Hou Hsiao-hsien

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jindianajonz
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#251 Post by jindianajonz » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:04 pm

I can't recall where, but I remember seeing something about Hou not even being aware of Ozu's films until much later on (Perhaps around Café Lumiere, which was commissioned as a tribute to Ozu?) and the similarities in their styles was coincidental.

EDIT: I'm mistaken, Hou found Ozu's work (after critics began telling him how similar they were) in the mid 1980s

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Trees
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#252 Post by Trees » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:18 pm

jindianajonz wrote:in the mid 1980s
Haha. HHH dropping E!
The Taiwanese director researches his projects meticulously. For his 2001 feature, Millennium Mambo, largely set in the hyper-charged twilight world of the Taipei rave scene, he threw himself into youth culture. The distinguished auteur hung out at the local discos and even experimented with ecstasy. He doesn't think it is a drug for his generation. "It relaxes you," he muses. "Young people have many, many pressures. When they take it, they can open their minds, relax and get rid of all these pressures. But I don't have these pressures.
\:D/

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#253 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:26 pm

Actually he has said he saw one Ozu film fairly early (Autumn Afternoon) and didn't think much of it at the time. He was more favorably impressed by I Was Born But. It seems he first became reasonably familiar with Ozu's work when he went to Europe to promote Time to Live, Time to Die.

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FakeBonanza
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#254 Post by FakeBonanza » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:41 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:Actually he has said he saw one Ozu film fairly early (Autumn Afternoon) and didn't think much of it at the time. He was more favorably impressed by I Was Born But. It seems he first became reasonably familiar with Ozu's work when he went to Europe to promote Time to Live, Time to Die.
If I'm not mistaken, he said more specifically that he found An Autumn Afternoon to be boring (at least upon his initial viewing). It's an interesting complaint given that Hou's films, like Ozu's, are too often accused of being "slow". That being said, having some understanding of Hou's personalty after reading a number of interviews, I wasn't at all surprised when he said he reacted more favourably to I Was Born But....

alfons416
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#255 Post by alfons416 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:59 am

anyone bought this?

http://www.yesasia.com/us/taiwan-new-wa ... /info.html

looks really nice but quite expensive. Would like ro see a review/screenshots.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#256 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:22 pm

I have it on preorder from JSDVD, but it hasn't actually been released yet despite the 12/31 date on YesAsia (JSDVD says the release is on the 19th).

AisleSeat
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#257 Post by AisleSeat » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:50 pm

The Puppetmaster, A Summer At Grandpa's, and The Boys from Fengkuei can be viewed online or downloaded here.

mff
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#258 Post by mff » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:22 am

Is it worth buying the book by Richard Suchenski, even after reading the one by James Udden? I know that some of the posters here seem to like the book by Suchenski, but how does it compare to the one by Udden? Does he, or any of the other contributors, have more to say about films like Good men, Good women, Goodbye South, Goodbye, Millennium Mambo, Cafe Lumiere and Flight of the Red Balloon? James Udden didn't really bother to write anything in depth about these films, which I thought was disappointing.

Raymond Marble
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#259 Post by Raymond Marble » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:33 pm

mff wrote:Is it worth buying the book by Richard Suchenski, even after reading the one by James Udden? I know that some of the posters here seem to like the book by Suchenski, but how does it compare to the one by Udden? Does he, or any of the other contributors, have more to say about films like Good men, Good women, Goodbye South, Goodbye, Millennium Mambo, Cafe Lumiere and Flight of the Red Balloon? James Udden didn't really bother to write anything in depth about these films, which I thought was disappointing.
I haven't read James Udden's book, so I'll be no help in comparing the two. I was quite impressed with Richard Suchenski's, though--I'd go so far as to say it's the best academic study of a filmmaker I've read in probably years--but that said, it doesn't ever get too in depth about any of the films you list above, with the possible exception of Café Lumiere, which has an essay more or less devoted to it written by Wen Tien-hsiang. There's some incidental stuff about Good Men, Good Women and Goodbye South, Goodbye, but not much in the way of deep analysis, and very little / close to nothing about Millennium Mambo or Flight of the Red Balloon, if I remember correctly.

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whaleallright
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#260 Post by whaleallright » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:29 pm

I would say the two books are entirely complimentary, scarcely redundant at all!

Calvin
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#261 Post by Calvin » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:41 am

The TFI have uploaded a before/after comparison for their restoration of Daughter of the Nile

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#262 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:33 pm

Calvin wrote:The TFI have uploaded a before/after comparison for their restoration of Daughter of the Nile
This film tends to get dismissed, even by some HHH fans, but I always liked it. Some similarities to the more polished Millennium Mambo.

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Trees
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#263 Post by Trees » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:39 am

Calvin wrote:The TFI have uploaded a before/after comparison for their restoration of Daughter of the Nile
Are home video release plans in place for this restoration?

beamish13
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#264 Post by beamish13 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:58 pm

God, Daughter of the Nile is so wonderful. The scenes with the exasperated night school teacher and the protagonist's grandfather (Li Tian-lu, star and muse to Hou Hsiao-Hsien) are among the funniest in his entire oeuvre.

