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Scott Reviews Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Daughter of the Nile [Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Review]

Hou Hsiao-hsien is best known and most acclaimed for historical dramas like A City of Sadness, The Puppetmaster, Flowers of Shanghai, and The Assassin, but a much more persistent subject for him has been contemporary films about young women. From his first two films through the early 2000s (after which he took a break from his native Taiwan, and, soon, directing in general), urban-set and neon-lit portraits of restless youth have proven a renewable source of interest. For those who casually dismiss Cute Girl and Cheerful Wind as pop entertainments he made for hire – they were, but they’re quite good – this trend can more definitively traced back to 1987’s Daughter of the Nile.

Lin (played by pop star Lin Yang) is in her late teens, working at KFC and attending night school (where, typically, underperforming or troubled students are shuffled). Her mother has passed away, her eldest brother killed in gang activity.
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Giveaway – Win Daughter of the Nile on Dual Format

To celebrate the release of Daughter of the Nile – out on Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD on May 22nd 2017 as part of Eureka Entertainment’s Masters of Cinema series, we have three copies to give away! Read on for details of how to enter…

Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien (The Assassin, Three Times, Flight of the Red Balloon) followed up his highly acclaimed Coming of Age trilogy of films with Daughter of the Nile, a rich and poignant drama about a young woman struggling to support her family amidst the violent and neon-soaked milieu of 1980’s Taipei.

Lin (Lin Hsiao-yang) works as a waitress in a fried chicken restaurant, attends night school and pines after her brother’s friend, local gigolo Ah-sang (Fan Yang). Increasingly constrained by the casual brutality of the world around her, Lin finds escape imagining herself as the titular Daughter of the Nile, a character from her favourite manga series.
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Tang Wei to star in Bi Gan’s 'Long Day’s Journey Into Night'

  • ScreenDaily
Exclusive: Wild Bunch to handle sales on ‘Kaili Blues’ director’s second feature

Chinese director Bi Gan has attracted a top-flight cast for his second feature, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, including Tang Wei (Lust, Caution), Sylvia Chang (Mountains May Depart) and Huang Jue (The Final Master).

In addition, Wild Bunch has come on board to handle international sales on the detective drama, which also stars Taiwanese actor Lee Hong-chi (Thanatos, Drunk) and reunites the director with Chen Yongzhong, the lead actor of his award-winning debut, Kaili Blues.

Shanghai-based Dangmai Films, established by Bi and producer Shan Zuolong, is producing with Huace Group and Han Han’s Pmf Pictures, while Charles Gillibert’s Paris-based CG Cinema will co-produce. Wild Bunch, which will commence sales on the film in Cannes next week, is handling all territories outside China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The story follows a man who returns to his hometown to find a mysterious
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Trailer for Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Restored 1987 Drama ‘Daughter of the Nile’

He’s one of the most praised directors of international cinema, but Hou Hsiao-hsien‘s films haven’t always received a substantial (or even negligible) release here in the United States. With his last film, the quiet epic The Assassin — which he picked up Best Director at Cannes for — getting a proper roll-out here, we hope it provokes distributors to seek out the rest of his catalogue for restoration and release treatment.

While there’s no word if it will arrive in the U.S. yet, one of his earlier films will in fact be getting a new release in the United Kingdom. Daughter of the Nile, his 1987 film which follows a young woman who struggles to support her family in Taipei, will arrive on Blu-ray in the U.K. this summer and a new trailer has now arrived. Showcasing the beautiful restoration, check it out below.

Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien (The Assassin,
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Mia Hansen-Løve’s 10 Favorite Films

She’s only been making feature films for less than a decade — and truly only gained international recognition this decade — but it seems as if the talents of Mia Hansen-Løve as a writer-director are already fully formed. This isn’t to discount room for certain growth in her relatively young career, but with Goodbye First Love, Eden, and now Things to Come, her ruminations on life are expressed as if conveyed by an elder master director. Looking at her eclectic list of all-time favorite films — provided for the latest Sight & Sound poll — one can get a glimpse at her impeccable taste and where her formative influences come from.

