Hsiao-hsien Hou is a Taiwanese director whose work has been celebrated at festivals all around the world, but has had little exposure inside the U.S. The Weinstein Company's release of THREE TIMES marks the first time one of his films has been released theatrically in the States. We have been missing out.
This anthology film tells three tales set in three different years — 1966, 1911 and 2005. The first tale titled "A Time for Love" follows as a young soldier named Chen (Chen Chang, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) meets a pretty pool hall hostess named May (Qi Shu, THE TRANSPORTER) the night before he is to go off to base. Quietly as they play pool, we notice them sneak glances at each other and at the end of the night Chen promises to write. However, when he returns on leave, he discovers that May has moved on to a new job. The sequence has little dialogue; this story of love is told via actions and reactions. It's quiet and beautiful.