[on casting "Treeless Mountain"] "When I met Hee Yeon, I knew she would be perfect. She had this unusual self-confidence and strength. From our first interview, Hee Yeon challenged me in a way that young Korean children do not normally question authority. I discovered Song Hee, who plays Bin, through a photograph which was sent to me by my assistant in Korea. I fell in love with her face."
“Speaking, writing, and discoursing are not mere acts of communication; they are above all acts of compulsion. Please follow me. Trust me, for deep feeling and understanding require total committment.”
“I’m interested in the performance of everyday life. I think that everyone is always performing. Adding a camera definitely complicates the performance, but it’s a question of degree rather than an ontological difference.”
“I was the leader of the Taiwanese new wave. All these guys would just gather in my house, talking and laughing and drinking: Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wu Nien-jen — just about all of them. You could just push open the door. Everyone just wanted to do similar things. We weren’t allowed to, and no one was willing to give us any money to, but we shared all these idealistic thoughts.”
“I’m not like other directors who don’t allow their actors to watch. I let them have one scene their way, one for me, then allow them to compare. I don’t choose actors for their appearance or ability in dancing or whatever, but because of their intelligence.”