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Hou Hsiao-hsien is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter and Producer Taiwanais born on 8 april 1947

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Hou Hsiao-hsien
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Birth name Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢)
Nationality Taiwan
Birth 8 april 1947 (77 years)

Hou Hsiao-hsien (born 8 April 1947) is a Taiwanese film director, screenwriter, producer, singer and actor. He is a leading figure in world cinema and in Taiwan's New Wave cinema movement. He won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1989 for his film A City of Sadness (1989), and the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 for The Assassin (2015).

Hou was voted "Director of the Decade" for the 1990s in a poll of American and international critics put together by The Village Voice and Film Comment. In a 1998 worldwide critics' poll, Hou was named "one of the three directors most crucial to the future of cinema." In the British Film Institute's 2012 Sight & Sound poll, fourteen critics and two directors named A City of Sadness (1989) one of the ten greatest films ever made, placing it at #117 in the overall critics' poll.


A Hakka, Hou Hsiao-Hsien was born in Mei County, Guangdong province (China) in 1947. He and his family fled the Chinese Civil War to Taiwan the following year. Hou was educated at the National Taiwan Academy of the Arts.

Internationally, Hou is known for his austere and aesthetically rigorous dramas dealing with the upheavals of Taiwanese (and occasionally larger Chinese) history of the past century by viewing its impacts on individuals or small groups of characters. A City of Sadness (1989), for example, portrays a family caught in conflicts between the local Taiwanese and the newly arrived Chinese Nationalist government after World War II. It was groundbreaking for broaching the long-taboo February 28 Incident and ensuing White Terror. It became a major critical and commercial success, and garnered the Golden Lion award at the 1989 Venice Film Festival, making it the first Taiwanese film to win the top prize at the prestigious international film festival.

His storytelling is elliptical and his style marked by extreme long takes with minimal camera movement but intricate choreography of actors and space within the frame. He uses extensive improvisation to arrive at the final shape of his scenes and the low-key, naturalistic acting of his performers. His compositions are decentered, and links between shots do not adhere to an obvious temporal or causal narrative logic. Without abandoning his famous austerity, his imagery has developed a sensual beauty during the 1990s, partly under the influence of his collaboration with cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-Bin. Hou's consistent screenwriting collaborator since the mid-1980s has been the renowned author Chu Tien-Wen, a collaboration that began with the screenplay for Chen Kunhou's 1983 film, Growing Up. He has also cast revered puppeteer Li Tian-lu as an actor in several of his movies, most notably The Puppetmaster (1993), which is based on Li's life.

Hou's films have been awarded top prizes from prestigious international festivals such as the Venice Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival and the Nantes Three Continents Festival. Six of his films to date have been nominated for the Palme d'Or (best film award) at the Cannes Film Festival. Hou was voted "Director of the Decade" for the 1990s in a poll of American and international critics put together by The Village Voice and Film Comment.

He directed the Japanese film Café Lumière (2003) for the Shochiku studio as an homage to Yasujirō Ozu; the film premiered at a festival commemorating the centenary of Ozu's birth. The film deals with themes reminiscent of Ozu - tensions between parents and children and between tradition and modernity - in Hou's typically indirect manner. In 2005 his film Three Times - which features three stories of love set in 1911, 1966 and 2005 using the same actors, Shu Qi and Chang Chen.

In August 2006, Hou embarked on his first Western project. Filmed and financed entirely in France, Flight of the Red Balloon (2007) is the story of a French family as seen through the eyes of a Chinese student. The film is the first part in a series of films sponsored by the Musee d'Orsay and stars Juliette Binoche. In 2010, Hou directed the 3D short film for Taipei Pavilion in Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

Hou has also had some acting experience, appearing as the lead in fellow Taiwanese New Wave auteur Edward Yang's 1984 film, Taipei Story. Hou starred as Lung, a former Minor League baseball star who is stuck operating an old-style fabric business, longing for his past days of glory. Lung becomes alienated from his girlfriend and tries to find his way in the city of Taipei.

He had a brief role in the 2013 Chinese comedy-drama film Young Style, about a group of teenagers in high school.

Hou is also a singer, having contributed two songs to the 1992 soundtrack of Dust of Angels, a movie he also produced.

