Li Tien Lu is the world’s most famous puppet master. Born in Taïwan on the wake of World War I, he lived through the Japanese occupation, and American bombings of his country. Now eighty-four, reflects on the forces that shaped his life: “My hands breathed life into my puppet figures. I created them and directed the drama of their fates, almost as though I were God himself. But the reality is that, with someone above me pulling the strings, I, too, am a mere puppet…” –Cannes Film Festival
Director Hou Hsiao Hsien, in a 1988 New York Film Festival World Critics Poll, was voted one of three directors who would most likely shape cinema in the coming decades. He has since become one of the most respected, influential directors working in cinema today. In spite of his international renown, his films have focused exclusively on his native Taiwan, offering finely textured human dramas that deal with the subtleties of family relationships against the backdrop of the island’s turbulent, often bloody history. All of his movies deal in some manner with questions of personal and national identity, particularly, “What does it mean to be Taiwanese?” In a country that has been colonized first by the Japanese and then by Chiang Kai-Shek’s repressive Nationalist Government, this question is pregnant with political connotations.
Hou was born to a member of the Hakka ethnic minority in southern Guangdong province in mainland China, but his parents emigrated to Kaohsiung, Taiwan… read more
The Puppetmaster (Chinese: 戲夢人生) achieves a rare artistic balance (between a straightforward narrative, captivating confessionary monologues of the main character in the documentary style and striking… read review