He and his family fled the Chinese Civil War to Taiwan the following year. Gradually taking in this seemingly ever-expanding connective tissue constitutes an important part of the enjoyment, and the above list is by no means exhausted. Every personality has its own traits. The plot is very complex and a general audience might have difficulty understanding it. This is a Chinese name ; the family name is Hou. How was the training process for the actors?

Retrieved February 6, The article will also attempt to shed light on the utterly mysterious and chaotic and severely underappreciated third story of the film. The second story takes place in exclusively within the quarters of a high-class courtesan who is having a relationship with a rich political activist. Can you tell me about the source of your inspiration for the movie? Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. His storytelling is elliptical and his style marked by extreme long takes with minimal camera movement but intricate choreography of actors and space within the frame.

From a script by Hou and his sensez collaborator Chu Tien-wen, the films is complex and truth be told it requires more than one viewing to truly understand it in detail impressed cinephiles flocked back to repeat screenings during its Cannes premiere run.

Vicky finds brief consolation in the compassion of an older male gangster, but he becomes embroiled in some dark business and it is only when Vicky leaves Taiwan to visit some friends in a remote town in Hokkaido, Japan, that the character finally seems free of the drudgery, entrapment and repetition of existence in Taiwan.

For an interesting comparison of Hou and Ozu, one that draws on Eastern artistic traditions, see Reynaud, City of Sadness I had to think seriously about my actors so we used jsien precautions and wooden swords. As his ninth feature film, and first feature film in his “Taiwanese History Trilogy,” Hou’s A City of Sadness was almost universally acclaimed by film critics as a masterpiece upon its release. How was the training process for the actors?

Likewise, Hou shuffles chronology in Hssien Mambo so that it appears that Vicky visits Japan midway through the movie and then again at the end, but a close re-viewing finds that her single trip, which takes place at the end of the film when she is stranded in Japan, is cut up and distributed earlier in the film. Cinephilia in this sense entails more than a passion that extends to practices of collecting and moviegoing.

What was more important for me was the instinct before the action; I was not very interested in the stunts themselves. Further, Hou continues to frame thresholds from the inside looking out, but in this case a different set of historical circumstances encroach on the interior, namely the uncertain fate of Taiwan in the negotiations between Japan and China.

Hou Hsiou-hsien’s Urban Female Youth Trilogy

Internationally, Hou is known for his austere and aesthetically rigorous dramas dealing with the upheavals of Taiwanese and occasionally larger Chinese history of the past century by viewing its impacts on individuals or small groups of characters.


Filmed and financed entirely in France, Flight of the Red Balloon is the story of a French family as seen through the eyes of a Chinese student. With the young men distracted by the modern, urban lures of easy wealth, the women who do little else besides follow or romantically latch onto these men around seem apt for a transfer of power.

In Zui hao de shi kf Three Times, Hou Hsiao-hsien reprises the observational, long-take aesthetic that has distinguished his work at home and on the festival circuit since the mids. Chen finally locates May working in a billiard hall in Huwei. Even for a bed, it is jou in this way. Hou’s seventeenth film and first “foreign language” film which featured dialogue in both French and Mandarin was Flight of the Red Balloon French: Furthermore, her indirect caress of him through the letter was earlier reflected in her gentle touching of a towel while he was washing.

Modernity, Contingency, the Archive Cambridge, Mass.: Without abandoning his famous austerity, his imagery has developed a sensual beauty during the s, partly under the influence of his collaboration with cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-Bin.

What becomes more and more evident is that the duration of the shot that is, how long the shot lasts is less crucial for Hou xinema the duration revealed within and across shots.

Strictly speaking, none of these films has a story with plot points built on causality, and the progress in the narratives is instead subtly seen through the female characters moving from social stagnation to some form of consciousness. Indiana University Press, Instead, he dwells on the rhythms of the quotidian, the chores and activities of daily life, such as May opening and closing the pool hall, or she and Chen sharing a meal.

Are you concerned about that? The Assassin creates its own inner logic and needs to be understood on its own terms, without resorting to comparisons with other seemingly similar works. Rosen, Change Mummified Hou’s third feature film which he both directed and wrote was The Green, Green Grass of Home Zai na he pan qing cao qingwhich also starred Kenny Bee from his previous two films but also a set of new actors that Hou previously did not work with before, including child actor at the time Pin-chin Chou, who won a Best Child Star award from the Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards for his performance in the film.

Raise the Red Lantern. I liked this since it let me capture whatever happened. He went to select the materials in person based on his imagination for the script and one advantage of getting genuine silk materials is that it is very beautiful under the sunshine. Stillness and the Moving Image London: A major recurring motif of this story is a corridor, shot in both directions, dazzlingly lit from outside, casting delicious and intricate patterns on its ornamented walls. Martin Reiser and Andrea Zapp London: According to Philip Rosen, whose Change Mummified: Chang arranges the freedom of another courtesan who is pregnanthe does not do the same for her, as his modernist principles prohibit him from taking a second wife.


Films directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Spotlight on Hou Hsiao-hsien Archives • Senses of Cinema

Routledge, It is not important for me whether or not this film is related to my other works since I connect them in my own way. As the film progresses, the movie switches to colour, which could be read as the present tense of the story. Accessed February 24, It became a major critical and commercial success, and garnered the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festivalmaking it the first Taiwanese film to win the top prize at the prestigious international film festival.

Did you prepare this picturesque set before? By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Can you talk about your experience working on the action scenes? We constantly see the characters being ferried over a body of water, presumably back and forth to the place where the pool hall lies.

It was groundbreaking for broaching the long-taboo February 28 Incident and ensuing White Terror. There are very few tricks in Japanese combat films and that inspired me to make my martial arts film in this way, which fits well with my approach towards cinema, but it might be difficult to find other people who have the same position and approach. Edward YangHeartbreak Island Dir. By patient observation of such situations seemingly unfolding in real-time, some sort of poetry and insight would rise up from the observed material.

And you worked with both actors and non-actors for this movie. Hou Hsiao-hsien, quoted in press kit available at www.

When Minimalism Meets the Martial Art Tradition: An Interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien

She has been seeing the same man ever since high school, breaking up and returning to him again and again. Hou’s tenth film, and second film in his “Taiwanese History Trilogy” was The Puppetmastera sprawling half-documentary, half-narrative film hybrid that told the story of Li Tian-luthe most celebrated puppeteer in Taiwan.

Shu Qi is the first actress who one could say is glamorised visually in a Hou film and, as an actress cunema got her start in soft-core adult films, her flattering visual hsioa adds an intertexual element to the impressionistic, visually pleasurable style of the film.