“The Assassin” has already won the prestigious Best Director award from Cannes Film Festival this year and it appears as though it’s just warming up. Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien has created a version of traditional Chinese martial arts films that focus on wuxia, or swordplay. The story follows a young, female assassin who returns from an exile of 13 years with orders to kill her future husband in ninth century China.
The film has already gained much support, both domestically and abroad. So much so that Taiwan’s Minister of Culture has already made the decision that “The Assassin” will serve as Taiwan’s entry for Best Picture at the Academy Awards later this year.
“‘The Assassin’ was selected because the film’s technical aspect has reached a pinnacle,” the minister said in a statement. “The film conveys a classical atmosphere and humanity through its cinematography, lighting, art direction and character modeling.”
The cinematography is outstanding for this project and enhances the combat sequences for the audience members. While much of that is due to Hou’s skill as a director, part of the appeal is the masterful choreography. By incorporating martial arts into his film so effectively with beautiful cinematography, critics agree that Hou has created what could be the best martial arts film in years.