將近100年,在台灣3個最具代表性的時代裡,一窺3種截然不同卻同樣感人的愛情觀。一段段動人的 愛情和台灣 100年的歷史擦身而過。 《戀愛夢》、 《自由夢》和《 青春夢 》於是就像是 3顆奪目的寶石,牢牢嵌鑲在侯孝賢這部電影傑作上,閃耀非凡。不同款的時代裡,有著不同款的愛情,卻同樣是人生最美好的時光…

      THREE TIMES evokes three moments of euphoria lost forever in the folds of time. Three different time periods in Taiwan, with the lead roles played by the same actors. Year 1966: A "billiard gal" and a young soldier meet once and then struggle to find each other again. Finally they share stolen moments together on a beautiful warm evening. Year 1911: During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, a decent man wins the admiration of a courtesan through his kindness, but because of his modern principles he cannot take her as his concubine. He sends a letter from Shanghai that conveys his regret and his unfulfilled love. Year 2005: Under the threat of warfare with China, Taiwan is unsettled. A young bi-sexual woman becomes involved in a mad three-way love affair.

    2005 康城影展競賽片
    2005 韓國釜山國際影展
    2005 多倫多國際影展參展片
    2005 香港亞洲電影節開幕影片
    Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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    Professional Review of "Three Times (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

    November 17, 2005

    More accurately translated as 'The Best of Times', the latest picture from the most highly regarded formalist in World Cinema is a delightfully structured and incredibly focused effort that breathes life into three very different moments in Taiwan's past and present.

    Three separate chapters bear the names of the broad topics that Hou pursues throughout the film: Love, Freedom and Youth. A lyrical romantic odyssey among smoky pool halls precedes a refined observation of national trauma as it is embodied in the ill-fated relationship of a literati and a courtesan. Each of these dreamier chapters seems to provide a contrasting commentary on the third, which fast-forwards to modern Taipei. A longer and 'slower' (less elliptical) piece, this final segment shows how time in the present is experienced in a fleeting and momentary fashion, completely disconnected from nostalgic memories of the past.

    In each chapter, differing aspects of a relationship are depicted, always with the same pair of actors. In A Time for Love, May (Shu Qi) is a wandering pool hall hostess who comes across a letter written by Chan (Chang Chen) given to the young woman who formerly held May's job. When Chan comes back to look for the woman, he finds May instead. What follows is one of the best sequences Hou has ever created. Filmed persistently from the same camera position, May and Chan get to know each other, first while waiting for others to finish their game of pool, then over a few games themselves. This sequence features a remarkably shallow depth of field, vigorous rack focusing, and a wonderful interplay of figures in motion as people interchangeably block and reveal pockets of screen territory, and move out of frame only to reappear in unexpected positions. In billiards, Hou seems to have found the perfect associative link to his task as a filmmaker, especially as a master of staging. As Chan and May propel balls across the table, they also happen to orchestrate bodies in motion within a specified boundary. Unlike players of billiards, however, filmmakers can reach beyond their designated frame. It's surprising, then, that so many choose not to do so. Isn't choosing to keep all the action clearly visible and fixedly on screen something like a billiard player refusing to utilize all the available options and bank a shot off the side in order to play around an obstructing ball? By involving space beyond the extremes of the frame in this otherwise simple game of pool, Hou and his crew easily and yet magnificently display the virtuous staging and detailed camera work that they have become so well renowned for. Hou's camera crew has for a long time been helmed by the supremely talented Mark Lee Ping Bing (In The Mood For Love, Vertical Ray Of The Sun), and Hou's principal editors, sound and production designers have all been working together since at least the mid-1990s).

    The most noticeable feature of the second chapter is the absence of voices. In order to surmount problems relating to the everyday use of language in 1911, Hou opted to shoot A Time for Freedom in a similar fashion to a silent film, i.e. with intertitles and a background score. On two occasions, a traditional instrument is brought into the soundtrack, however, and here the music is noticeably synchronized with the action. Throughout this segment, notions of joyous love take a back seat to gender politics and national turmoil. May and Chan communicate with each other as equals, but May's social position as a courtesan and unspoken ideals raging within Chan conspire to keep them apart in the long-term. Hou compensates for the invisible nature of the passion that bubbles underneath Chan and May's calm exteriors with colorful and lush surface imagery that accentuates the affluence of the milieu. The vibrant costumes and sets wouldn't look out of place in Hollywood's recent Orientalist blockbusters. Also, the spellbinding intricacy of the first chapter is cast away in favor of far more variation in the position of the camera, exciting angular compositions and tighter shots that place more of an emphasis on the faces of the characters. This is Hou's visual style in its flamboyant mode. The old tricks remain though, with reveals occuring unexpectedly in slivers of the frame, and all entrances/exits handled from a rear doorway at the location. Perhaps the only issue with the story presented in Freedom is its specific basis on events surrounding the Wuchang Uprising. If, like me, you need a refresher on Taiwanese history circa the 1910s, the producers of the DVD have kindly supplied a brief summary of this period among the special features. Have a glance at it if you've had enough of the sumptuous visuals and simply must know what's going on with the story.

