5.3/10
559
8 user 10 critic

San tiao ren (1999)

The protagonist is Asano who has had an amazing memory since his youth spent in Okinawa. Words have tangible shapes, tastes and colours for him. This goes so far that he is not even able to... See full summary »

Director:

Christopher Doyle
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Cast

Credited cast:
Tadanobu Asano ... Asano
Georgina Hobson Georgina Hobson
Christa Hughes Christa Hughes
Kevin Sherlock Kevin Sherlock ... Kevin
Mavis Xu Mavis Xu
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Storyline

The protagonist is Asano who has had an amazing memory since his youth spent in Okinawa. Words have tangible shapes, tastes and colours for him. This goes so far that he is not even able to forget words once he has heard them. He travels the seas and because 'Hong Kong' feels wonderful, he goes ashore there. He chances upon the Dive Bar, that soon turns out to be the haven of comfort he has been seeking since his youth. The bar is run by the flamboyant, hospitable Kevin, who is also an alcoholic, eclectic lover and a perfect confidant to Asano. But Kevin keeps forgetting all kinds of things and that gets him into trouble sometimes. Words seem only to stand in the way of the relationship between Asano and Kevin... Written by Bastiaan van Gestel <geste002@wxs.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA | Japan | Hong Kong | Singapore

Language:

English | Japanese | Cantonese

Release Date:

7 August 1999 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Away with Words See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Time Warp Inc., TimeWarp See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Kevin was written specifically for the director and co-writer Christopher Doyle's friend Kevin Sherlock, who stated that he simply played himself. See more »

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User Reviews

 
There Are Not Only Euclidean Worlds
7 December 2010 | by p_radulescuSee all my reviews

A universe of psychedelic reality, in images of stunning beauty: it's like the director and his camera got drunk and filmed in trance; or maybe both director and camera were perfectly sober, just witnessing a mad planet and falling in love. Either way, it's pure cinematic poetry.

Asano: a Japanese who became a prisoner of his own memory. A gigantic memory containing words, thousands of words, in impossible associations with objects and smells and colors. Impossible to forget any word: they became his prison. He cannot accomplish anything: there is always a word obsessing him, impeding him to do anything else. One day he embarks on a ship for Hong Kong, hoping to find there solace. Once arrived, he stops at Diva Bar, where the owner is Kevin.

Kevin: an Australian (or maybe a New Zealander, you can never be sure), who keeps drinking good strong beer and cannot remember any word ever, even the address of the bar he owns (which is a gay bar, by the way). He cannot accomplish anything: there is always the lack of the necessary word, impeding him to do anything. Each night ends for him in jail (as the policemen find him drunk, wandering on the streets and incapable of telling them where he lives; and even if he'd know, he's not fluent in Cantonese). Susie comes in the morning to take him from confinement (Susie is the good angel in this absurd freaking world).

Then, what happens when Asano meets Kevin? Anybody can guess by now: you feel liberated by the stress of words, as well as by the stress of lacking the right words at the right time. It means, you can get away with words. Hence the title of this movie.

There is the world of words, and there is the world of objects, and colors, and smells: our reality. Can we consider words as reality? To paraphrase Magritte, can we smoke with the word pipe?

You can enjoy this movie, or you can get revolted to the point to say it sucks. It depends on your mood. I enjoyed it: I like to think that there are not only Euclidean worlds and Aristotelian guys.


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