Dir. Chen Kun-hou. 1983, 100 mins. 35mm. With Doze Niu, Chang Chun-fang. The travails of Little Pi, an adolescent in 1950s Taiwan, are at the core of Growing Up, a film that initiated a meeting of minds vital to Taiwanese New Cinema. Little Pi’s experiences of young love and delinquency are narrated by a neighbor and classmate, a touch which suggests the unique perspective of the film’s screenwriting team: Hou and writer Chu Tien-wen, his close collaborator in years to come. Growing Up was Chu’s first venture into film, adapting her own novel, while director Chen Kun-hou was cinematographer on several of Hou’s early films, and a mentor of sorts. The rest, as they say, is film history.
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