Dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien. 1980, 90 mins. 35mm. With Kenny Bee, Feng Fei-fei. Hou’s directorial debut is in the style of light melodramatic romances then popular in Taiwan. Apastoral romp, Cute Girl is the first of two films that Hou would make co-starring two pop singers then at the height of their fame, Hong Kong’s Kenny Bee and Taiwan’s Feng Fei-fei. Bee, a surveyor preparing rural Taiwan for development, meets Feng, a city girl visiting family in the countryside, and the encounter disrupts her plans for marriage. Per film scholar David Bordwell, these are films that “show [Hou] developing, in almost casual ways, techniques of staging and shooting that will become his artistic hallmarks.”
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