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Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien

Friday, October 10, 2014
7:00 p.m. The Sandwich Man
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Zheng Zhuanxiang, Wan Jen (Taiwan, 1983)

(Erzi De Da Wan'ou). Considered the opening salvo of the New Taiwan Cinema, The Sandwich Man combined three short films into a declaration of intent. Hou Hsiao-hsien’s titular tale follows a luckless young father who supports his family by dressing as a clown and wearing an advertising billboard; meanwhile, teenagers hawk Japanese electronics with tragic results in Vicki’s Hat, while The Taste of Apples shows a laborer’s taste of the American dream. All chronicle the downside of Taiwan’s economic “miracle” of the seventies, and stand now as insightful glimpses into a country in the midst of turmoil. Screenwriter Wu Nien-jen, a key figure of the movement, wrote all three of the scripts.

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Wu Nien-jen, adapted from stories by Huang Chun-ming. Photographed by Chen Kun-hou. With Chen Po-cheng, Yang Li-yin, Chin Ding, Cho Seng-li. (100 mins, In Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles, Color, 35mm)