jason statham

An acclaimed Taiwanese filmmaker has directed a different kind of martial arts movie, and it's about to hit theaters. In the title role is Shu Qi, co-star of Jason Statham's The Transporter.

If I walk into a crowd and mention A Summer at Grandpa's (1984), Café Lumière (2003) and Flight of the Red Balloon (2007), I’ll probably be met with a sea of blank faces. If I do that with a bunch of Chinese-movie aficionados, no doubt many will immediately think of Taiwanese film auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien. “Film auteur” is the term used to describe a director whose personal creative vision is so strong and recognizable that not even the studios behind his or her movies can eliminate the distinctive cinematic signature. There are more film auteurs than you might guess — in the Chinese martial arts movie genre, we have, among others, Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Zhang Yi-mou (Hero) and Wong Kar-wai (The Grandmaster). My goal with this blog is to introduce you to one more. Normally, I don't discuss martial arts films that I haven’t seen or that are pitched to the media as a “work in progress.” The reason: How many times have we all bought into the hype surrounding some martial arts movie star who’s in talks with so-and-so to make such-and-such a film — and it never happens? In this case, however, I carefully considered the impact the aforementioned martial arts films have had, then looked ahead to the potential popularity of the motion picture that’s being helmed by Hou Hsiao-hsien — and promptly made an exception to my own rule.

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