Where Hou's previous films rewrote Taiwanese history in a style that has often been compared with that of the Japanese master Ozu, his latest film has a contemporary theme and a different style. His predilection for rails, long takes, visual pomp and a distance from his characters remain. But as the film progresses, the camera moves more and more. There are even sequences with a hand-held camera and from time to time, Hou uses heavy rock. The story is about the fate of a group of gangsters and their girlfriends. Kao is the central character. With his best friend, the explosive, frustrated Flathead and his girlfriend Pretzel, both exponents of the Taiwanese Generation-X, he thinks up plans to get rich quick. They open a gambling joint in the hills but that soon turns sour, like their involvement with an amusement arcade on the mainland. A complex deal involving pigs, land and government does make some money, but when Flathead wants to collect old debts, he is beaten up.Goodbye South, Goodbye is populated by a bunch of petty criminals, addicted to the mobile phone, desperate without knowing what to hope for, ambitious but without any aim in life, occasionally cheerful but never relaxed. What they have is at most a bond with the past, but that isn't enough to prevent them attempting suicide, and to keep them from corruption and violence.

Filmmaker
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Premiere
-
Country
Taiwan
Year
1996
Medium
35mm
Length
112’
Language
Mandarin
Producer
3H Productions Limited
Sales
SHOCHIKU BROADCASTING CO., LTD., EYE Film Institute Netherlands