Another strong entry from HHH. The artistic success of Daughter of the Nile depends on one reoccurring image, the Ozu-like depth of field framed (by two sets of doors) living room and table of the Lin Yang character and her family. HHH is often far back enough to show two doors, the table, and the fish tank in the front right foreground of the frame. The formal structure of the film depends on this image and variations on it. Stunning work
From Jake Cole- Slant- “Throughout his 1987 film Daughter of the Nile, Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s compositions arrange walls, doors, and windows as frames within a frame, visually trapping characters under the weight of their relationships and responsibilities in order to mark how the passage of time changes the dynamics between characters, Hou recycles many of the same camera setups
Early on the screen is actually cut in half by a shadow- a gorgeous image
It’s a family drama and comment on the erosion of the youth (much like A Time To Live and a Time to Die) and Ozu. There’s generational conflict. The youth are disillusioned (in this way it plays like the second half of A Time to Live and a Time to Die after the father dies)— by a loss of identity that has political implications:– crime, the influence of the West (the daughter works at KFC, the movie A Room With a View in text) and Japan (watch from Japan, Anime comic, Walkman)—modern—80’s clothes, hair and club
Observational camera, static, longer takes, very few if any close-ups
Famous/infamous for the art-house fart jokes
The fish tank in frame and depth of field through the two sets of doors
Same grandpa actor as Dust in the Wind
A bit of Ozu’s love of signage- the “Pink House” bar
Again when we go back to that room at the end, after the tragic death of the brother and it’s empty- it’s devastating… and again the final shot she leaves
The title is about a fallen empire—Egypt destroyed by the influence of Rome – absolutely marvelous
Thanks for this. It prompts me to re-watch this entry in Hou’s catalogue.
@Derekbd — Do you have one that you think is the best? i just finished “The Puppetmaster”– working my way through. I still feel like “A Time to Live and a Time to Die” is pretty clearly the best.
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