Compétition internationale
46th edition
NOVEMBER 15>23, 2024, Nantes - France

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The Assassin
(Nie yin niang)

by HOU Hsiao-Hsien


It was a good few years, eight to be exact, since the Taiwanese filmmaker had given us any news. Hou Hsiao Hsien, as we already knew from watching his films, knows how to take his time, and knowing this, we learnt to take time to follow him. More precisely, we had discovered the emotion of reaching his characters by plunging into the weave of filmic landscapes that are his own. Few contemporary filmmakers have made us feel the possibility of a fictional experience hitherto unexplored. A little like the moment we stick our nose into a William Faulkner novel for the first time. The comparison is not unfounded. One evokes his South in many lights, while the other from Taiwan his Chinas, whether their worlds are lost, recomposed, re-invented, past or imminent, intimate or collective. The Assassin prolongs these questions (of identity) by revisiting the wu xia pian, a major genre of Chinese cinema – whereas Faulkner made Sanctuary into a whodunit. But for Hou Hsiao Hsien, returning to (cinematographic) tradition and history (the plot is set in the 9th century under the Tang dynasty) means giving himself a reason for investing them with a sensorial reality, an on-screen life that thwarts convention and expectations through a succession of deviations from the genre. We can imagine that each gesture in this sublime form celebrates the love of Nie Yin-niang (Shu Qi again, without make-up), our assassin, summoned by the Empire to eliminate her cousin (Chang Chen) the governor of Weibo province. But now… enough said. JB

  • Titre français
    The Assassin
  • Original title
    Nie yin niang
  • Titre international
    The Assassin
  • Scénario
    Chu Tien-wen, Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • Photo
    Mark Lee Ping Bing
  • Montage
    Liao Ching-Sung - Huang Chih-Chia
  • Son
    Tu Duu-chih
  • Musique
    Lim Giong
  • Interprétation
    Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Zhou Yun, Satoshi Tsumabuki
  • Distribution
    Ad Vitam :
  • Support de projection
  • Sous-titrage
  • Ratio

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