Monday, May 25, 2015


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Cannes Film Festival Best Director Hou Hsiao-Hsien: "No one makes movies this way anymore, but what can I do, only I make movies this way."
Hou Hsiao-Hsien gets a standing ovation when he wins Best Director
Shu Qi
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The 68th Cannes Film Festival yesterday held its award ceremony. Taiwan director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's ten year long production THE ASSASSIN won him the Best Director award.

Hou Hsiao-Hsien said that before this he has been to Cannes seven times and won once. This time the Best Director Award was an extremely great encouragement to him. He also said that making a film wasn't easy, finding financing in particular was even harder. He had to thank his actors Shu Qi, Chang Chen and others, as well as the screen writer, art and other workers on his team.

The jury president said that THE ASSASSIN was very beautifully directed; only often times there was no way to give all the films the biggest prize.

Hou Hsiao-Hsien said, "At any film festival anywhere around the world, I may win or miss out on the prize. Winning or not is not the problem, more important is what we did, what we made......a real creator wouldn't think about whether he would win." To him, the distance between the Best Director and the Best Picture Palme d'Or prizes was "sometimes very close and sometimes very far, which is related how how much the jury appreciates your film. Thus, a director doesn't need to think about this. Instead he should think about how to seriously shoot, how to shoot something emotional. Hard work is certainly required, but hard work doesn't necessarily yield results."

As for the question of "did the jury understand this film", Hou Hsiao-Hsien answered, "Actually when foreigners watch movies they purely watch the movies. They would feel that some things don't need to be understood, they watch whatever they watch. Even if they don't understand they still would feel it is very beautiful and very epic."

Hou Hsiao-Hsien said, "The use of the visual image actually is something that is very personal, mainly they still depend on the quality of the director, the concern of the director and the artistic accomplishment of the director. In addition, the director needs to feel something inside for this world, for the people, which are the most important. As long as he is able to do that, no matter how strange something you made looked, all of those who would watch the film would understand what you want to express." During the Cannes Film Festival, Hou Hsiao-Hsien mentioned on different occasions "money was not easy to find". Yet he still insistently said that he would not compromise and make a commercial film. Currently his financing was still OK. He would not make commercial films.

Shu Qi attended the Cannes Film Festival for the third time with THE ASSASSIN. During the red carpet ceremony before the award presentation, she appeared with Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Chang Chen and others.

Shu Qi admitted that she almost got into a fight with Director Hou while making THE ASSASSIN because it was too hard. She was even injured all over due to the action scenes; she also said that Director Hou was very demanding with the Assassin character. She had to keep her identity well hidden and be emotionally reserved. Her action scenes had to be powerful and fast but without any expression, it was very hard to play and she almost got into a fight with the director. Shu Qi also said that Director Hou was very detail oriented during the shoot and focused on the visual, but to an actor sometimes they would be hardest to grasp.

THE ASSASSIN's Japanese star Satoshi Tsumabuki congratulated Hou Hsiao-Hsien on the award and said that he was very honored to be able to witness this miraculous moment.

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