Hou Hsiao-hsien’s breakthrough feature is also one of his best - a moving depiction of the excitement and unease created by the relocation of a group of friends from a remote village in the Penghu Islands to Kaohsiung. Through the precise delineation of quotidian experience, Hou subtly explores the impact of Taiwan’s economic miracle. Reflexively engaging with Neorealism (at one point, the boys sneak into a theater showing an English-dubbed print of Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers), Hou also establishes the stylistic interests - long takes, elliptical editing, shifting points of view - that would define his mature style. In one remarkable and characteristically understated sequence, Hou commingles past and present, layering space and time by introducing the protagonist’s reminiscence within a continuous panning movement and closing this with a counter-shot from the present. (Richard I. Suchenski)

The 22 January session will feature a post-screening discussion with David Verbeek.

Original title
Feng gui lai de ren
Filmmaker
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Country
Taiwan
Year
1983
Medium
35mm
Length
99’
Language
Mandarin, Taiwanese
Producer
Lin Jung-feng, Chang Hwa-kun
Production Company
Evergreen Film Company
Sales
Center for Moving Image Arts
Writer
Chu T'ien-Wen
Cinematography
Chen Kun Hao
Sound Design
Tu Duu-Chih
Cast
Chang Shih, Chang Chun-Fang