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 »
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>
This film is inspired by screenwriter-turned-director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's coming-of-age story. It is the second installment of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's "Coming-of-Age Trilogy" that features three prominent Taiwanese screenwriters' coming-of-age stories - the other two are Dong dong de jiàqi (1984) (inspired by the childhood memories of Chu Tien-Wen) and Liàn liàn fengchén (1986) (inspired by the coming-of-age story of Wu Nien-Jen). See more »
"A Time to Live and a Time to Die" reads like a family saga, but it is just as much a film about the passing of traditional China and the dislocation of exile. Of course the plot points are given away; Hou isn't interested in dramatic tension and Aristotelian unities--these are so dependent on Western ideas of
personality and the separation of individual and world that they make little
sense in China. He doesn't push the events in our faces, either--they just
happen, often in the middle distance with a tree in the foreground, the way real life happens. (Remember Auden's "Musee de Beaux Arts", with Icarus plunging
in the sea far off while a ploughman works on his field?)
The space Hou gives his events and his characters doesn't give us the intimacy with people that we expect in the West. But it gives us a rich sense of the
texture of life and the things that pass among members of a family and a
community, even one that is thrown together and can just as suddenly fall
apart, as it begins to here. It's that feeling for social space, in part, that allows this film and others of his to address social and historical questions without ever losing the sharp particularity of a personal story.
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