>(for example, two of Hou's films are currently available only from >mail order from Cheng and Tsui in Boston),

Which two are these?  "Dust in the Wind" and "A Time to Live and a Time to Die" have been available in the US for a few years.  The Hong Kong DVD for "Flowers of Shanghai" (unfortunately time-compressed since it's from a PAL master) has shown up in some American stores, and there are also now import VCDs for most of his later films.  Supposedly everything from the recent travelling retro is coming out on tape & DVD later this year or early next year.


Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite