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Movies are about first impressions: Hou Hsiao-hsien

2015/05/25 12:42:22

Taiwanese film director Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Cannes, France, May 25 (CNA) Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) said Sunday in France that first impressions are more important than understanding the plot when it comes to movies.

Hou made the remark in an interview with Chinese-language media, after winning the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival in France for his first martial arts film "The Assassin" (聶隱娘).

Set in 9th century China, the film is about a general's daughter named Nie Yinniang (聶隱娘), who was abducted by a nun when she was 10 and trained to become an assassin.

Although some critics have said the film is not easy to understand, Hou noted that there are some people who think it is "very beautiful" and "very poetic."

He said sometimes movies are about first impressions, because images create feelings and thoughts.

"Seeing a movie should not be just about understanding plots and details," Hou said.

He said money is what every director needs most, and finding the funds to make films is a tiring task, but he will not make commercial movies for the sake of money.

On the question of whether he was disappointed that "The Assassin" had not won the coveted Palme d'Or award, Hou said at an international news conference he did not care about winning.

He said what is most important is what has been done and what movies have been made, and he has the clearest idea of the kind of work that has been produced.

[From the film's distributor: Wild Bunch]

In Taiwan, Yao Ching-yu, president of Swallow Wings Films Co., praised "The Assassin" as the best movie ever made by Hou.

"The movie is very simple yet very powerful," Yao said.

He said Hou has come up with a martial arts film using visual aesthetics never seen before.

Although the characters in the movie do not show much facial expression, many emotions are hidden beneath the impassive faces, which requires people to feel with their hearts, he said.

(By Emmanuelle Tzeng, Cheng Ching-wen and Y.F. Low)

Related stories:
Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-hsien wins best director at Cannes Film Festival
'The Assassin' composer Lim Giong wins Cannes Soundtrack Award