“Perhaps the most ravishingly beautiful film Hou has ever made” – Variety
In the dying days of the Tang Dynasty, lethal and mysterious assassin Nie Yinniang is charged with a mission to kill the governor of Weibo – the man to whom she was once betrothed. Spreading chaos through the court as she inches closer to her target, Nie finds herself torn between the demands of her heart and the impossible yoke of duty.
Renowned Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien (whose A City of Sadness also appears in this year’s program) reinvents the wuxia (martial arts) genre with The Assassin: an impeccably controlled exercise in serene contemplation, punctuated by bursts of visceral action. Offering a meditation on humanity and nature, The Assassin, winning Best Director at this year’s Cannes, is a triumph of sumptuous cinematography and hypnotic pacing.
Cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bing in attendance on 27 Nov.