New Asian Currents [TAIWAN]

Hard Good Life

- TAIWAN / 2003 / Taiwanese, Mandarin / Color / Video / 43 min

Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Sound, Producer: Hsu Hui-ju
Production Company, Source: Cine Boxer Studio
3F, No. 39, Kwang-Fu Road, San-Ming DistrictKaohsiung City TAIWAN
Phone: 886-92-1027740
E-mail: cine_boxer@yahoo.com.tw

An elderly man cooks himself some noodles and eats them straight from the pot while watching TV by himself. He dozes off at his job as a security guard. Alone since the death of his wife, the father’s daily life is filmed by his daughter. While turning her gaze on ordinary things like garbage, keys, puppies, flies and lizards, we can almost sense the strong smells of summer and the sound of thunder at night. Suddenly, the father turns and waves to us. The father-daughter bond is expressed here in very few words.

-[Director’s Statement] Hard Good Life is a document of the almost wordless relationship between my father and me. Though there is hardly any dialogue throughout the whole film and it seems that there’s no communication between our lives, the editing process connected us to one another, and something like tolerance and harmony forms, although we are by nature not so close. The situation of each life emerges—lonely, but at the same time dependent on the other.

This film is trying to depict a kind of lifescape. Through the boring and repetitive but indispensable elements of the daily routine, after first accumulating the warmth and energy of life and eliminating trivial matters, it tries to see the pure relationship between one person and another, and between people and their surroundings.

In a truthful life, acting from one depressing and lonely day to another may not look like anything meaningful, but that is everything about life. Even if it’s not tasty, a meal which you cannot distinguish as meat, vegetables, noodles, or whatever, will at least fill you up for sure.

I suppose that is what it means to live.

- Hsu Hui-ju

Born in Taiwan, she is now a postgraduate student who has participated in making numerous documentaries and feature films. As an independent director/photographer, Hard Good Life is her second film.

• New Asian Currents | Sand and Water | Wellspring | Three-Five People | Homesick | The Circle’s Corner | The Maze of Lanes | Nee Engey—Where Are You | NEW (IMPROVED) DELHI—Director’s Cut | A Night of Prophecy | 150 Seconds Ago | The Ballad of Life | Noah’s Ark | The Old Man of Hara | Dandelion | Hibakusha—At the End of the World | 3rd Vol.2—2 Light House | And Thereafter | Dust Buries Sabuk | Family Project: House of a Father | Edit | Gina Kim’s Video Diary | Ordo | Her and Him Van Leo | The Big Durian | Perpetual Motion | Debris | Hard Good Life | Nail | The Rhythm in Wulu Village | A Short Journey • Jurors | Kim Dong-won | Kawase Naomi • New Asian Currents Special | Part 1 | Part 2