“All of my films are my versions of Heat,” she recently told us, speaking about one of her picks. “Because Heat is actually a film about melancholy, about action, and it’s action vs. melancholy and self-destruction — action becoming self-destruction. It’s a couple.
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Win The Assassin on Blu-ray

To mark the release of The Assassin, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray. The magnetic Shu Qi (Millennium Mambo, The Transporter) continues her regular collaboration with Hou to play Nie Yinniang, the eponymous ‘Assassin’ of the story, adapted from a traditional Chinese folk tale of a young girl raised as a […]

The post Win The Assassin on Blu-ray appeared first on HeyUGuys.
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Deal Alert ! Get 2-for-1 tickets to watch The Assassin

As the Chinese New Year approaches, start your celebrations with Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s martial arts masterpiece …

BFI Southbank, London SE1 8Xt 22 January to 4 February 2016 Hou Hsiao-Hsien, winner of the Best Director award at Cannes Film Festival 2015, presents his mesmerising first foray into martial arts.


Breathtakingly elegant and ravishing in its composition, The Assassin is set in 9th-century China towards the end of the Tang dynasty. Lethal assassin Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi, Three Times, Millennium Mambo) fails an important assignment and is sent back to her homeland on the orders of the nun who abducted her as a child and trained her in the deadly arts.

Her new orders, designed to both punish her and eliminate the last vestiges of feeling in her being, are to kill the man to whom she was once betrothed – her cousin, the powerful governor of Weibo, played by Chang Chen (Three Times,
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Meet Hou Hsiao-hsien, the Quiet Killer Behind the Martial-Arts Epic ‘The Assassin’

Meet Hou Hsiao-hsien, the Quiet Killer Behind the Martial-Arts Epic ‘The Assassin’
If there is such a thing as casual gravitas, then Hou Hsiao-hsien embodies it. Arriving in the lobby of the Park Hyatt in Busan, South Korea, where his martial-arts epic, “The Assassin,” is making one of many stops on the festival circuit, the 68-year-old Taiwanese director whom many consider to be the world’s greatest living filmmaker radiates a calm, and calming, authority. Wearing a beige baseball cap and black zip-up jacket, and pausing occasionally for a quick cigarette, he speaks with the sort of earthy eloquence and modesty that his admirers have come to recognize in his movies, with their elusive, slow-building narratives and unassumingly beautiful images.

“It’s not easy for people to grasp the film fully the first time around,” Hou admits with a chuckle, communicating in Mandarin through an interpreter. “But you can’t wait for the audience. I can’t help but make films the way I do.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

5 Questions for Hou Hsiao-Hsien About Filmmaking and 'The Assassin'

5 Questions for Hou Hsiao-Hsien About Filmmaking and 'The Assassin'
Hou Hsiao-Hsien strives for realism, not magic. That's why he took the Cannes Best Director prize this year for "The Assassin" back to Taiwan, where the master auteur has been making films ("The Puppetmaster," "A City of Sadness," "Millennium Mambo," "Flight of the Red Balloon") for over three decades. The China-financed film endured decades of stop-and-go development and production before becoming Hou's seventh Cannes competition contender. A departure from his recent dramas including "La Belle Epoque," this modestly scaled martial arts epic shows Hou painting on a much bigger canvas — but with tweezers. Starring Shu Qi as the titular warrior, "The Assassin" is set in 9th-century, Tang Dynasty China, where the 10-year-old daughter of a general is abducted by a nun who transforms her into an efficiently badass martial arts assassin tasked with wiping out corrupt governors. After failing an assignment, as seen...
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A Love Story Without Love: Hou Hsiao-hsien Discusses "The Assassin"

  • MUBI
Hou Hsiao-hsien. Photo by Yao Hung-i.The Assassin, Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien's first film in eight years, was one of the most sublime revelations at the Cannes Film Festival this May, where the film premiered and took home the Best Director prize. We wrote about the film, enraptured, during the festival:"This film, decades in the making, feels like the condensation and purification of something long lived with by all involved. It is a nüxia (woman knight) story, loosely based on a Tang dynasty tale, and it is spoken in guwen, a very classical, literary style of Chinese. And yet for his lady assassin Hou has chosen his most modern of performers, Shu Qi, his pop muse from 2001's Millennium Mambo onward, and so we see the young embodiment of Taiwanese modern woman transported into a past of courtly rules and manners, etiquette and architecture binding and restrictive for all,
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Weekly Rushes. 17 June 2015