Usually with

Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Hou Hsiao-hsien (32 films)

Display filmography as list


I Wish I Knew, 2h5
Directed by Jia Zhang-ke (贾樟柯)
Origin Pays-bas
Genres Documentary, Historical
Actors Zhao Tao, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wei Wei, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Rebecca Pan
Roles Self
Rating68% 3.442883.442883.442883.442883.44288
Dix huit personnes se remémorent leur vie à Shanghai, ville qui a connu d'immenses bouleversements depuis 1930.
Taipei Story, 1h50
Directed by Edward Yang (楊德昌)
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama, Action
Actors Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Chin, Tsai Chin, Wu Nien-jen, Cynthia Khan
Roles Lung
Rating75% 3.794993.794993.794993.794993.79499
Taipei Story concerns a young woman (Tsai Chin) urgently seeking to navigate the maze of contemporary Taipei, and find a future. She hopes that her boyfriend Lung (Hou Hsiao-hsien) is the key to the future, but Lung is stuck in a past that combines baseball and traditional loyalty that leads him to squander his nest egg bailing her father out of financial trouble.
The Boys from Fengkuei, 1h41
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama
Actors Doze Niu, Hou Hsiao-hsien
Roles Arong's Sister's Boyfriend
Rating72% 3.6420853.6420853.6420853.6420853.642085
Ah-Ching et ses amis ont fini leurs études dans leur village de pêcheurs et passent maintenant leur temps à boire et à se battre. Trois d'entre eux décident d'aller à la ville portuaire de Kaohsiung pour rechercher un travail. Ils y font face aux dures réalités de la vie.
That Day, on the Beach, 2h39
Directed by Edward Yang (楊德昌)
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama
Actors Sylvia Chang, Terry Hu, Wu Nien-jen, Hou Hsiao-hsien
Roles Ah Cai's Executive
Rating75% 3.7917753.7917753.7917753.7917753.791775
Deux amies qui ne se sont pas vues depuis de nombreuses années se retrouvent à Taipei. L'une qui est devenue une pianiste de renom rentre d'Europe, l'autre démarre une nouvelle affaire.


