Hou Hsiao-hsien

Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1947–, Taiwanese film director, b. Guangdong, China. His first feature film, Cute Girl (1980), and subsequent ones were generally saccharine romances until the semibiographical A Time to Live, A Time to Die (1985), which he cowrote, and the stylish Dust in the Wind (1986). His best-known films are set against Taiwanese history, e.g., the trilogy City of Sadness (1989), The Puppetmaster (1993), and Good Men, Good Women (1995), in which he recounts the Japanese occupation of Taiwan and the establishment of Nationalist rule. His later films include Millennium Mambo (2001), the Japanese film Cafè Lumière (2003), a tribute to director Yasujiro Ozu, and The Assassin (2013), a martial arts tale. Hou's films have been notable for their general rejection of conventional narrative filmmaking and idiosyncratic use of space, time, and sound. He broke through to Western audiences with the French film Le voyage du ballon rouge (2007, Flight of the Red Balloon), inspired by Albert Lamorisse's Le ballon rouge (1956).

See studies by J. Udden (2009) and R. Suchenski, ed. (2015).

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