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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
hong kong cinema
    #965424 - 10/16/02 08:53 AM (14 years, 10 months ago)

i used to go to the chinatown cinema once a week to see 3 hongkong movies for $8. usually, one action, one comedy, one kung fu, sometimes comedy/porn or kungfu/porn, very soft.
the late 80's were something of a cinematic pinnacle for the hongkong film industry, after directing films and refining their craft since the pulp kungfu flicks of the 70's, some directors and actors started putting out the best movies of their genres.
other factors involved were the booming pre-crash economy and a party-hard attitude in the last few years of 'freedom' before the british relinquished control to china.
john woo and chou yun fatt did a series of action films together - a better tomorrow (1,2), bullet in the head, the killers and what must be the definitive hongkong gangster movie - hardboiled. completely over the top and a ridiculously high death toll.
tsui hark hit a peak with his jet li movies, which i guess are very well known - once upon a time in china, also his chinese ghost story series are very beautiful to watch.
2 other guys to check out are samo hung and yuan biao, they grew up with jackie chan and have acted in many of his movies.
samo hung started his career as bruce lee's sparring partner in the opening scenes of enter the dragon. he has also been in a few jet li films and directed and acted in several of his own, a classic is zu-warriors from magic mountain.
yuan biao did a h.k. copy of 'highlander', much better too!



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Offlinefrogsheath
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Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 915
Loc: Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
Last seen: 2 years, 2 months
Re: hong kong cinema [Re: mr crisper]
    #967648 - 10/17/02 01:15 AM (14 years, 10 months ago)

Though I'm not a devotee of Hong Kong cinema, I've seen a handful of John Woo films --most of the ones you mentioned.  Woo can choreograph violence into something else altogether.  He also has a great sense of humor.  I love that scene in Hard Boiled when, during a huge gunbattle in a hospital maternity ward, Chou Yun Fat's character takes it upon himself to stuff cotton in all the babies' ears so they won't hear the gunfire --brilliant!  I need to check out some of those other guys you mentioned.  Thanks.  BTW, ever hear of a Japanese filmmaker named Seijun Suzuki?  He was blackballed from Japanese cinema for being "too surrealistic"!  I can't remember the name of the film I saw right now but I rented it at a video store --Die to Kill or something like that (better than that obviously) --I'll try to remember and put it here.  Very very cool.  :laugh: 
"Branded to Kill" is the title I saw.  It's a Yakuza film shot in B/W (from the 60's I believe).  You can watch it without even reading the subtitles and still enjoy it --it's got so many cool graphic scenes.  Actually, I think it's dubbed in English.  I just did a search and it's available on dvd now from the Criterion collection.


Edited by frogsheath (10/17/02 03:19 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: hong kong cinema [Re: mr crisper]
    #968827 - 10/17/02 01:35 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

OH MY GOD!
I probably sat behind you at some of those "Porntoons" Was that You? I couldnt see you hands.... :cool:

I used to LOVE those chinese movie houses.
I would see 2 flix for 5 bucks, and get a little dim sum bucket and spend the afternoon in there. It was great. havent been in a while. Although I was not into the Action Flicks
I was siting ther crying into my 'Cats Paws' about the horrific treatment of the women of China and the Labor atrocitoies in the Country. So much wrong over there, yet I still find the Land exotic and alluring. I will go to China before I die. but I hope they get their shit together first. - OoD 


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: hong kong cinema [Re: frogsheath]
    #969054 - 10/17/02 02:35 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

i havent heard of s.suzuki, guess i should get beyond kurosawa and manga. i live in japan and enjoy the odd b/w afternoon samurai movie, but i never know who is the director, often see the same actors tho. i get the feeling the spag westerns copied the style of these movies, lots of close-ups of angry faces and grunty noises. :mad: 


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: hong kong cinema [Re: Anonymous]
    #969115 - 10/17/02 02:52 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

i think anything that moves cops it pretty bad in china.
its worth visiting not for pleasure but for the huge number of memorable experiences you will endure...umm enjoy.
i studied there for a year, strangely hongkong films were banned, but people set up tents with a tv and video inside and let viewers in, to watch imported movies, for a few yuan. at the theaters were state-approved films only, brave soldiers n all. best were the documentaries before the feature, one was on open heart surgery. they had this guy opened up and were scrounging around inside. meanwhile the windows were wide open, cos its summer and no aircon, and a dirty great diesel truck was parked outside with its engine running. the patient made a full recovery.
common prime time tv was the 1974 asian games, i was there in 93. guess things must be totally different by now.


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: hong kong cinema [Re: frogsheath]
    #969122 - 10/17/02 02:54 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

btw - did you know john woo is the bartender in hardboiled, always giving advice to mr fatt (do they call him that).


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Anonymous

Re: hong kong cinema [Re: mr crisper]
    #969138 - 10/17/02 02:59 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

i think anything that moves cops it pretty bad in china.  :frown:
I had a friend from China - what his parents went thorugh to get him and their 5 kids here would make a stone cry.

And, I dont know how diffrent things are.  China went Red again, no? -OoD




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Offlinefrogsheath
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Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 915
Loc: Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
Last seen: 2 years, 2 months
Re: hong kong cinema [Re: mr crisper]
    #969149 - 10/17/02 03:02 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I'm no authority on Japanese Cinema --I actually need to get to Kurasawa yet --but I really enjoyed "Branded to Kill".  I have seen an Ozu (sp?) which I liked too about growing up in Tokyo.  You mentioned the spaghetti westerns --those are cool (I'm a big fan of Ennio Morricone, the composer).  I'll bet you're right about the style being lifted from Japan.  An interesting side note --the Jamaicans were so enamoured with spaghetti westerns (and Clint Eastwood in particular), in their moviehouses, that a new style of reggae was developed on spaghetti western themes in the early seventies.  I'm thinking about delving deeper into some Japanese cinema now. :laugh: 


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: hong kong cinema [Re: Anonymous]
    #969220 - 10/17/02 03:17 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

i saw a lot of violence there, literally every week i would see a streetfight or cop/s pounding the shit out of someone. the dormitory i lived in had armed guards patrolling.
i met a lot of african students who were attacked in race riots at chinese universities, thousands of chinese surrounded them and pelted them with bricks and furniture, some were killed, others crippled.
my professors told me how they were just early teens during the cultural revolution and they went around killing all their teachers, after this they were all sent to the desert for re-education, at times living on animal shit and sawdust.
i ate dog, cat, rat, frog, 3 kinds of snake, bear, deer, hedgehog, lizards, worms, cockroaches .......but i knocked back the dried human placenta.


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