  • MUBI
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Above: Bound to get taken offline by the time you read this, hurry up and watch Star War Wars: All 6 Films At Once (Full Length)Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory visit the famed closet of the Criterion Collection and recount their experiences encountering Godard's Weekend and films by Antonioni.At the invaluable, Chris Marker's short film 2084 (1984) has been remixed.At its premiere at the Berlinale, Queen of the Desert, Werner Herzog's long-awaited return to epic filmmaking, garnered an unfortunate, uneven response. Now the full trailer for the film is out, and we hope it grows in our estimation upon re-viewing. As a recap, read impressions from Daniel Kasman and Adam Cook, as well as our interview with long-time Herzog cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger about working on the film.
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Stirring In: A Scene from Millennium Mambo

“Where Godard wrenches out, a saturator stirs in.” This suggestive statement, adapted from an article by Jean-Pierre Gorin, can trigger a close study of the work of Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien—winner of Best Director award at the recent Cannes Film Festival for his magisterial The Assassin. In this audiovisual essay, however, we return to a movie of his that has yet to receive its full due: Millennium Mambo (2001)—and we pick not one of its most spectacular or lyrical passages, but an "ordinary," long-take scene that, on inspection, reveals a multi-layered complexity of construction.>> - Adrian Martin and Cristina Alvarez-Lopez
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Stirring In: A Scene from Millennium Mambo

“Where Godard wrenches out, a saturator stirs in.” This suggestive statement, adapted from an article by Jean-Pierre Gorin, can trigger a close study of the work of Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien—winner of Best Director award at the recent Cannes Film Festival for his magisterial The Assassin. In this audiovisual essay, however, we return to a movie of his that has yet to receive its full due: Millennium Mambo (2001)—and we pick not one of its most spectacular or lyrical passages, but an "ordinary," long-take scene that, on inspection, reveals a multi-layered complexity of construction.>> - Adrian Martin and Cristina Alvarez-Lopez
See full article at Keyframe »

Hou Hsiao-hsien, Catherine Hardwicke, And Will Gluck Prepping New Films

It took eight long years between Hou Hsiao-hsien's "Flight Of The Red Ballon" and his latest, Cannes Best Director prize winning "The Assassin." And the good news for fans of the filmmaker is that he's already brewing his next picture and hopefully it won't take so long to get it made. His next project is about "a waterway enthusiast who encounters a river goddess while studying the city’s waterway system," and it will be set in the modern era. Shu Qi will return to star, with Chu Tien-wen ("The Assassin," "Millennium Mambo") penning the script. No word yet on when production starts. [Taipei Times] Read More: Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Catherine Hardwicke will tackle another tale about young people, signing up to helm "Love Letters To The Dead." An adaptation of the book by Ava Dellaira (who will also write the script
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Cannes 2015. Day 8

  • MUBI
How nice it's been to anticipate another set of tales from modern Portugal in the form of Miguel Gomes's Arabian Nights! The film's three parts have been shown every other day here in Cannes, and I've finally caught the last and I must say I already miss the idea that Gomes and his Scheherazade will unspool even more for me two days hence. If she told the stories to her king to stave off her death, I feel Gomes is telling me stories, among many others reasons, in order to stave off the powerful aura of respectable averageness prevalent at Cannes 2015.Arabian Nights Volume 3: The Enchanted One had me smiling for a good forty-five minutes in a row. After a brief glimpse of Gomes's modern version of Scheherazade in Volume 1, we finally get to spend some time with her in "Baghdad," wandering the landscape encountering lovers and bandits,
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Cannes: Will ‘The Assassin’ Slay the Competition?

Cannes: Will ‘The Assassin’ Slay the Competition?
Given the number of films in competition (19), the correspondingly infinite number of possible award/talent configurations, and the sheer impossibility of guessing at the individual and collective tastes of nine jurors, predicting the major award winners at the Cannes Film Festival is obviously a fool’s errand — and one that our critics on the Croisette have gladly undertaken.

