Child­hood in­formed ‘The As­sas­sin’: Hou

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

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