Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin - Martial Arthouse on Screen

This movie is hands down the slowest film I’ve ever seen - which is also where its magic lies. If you long to travel to a different time and space with beautiful landscapes, people who wear colorful dresses, and enigmatic music, The Assassin will do the trick. Just keep in mind you might fall asleep along the journey.

If, however, you came to see an action-packed martial arts piece you’ll be disappointed - this movie is practically gore- and blood-free.

The absence of violence - pacifism - is, at the same time, the core statement of The Assassin.

All in all, it’s a highly unusual cinematic experience that can transport you into an almost meditative state.

If it leaves you as bewildered as it did me and you desperately search for answers, I recommend this cheat sheet.

Also, this is an interesting (albeit similarly unusual) interview with director Hou Hsiao Hsien.