Hou Hsiao-hsien

Outwardly tranquil yet steeped in the political turbulence of the past century of Taiwanese (and larger Chinese) history, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s meditative cinema has received infuriatingly limited distribution in the west, but has enjoyed considerable exposure of late as a result of major retrospectives and the rapturous reception that greeted his wuxia epic The Assassin, which topped Sight & Sound's annual critics' poll in 2015.

Alongside such luminaries as Edward Yang and Chen Kunhou, Hou is one of the figureheads of the first wave of New Taiwanese Cinema (1982-90), a movement that disregarded popular genres in favour of realistic portraits of national life. 

If you're new to Hou and wondering where to begin, here's our handy guide.

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