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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #23. Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin

The Assassin

Director(s): Hou Hsiao-Hsien // Writer(s): Hou Hsiao-Hsien

T’ien-wen Chu Chinese auteur Hou Hsiao-Hsien has been steadily working since the early 1980’s, coming to great international acclaim in the 1990’s, winning the Jury Prize at Cannes for 1993’s The Puppermaster. His 1996 film Goodbye South, Goodbye was named by Cahiers du Cinema as one of the three best films of the 1990s, while his last completed feature was 2007’s Flight of the Red Balloon, starring Juliette Binoche. But it looks like, after years of waiting, 2015 will see the release of his martial arts epic, The Assassin. A project long in gestation, with initial scenes filming as way back as 2010, production on Hou Hsiao-Hsien casts his usual muse Shu Qi. Based on a short story, this about a female assassin during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) who begins to question her loyalties when she falls in love with one of her targets.

Cast: Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Ethan Ruan, Nikki Hsieh, Ni Dahong, Zhang Shijun, Michael Chang, Jiang Wen, Zuo Xiaoqing, Xu Fan, Tadanobu Asano, Zhou Yunin

Producer: Wen-Ying Huang (Three Times)

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available.

Release Date: Predicted as being a contender in the line-up back in 2014, we’re pegging it for 2015’s Main Competition at Cannes.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.


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