Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien born in Meixan (Canton), spent a great deal of his time as a teenager in the cinema, before going on to study film at the Taiwan National Arts University. After starting out as an assistant director, he made his first feature film Cute Girls in 1980. In 1984, with The Boys from Fengkuei, he established himself as the leader of the Taiwan New Wave. In competition at Locarno as early as 1985 with one of his first masterpieces, A Summer at Grandpa’s, Hou Hsiao Hsien was subsequently honoured with two screenings on the Piazza Grande, of A Time to Live, a Time to Die (1986) and The Puppetmaster (1993). Selected for competition in Cannes six times, Hou Hsiao Hsien’s films have always received great critical acclaim there. In 2004, he was invited by a Japanese studio to make a film in tribute to the filmmaker Ozu, and thus made Café Lumière which was shot in Tokyo.
This movie gives us a glimpse at life in northern Taiwan. The main person is Kao, a 37-years-old man who has constantly to solve problems created by his younger brother Flat Head and his girlfriend Pretzel. As a non-stop schemer, Kao devises a plan to raise money by trading subsidized pigs to the government for cash. The ruse works, but when the temperamental Flat Head antagonizes the wrong people, the two find themselves caught up in a dangerous game of corrupt politics. More