Hou Hsiao-hsien

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zedz
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Hou Hsiao-hsien

#1 Post by zedz » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:28 am

Hou Hsiao-hsien (1947- )

Image

"When I was little, I was always causing trouble, and my interest in films really began with my mischievous nature."

FILMOGRAPHY

1980 Cute Girl / Lovable You (Jiu shi liu liu de ta)

1981 Cheerful Wind (Feng er ti ta cai)

1983 The Green, Green Grass of Home (Zai na he pan qing cao qing)

1983 The Son’s Big Doll (episode of The Sandwich Man / Er zi de da wan ou)

1983 The Boys from Fengkuei / All the Youthful Days (Feng gui lai de ren) Sino Movie OOP

1984 A Summer at Grandpa's (Dong dong de jia qi) Sino Movie OOP

1985 A Time to Live and a Time to Die (Tong nien wang shi) Sino Movie OOP

1986 Dust in the Wind (Lian lian feng chen) Sino Movie OOP

1987 Daughter of the Nile (Ni luo he nu er)

1989 A City of Sadness (Bei qing cheng shi)

1993 The Puppetmaster (Xi meng ren sheng) Fox Lorber OOP

1995 Good Men, Good Women (Hao nan hao nu) Fox Lorber OOP

1996 Goodbye South, Goodbye (Nan guo zai jan, nan guo) Fox Lorber OOP

1998 Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shang hua) Fox Lorber OOP

2001 Millennium Mambo (Qian xi man po) Accent (R4) / TF1 (France) / Palm Pictures

2003 Café Lumière (Kôhî jikô) Wellspring / Drakes Avenue

2005 Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang) Artificial Eye / IFC

2007 Flight of the Red Balloon (Le voyage du ballon rouge)

2007 The Electric Princess House (episode of To Each His Cinema / Chacun son cinéma)

N.B. Editions in bold are good quality, all others are weak or have specific problems.


Forum Resources

Hou Hsiao-hsien new films

Hou Hsiao-hsien box set


Recommended Web Resources

The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien china.org article

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes:Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Optics of Ephemerality – Senses of Cinema review of Three Times

Cinema with a Roof over its Head – 1999 Film Comment article

Cinema of Sadness – Cinetext article

Guardian interview (Café Lumiere focussed)

Cheerful Staging: Hou’s Early Films - David Bordwell

Senses of cinema piece on A Time to Live and a Time to Die
Last edited by zedz on Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Michael Kerpan
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#2 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:27 am

A Senses of cinema piece on Time to Live, time to die (featuring yours truly as a guest star of sorts)

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#3 Post by otis » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:18 pm

Cheerful Staging: Hou’s Early Films - David Bordwell on HHH's staging for the long lens (a supplement to the chapter on Hou in Figures Traced in Light)
Last edited by otis on Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#4 Post by jsteffe » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:20 pm

A heads-up on Trigon's DVD of THE PUPPETMASTER. Not only is it *not* English subtitled, it's also presented improperly, like every #%@! release so far, as 1.33:1.

I'm glad I bought the UK PAL VHS from Electric pictures a while back, because it's the only letterboxed version I've ever come across. It doesn't look bad for VHS, either.

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zedz
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#5 Post by zedz » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:43 pm

Thanks for the additions.

When searching the forum, I was surprised not to find more Hou threads or discussions. I suspect that a lot of the commentary I remember reading must be buried in other (non-Hou) threads, so if you stumble across something worth linking, let me know. Or if you've posted something to the point elsewhere on the forum, consider copying it to this thread.

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#6 Post by denti alligator » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:18 pm

jsteffe wrote:A heads-up on Trigon's DVD of THE PUPPETMASTER. Not only is it *not* English subtitled, it's also presented improperly, like every #%@! release so far, as 1.33:1.

I'm glad I bought the UK PAL VHS from Electric pictures a while back, because it's the only letterboxed version I've ever come across. It doesn't look bad for VHS, either.
Fuck! Any chance you'd transfer that VHS to DVD?
Is the Trigon release at least clean and transferred halfway well?

EDIT: was it by chance shot open-matte, so that one could zoom in with a 16x9 display to replicate the proper AR?

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#7 Post by sidehacker » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:15 pm

Reverse shot introduction: Who's Afraid of Hou Hsiao-Hsien?

There's new reviews for all of Hou's films as well.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#8 Post by forweg » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:54 pm

Looks like there's a new 8-film Hou set being released January 1st. I'm surprised I haven't heard anything about this yet...

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#9 Post by swo17 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:10 pm

Oooh, I believe like half of those are currently unavailable in R1-friendly versions. But where the hell is City of Sadness?

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#10 Post by denti alligator » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:47 pm

forweg wrote:Looks like there's a new 8-film Hou set being released January 1st. I'm surprised I haven't heard anything about this yet...
Wow! I wonder if the version of Puppetmaster included will be widescreen, and whether the early films will be anamorphic or at least with zoom-in friendly subs. We need reviews of this. Now.

EDIT: the specs at that site have "letterboxed" for the early films and "full screen" for Puppetmaster, so I'm not getting my hopes up.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#11 Post by Oedipax » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:29 pm

Also it's 8 movies on 4 discs, so I can't imagine image quality will be great.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#12 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:38 pm

I'm guessing this 4 disc set is essentially a bootleg product. The 4 films released by HHH's own company plus the 4 Fox Lorber releases.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#13 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:35 pm

It would be far from the first time HK Flix has trafficked in bootlegs -- note that they're also selling the individual discs in plain white sleeves, which seems, uh, less than legit.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#14 Post by forweg » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:21 pm

It says the set is from Sino Movie, which distributed the legit OOP release. I've never known HKFlix to blatantly lie about the distributor.

