THREE TIMES [ZUIHAO DE SHIGUANG] (2005, Taiwan)
directed by: Hsiao-hsien Hou

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IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0459666

Submitted by Charley Leary on 2007-02-04

Charley Leary's comment:
Multi(3)-story film by Hou Hsiao-hsien, set in three different periods, using same principal actors. The 1911 part is like a silent film - no sound except for music (which includes some singing) - and uses intertitles (all for dialogue except for one text insert).

1966 = Year 1966: A Time for Love
1911 = Year 1911: A Time for Freedom (shots)
1911 IT = intertitles for this part
2005 = Year 2005: A Time for Youth


Name:
1966
1911
1911 IT
2005
Number of shots:
62
85
44
63
Length(min):
40.76
35.19
4.17
44.94
ASL(sec):
39.4
24.8
5.7
42.8
MSL 31.3 19.9 5.8 33.5
MSL/ASL
0.79
0.8
1.02
0.78
StDev 32.4 19.6 1.6 31.6
Min 1.5 3.8 2.7 0.9
Max 172.1 94.6 8.6 141.1
CV 0.82 0.79 0.28 0.74
Display?
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Step: Vertical resolution: Height:
Degree of the trendline: Moving average : Color code?


Users' comments:

Author: Charley Leary Date: 2007-02-04

A nice, almost symmetrical single bump in the middle (peak during 1911) at trendline=6.

Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2007-02-05

Yes, a truly interesting picture to inspect (at height 750) -- for the film appears to be a historical comment on film style changes across epochs -- including the style of editing.

Yes, at degree 6 it looks like a bump, but at degree 12, like Nosferatu's scull complete with ears. Astonishing symmetry!

Author: Jonah Date: 2008-03-14

One has to imagine this was in the design. If there were ever proof of Hou's formalism...



Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2008-12-02

There is, clearly, a conscious effort at imitating a silent movie in the 1911 story, not only in the use of intertitles, but also in the way HHH segments action into shots (though, of course, to be pedantic, neither analytical editing nor dialog titling were so prominent in 1911 as they are in this film). What surprises me more is that the ASL for 1966 is lower than the ASL for 2005, for the narration of the 1966 story appears beautifully wan and livid while the 2005 action is purposefull dynamic. This, once again, is a cautionary tale for us, cinemetricians, to remember.  The cutting rate is only one of the possible factors that determine the overall dynamics of the film, the other two being the in-frame movement and the camera movement. Both are quite hight in the third story and quite low in the former two. In addition, the 2005 story starts and ends with a speedy low-angle tracking shot which follows a motorcycle along streets and bridges of Taipei, very long takes and quite a speedy race.

 The trendline set to Degree 12 is quite instructive. It shows that both the whole film and each of its substories has a peak around the middle. To borrow a term from scence, we can call this structure of editing fractal

 




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