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Hou Hsiao-hsien

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 9:01 am
by bmxsuperhero
Question. Can someone explain the appeal to the director? I've only seen two of his films, Millennium Mambo and Flowers of Shanghai, both of which I abhored. I understand he's condsidered one of the best working Asian directors (and that the market for his films is very slim in the midwest states). If anyone can give me any information regarding him, it would be much appreciated.

Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 6:32 am
by bigpoppa_2059
I agree with you, as I have seen most of Hsien's films, and liked only one ("Flowers of Shanghai"). Tsai-Ming Liang and Wong Kar-Wei are where its at.

Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 7:36 pm
by paredes
I sat for ten minutes of "Goodbye South, Goodbye" and left without regretting it. I also sat through all of "City of Sadness" and didn't like it, so definitely the appeal of Hou's movies are lost on me. On the other hand, Tsai Ming-Liang, speaking of Taiwanese directors, is thoroughly mesmerizing to me; I loved "Vive L'Amour" and "The Hole" very much.

Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 8:05 pm
by somegreatmovies
I've only ever seen Tsai Ming-Liang's Vive L'Amour & The Hole, but I hated them both... as for Hou Hsiao-Hsien, I can't say exactly what I love about him, but I've seen everything he's done since 89's City of Sadness, and I absolutly adore each one... but for my money, Edward Yang is still the best Taiwanese director.

Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2003 6:31 am
by bmxsuperhero
As far as Tsai Ming-Liang, I thought Vive L'Amour was excellent, and I've been told The Hole was as well. I haven't gotten around to seeing What Time Is It There? either. I often see Hsiao-Hsien and Ming-Liang compared.. but I'd have to give both of their films another look to decipher why Hsiao-Hsien just doesn't work for me.

Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:15 pm
by paredes
It seems that Hou fans hate Tsai and vice-versa. I suppose their styles are so different that it would be difficult to embrace both. However, Edward Yang's YI YI is definitely the pinnacle of Taiwanese cinema, for the little I've seen anyway. That movie blew me away.

Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 7:50 am
by katsuben
Difficulty of comprehension is probably what I like most about Hou's films. Often he seems to set-up narration in advance of showing it, thus generating mental/emotional space to concentrate on something else -- usually plastic space. That at least might be one of his regular abstractive techniques.

I also happen to like Tsai and Yang, so go figure. But I think what Hou has done with his last few pictures is move in a new direction. Yang has kind of mastered complex story dynamics and attained something of an aesthetic pinnacle for beautiful construction. Tsai wants to realise internal character psychology with a sort of distanced symbolic realism but I prefer the panache of the Grace Chang musical numbers in Hole.

I've always been curious about the music in Hou's films. There's almost a bowing to sentiment sometimes (especially in say Good Men, Good Women) and definitely an interest in guiding spectators' aurally which suggests further levels of meaning, perhaps.

To me Hou was immediately something different and challenging. A film like Millenium Mambo, I don't know if I adore it but re-watching it is extraordinarily easy, almost hypnotic, and every time there's new elements to discover. Not so much unravel, but just suddenly see what then becomes blindingly obvious.

*shrug*

Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 12:11 am
by gary-2
Hmmm... I have now seen all of Tsai's films... my initial recation was "ecstatic" ("Vive L'amour" 1st film of his I saw then "The Hole")... but by the time I got to 'What Time is it There' he was growing stale and slowing repeating himself... I have seen all but one of Hou's films and the last "Mellinium Mambo" was the only one that truly reached me... and I loved it... but my favorite Asian director by far is Anh Hung Tran... (Scent of Green Papaya, Cyclo and Vertical Ray of the Sun)... he is onty 40 and has accomplished more with his first three films than most other directors in their entire careers. He is the one to watch for...