Childhood informed ‘The Assassin’: Hou
Prominent Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien ( ) said Friday that his childhood experiences with films and books have shaped him as a director and helped him make the acclaimed martial arts film “The Assassin” ( ).
Speaking at a press conference in Taipei to promote the film, Hou said he devoured martial arts and romance novels as a child and read almost every one of those types of novels available at his school library at the time.
He also visited movie theaters frequently, said the 68-year-old, who won the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival in May with “The Assassin.”
“I would not be making films like this (“The Assassin”) from the perspective that I did if it were not for those experiences during my childhood,” Hou said.
He said schools in Taiwan should show films to students from a young age and not just ask students to excel in exams and get into medical school. “Yes, you can save lives by studying medicine, but we are also saving lives by making movies,” Hou said.
When making “The Assassin,” his first martial arts film, Hou said he wanted the fight scenes to be realistic and not go against the laws of gravity.
“He didn’t want all the flying around,” said actor Chang Chen ( ), who starred in the film.
Actress Shu Qi ( ) , who played the title character Nie Yinniang ( ), said the role of Nie was a great challenge for her because Hou asked her to be emotional but expressionless.
Actor Chang Chen ( ), right, and director Hou Hsiao-hsien ( ) attend a press conference to promote the new movie “The Assassin” in Taipei, yesterday. Hou said his childhood experiences with films and books helped him make the acclaimed martial arts film.