Title

Poetics and politics of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Post Script

Publication Date

1-1-2001

Volume

20

Issue

2-3

First Page

61

Last Page

76

Publisher

Texas A&M University-Commerce

Abstract

Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien's films always have abrupt endings, which invite a reconstruction of the story piece by piece. These endings epitomize his film art - detached, distant and, at the same time, quotidian and compassionate. This style not only bears Hou's directorial signature but also encapsulates "Hou Hsiao-hsien" as a discursive object in Taiwan. In Taiwan's film history, no other director has ever been bestowed with as many international awards as Hou; and in the 1980s and 1990s, no other film director evoked as many polemics as Hou did. He is treated to harsh scrutiny by critics in Taiwan. What Hou Hsiao-hsien signifies at home is never truly about film, or film studies. Instead, the contradictory meanings that arise from him and his works represent a cobweb of authenticity, commodity, and discursive power. "Hou Hsiao-hsien," therefore, is a key to understanding Taiwanese cinema, its form, reception, and politics.

Print ISSN

02779897

Additional Information

This article also published in S. H. Lu & E. Y.-y. Yeh (eds.) (2005), Chinese-language film: Historiography, poetics, politics (pp. 163-185). Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press.

Recommended Citation

Yeh, Y.-y. (2001). Poetics and politics of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films. Post Script, 20(2-3), 61-76.

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