Goodbye South, Goodbye
Dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien. 1996, 112 mins. 35mm. With Jack Kao, Lim Giong, Hsu Kuei-ying, Annie Shizuka Inoh. Hou’s first film with a contemporary setting since Daughter of the Nile (1987) is a portrait of the lives of small-time hoods rendered in rhythm-of-life anecdotal detail. Gao is the ringleader of a circle of layabouts including his faithful sidekick, Flathead, and their girlfriends, Pretzel and Ling. He is also the originator of petty crime schemes like selling hogs to the government, which promise to get the gang nowhere fast. Susan Sontag ranked Goodbye South, Goodbye among her favorite films of all time, and Kent Jones asked in Film Comment “Is there another film since Warhol with a better sense of just hanging out?”
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