Browsing: Hsiao-hsien Hou

Reviews Millennium Mambo Review

Vicky (Qi Shu), the twenty-something at the center of Hou Hsaio-Hsien’s Millennium Mambo, is stuck in a rut. Long after dropping out of high school, and far from any reasonable, sustainable lifestyle (which would hypothetically include gainful employment, and hypothetically not filled with hard drugs and a controlling, abusive boyfriend), Vicky …

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.42.06 PM

Beginning at a somber, unadorned graduation ceremony as a young class exits the school to embark on a summer vacation before their next educational adventure, the class speaker’s voice touches plainly on the persistent contradicting emotions that come with such a transition: the pain and sadness of saying goodbye, with the understanding that …

Film Festival Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 8.07.02 PM

Those of us that have seen Hou’s Three Times probably have a pretty good idea of our preference for each segment. Some fall for the 60’s pop infused romanticism of the first segment, some for the post-modern nihilism of the third segment, virtually no one falling in the second segment camp. It wasn’t until my recent rewatch of the film that I ….

Reviews The-Puppetmaster-TIFF

Continuing our journey through the films of Hou, we come to uncharted waters with his 1993 film, The Puppetmaster (1993). This is a film that recounts the events in Taiwan leading up to the beginning of World War II and Japanese occupation. It tells this story through the eyes of Taiwan’s preeminent puppeteer …

Reviews Dust-In-The_Wind_1987_2

At the heart of Dust in the Wind, like so many Chinese films, lies a humming tension between old and new. The ways of modernization and urbanization glitter with promise for the Taiwanese youth at the center of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, but they leave in their wake the destruction of their family units and the old traditions, and in the process end up wounding themselves as well. That the director and cast do such a good job with another common element of Chinese cinema - the layering of subtext under a surface calm - makes the film’s ideas and reflections resonate all the more.

NP Approved

Flight of the Red Balloon… How do I even begin a review for a film that is delicate enough to capture the whimsical naiveté of childhood but mature enough to have its heart broken because that light eventually gives way to the soul dampening shadows of adulthood? I sit here and try to sort out a way to encapsulate a small portion of this film in a passable review and my mind is swirling with images of the soft light that breaks through the leaves of trees and creates prismatic arrays of greens and yellows and cast reflections of Parisian cobblestone and stucco buildings on every surface.