But it is extremely suspicious that Puppetmaster is still Full screen and that the set has only appeared on HKFlix. Yeah, probably a bootleg.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#15 Post by PerfectDepth » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:06 am

I purchased this knowing I'd get a refund if I didn't open it and it was an obvious bootleg. I don't have the original Sino box set and don't plan on spending the $300 it's going for now so I figured at the very least I'd get the 4 sinomovie box films although compressed much more.

The set arrived the other day and It does not appear to be a bootleg. The box is copyright 2005. Sinomovie logo is there along with the website. The bad news is that nothing is anamorphic and the pq quality is poor (more so on the FL films than the SM). The Fox Lorber films are likely from the same source but have different subtitles.

Before purchasing, HK flix told me they purchased these directly from Sinomovie. My guess is that they were never intended for retail and unloaded them to HK flix at a very low price and they are probably getting a good mark up at $60 a pop.

My advice is to avoid.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#17 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:49 am

All four discs in that set look fine -- almost certainly the best available editions, although there are a couple of French discs I haven't seen. I posted some caps of Cafe Lumiere in the Screen Captures thread. I recall the R2J Flowers of Shanghai as the odd man out color-wise -- it looks more subdued and naturalistic than the U.S. and French editions -- but I suspect the other versions were just contrast-boosted. I never saw it theatrically, so I'm not really sure how it's "supposed" to look.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#18 Post by ryan11 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:43 pm

PerfectDepth wrote:I purchased this knowing I'd get a refund if I didn't open it and it was an obvious bootleg. I don't have the original Sino box set and don't plan on spending the $300 it's going for now so I figured at the very least I'd get the 4 sinomovie box films although compressed much more.

The set arrived the other day and It does not appear to be a bootleg. The box is copyright 2005. Sinomovie logo is there along with the website. The bad news is that nothing is anamorphic and the pq quality is poor (more so on the FL films than the SM). The Fox Lorber films are likely from the same source but have different subtitles.

Before purchasing, HK flix told me they purchased these directly from Sinomovie. My guess is that they were never intended for retail and unloaded them to HK flix at a very low price and they are probably getting a good mark up at $60 a pop.

My advice is to avoid.
I contacted HKFLIX, asing if the films were the same editions (eg: quality) as the Sino boxsets. I was told they are, with the original dvd-5's now 2 per dvd-9. I'm still to receive the box. I purchased, going by the Dvdbeaver screens of the original boxsets, which varied in quality, but seemed ok. As there aren't many options to purchase all of these films, I'm at least grateful to have the opportunity to buy them.

The single DVDs in paper slips is odd, but I imagine HKFLIX must have the ok to sell them. Personally I think it looks shabby and looks like a bootleg. Either way, the new boxset will tide me over until a boutique dvd company takes a chance and offers us decent editions.

Having said that, I'll reserve the right to throw a tantrum if the editions are lesser quality than advertised. Dvdbeaver offers an excellent comparison.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#19 Post by PerfectDepth » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:43 pm

ryan11 wrote:I contacted HKFLIX, asing if the films were the same editions (eg: quality) as the Sino boxsets. I was told they are, with the original dvd-5's now 2 per dvd-9. I'm still to receive the box. I purchased, going by the Dvdbeaver screens of the original boxsets, which varied in quality, but seemed ok. As there aren't many options to purchase all of these films, I'm at least grateful to have the opportunity to buy them.
Like I said, the early films are not anamorphic in this 8 film box, but (I believe) are in the original box. Otherwise, the image does not look atrocious. But it hasn't stopped me from searching for the original box.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#20 Post by stereo » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:05 pm

damn; I'm always amazed when I find I own one of these box sets that has gone through the roof in price. The key is not to tell your wife or they immediately try to get you to sell the thing.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#21 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:55 am

PerfectDepth wrote:Like I said, the early films are not anamorphic in this 8 film box, but (I believe) are in the original box. Otherwise, the image does not look atrocious. But it hasn't stopped me from searching for the original box.
I have the original box and they're not anamorphic. The films were later reissued in different packaging, but the discs themselves are identical.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#22 Post by PerfectDepth » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:29 am

Oh. In that case the 8 movie box is a nice option for those who don't own the original box (like Ryan and I). I've officially stopped considering paying $300.00 for the original.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#23 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:50 am

I'll sell you mine for $299.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#24 Post by ryan11 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:13 am

"The set arrived the other day and It does not appear to be a bootleg. The box is copyright 2005. Sinomovie logo is there along with the website. The bad news is that nothing is anamorphic and the pq quality is poor (more so on the FL films than the SM). The Fox Lorber films are likely from the same source but have different subtitles.

Before purchasing, HK flix told me they purchased these directly from Sinomovie. My guess is that they were never intended for retail and unloaded them to HK flix at a very low price and they are probably getting a good mark up at $60 a pop."


My set arrived today. I viewed each on my computer, comparing them with the Dvdbeaver snapshots. I absolutely agree with your assessment. As it stands, this is a reasonable way to get the collection, but the four films on discs 3 & 4 are very average, but seem to be taken from Fox Lorber prints. There aren't many options to get these films.

Worth getting it for the four films on the first two discs, but $40 would probably have been a fairer price. (I had credit to use up at Hkflix, so the pain wasn't so great)

My advice, check out the Dvdbeaver reviews before buying. That is pretty much what you are buying.

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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#25 Post by Ishmael » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:36 pm

For those near DC, the Freer Gallery is showing A Summer at Grandpa's at 7:00 on June 26.

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