Hong Kong

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 »

Ann Hui – Ji dao zhui zong AKA Zodiac Killers (1991)

PLOT SUMMARY
A group of idealistic Chinese students move into Toyko’s Shinjuku district to attend school in a more relaxed, less competitive setting. However, they soon find themselves inextricably embroiled in the Yakuza underworld with little hope of survival. Read More »

Yuen Chor – Chat sup yee ga fong hak AKA The House of 72 Tenants [+Extras] (1973)

Synopsis:
A group of people are crowded together in a crappy tenement slum. The place is ruled with an iron fist by its strict landlady, who along with her sleazy husband, tries to exploit their tenants in whatever way they see fit. Read More »

Wei Lo – Duan hun gu AKA Death Valley (1968)

Synopsis:
Lo Wei was twenty years into his notable career when he wrote, directed, and co-starred in this tale of a murdered lord, a hired killer who unknowingly becomes friends with his intended victim, a vicious bandit chief, a kind blind woman, and a death duel which explodes into an ambush and then a slaughter. Star Yueh Hua would go on to an exceptional acting career, while Lo himself would give both Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan their “big breaks.” Read More »

Peter Ho-Sun Chan – Tian mi mi AKA Comrades: Almost a Love Story (1996)

Synopsis:
Jun arrives in Hong Kong from mainland China, hoping to be able to earn enough money to marry his girlfriend back home. He meets the streetwise Qiao and they become friends. As friendship turns into love, problems develop, and although they seem meant for each other they somehow keep missing out. Read More »

Wei Lo – Du long tan AKA Dragon Swamp (1969)

In another one of Lo Wei’s excellent wuxia films, the powerful Jade Dragon Sword is stolen by the devious Tang Dachuan (Wong Chung-Shun). His plan involved the seduction of the owner’s daughter, Fan Ying (Cheng Pei-Pei), and when she is found and the sword recovered, she is banished to the Dragon Swamp for 20 years. Now, 20 years later the sword has been stolen again, and it is up to Master Fan of the Lingshan Clan (Lo Wei) to send his disciples out into the world to recover it. One of them is the daughter of Fan Ying (unknownst to her and again played by Cheng Pei-Pei) and she gets involved with the Roaming Knight (Yueh Hua) who happens to be searching for his long-lost love, Fan Ying. Together, they brave the Dragon Swamp in search for answers about the whereabouts of Fan Ying and possibly, the Jade Dragon Sword. Read More »

Siu Ming Tsui – Bong ju AKA The Gang Master (1982)

This is no street gang or gang of mobsters. It’s a Yuan Dynasty army, out to destroy the Hsien Lung “gang” of anti-Yuan revolutionaries. Their leader is the redoubtable Chen Kuan-tai, the real-life South-East Asian Chinese Martial Arts Tournament champion and master of “Monkey-King Split and Deflecting Arm” kung-fu, who must face paternal murder, brother against brother plots, and shocking discoveries that could change the course of history. Read More »