Hou Chi-Jan

Hou Chi-Jan

When Hou Chi-Jan was just a kid he saw Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple (1985) and it changed his life. “It made me realize that movies could be so touching,” he says. This love of the sensitive and tasteful Oprah Winfrey/Whoopi Goldberg vehicle sent him sneaking into Taipei’s infamous MTV/U2 rooms. These clubs boomed in the 90’s, providing private DVD or laserdisc rooms where fans could watch movies, drug users could shoot up, and hookers could practice their trade. Skipping school, Hou became a VIP member of clubs with names like “Happy Times” and “Crazy Horse.” He went to grad school at National Chenchi University where his thesis project was the documentary Stardust 15479001. After graduation, he worked as a festival programmer and film critic, but when Stardust 15479001 won the Grand Prize at the Taipei International Film Festival, he channeled the prize money into his next project, Taiwan Black Movies (2005). While working at the Chinese Taipei Film Archive he had found a stack of Taiwanese exploitation movies on VHS and become fascinated. Spending over 18 months on research alone, he tracked prints from private collectors to drive-in theater operators, and the result was the documentary Taiwan Black Movies which has screened all over the world and was nominated for a Golden Horse award. His first feature film was the supernatural romance One Day (2010), and his latest is the box office hit, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep (2012).