Hong Kong

Ann Hui – Woo Yuet dik goo si AKA The Story of Woo Viet (1981)

Quote:
Hong Kong, 1980. The Vietnam War has been over for five years and the ethnic cleansing of Chinese has begun. As the “boat people”, refugees of Vietnam, flood out of the country, Hong Kong becomes know as “port of first asylum”. Among these boats is Wu Yiet (Chow Yun-Fat), a former South Vietnamese soldier still recovering from the ravages of war. For him, Hong Kong is the first step for life in the United States, and he soon falls for fellow immigrant Sum Ching (Cherie Chung). Yet the promise of a new beginning doesn’t come easy: the refugee camps have been infiltrated by murderous Viet Cong agents, and an act of violence forces Wu Yiet on the run and deeper into a vortex of crime and brutality. Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Ying xiong AKA Hero [Director’s Cut] (2002)

Quote:
In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin’s three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory. Read More »

Yue Lu – Zhao xiansheng AKA Mr. Zhao (1998)

From the Chicago Reader
A watershed in the history of Chinese cinema, this first feature (1998) directed by Lu Yue–the remarkable cinematographer of Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl and several recent features of Zhang Yimou, including Shanghai Triad–is an eye-opening comedy about adultery in contemporary Shanghai. Much of the dialogue is improvised by the talented actors–Shi Jingming as the husband, a professor of traditional Chinese medicine; Zhang Zhihua as his factory-worker wife; and Chen Yinan as his mistress and former student–and both the shooting style and the emotional directness of the performances suggest the filmmaking of John Cassavetes. Read More »

Kar-Wai Wong – Dung che sai duk AKA Ashes of Time Redux (1994)

Two years after forming his own production company, Jet Tone, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai released ASHES OF TIME, a martial-arts epic based on THE EAGLE-SHOOTING HEROES, a series of novels by Louis Cha writing under the pseudonym Jin Yong. The film was set in jianghu, an imaginary world with its own views of good and evil. In 2008, unhappy with the many alternate versions of ASHES OF TIME available, Wong reedited and restored the film, working with the original negative and soundtrack, which were in severe disrepair. The new version, called ASHES OF TIME REDUX, which screened at such prestigious international gatherings as the Cannes, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals, is a breathtaking example of Wong’s masterly storytelling technique, combined with the stunning cinematography of Christopher Doyle and gorgeous new cello solos recorded by Yo-Yo Ma. Read More »

Herman Yau – Zhong Huan ying xiong AKA Don’t Fool Me (1991)

Plot / Synopsis
Two friends, Hero Hwa and Chiang Ho-Chie star are two old friends who meet up in later life. Hwa is a triad gang member and Ho-Chie is an insurance salesman, Hero is looking for a career change and Ho-Chie has become disillusioned with life after discovering he has a “bubble” in his brain that could burst at any time killing him. The two decide to switch lives for a bit with the Triad going respectable and the Insurance Salesman taking on the world of the Triads. Read More »

Wei Lo – Bing tian xia nu AKA Vengeance of a Snowgirl (1971)

Synopsis:
The head-slicing Snow Maid heroine is enraged after she learns that her mother has been raped by a gang of thugs. The vengeful woman picks up her sword and seeks out the notorious Golden Hair Mouse for high-flying, hard-hitting revenge. Read More »

Kar-Wai Wong – Hua yang de nian hua (2000)

HUA YANG DE NIAN HUA, a fascinating 2m 28s montage of images Wong kar-wai pulled from a number of vintage Chinese features, most of which were considered lost until some nitrate prints were discovered in a California warehouse during the 1990s. Focusing on the popular actresses of the time, the short’s lovely vintage costumes and imagery perfectly compliment the look and feel of the main feature. Unfortunately, the transfer (provided to Criterion by Wong’s company, Block 2 Pictures) is framed too tightly on top, bisecting a number of heads. Read More »