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The Boys from Fengkuei  /  The Green, Green Grass of Home

May 3, 2015 - 7:00 pm

The Boys From Fengkuei  (Taiwan, 1983)

Feng gui lai de ren

A breakout hit for director Hou Hsiao-hsien, and his favorite from among his films, this early masterwork follows four adolescent boys from a sleepy fishing village seeking thrills in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.  Leavening the buoyant situation with a stately aesthetic distance, Hou infuses the anecdotal tale with archetypical suggestion as the boys, like many Taiwanese, revel unquestioningly in Taiwan's rapid economic expansion.

Producer: Lin Jung-feng, Chang Hwa-kun.  Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien.  Screenwriter: Chu Tien-wen.  Cinematography: Chen Kun-hou.  Editor: Liao Ching-sung.  Cast: Doze Niu, To Tsung-hua, Lin Hsiu-ling, Chang Shih, Yang Li-yin.  35mm, color, in Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles, 99 min.

The Green, Green Grass of Home  (Taiwan, 1982)

Zai na he pan qing cao qing

City and country tangle again in this third and last (to date!) of director Hou Hsiao-hsien's romantic comedies.  When a substitute teacher from Taipei (Kenny Bee) becomes romantically interested in his fellow teacher, Chiang Ling, all seems sunny until his erstwhile lover arrives to reclaim him.  Featuring flourishes of improvisatory acting and a more developed social context for the protagonists, the film was a harbinger of Hou's broader, more searching cinema.

Producer: Chang Hwa-kun.  Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien.  Screenwriter: Hou Hsiao-hsien.  Cinematography: Chen Kun-hou.  Editor: Liao Ching-sung.  Cast: Kenny Bee, Chiang Ling, Chen Mei-feng.  16mm, color, anamorphic, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 91 min.