Posts tagged: Hong Kong
At Kaiju Shakedown, Hiroshi Fukazawa interviews director Ringo Lam. “Not as flashy as John Woo, never as hyperkinetic as Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam is one of Hong Kong’s most underappreciated directors. He made his name with sophisticated, downbeat crime dramas that came to define a certain style of urban Hong Kong cinema in the Eighties and early Nineties. After getting his start in television at CTV…
Patrick Lung Kong and Tsui Hark discuss their work together and Lung’s influential film, The Story Of A Discharged Prisoner (1967), during a retrospective of Lung’s work. ‘Protesters called “and said ‘Burn that film, burn it!’” Lung Kong said. The timing was off, with Hong Kong embroiled in riots, and demonstrators targeted a government official Lung Kong had invited to the premiere. “The…
The Comics Journal takes an in-depth look a Tony Wong Yuk-Long, Ma Wing-Shing and the massive Hong Kong comics publisher, Jademan Holdings Ltd., and Jademan in North America: “He is a showman, this Tony Wong–a real Stan Lee, though I would argue that he is more interesting than the American model.” (via Kaiju Shakedown).
This week Carol writes a little more about Hong Kong film, censorship and dissent.
Last month, I wrote about British (and a little pre-People’s Republic Chinese) censorship of Hong Kong movies and the ways that wuxia and kung fu movies in particular got around British control of political speech. And now, with wuxia and kung fu movies seemingly all nationalistic, dissent has creeped into the crime films, so this month I’m going to talk about the films of Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Wai Ka-Fai and their production company, Milkyway Image. Since 1997, Hong Kong crime films have been set in pre-Handover Hong Kong (or pre-1999 Macao) because doing otherwise would imply that there are crime problems after the Handover or in China. As if anything set before 1997 were only about 1997.
“While the 1950s were considered a tumultuous period of history for the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong was undergoing an incredible revitalization of literature and cinema, a period informally known as the Golden Age of Wuxia (武 侠), or martial arts fantasy.” Terence Hsieh has more on wuxia, wuxia novels and wuxia novelists at The Word Of Chinese.
"[W]hen I started watching Hong Kong movies (projected in their correct aspect ratios and with no unintentional decapitations), I started wondering why they came pre-subtitled. Chinese subtitles do automatically expand the market for Cantonese films beyond Cantonese-speaking communities. And English subtitles were nice for me. But it turns out that British colonial authorities wanted to keep an eye on Chinese film. In 1963, the Hong Kong Legislative Council passed a law requiring that all films be subtitled in English. (Stokes & Hoover, 25). The British had been concerned with the possiblity of film fomenting dissent and hostility towards Europeans since the beginning of the Chinese film industry, but between 1919 and 1963, Hong Kong censors had examined, cut, and banned thousands of films without necessarily understanding Cantonese or Mandarin."
(Thai poster for No One Can Touch Her (1979) via Kung Fu Movie Posters)