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The Hole

Overview

This offbeat Chinese drama, produced as part of a series of films marking the turn of the millennium, gets a fine presentation on DVD. The Hole has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc at the aspect ratio of 1.66:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo. The film's dialogue is in Mandarin, and this edition includes optional subtitles in English. Bonus material includes filmographies for the key members of the film's creative team, and web links to related ...
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Overview

This offbeat Chinese drama, produced as part of a series of films marking the turn of the millennium, gets a fine presentation on DVD. The Hole has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc at the aspect ratio of 1.66:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo. The film's dialogue is in Mandarin, and this edition includes optional subtitles in English. Bonus material includes filmographies for the key members of the film's creative team, and web links to related Internet sites.
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Special Features

Filmographies; Web links
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
As news reports -- always heard, never seen -- of a millennial plague filter in, two Taipei apartment residents treat the news differently. A man Lee Kang-sheng answers a plumber's knock and the latter inexplicably starts a hole that connects the man's living room with his downstairs neighbor's, a woman Yang Kuei-mei who's bogging down for the long haul. In the same grimy, dim apartment building, a spotlight suddenly falls on a glittering lady also Yang, nearly unrecognizable in a peacock get-up mouthing a peppy calypso tune by 1950s Chinese chanteuse Grace Chang. Director Tsai Ming-liang Vive L'Amour ping-pongs between opposite aesthetics -- say, Andy Warhol to Vincente Minnelli -- so that in the end, this remarkable, semi-uncategorizable film is equal parts behavioral study, extended ennui riff, and fluorescent homage to song. A real senses-wringer, The Hole isn't just the best musical of 1998, Then again, what's the competition? Blues Brothers 2000?, but perhaps the best movie, period. Awarded prizes on three continents and a fixture on many critics top ten lists, The Hole is finally accesible to those who missed it at film festivals.
All Movie Guide
This dystopian musical is a typically deadpan elaboration of Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang's trademark obsessions. Set in a grim, dilapidated apartment complex in a rainy, not-too-distant future, The Hole pushes Tsai's absurdist cinema to its loopiest extreme. Starring Yang Kuei-Mei and Tsai regular Lee Kang Sheng as zombified neighbors, the movie imagines a dreary world where urban anomie and existential loneliness have seemingly ground life to a halt. Barely acknowledging the other's existence, the two drift purposelessly through their bleak landscape, taking in apathetic stride their apocalyptic limbo. The only respite comes in the form of song. Using a device commonly associated with British writer Dennis Potter (Pennies From Heaven, The Singing Detective), Tsai punctuates his minimalist action with lip-synched renditions of popular radio standards (the songs here are from Hong Kong musicals of the 1950s). Stupefied and glum one minute, his characters burst into delirious musical numbers the next, unexpectedly -- and joyfully -- interrupting the monotony of their listless lives. As in Potter's works, the pop interludes express subliminal desires, as well as underscore the characters' profound loneliness. Placed side by side with his rigorously inert mise-en-scéne, the wonderfully choreographed numbers almost create an effect of visual vertigo; they're that much more delirious because they spring from such a constricted source. A true oddity, The Hole is as pleasurable as millennial angst gets.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/7/2000
  • UPC: 720917524429
  • Original Release: 1998
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Lorber
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Yang Kuei-Mei The Woman Downstairs
Lee Kang-Sheng The Man Upstairs
Miao Tien A Shopper
Tong Hsiang-chu The Plumber
Technical Credits
Tsai Ming-Liang Director, Screenwriter
Caroline Benjo Producer
Pierre Chevalier Executive Producer
Peggy Chiao Producer
Yang Chin-An Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur Chyu Asst. Director
Jiang Feng-Chyi Associate Producer
Hsiao Ju-kuan Editor
Joy Lo Choreography
Chow Min Costumes/Costume Designer
Lee Paolin Production Designer
Liao Peng-Jung Cinematographer
Yang Ping-ying Screenwriter
Carole Scotta Producer
Chiu Shun-ching Executive Producer
Cheng Su-ming Executive Producer
Simon Arnal-Szlovak Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Access
1. Making a Hole [6:35]
2. Evening [6:54]
3. The Elevator [3:11]
4. Drunk [4:09]
5. Morning [5:34]
6. A Warning [4:35]
7. The Hallway [2:47]
8. Contact [10:01]
9. Extermination [4:30]
10. Duet [2:34]
11. Another Evening [5:50]
12. Dinner Time [5:26]
13. Sneeze [2:58]
14. Cleaning Up [7:28]
15. Frustration [8:55]
16. Rescue [7:29]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play the Movie
   Production Credits
   Filmographies
      Yang Kuei-mei
      Lee Kang-sheng
      Tsai Ming-liang
   Subtitles
   DVD Newsletter
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