Hou Hsiao-hsien on Hou Hsiao-hsien: Notes for Movie-Makers


Category : Art
Pages : 288
Publication : Grand Four Happiness Publishing , Nov. 1 2023
Publication : Paperback
Contact : Mengying


Rights Sold: Japanese, Korean


In November 2007, critically acclaimed Taiwan New Cinema film director Hou Hsiao-hsien was invited by Mr. Cheuk Paktong to hold a 3-day seminar at the Hong Kong Baptist University, sharing his thoughts on cinema and the film industry, details of his journey as a film director and practical advice on film-making.


Unconcerned with criticism or film theories, Hou’s films are deeply introspective and often utilizes his personal experiences. His films are characterized by a unique narrative style and an unchanging fascination with people. Unrestrained by the typical three-act story structure, he often leaves out the conflict and focuses on the build up to the conflict and the psychological changes after it, creating an atmosphere of bleakness. He uses his signature long takes to capture the delicate qualities and charisma of people and nuances human nature, portraying the small bits of “goodness” in the midst of viciousness and the bonds that people share. 


Hou Hsiao-hsien on Hou Hsiao-hsien: Notes for Movie-Makers is a compilation of thoughts on anything movie related. He talks about his aesthetics and the directors he admires. He gives practical advice on conceptualizing scripts, casting, on-set communication, mise-en-scène, sound mixing, and lighting…etc. He discusses his working methods with his partners on different projects and how he brought out the true potential of actors and actresses such as Shu Qi, Lin Qiang, and so on. He envisions a future for Taiwan's movie industry. And, in addition to all of the above, this book also records his conversation with critics and film students. 


In this book, he shares valuable notes on his process of film-making and we see not only his passion and vocation for the art but also an affable side of him that speaks vividly of the precious moments in filmmaking. 


Hou Hsiao-hsien is a Hakka and Taiwanese film director, screenwriter, producer, and a central figure in Taiwan's New Cinema era. He was born in Guangdong Province, China and grew up in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. After graduating from the National Academy of Arts with a degree in film, he began his career in the filming industry as a continuity supervisor and later as an assistant director and scriptwriter. In 1981, he released his first directorial work Cute Girl. In 1989, he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for his film City of Sorrows, and Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for The Assassin in 2015. He has directed 18 feature films, including A Time to Live, A Time to Die (1985), A City of Sadness (1989), The Puppetmaster (1993), Good Men, Good Women (1995), Flowers of Shanghai (1998), The Assassin (2015). 


Hou Hsiao-Hsien's work has won praises and accolades from the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Awards, Golden Horse Awards, Tokyo Film Festival, Asian Film Awards, Asia-Pacific Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Contemporary Cinema at the Lucano Film Festival, among others. He has also received the National Award for Arts and the Presidential Cultural Award for Literature and Art.

Hou Hsiao-hsien on Hou Hsiao-hsien:  Notes for Movie-Makers

Hou Hsiao-hsien on Hou Hsiao-hsien: Notes for Movie-Makers


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