Official US Trailer for Hou Hsiao-hsien's 'The Assassin' with Shu Qi

September 25, 2015
Source: Apple

The Assassin Trailer

"Cut him down for me, expertly." As you wish, master. Well Go USA has debuted the official US trailer for Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin, starring Taiwanese actress Shu Qi as an assassin who must return to her hometown and kill the man she loves. The cast includes Chang Chen and Satoshi Tsumabuki. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has been playing to rave reviews at fests like Sydney, TIFF, and Busan. It's also playing at the New York Film Festival coming up. If quiet, meticulous Taiwanese cinema is your thing, you don't want to miss it. This trailer is an improvement over the first teaser & follow-up. Enjoy.

Here's the new official US trailer (+ poster) for Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin, in high def from Apple:

The Assassin Poster

Set during the mighty Tang Dynasty-period in Chinese history. Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi) returns to family after several years in exile. The mission of her order is to eliminate the tyrany of the Governors who avoid the authority of the Emperor. Now she will have to choose between sacrificing the man she loves, or break definitively with the "order of the Assassins". The Assassin, also known as Nie yin niang, is directed by veteran Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien, of the films Cute Girl, Time to Live A Time to Die, A City of Sadness, The Puppetmaster, Flowers of Shanghai, Café Lumière previously. The script is by T'ien-wen Chu, adapted from a story by Pei Xing. This premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where Hsiao-hsian won Best Director, and Lim Giong won Best Soundtrack. The Assassin opens in US theaters October 16th.

Find more posts: Foreign Films, To Watch, Trailer




DAVIDPD on Sep 25, 2015



Quanah on Sep 26, 2015



ari smulders on Sep 26, 2015


It's beautiful cinema, all right. And the leading actress is astonishing. And I'll probably watch it, But, please, does Chinese culture not produce something else except those historical bloody dramas of sword and knives?

shiboleth on Sep 27, 2015


I actually read that it's a mandate in China. They won't let anyone make films that are not based on their history and their culture's history. So, if you want to make a movie in China, it HAS to be about that or you will get into big big trouble. The mandates they have on their work there are crazy, yet that's where so much money is (in terms of people willing to see movies) that so much is being made over there.

Alex Billington on Sep 27, 2015


From time to time, you can sense things like mandatory work. I had a very unfounded hunch about it. But I also believed they were also just chasing the money. But, on the end of the day, I mostly hoped for some other kind of films that could be discerned out of that plenitude of same narratives. Sadly, I'm wrong. Thank you for your answer ...

shiboleth on Sep 27, 2015


However - let's not forget this film is from Taiwan. 😉 Not China.

Alex Billington on Sep 27, 2015


i was going to say the same thing, modern China is not so creative. Good at reproducing things, but not inventive.

Carpola on Sep 27, 2015


While yes, it is true that you see the movements more explicitly in Taiwan and Hong Kong (or Chinese filmmakers producing films elsewhere) due to censorship by the PRC: I wonder if it's that Chinese culture is only capable of producing historical bloody dramas of swords and knives, or if it's that the bulk of American (maybe even "Western" or global) readership intuitively associates "swords and knives" with the most "exciting" parts of Chinese culture- so in turn Chinese films like Stray Dogs, or even In the Mood For Love, Millenium Mambo and Eat Drink Man Woman (and other well-known films by the Hong Kong mainstream arthouse or the Taiwanese New Wave) don't get the distribution, media coverage or indeed consumer interest "sword and knives" dramas do? If you have genuine interest in other sorts of films, they are out there for you to find with relative ease, from many, many cultural backgrounds. The problem is that many people don't, which is fine, but its unfair to claim an entire culture is stagnant when it may truly be a function of the popular tastes and limits of foreign curiosity in your own culture that determine your exposure. Also of note: As mentioned by Alex, the filmmaker is Taiwanese, outside the influence of any censorship and contrary to the way the trailer is cut, early buzz for the film indicates it is on the whole quite meditative, more of an artsy chamber piece than the tightly wound visceral thriller you might imagine- again a function of the distributor trying to pander to the lowest common denominator, (understandably) hoping to appeal to what American audiences apparently like.

JGambardella on Sep 28, 2015


I have to thank you on this. While I don't really feel to be addressee of all mentioned, I really appreciate it. But there are some of my lapses in the process, too. Like that one about that this film is also Taiwanese. I thought, I shouldn't bother correcting myself that for Alex, but only acknowledge it with 'like'. My bad, I should, since, sorry for that, I oversaw it. Never mind, you corrected it. As for the rest, I also can mostly agree. And I did see some of the movies mentioned. And some others. It is my strong believe, judging from watching such films, that other kind of cinema narrative is possible there. And that is understatement. In fact, it's (the other kind of cinema) not stressed enough. And that's very intention of my first post. I'm not thinking at all that such culture as Chinese (or Taiwanese for that matter - hey, Ang Lee is coming from there) is stagnant. I reach for some of those films, here, in Europe, through other means - festivals or through other channels) and that is the reason why I am, hopefully not too much, sometimes 'grumpy' about one dimensional approach in the media. Although, I must admit, this site, even if it is American, really does a great job representing some fresh films outside of US. Once again, thanks for your post. Very nice and thoughtful remark ...

shiboleth on Sep 28, 2015


Have you not yet seen Raise the Red Lantern, or To Live, or Eat Drink Man Woman, or Chungking Express? Please do so before you even attempt to generalize about a quarter of the contemporary human race.

laustcoz on Mar 4, 2016


But I have. Ang Lee and some others whose movies I saw and am willing to see more of it. Come on, let's not be narrow minded, those are the assumptions I take before commenting and the reason for what I've said... But then again, when I think of it, that doesn't mean you're wrong either since a lot of people haven't watched more than movies that are mentioned above ... Thank you for your comment ...

shiboleth on Mar 5, 2016


How about Kungfu Hustle? If that sort of over-the-top comedy appeals, you should also see Journey to the West from Stephen Chow--a very wild take-off on the classic legends.

laustcoz on Mar 5, 2016


With a 4000 year written history, and a lot of it seems the same to us, it's no wonder some North Americans are confused. It has nothing to do with being or not being creative. Most North American movies are based on the last couple hundred years...

Bill on Sep 28, 2015

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