Guy Lodge

Palme d’Or: “The Assassin.” Word on the street — and among British bookies — is that my own favorite film of the fest, Yorgos Lanthimos’ high-wire relationship fantasy “The Lobster,” is the one to beat, though whether that’s based on honest hearsay or a projection of the Coen brothers’ taste for dryer-than-dust comedy, I can’t say. As much as it would thrill me to see such a singular combination of concept-y formalism and perverse heart-tugging take the prize, I have a hard time seeing it as the unifying consensus
See full article at Variety - Film News »

2015 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 9: Does Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Killer Instinct Found in “The Assassin”

Taking a page from Wkw, Taiwanese master filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien took a full eight years working on martial arts film, The Assassin. He first surfaced on the Croisette in Directors’ Fortnight section in 1988 with Daughter of the Nile, and since then the Main Comp have owned most of his filmography: The Puppetmaster (1993), Goodbye South, Goodbye (1996), Flowers of Shanghai (1998), Millennium Mambo (2001), Three Times (2005), Flight of the Red Balloon (2008) and let us not forget his worn out theatre segment in the 60th anniversary anthology film To Each His Own Cinema. Looking at our grid, The Assassin was either worth the weight or…was worn out long before it’s final edit. Starring Shu Qi (she made her mark on Millennium Mambo and showed up in Three Times and 2011 short film omnibus 10+10) this claws away at the decline of the Tang Dynasty. We’re hopeful that an eight year absence means quality reigns.
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Cannes Film Review: ‘The Assassin’

In the seven years since Hou Hsiao-hsien began working on a ninth-century wuxia epic, his admirers have been madly curious about how the Taiwanese auteur known for such refined historical panoramas as “Flowers of Shanghai” and minor-key urban portraits like “Cafe Lumiere” would handle his rite of passage into one of China’s most storied and vigorous popular genres. We have the answer at long last in “The Assassin,” a mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie that boldly merges stasis and kinesis, turns momentum into abstraction, and achieves breathtaking new heights of compositional elegance: Shot for shot, it’s perhaps the most ravishingly beautiful film Hou has ever made, and certainly one of his most deeply transporting. Centered around a quietly riveting performance from Shu Qi, the film is destined for a limited audience to which gore-seekers with short attention spans need not apply. Still, with a Stateside
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes: Watch The First Two Clips From Hou Hsiao Hsien's Martial Arts Film ‘The Assassin’

Taiwanese film director Hou Hsiao Hsien is known for a kind of hyper-contemplative realism, but for his latest effort, he’s gone in a major gear shift direction by making a martial arts wuxia film. Although he’s known for polar opposite films like "Millennium Mambo" (a film we listed as one of the best movies of 2003) and "Three Times," he’s apparently always wanted to do a fighting film, and that's what he's done with his latest, “The Assassin.” This is his first film since 2008s’ “Flight of the Red Balloon.” It has been rumored to show in Cannes for the past couple of years, but he reveals he had trouble getting the backing. “I’ve always had a dream to make this story into a film. I first came across the Tang Dynasty legendary tales when I was in university studying film, and before that I had read
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Cannes Unveils 2015 Official Selection Lineup

Cannes Unveils 2015 Official Selection Lineup
Star-studded English-language dramas from Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, Denis Villeneuve, Justin Kurzel, Paolo Sorrentino and Matteo Garrone will vie for the Palme d’Or alongside new films by Valerie Donzelli, Jacques Audiard, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Jia Zhangke at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival, which unveiled its official selection lineup on Thursday.

While there are only two U.S. directors in competition — Haynes with “Carol,” a 1950s lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett, and Van Sant with his suicide drama “The Sea of Trees,” pairing Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe — this year’s Palme race looks to feature more high-profile Hollywood talent than any in recent memory. Canada’s Villeneuve (“Prisoners,” “Enemy”) will bring his Mexican drug-cartel drama “Sicario,” with Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, while Australia’s Kurzel (“The Snowtown Murders”) secured a Palme berth for “Macbeth,” his Shakespeare adaptation toplining Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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