One of several portmanteau films made at Taiwan's CMPC in the early 1980s to give new directors a chance to flex creative muscles. Here, all three episodes (each a vignette of economic hardship in the 1960s) are based on stories by then fashionable 'nativist' writer Huang Chunming and consequently full of Taiwanese (rather than Mandarin) dialogue. Hou's near plotless episode goes for pathos: a young man desperate to feed his wife and baby takes a demeaning job as a walking billboard. The other two episodes hinge on irony. Zeng's is about two salesmen coming to grief as they try to flog unsafe Japanese pressure-cookers in rural towns; Wan's shows a squatter-hut family going from grief to jubilation as it realises that a road accident will produce a compensation payment windfall. Early ripples of Taiwan's new wave.
Cast and crew
Hou Xiaoxian, Zeng Zhuangxiang, Wan Ren
Chen Bozheng Yang Liyin Jin Ding Fang Dingtai Zhuo Shengli Jiang Xia