Tag Archives: Chi-Heng Su

Thinking Aloud About Film: Encounter at the Station (Hsin Chi, Taiwan, 1965)

Encounter at the Station (Taiwan, 1965) is the last of the 5 Hsin Chi films programmed by the Anthology Film Archives in New York and available for all to see for free until November 30. It is a melodrama in the truest sense, music plus drama, with songs narrating or underlining the action at almost every moment. And what action! The film takes on every melodramatic trope possible and when you think it can’t get any more extreme it surprises you by going even further still. A young high school student falls in love with a boy at the station. On her deathbed her mother reveals to her that she is really adopted and to beware of the stepfather. And for good reason, as soon as the mother dies, he sells the young girl to a nightclub to pay for the mother’s funeral. Her love surprises her at the club and buys her out. But it’s no good, her secret’s revealed and she will be forever a B-girl. People have to give up their children, some go blind, some go mad. It’s never boring. We discuss all of this and more in the podcast below:

The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2zWZ7Egdy6xPCwHPHlOOaT

and on itunes here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/first-impressions-thinking-aloud-about-film/id1548559546

The Anthology Film Archive introduces the retrospective as follows:

5 FILMS BY HSIN CHI (Nov 17-30, 2021)

Last December, Anthology presented an online series – “Taiwan B-Movies” – in collaboration with the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (TFAI) and the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York. That series showcased several films restored by the TFAI as part of their ambitious and vitally important efforts to preserve Taiwanese Cinema, including those that fall under the category of Taiyu Pian: Taiwanese-language films produced between 195581, in which the characters speak only Taiwanese (i.e., Taiwanese Minnan or Hokkien) despite their various backgrounds in the story. During the heyday of this vibrant local film industry, over 1,000 films were produced, but less than 200 have survived. Since 2014, TFAI has endeavored to restore some of these Taiwanese-language gems. As a follow-up to “Taiwan B-Movies”, and in order to continue to celebrate the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute’s preservation efforts, we present another online series devoted to the Taiyu Pian filmmaker HSIN Chi (aka XIN Qi). Born in the Wanhua District of Taipei in 1924, HSIN moved to Japan at the start of the 1940s, where he developed an early interest in theater and cinema. When he returned to Taiwan, he was active in the theater, but in 1956 embarked on a career in filmmaking. During the next two decades he would direct or produce upwards of 90 films – including more than 50 Taiwanese Hokkien-language films – in nearly every imaginable genre: from romances and screwball comedies to crime films, thrillers, and wuxia, not to mention Taiwanese opera and even softcore pornography. Tragically, only eight of these films survive, but several continue to enjoy a cult following in Taiwan to this day. Following the decline of Taiyu Pian cinema in Taiwan in the late 1960s, HSIN turned to making Mandarin-language films, including in Hong Kong, before transitioning into a long and productive career in the television industry. He retired from filmmaking in the 1990s and turned his attention to film preservation and archiving. In 2000, HSIN was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Horse Awards. His work remains little known here in the U.S., however – a situation we hope to remedy with this online film series. This online film series has been organized in collaboration with the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (TFAI), and is presented with generous support from the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York. For more information about HSIN Chi, including special video introductions and newly translated articles, click here: http://anthologyfilmarchives.org/film_screenings/hsin_chi

We have now podcast on all the films screened. The podcasts can be listened to here:

The Bride Who Returned From Hell (Hsin Chi, 1965)

Foolish Bride, Naive Bridegroom (Hsin Chi, 1967)

Dangerous Youth (Hsin Chi, 1969)

The Rice Dumpling Vendors (Hsin Chi, 1969)

Along with the films, Anthology Film Archives also offers various introductions to the films by prominent scholars such as Chi-Heng Su and Wan-Jui Wang


Clips illustrating the film’s melodramatic mode can be seen below, the latter one fully musical:

José Arroyo