Goodbye, South, Goodbye (1996)

Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien
One of the the most beautifully told gangster films I have seen. My third HHH film, his films completely immerse the viewer in beautiful images. I will definitely be checking out more of his filmography throughout the year.
Reverse Shot Review here.
“Hou’s long takes are a wonder of cinema; those medium shots from a single point of view, hovering, observing with a sad eye, encompass so much.”
“Underscoring the generosity of his uninflected vision, the movie also cannily reminds us of the multifariousness of human experience. Throughout Goodbye South, Goodbye are unexpected cuts to strange angles and puzzling perspectives… Each time, Hou pulls back, revealing that those images were seen through someone’s eyes… Tempering the detachment of his medium shot, such images awaken us to the presence of other subjectivities. Hou makes us see through the eyes of others—the essence of empathy, and of art.”

One review can be found here, although I wouldn’t call this film boring.
Another review here
From second review:
“GSG doesn’t have Hou’s usual abundance of exquisite, perfectly framed and proportioned images: he’s after a completely different style here. Present are the long takes, non-explicitly connected narrative moments, and indirect shots (through doors frames, windows, mirrors). But the images this time are rawer, harsher, even ugly. As if he has the confidence to abandon offering us the pleasure of gorgeous cinematography, and instead create something more “realistic” and disturbing.”
“To reject looking obsessively backwards is to concentrate on looking ahead, moving forwards, or at least constantly to be moving, in some direction. Abandoning the fixed perspective of memory means to settle for what’s available now: a set of sliding, mobile and dispersed points of view that define contemporaneity.”

Senses of Cinema article here
2nd Senses of Cinema article here
“Hou opens up, or rather vaporizes the space-time of Western cinema – his perforated spaces distribute light in an incredibly original way, revealing subjects who are derived from this light: packets of signs and affects, phantasmatic figures or “energetic facts” as Burdeau puts it. “In Goodbye South, Goodbye, one character is often taken for another; neither in space nor time are the characters where they thought themselves to be, or where we believed them to be” (Burdeau).”
Film Comment article here
MUBI discussion page here

Highly recommended.
IMDb site for the film here
MUBI site for the film here
All screenshots captured by me.

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