Richard I. Suchenski

  • Hou Hsiao-hsien, The Assassin, 2015, 35 mm, color and black-and-white, sound, 105 minutes. Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi).

    Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin

    IT SHOULD COME as little surprise that the richest, most sensuous film of 2015 has strong ties to older artistic traditions. As with much great art, the innovations of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin are inextricably intertwined with, and deepened by, the reworking of earlier models (including Hou’s own films). An international coproduction made with the largest budget of Hou’s career, The Assassin will challenge those looking for a conventional wuxia film and those who admire the Taiwanese master’s work primarily for its precise delineation of quotidian experience. In an interview two years ago,