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Beyond Fest '15: The Assassin

Year: 2015
Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Writer: Ah Cheng, Chu T'ien-wen, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Hsieh Hai-Meng, Pei Xing (short story)
Cinematographer: Lee Ping Bin
Cast: Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Tsumabuki Satoshi
Country of Origin: China/France
Time: 105 min.

Sal from Crome Yellow and I got to witness one of the most beautiful films of this year at Beyond Fest which is Hou Hsiao-Hsien's The Assassin. In ninth-century China, an exiled assassin must choose between love and her duty when she is ordered to kill a man from her past. This is unlike any other martial arts film you have ever seen! The film showcases the most stunning and breathtaking cinematography that will transport you through time and space to witness a story truly visionary and masterful. Any fan of Hou knows the steady pace he utilizes and to some it may be too slow, but with these kind of rich visuals, who cares!

The Assassin is China's official entry to the Oscars for Best Foreign Language film. It might have some serious competition with Deniz Gamze Erg├╝ven's Mustang from France but regardless, you should experience these two singularly powerful films for themselves. I had a chance to go to a q&a with Hou a day after where he went over his filmography and filmmaking style. All I can say is that he is such a wacky cat! I need to definitely to check out his previous works because if they are anything like The Assassin, I am in for a real treat! 

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