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 »
Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... 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 »
Based from true story, primarily a conflict between two youth gangs, 14-year-old young boy's girlfriend conflict with the head of the gang for unclear reason, until finally there was a painfully incident.
Lung, a former member of the national Little League team and now operator of an old-style fabric business, is never able to shake a longing for his past glory. One day, he runs into a forme... 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 »
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 thinks they are meant for each other, so do they. They fail to see time and fate are beyond their control. Written by
Dust in the Wind is a remarkable film, and one which will, no doubt, reward multiple viewings. Like most of the films of Hou Hsiao Hsien, viewers will be divided into two, sharply opposed camps.
The main characters in the film are two high-school students. The first is Wan, who - seeing his village as a dead-end career-wise, decides to leave their home town to go to Taipei to find work, intending to complete his education via night-school. His girlfriend Huen also leaves for Taipei after graduation. The other personages are family members, employers, friends and co-workers.
The story presented consists of a number of vignettes in typical Hou fashion, with stationary camera and naturalistic performances. Glimpses are given of their occupations, their moments together and their times apart. Though varying from the very funny to the emotionally raw, they have a cumulative effect, resonating with a reality that is not idealised, and is yet still filled with moments of sublime grace, somehow existing with situations of despair, misery, boredom and loss. There is little music, only a solitary guitar used to punctuate scenes, almost like a musical interlude, often combined with stunning scenery.
Apart from the immediate plot, something can also be glimpsed of the attitudes of the rural, native Taiwanese towards the city and the higher classes, as well as to the vicissitudes of life in general. On a whole the film seems imbued with the melancholy, fatalistic philosophy indicated by its title.
A worthy member of Hou's inimitable body of films, 'Dust in the Wind' was touching and memorable, though with an absence of schmaltz. It is a film I hope to revisit soon. As for recommendations, I'm not sure that it will be everyone's 'cup of tea'. Some will find many of its aspects, in particular its detachedness, quite alienating. Certainly those already familiar with Hou, or fans of Taiwanese cinema in general, will want to see it. Those who like Ozu, Bresson or Tarkovsky may find it worthwhile also. There is the same naturalistic feel, understated acting and long takes. But it is also very much the work of an original auteur who is honing his craft and producing unique, personal films.
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