The Austin Asian American Film Festival and Austin Film Society will present “Reality in Long Shots,” a retrospective of pioneering Taiwanese New Wave director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films, at AFS Cinema from September 8-29, 2018.
This retrospective is the largest of Hou’s works that Austin has seen since 2000, although he has been cited as an influence by directors as varied as Barry Jenkins, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and Olivier Assayas. This project was made possible by Spotlight Taiwan, a grant by the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan to promote international cultural exchanges and cultivate a greater interest in and appreciation of Taiwan’s culture worldwide, with assistance from the Taiwan Academy in Houston.
Film fans will be particularly excited to see two films that have never been released in the United States among the lineup: a new 4K digital restoration of The Boys from Fengkuei opens the event on September 8th, and a 35mm print of A City of Sadness closes it on September 29th. Other films in the lineup include 35mm prints of The Time to Live and the Time to Die (Sept. 11th), Goodbye South, Goodbye (Sept. 15th), Millennium Mambo (Sept. 18th), and Flowers of Shanghai (Sept. 22nd). All films, with the exception of Millennium Mambo, are currently undistributed in the United States.
Special guest Peggy Chiao, a producer, critic, and current professor of Creative Filmmaking at the Taipei National University of the Arts, will be in attendance on closing night to introduce A City of Sadness and participate in a moderated discussion after the film. Chiao is widely credited with spearheading the introduction of Taiwanese New Wave directors and Chinese Fifth and Sixth Generation filmmakers onto the international film festival circuit in the 1980s and ’90s. The retrospective will also include a panel discussion with local Taiwanese scholars and a reception before the closing night film.
“This retrospective has been years in the making and has taken on a scope beyond our original expectations,” said Josh Martin, a programmer with the Austin Asian American Film Festival. “Few directors have left a bigger imprint on world cinema, yet Director Hou’s work has only had spotty availability in the U.S. It’s very exciting to bring these films to Austin, and with such a brilliant interpreter as Peggy Chiao.”
“This event is a good opportunity for this prestigious Taiwanese director’s films to be seen by Texans again,” said the Taiwan Academy in Houston. “We’re pleased to work with the AAAFF to present these outstanding examples of Taiwanese cinema and culture, and look forward to further collaboration in the coming years.”
Tickets can be purchased at the Austin Film Society website.