    Difficult to comprehend and wide open to interpretation (I guess), A Time for Youth portrays a raw and stark oppressiveness that navigates an extraordinary divergence from the elegant opulence of 1911. Its correlative is Millennium Mambo. Similarly to Hou's previous film about modern-day Taipei, Youth is presented as a set of alternately cold and sticky interiors. The moody blue lighting that encases Chan and May's homes is decidedly unfriendly. Nightclubs and bars are drenched in warmer light, but the gaudy yellows, reds, and purples seem to connote edginess (if not sickness) rather than well being. Even the exteriors fail to provide a release, with dreary, overcast days chased by murky, underlit evenings. If facial clarity was a dominant aspect of the previous chapter, here Hou can't recede the pale features of May and Chan deeply and quickly enough into the shadows. This relentless devotion to an atmosphere of uncaring alienation in Youth makes the still very formalist chapter on Love seem incredibly carefree and technically liberated in comparison. Living in the moment does not necessarily have anything to do with attaining happiness, this segment seems to suggest. Or perhaps not. The absence of an explanative narrator, as Millennium Mambo had, makes the search for direct meanings like this all the more complicated.

    Unveiling the complex similarities and differences of the three segments that comprise Three Times may require a lot more in the way of reflection and conversation than the average viewer is prepared to undertake. Love is perhaps the most accessible portion of Hou's work since A Summer at Grandpa's, and thus presents a great entry point for those curious to know what the fuss is all about. Freedom is more of a challenge, offering more in terms of intellectual content than it might appear to do so at first glance. Hou's selection of a silent movie format is sure to trigger an interesting debate in the future regarding its necessity. Finally, since Youth lacks a tremendous emotional, sensory or narrative kick in its perhaps somewhat empty depiction of love as a momentary 'fix' for the younger generation, it is certain not to appeal to the majority (as might Love). Yet, it remains a fascinating here-and-now counterpoint to the (faded?) memory-based events of the first two chapters.

    Hou has as good as promised to produce more films that, like Three Times, deal with his immediate personal feelings about the past. Hou's approach to Taiwanese history has always been fascinating, and given that Three Times is a typically adventurous and wonderful Hou picture, any such promise as this can be met with nothing short of the most eager anticipation.

    9 feelings expressed through text out of 10

    by James Brown -

    Feature articles that mention "Three Times (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

    This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

    Customer Review of "Three Times (2005) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

    Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.7 out of 10 (3)
    Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.2 out of 10 (5)

    See all my reviews

    March 6, 2006

    This customer review refers to Three Times (Taiwan Version)
    This is the best edition! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    This newly released edition from Taiwan is worth the money--it's vastly superior to the Hong Kong edition. And, most important, it does have English subtitles!
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
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    January 18, 2006

    I like Zhang Zhen ! Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
    Just wanna drop my feeling after watching this movie... SIMPLE.... but GREAT! I like Zhang Zhen ! Shu Kei also acts very nice! Absolutly ~ a must to recommend!!!
    By the way, this DVD not only for CODE 6 player, also can be played in my old CODE 1 player....what a special feature~! Great~
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
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    January 5, 2006

    Huo Hsiao Hsien's Best Movie to Date Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
    Director Huo is victorious in this one. I liked the
    way he constructed the stories that were interwoven with the times and the characters. He did it just about right.
    I am glad Shu Qi received due recognition after long
    years of hard work. She is never the best of actresses,
    but she has the innate vulnerability that is unique
    and most appealing. Of course, she is always lovely
    to watch, incredible figure. Given time, she may
    yet surprise us all in her acting craft.
    Zhang Zhen was also fine in this movie.
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    November's Chopin
    See all my reviews

    December 14, 2005

    Impressive Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    Hou Hsiao Hsien really successfully creates the atmosphere of remember the goodies in the first two episodes, althought hte thrid one (in the contemporary) seems a bit gloomy. But the repeated details really strike me! That concept of repeittion echoes so well with the concept of reincarnation indeed.
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    Agnes V.
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    November 28, 2005

    This customer review refers to Three Times (DVD) (China Version)
    Two Times Enigma Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    I would rate the movie as enigmatic. Enigmatic in such a way that it engages you into the film in a very soft and subtle way. And it is very good. From the middle until the end of the film, you are engaged with the story, feelings, and the lives of the characters.

    The title of my review is "Two Times Enigmatic" instead of "Three Times" because I only found the 2nd (China, 1911) and 3rd (Taipei, Taiwan, 2005) parts effectively enigmatic. Although I think that the first episode (Kaoshiung, Taiwan, 1966) has successfully set the enigmatic mood for the whole film.

    Overall it is a very good movie and I personally like it.
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)

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