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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:35 pm 
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dda1996a wrote:
Well they are early works of a director finding his footing, I hardly see how this is a wrong place to start

If I'm unsure about diving into a specific director's filmography, on first watch I surely wouldn't choose a film where the given director is finding his footing. Would you say to people unfamiliar with Scorsese that Boxcar Bertha is a good place to start to get a good taste of his of his work? Speaking on my own part, I'm pretty autistic/completist when it comes to director's filmographies. I used to have all the time in the world, but now that I don't anymore, so many times I only give directors one or two chances to prove themselves. As I haven't watched any Hou film yet, I'm pretty concerned as to where to start, because I know that if I like the films that I choose, I will "have" to watch all that he has done. I finished Tsai's work a couple of years ago, and I almost through with Yang, so next up would be Hou, and I believe that The Boys of Fengkuei would be the best place to start? Then I can always watch his footnote early films when I'm done with the others.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
The Boys from Fengkuei is a good place to start with Hou. It's a solidly good film in his mature style. After that, he hasn't made a bad movie. If you must be completist, leave the juvenilia as a footnote at the end of your journey: those films are much more interesting for the fleeting traces (and absence of fleeting traces) they offer of his mature style than for the middling genre exercises they are in their own right.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:26 pm 
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Thanks, zedz. That's exactly what I was planning to do, after reading up on Hou. Even though most of his filmography is only out in SD, I believe that all the DVDs are pretty watchable, apart from the hideously letterboxed and badly compressed The Puppetmaster which I guess will be the hardest one to swallow, going through his work. And again, I think you confirmed my assumption that this set is indeed an odd one, considering that none of his essential early films, other than Daughter of the Nile are currently available on English-friendly blu-ray. Even if it is aimed at buyers who are already fans of Hou, it is still a missed opportunity to spread the word about his work outside of his fanbase.

On another note, thanks for your guide to Yang's work. It has been extremely useful to read beforehand, to be prepared and enjoy the films better. I saw The Terrorizers with my friend who hadn't read anything about it, and he found it almost impossible to grasp what was going on the entire film; I, on the other hand, thought it was one of his best. We are treated with screenings of 5 of his films + In Our Time at the local cinematheque these months (all DCP's, though, apart from A Confucian Confusion and Yi Yi), and now I'm only waiting for That Day, on the Beach to arrive from Yesasia (will have to watch Mahjong online) before I can add my thoughts in the Yang thread...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:38 pm 
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jegharfangetmigenmyg wrote:
Thanks, zedz. That's exactly what I was planning to do, after reading up on Hou. Even though most of his filmography is only out in SD, I believe that all the DVDs are pretty watchable, apart from the hideously letterboxed and badly compressed The Puppetmaster which I guess will be the hardest one to swallow, going through his work. And again, I think you confirmed my assumption that this set is indeed an odd one, considering that none of his essential early films, other than Daughter of the Nile are currently available on English-friendly blu-ray. Even if it is aimed at buyers who are already fans of Hou, it is still a missed opportunity to spread the word about his work outside of his fanbase.

On another note, thanks for your guide to Yang's work. It has been extremely useful to read beforehand, to be prepared and enjoy the films better. I saw The Terrorizers with my friend who hadn't read anything about it, and he found it almost impossible to grasp what was going on the entire film; I, on the other hand, thought it was one of his best. We are treated with screenings of 5 of his films + In Our Time at the local cinematheque these months (all DCP's, though, apart from A Confucian Confusion and Yi Yi), and now I'm only waiting for That Day, on the Beach to arrive from Yesasia (will have to watch Mahjong online) before I can add my thoughts in the Yang thread...

I look forward to your comments. I just received That Day, on the Beach, and it's a very handsome physical object (which it should be considering the price!). Haven't looked at the disc yet.


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