"HOU HSIAO-HSIEN ~ 4 DVD DELUXE BOX SET ~ 1983-1986"

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hou.htm
Taiwan 1983-1986

The Boys From Fengkuei     A Summer At Grandpa's      The Time To Live And The Time To Die      Dust In The Wind

Everyone seems to have a hobby that somehow allows them to ponder, mentally digress or contemplate - often this is associated with the outdoors and communing with nature - deep-sea diving, skiing, golfing, hiking or even just kite flying in the park. Hou Hsiao-hsien's films are as close as I can find in cinema for duplicating the quality of that same emotional response. His films can be interpretively difficult, and vary stridently from mass appeal and its corresponding box-office take. This is true for most aesthetically rich films though. Hou uses poetic and enduring imagery that filters through your memory banks and evoke a restful response - comparatively for me the warm and relaxing sensation you get from a long soak in the bath, listening to classical music or reading beautiful poetry. Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami evokes similar responses in his films and has commented that he enjoys almost putting his viewers into a sleeping state. The narrative, plot, and dialogue of this cinema all becomes secondary to the images which gracefully dance through to your sub-conscious. Indeed these film conventions seem quite stayed by Hou as if to pull you aggressively toward the strikingly simple and beautiful cinematography.  These are films for people who love art and beauty. Each are unique... yet all are similar in their introspective qualities.  out of

Gary W. Tooze

DVD Review: Sino Movie (Taiwan)  Collector's Set -  Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Sino Movie -  Region 0 - NTSC
Audio Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 
Subtitles English, Chinese, Japanese, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sino Movie [A Taiwan-Based Distributor]

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• 56-Page Color Booklet (text only in Chinese)
• Menus in Chinese only (except sub selection)


DVD Release Date: October 28, 2003

Fold-out Slip Case inside Boxset (DVDs are inside plastic sleeves tucked into slots - see photo above).

Comments:

Most transfers looks about the same- non-anamorphic widescreen's in-and-around the 1.78 aspect ratio with inordinately high bitrates. Colors are bright with only bare hints of contrast boosting. There is slight speckles and damage spots on all 4 releases, but they only confirm that there has been very little digital manipulation of these transfers. As far as DVD image quality goes I suspect that most viewers will be quite happy. In the audio, I noticed a few fluctuations, but nothing overly distracting. The subtitle fonts range a little, but mostly they are clean, large, white and removable - with minor spelling and grammar errors. Overall I think we should be quite happy with this. As with many unrecognized films these could easily have been substantially effected by age and improper storage. No Extras on the DVD itself, but it comes in quite a handsome package with a 56 page color booklet with Chinese text.

Quoted as 'limited to 3000', which I don't necessarily believe, but regardless I wouldn't procrastinate if you are at all interested. For Hou fans (or all cinema fans) this is quite priceless. out of  

Gary W. Tooze

Recommended Reading in Chinese/Hong Kong/Taiwanese Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


(aka "The Boys From Fengkuei" or "Fengkuei-lai-te jen")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hou.htm

Latest Theatrical Shown:  19th April 2002 (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema) - Argentina

Ah-Ching and his buddies have just finished school on their island fishing village. They now spend much of their free time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the city of Kaohsiung on the coast to look for gainful employment. They find an apartment with the help of relatives and Ah-Ching becomes attracted to the girlfriend of a neighbor residing there. There they face some of the harsh realities of the big city.

 

The earliest film in the Hou boxset shows an indistinct style of cinematography and framing, but captures the expressions and deep feelings as well as his later films. The theme of idle youths fighting conformity and uncomfortably seeking a place in society is very prevalent.

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Runtime 1:38:27
Video

1.80:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Chapters : 17

Bitrate:

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.



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(aka "Dongdong de jiaqi")

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Recent Theatrical Shown:  20th April 2002 (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema) - Argentina

When their mother is forced to stay in the hospital for a prolonged period of time, 4 year-old Ting-Ting and her brother, 11 year-old Tung-Tung are taken by their uncle to spend the summer with their grandfather, who is a doctor in a small, rural town.

The warmest of Hou's film - he, like many other directors, have focused a film on children and the intricacies of becoming educated in the working ways of the world... and its inhabitants (us). Ting-Ting and Tung-Tung appear quite traumatized by their mothers absence, but rebound with resolute and the inherent ability to adapt ... a positive examination of the human condition. This is the only film of Hou's that I recall such (relatively) blatant cliché's... there is even a hint of melodrama. For this reason some my dismiss it but I will continue to embrace it as a favorite.

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NOTE: A different cover, but it is the exact same as the sold out first printing Boxset!

Runtime 1:37:42
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Chapters: 18

Bitrate:

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.



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(aka "The Time To Live And The Time To Die" or "Tong nien wang shi")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/hou.htm

Theatrical Release: West Germany February 1986 (Berlin International Film Festival)

A depiction of childhood maturity drawing heavily upon Hou's own youth. Many who moved from mainland China to Taiwan in the 1940's, like Hou's family, were unable to ever return. "A Time To Live and a Time To Die" focuses on the widening generation gap in a family shamefully cut off from its cultural roots. There is an overall reference to a lack of respect for elders and education - two very strong traditions of Chinese upbringing.

Often quoted as ranking with the very best of Bresson and Ozu. Meandering, episodic and deceptively detached in tone, "A Time To Live and a Time To Die" is quite probably Hou Hsiao-Hsien's most daring formal experiment, as well as--surprisingly his most moving film to date.  
   (excerpt from Ron Kopp's comments on Imdb found HERE)

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Runtime 2:16:20 
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.86 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Chapters: 23

Bitrate:

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.



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(aka "Dust In The Wind" or "Lianlian fengchen")

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Theatrical Release: 13 September 1987 (Toronto Film Festival)

Determined Wan and his girlfriend, Huen, leave their employ in the minute mining village where they reside and move to the bustling city of Taipei to find careers. Wan becomes a delivery boy while Huen becomes a seamstress assistant. Touching, almost humorous, vignettes abound with the culture shock of the move. To tell of her families shoe sizes at the store Huen pulls out pieces of paper with the outlines of her family's feet traced on them. Heartwarming and still dynamically real evidence of small town innocence fighting for survival in a large metropolis.

Hou again collaborated very successfully with writer Chu T'ien-wen. With 'less being more' Hou almost ignores any hint of sentimentality or dramatization. It just 'is'. Bresson would be smiling in his grave. Dust in the Wind may have the most strikingly memorable cinematography I have seen in a Hou film, yet it refreshingly maintains its minimalist qualities. Another Hou masterpiece.

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NOTE: A different cover, but it is the exact same as the sold out first printing Boxset!

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Runtime 1:49:36 
Video

1.70:1  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.12 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Chapters: 19

Bitrate:

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.



DVD Menus

 

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

CLICK logo to order from:

NOTE: A different cover, but it is the exact same as the sold out first printing Boxset!



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