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perkizitore
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#265 Post by perkizitore » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:46 pm


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zedz
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#266 Post by zedz » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:19 pm

Shame the Boys from Fengkuei restoration is only SD, but it may well pop up on Blu somewhere else. The earlier films are minor and to my knowledge have always looked mediocre on DVD, so this could well be the best you'll ever see them.

It looks like you can't purchase the set until it's officially released next week, but if you're going to do so, don't overlook some of Cinematek's other superb releases, such as the Henri Storck and Andre Delvaus collections or the 1927-1937 Avant Garde 2-disc set.

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whaleallright
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#267 Post by whaleallright » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:39 am

I wouldn't call Green, Green Grass of Home minor. It's got some unfortunate compromises with the commercial genre Hou was working in at the time (including some stilted musical numbers), but in terms of felicities of narrative form, staging, editing, and so on, it's almost the equal of Boys from Fengkeui.

As for Cinematek, I'll put a word in for their DVD of Albert Capellani's The Red Lantern with Alla Nazimova, which features copious extras, mostly early-20th-century cinematic chinoiserie: http://www.cinematek.be/?node=30&dvd_id ... y=8&lng=en" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Zot!
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#268 Post by Zot! » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:02 pm

Cool! I don't know how Hou suddenly became everyboy's darling, but I'm not going to complain if it means releases like this. Since these are noted as Belgian restorations, I wonder if they will be exclusive. I assume they will have English subs?

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zedz
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#269 Post by zedz » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:40 pm

whaleallright wrote:I wouldn't call Green, Green Grass of Home minor. It's got some unfortunate compromises with the commercial genre Hou was working in at the time (including some stilted musical numbers), but in terms of felicities of narrative form, staging, editing, and so on, it's almost the equal of Boys from Fengkeui.

As for Cinematek, I'll put a word in for their DVD of Albert Capellani's The Red Lantern with Alla Nazimova, which features copious extras, mostly early-20th-century cinematic chinoiserie: http://www.cinematek.be/?node=30&dvd_id ... y=8&lng=en" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Well, I'm glad you like it but I think you're selling Boys from Fengkuei way, way short. Green, Green Grass of Home is, if you put on your rose-coloured auteurist glasses and squint real hard, maybe half as good as the worst film he made afterwards: a generic film with flashes of talent, whereas The Boys from Fengkuei is the first mature, personal film of a great filmmaker. If those early works don't count as minor in comparison to what was to follow, I don't know what would!

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whaleallright
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#270 Post by whaleallright » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:47 pm

I'll agree to disagree about this, though I'd suggest that purely in terms of pacing, narrative structure, staging, composition, etc., there's at least as much to admire in Green, Green Grass of Home as in the rather academic Cafe Lumiere and the almost anonymous Red Balloon. I certainly wouldn't call it generic, since while it indulges in some very un-Hou-like soft-focus close-ups of its stars, most of it transpires in static long shot or even extreme long shot, with an unfussy virtuosity that is unusual for any popular cinema of the period (that I know of). I also like the way Home largely displaces the romantic plot (the one the studio presumably put up the money for) and instead follows a variety of miniplots featuring the schoolchildren in Kenny Bee's charge. The family-dysfunction and environmentalist themes have a didacticism that's very unlike Hou's later work, but they still alternate and dovetail in intriguing ways, and add up to an interesting portrait of a community in small-town Taiwan. By comparison some of the more recent films seem to me to be little more than stylish glosses on art-cinema clichés. I suspect that the generally cheerful, breezy nature of Home has led it to be somewhat undervalued (even though it is surprisingly plangent at times).

In any event, bad or good, the early films are very interesting for Hou fans, since they both point toward the singular approach he would develop across the 1980s and 1990s and indicate the filmmaking traditions he came out of.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#271 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:17 pm

I "love" Cafe Lumiere and only "like" the early "musicals" -- but even these "minor" films work so much better on the big screen than on one's pwn (normal size) TV. I was glad I got the opportunity to see almost everything when the retrospective came to the Harvard Film Archive.


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jindianajonz
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#273 Post by jindianajonz » Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:42 pm

Interesting that they aren't advertising it as a lecture accompanied by a screening. Perhaps this bodes well for the rights issues being cleared up?

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hearthesilence
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#274 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:52 pm

In an earlier post, it was alluded that Bard College had taken steps to ensure the film was preserved - I'm wondering if that implied an action that would 1) create a new print (since only one English language subtitled print was known to exist) and 2) allow some greater flexibility in showing the film? That is, would there be some type of ownership right to that physical print that would grant it some limited flexibility in being shown?

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hearthesilence
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Re: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#275 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:14 pm

I was fortunate enough to see Flowers of Shanghai projected in 35mm twice in the span of a few months - first at Metrograph and now at MoMA, but the print they used at MoMA was brightened up quite a bit, at least by a full stop. If you're unfamiliar with the film, I don't think anything would seem amiss, but I recall one poster describing the inky blacks of the print he saw years ago - this was my experience with the one shown at Metrograph, and not quite what I experienced tonight. (FWIW, the logo for Bard's film department preceded the main feature, so I'm guessing this may have been a print they made during the traveling retrospective they put together.) The cinematographer Mark Lee Ping Bin was there and he commented on this, joking he needed sunglasses with this print, and one other audience member concurred that this print was too bright.

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