The base unit of any film is the shot. Each and every shot is giving the audience a specific piece of information. Ideally, the camera is placed at exactly the right angle with exactly the right lens to get that piece of information across. And the next shot does the same. And so on. And so on. Eventually there is a scene and with enough scenes you get a movie. Thanks to the extremely deliberate pacing Hou Hsiao-Hsein employs here, we are able to appreciate each shot and scene as a unique creation unto itself. Some are black and white but most are color. Most are 1.33:1 but a few are 1.85:1. Each individual unit is exactly what it needs to be. And due to their diversity, many end up enhancing the others. The black and white really makes the color stand out and the wider screen portion makes you very aware of the boxier framed remainder. Yet unlike so many other films which employ such devices, rather than pushing you away from the film, here they bring you in closer. You will not find a more beautiful film any time soon. Oh, and it's an action film.