A-yuan and A-yun are both from the small mining town of Jio-fen. In the city, A-yuan is an apprentice by day and goes to night school, and A-yun works as a helper at a tailors. Everyone ... See full summary »
When a young brother and sister spend a pivotal summer away from home, they are changed. Ting-Ting and Tung-Tung (Wang Qiguang) are children of the city, but when their mother is struck ill... See full summary »
In the first half of this century, young Li Tienlu joines a travelling puppet theatre and subsequently makes a career as one of Taiwan's leading puppeteers. During World War II the Japanese... See full summary »
Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of ... See full summary »
Intended as the concluding film in the trilogy on the modern history of Taiwan began with Beiqing Chengshi (1989), this film reveals the story through three levels: a film within a film as ... See full summary »
In Shanghai in the 1880s there are four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (called madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The ... See full summary »
Tony Chiu Wai Leung,
Da-Nian is a young man from Taipei. He goes to a remote village and works as a substitute teacher. He and Su-Yun, another teacher at the school, fall in love. There are several students in ... See full summary »
This depiction of childhood and adolescence draws heavily from the filmmaker's own boyhood. Like many of their compatriots, Hou's family moved from the mainland to Taiwan in 1948 and was unable ever to return. The film focuses on the widening generation gap in a family cut off from its cultural heritage. Written by
International Film Circuit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hou Hsiao-hsien's most autobiographical film portrays a family whose older generation came -temporarily in their mind- to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Communist revolution and longs to go back to a China that no longer exists, and a younger generation that grew up in Taiwan and considers it their home. It's a film that moves to the rhythms and cycles of life, from childhood to adolescence, observed by Hou in long takes at a distance, but it's remarkable how much intimacy he nevertheless achieves, like in that moving scene where a mother opens up to her daughter, filmed in a single master shot, yet there is a lot of closeness in that highly universal and very recognizable moment of growing up, where, for the first time, you find you're no longer just parent and child, but two adults having a conversation. The film is full of moments like that as well as little details of childhood, like the patterns droplets form on windowpanes, the way a carpenter crafts an ornament or the movements of spinning tops, all the things that fascinate children, but that as an adult, you become to jaded to appreciate. It takes a filmmaker like Hou Hsiao-hsien to make us notice their beauty again. Like many great films, A Time to Live, a Time to Die makes you see the world anew, as if for the first time.
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