Hou Hsiao-hsien

Edited by Richard I. Suchenski

Austrian Film Museum

Hou Hsiao-hsien

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Pub Date: August 2014

ISBN: 9783901644580

256 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.50£27.00

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Edited by Richard I. Suchenski

Austrian Film Museum

For younger critics and audiences, Taiwanese cinema enjoys a special status, comparable with that of Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave for earlier generations, a cinema that was and is in the midst of introducing an innovative sensibility and a fresh perspective. Hou Hsiao-hsien is the most important Taiwanese filmmaker working today, and his sensuous, richly nuanced films reflect everything that is vigorous and genuine in contemporary film culture. By combining multiple forms of tradition with a uniquely cinematic approach to space and time, Hou has created a body of work that, through its stylistic originality and historical gravity, opens up new possibilities for the medium.

This new volume includes contributions by Olivier Assayas, Peggy Chiao, Chung Mong-hong, Jean-Michel Frodon, Hasumi Shigehiko, Ichiyama Shozo, Jia Zhang-ke, Kent Jones, Koreeda Hirokazu, Jean Ma, Ni Zhen, Abé Mark Nornes, James Quandt, Richard I. Suchenski, James Udden, and Wen Tien-hsiang, as well as conversations with Hou Hsiao-hsien and some of his most important collaborators over the decades.

[An] absorbing monograph.

Kristin M. Jones, Wall Street Journal

Delicious is a good word for this book... an absolute necessity for every serious cinephile.

David Bordwell, Observations on Film Art

This handsome, abundantly illustrated anthology... now stands as the one English-language study [of Hou Hsiao-hsien] that covers the most ground.

Film Comment

Suchenski has amassed a body of essays from critics, academics and Hou's collaborators that is as insightful about Taiwan as it is about the director's working methods.

Keyframe, Fandor's daily digital magazine

With the rich materials and elegantly written essays, the book is a good contribution to the curriculum of film studies, East Asian studies, and visual arts studies. This beautiful book with the color printing of dozens of stills, posters, and photos is also an excellent choice to Hou's film fans.

Xiao Liu, H-Asia

Suchenski has assembled a well-balanced mixture of academic and cinephilic text.

Brad Stevens, Sight & Sound

Taken together, the pieces that Suchenski has assembled in his superb anthology paint a wonderfully rich, multiperspectival portrait of Hou. The volume includes writing by distinguished film scholars and filmmakers, from Jean Ma to Olivier Assayas, as well as a series of captivating interviews with Hou's collaborators. By addressing the intricate nature of Hou's cinema, from his characteristically meticulous rendering of misè-en-scene and narrative space to the hybrid position of his films within the context of Taiwan and the larger cinematic landscape, Hou Hsiao-hsien elucidates the reasons for the filmmaker's critical esteem and ongoing attraction to film scholars globally.

Lauren Treihaft, Film Quarterly

[An] excellent study of Hou's films.

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

[A] beautiful book

Fritz Göttler, Süddeutsche Zeitung

A monumental endeavour in the growing English-language scholarship on the sensuous, richly nuanced work of Hou Hsiao-hsien, the most important Taiwanese film director.... [This book] enriches our understanding of Hou Hsiao-hsien, and is indispensible for any future scholarship on this distinguished film auteur.

Shi-yan Chao, Asian Cinema

A hefty collection of essays, reminiscences, and interviews.

Leo Robson, Times Literary Supplement

[A] monumental anthology.

David Bordwell, Observations on Film Art

[A] very beautiful catalogue... which accompanied a retrospective in several countries.

Lorenzo Codelli, Positif
Olivier Assayas, Peggy Chiao, Chung Mong-hong, Jean-Michel Frodon, Hasumi Shigehiko, Ichiyama Shōzō, Jia Zhang-ke, Kent Jones, Koreeda Hirokazu, Jean Ma, Ni Zhen, Abé Mark Nornes, James Quandt, Richard I. Suchenski, James Udden, Wen Tien-hsiang
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About the Author

Richard I. Suchenski is founder and director of the Center for Moving Image Arts (CMIA) and assistant professor of film and electronic arts at Bard College. His academic work focuses on the development of cinematic modernism internationally and on the relationship between film and the other arts. The retrospective Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien, which he has organized in conjunction with this book, will be launched at the Austrian Film Museum and will travel to major cities around the world through 2015.