The Assassin, 1h45
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama, Martial arts, Action, Historical, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Wuxia films
Actors Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Zhou Yun, Tetsuya Komuro, Zuo Xiaoqing
Rating63% 3.1511753.1511753.1511753.1511753.151175
The film is set during the Tang Dynasty-period in Chinese history, in 9th century China. The film centers on Nie Yinniang (played by Shu Qi) a female killer appointed to slay corrupt government officials by her master, Jiaxin, a nun who raised her from the age of ten. When Yinniang displays mercy by failing to kill during her duties, Jiaxing punishes her with a ruthless assignment designed to test Yinniang’s resolve. She is sent to the distant province/circuit of Weibo in northern China, which is led by the military governor Tian Ji'an, her cousin and former lover.
Flight of the Red Balloon, 1h55
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy-drama
Themes Films about children
Actors Juliette Binoche, Hippolyte Girardot, Anna Sigalevitch
Rating64% 3.247233.247233.247233.247233.24723
Suzanne, a puppeteer, lives with her young son Simon in an apartment in Paris. While her daughter Louise is away in Brussels and she is worried over a financial battle with her tenant, Marc, Suzanne hires a Chinese filmmaker named Song as Simon's new nanny.
To Each His Own Cinema, 1h40
Directed by Claude Lelouch, Abbas Kiarostami, Amos Gitaï, Elia Suleiman, Nanni Moretti, Takeshi Kitano, Andreï Kontchalovski, Youssef Chahine, Roman Polanski, Wim Wenders, Chen Kaige, Raoul Ruiz, Olivier Assayas, Theo Angelopoulos, Michael Cimino, Wong Kar-wai, Manoel de Oliveira, Jane Campion, Alejandro González Iñárritu, David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Atom Egoyan, Lars von Trier, Ken Loach, Walter Salles, David Cronenberg, Zhang Yimou, Bille August, Aki Kaurismäki, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang, Raymond Depardon
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy
Actors Isabelle Adjani, Anouk Aimée, Antoine Chappey, David Cronenberg, Yosra El Lozy, Taraneh Allidousti
Rating67% 3.395613.395613.395613.395613.39561
35 réalisateurs d'origines très variées (25 pays différents) ont tous mis en scène un court métrage de 3 minutes, sur le thème de la salle de cinéma. Le film en regroupe 33 puisque les frères Coen et les frères Dardenne travaillent ensemble. Celui de David Lynch ne faisait pas partie du film mais a été présenté en ouverture du festival.
Three Times, 2h12
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin France
Genres Drama, Romantic comedy, Crime, Romance
Actors Shu Qi, Chang Chen
Rating68% 3.449973.449973.449973.449973.44997
(Chinese: 戀愛夢; pinyin: liàn ài mèng) Set in Kaohsiung in 1966, with dialogue in Taiwanese Hokkien.
Café Lumière, 1h43
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Japon
Genres Drama
Actors Tadanobu Asano, Masato Hagiwara, Kimiko Yo, Nenji Kobayashi, Kimiko Yo
Rating67% 3.398033.398033.398033.398033.39803
The story revolves around Yoko Inoue (played by Yo Hitoto), a young Japanese woman doing research on Taiwanese composer Jiang Wen-Ye, whose work is featured on the soundtrack. The late composer's Japanese wife and daughter also make appearances as themselves.
Millennium Mambo, 1h59
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama, Romance
Actors Shu Qi, Jack Kao, Doze Niu, Pauline Chan
Rating69% 3.498693.498693.498693.498693.49869
The main character, Vicky, portrayed by actress Shu Qi narrates from 2011 about her life 10 years earlier. She describes her youth and story of her changing life at the beginning of the new millennium. She works as a hostess in a trendy bar. Vicky is torn between two men, Hao-Hao and Jack, and her journeys display the parallel journey of the psyche and how one girl deals with her fleeting youth.
Flowers of Shanghai, 2h10
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Films about prostitution, Erotic thriller films
Actors Annie Yi, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Carina Lau, Michiko Hada, Jack Kao, Michelle Reis
Rating72% 3.6433353.6433353.6433353.6433353.643335
In four elegant brothels, called "Flower Houses", in fin-de-siècle 19th-century Shanghai (Qing dynasty), several affairs are described. Events presumably take place in 1884, a year named in one of the scenes. The action involves four men who live for pleasure, and takes place mostly in the light of oil lamps, giving the film a claustrophobic feel. Preparation and consumption of opium and tea occur more than once, and dishes of food are served and hot towels prepared in several scenes.
Goodbye South, Goodbye, 1h52
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama, Comedy-drama, Crime
Actors Jack Kao, Annie Yi, Vicky Wei
Rating71% 3.591843.591843.591843.591843.59184
Gao (Jack Kao) rides the train to Pinghsi to set up a 10-day gambling den with his friend Hsi (Hsi Hsiang). He takes his acolyte Flatty (Lim Giong) and Pretzel (Annie Shizuka Inoh), Flatty's girl friend, who works part-time in a night club.
Good Men, Good Women, 1h48
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama, Historical, Romance
Actors Annie Yi, Jack Kao, Vicky Wei
Rating70% 3.543353.543353.543353.543353.54335
The film depicts the real-life story of Chiang Bi-Yu (Annie Shizuka Inoh). In the 1940s, she and her newlywed husband, Chung Hao-Tung (Giong Lim), head to mainland China to join the anti-Japanese resistance. During the war, she is forced to give her baby for adoption. After the war they return to Taiwan, as Chung is to distribute a communist paper called "The Enlightenment". However, as the Korean War deepens, Chiang Kai-Shek's Kuomintang regime intensifies the White Terror and Chung is eventually executed.
The Puppetmaster, 2h22
Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Taiwan
Genres Drama, War, Biography
Actors Vicky Wei
Rating70% 3.5415553.5415553.5415553.5415553.541555
It tells the story of Li Tian-lu who becomes a master puppeteer but is faced with demands to turn his skills to propaganda during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in World War II. This film is the second in Hou's trilogy of historical films that include A City of Sadness (1989) and Good Men, Good Women (1995).
Raise the Red Lantern, 2h5
Directed by Zhang Yimou, Hou Hsiao-hsien
Origin Chine
Genres Drama
Themes Feminist films, Political films
Actors Gong Li, Li Baotian
Rating80% 4.047614.047614.047614.047614.04761
The film is set in 1920s China during the Warlord Era, years before the Chinese Civil War. Nineteen-year-old Songlian (Sònglián, played by Gong Li), whose father has recently died and left the family bankrupt, marries into the wealthy Chen family, becoming the fourth wife or rather the third concubine or, as she is referred to, the Fourth Mistress (Sì Tàitai) of the household. Arriving at the palatial abode, she is at first treated like royalty, receiving sensuous foot massages and brightly lit red lanterns, as well as a visit from her husband, Master Chen (Ma Jingwu), the master of the house, whose face is never clearly shown.