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A City of Sadness

A City of Sadness
Movie: A City of Sadness(1989)[tt0096908] A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.
Title A City of Sadness
Release Date 21 October 1989 (Taiwan)
Runtime
Genres Drama, History
Production Companies 3-H Films, ERA International
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung...
Wen-ching (as To...
Shu-Fen Hsin
Shu-Fen Hsin...
Hinome...
Sung Young Chen
Sung Young Chen...
Wen-heung...
Jack Kao
Jack Kao...
Wen Leung...
Chen-Nan Tsai
Chen-Nan Tsai...
...

Reviews

Zach Campbell on 7 January 2001
This is the only one of Hou Hsiao-hsien's films I caught at a retrospective of his work, and it's a tragedy because this film is so incredibly good. Hou's rigorous formal approach (highly geometrical framing, repetitive shots along axes, distinctive use of lived-in colors) provides a framework for the film to operate within its own world. Whereas Coppola's "Godfather" goes this way and that, without a significant coherence, visually or rhythmically, "City of Sadness" feels like an elegy to Taiwan and the family (in much the same way that "Underground" is an ode to what was once Yugoslavia). At times funny, sorrowful, and invigorating, I suppose that what makes this film so special is that it refuses to operate in "big moments" and focuses, like Ozu (who Hou is often compared to) on the little events that make life what it really is.

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