Combustible Celluloid
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With: Hsiang Hsi, Kuei-Ying Hsu, Annie Shizuka Inoh, Jack Kao, Ming Kao, Ming Lei, Vicky Wei
Written by: Chu T'ien-wen, based on a story by Jack Kao, Jieh-Wen King
Directed by: Hou Hsiao-hsien
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Mandarin & Hokkien with English subtitles
Running Time: 112
Date: 05/01/1996

Goodbye South, Goodbye (1996)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Going 'South'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The third in a series of Hou Hsiao-hsien masterworks to be released to DVD, Goodbye South, Goodbye is just as essential as the previous two: The Puppetmaster and Flowers of Shanghai. Director Hou moves away from those previous period pieces and takes a more contemporary look at three lost Taiwan youths named Gao, Flatty (short for Flat Head) and Pretzel, stuck between petty crimes, boredom, corruption, suicide, encroaching American and Japanese culture (Coke and cellphones), and the wandering, wandering days. Hou intersperses his still, observant camera shots with exhilarating traveling shots, down both mountain and city roads. If you've never seen a Hou film, this is a good place to start.

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