A Summer at Grandpa’s
Dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien. 1984, 93 mins. 35mm. With Wang Chi-kuang, Li Shu-chen, Ku Chun.
The first entry in Hou’s coming-of-age trilogy, A Summer at Grandpa’s was inspired by the childhood memories of his screenwriter Chu Tien-wen, an invaluable new collaborator. When four-year-old Ting-ting and eleven-year-old Tung-tung’s mother goes into the hospital, they are packed off to spend the summer with her father, a country doctor. Scenes of pastoral, bucolic idyll are combined with indications of a darker side to country life, including roadside robberies, sexual assaults and shotgun weddings. “The child’s slow education becomes an allegory for the process of gradual understanding in which the viewer engages.” –Reverse Shot
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