Olivier AssayasFrance / Taiwan90 minutes1997ColourFrench English Mandarin
While writing for Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1980s, Assayas travelled to Asia to cover the emerging film movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan. After building lasting relationships with some of the filmmakers he profiled (Edward Yang in particular), Assayas returned 12 years later to shoot this intimate portrait of the great Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien for the French TV series Cinéma de notre temps. Following the filmmaker as he revisits his old neighbourhood in Taipei where he ran as a childhood thug, talks to his close collaborators Chu Tien-wen and Wu Nien-jen, and travels to the countryside locations for the films Dust in the Wind and Goodbye South, Goodbye, Assayas portrays Hou as a humble, down-to-earth man, driven more by his emotions than his intellect. The intimate conversations between the two directors yields a host of insights into Hou's highly intuitive working methods, from writing scripts to working with actors to, most essentially, the way in which he approaches time and space.