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The early films of Wong Kar-wai  

As Tears Go By

MA 15+
Hong Kong, 1988
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller, Crime, Romance
Language: Cantonese
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Starring: Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, Jacky Cheung, Alex Man, Ronald Wong Ban, Wong Aau, Wong Kim-Fung
What’s it about?
Wong Kar-wai’s hypnotic debut feature is an edgy and romantic thriller that features the dreamy style that fast become his masterful trademark. Set within Hong Kong’s brutal fluorescent underworld, Andy Lau plays a low-level gangster, torn between a fledgling romance (with Maggie Cheung, who went on to be a frequent collaborator with her director, in a series of iconic performances) and his bonds to his reckless partner in crime (Jacky Cheung). The film is a whirl of violence and romance, and its success with critics and audiences alike, marked the assured debut of a director to watch.

 

Days of Being Wild

M
Hong Kong, 1990
Genre: Drama, Crime, Romance
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Director: Wong Kar Wai
Starring: Carina Lau, Rebecca Pan, Andy Lau, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung
What’s it about?
Wong Kar-wai’s ‘sophomore’ effort made good on the promise of As Tears Go By, and is a swoony existential precursor to the exquisite In The Mood For Love and 2046, not least as it marks his first collaboration with DOP Christopher Doyle and with Tony Leung (in a small role). In the ’60s, an aloof playboy Yuddy (Leslie Cheung) leaves a trail of broken hearts in his wake, among them Su (Maggie Cheung). The push and pull of their desire and the detachment, sets them on a turbulent course. 


 

The Infernal Affairs trilogy 

One of the definitive gangster stories, the Infernal Affairs trilogy explores themes of identity and allegiance that go well beyond mere Good vs Evil, and in ways that are deeply enmeshed in Hong Kong’s own identity struggles. The film tells of an undercover cop (Tony Leung) and a mafia mole (Andy Lau), both of them in deep, deep cover. Both men are embedded with the ‘enemy’ at a young age, and the film charts their risky rise through the ranks, as they glean vital intelligence for their (actual) higher ups. The smash hit spawned both a prequel and a sequel and an Oscar-winning Hollywood remake (The Departed). 

Infernal Affairs  

M
Hong Kong, 2002
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller, Crime, Mystery
Language: Chinese, Thai,
Director: Andrew Lau, Alan Mak
Starring: Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng

Infernal Affairs Review

Infernal Affairs 2

MA15+
Hong Kong, 2003
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Action
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai
Director: Andrew Lau
Starring: Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Carina Lau, Shawn Yue, Edison Chen

Infernal Affairs 3

M
Hong Kong, 2000
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime, Action
Language: Cantonese
Director: Andrew Lau
Starring: Tony Leung, Andy Lau


 

Bruce Lee collection

 

The Big Boss

M
Hong Kong, 1971
Genre: Action, Martial Arts
Language: Cantonese
Director: Lo Wei
Starring: Bruce Lee
What’s it about?
AKA Enter a legend. Bruce Lee triumphantly returned to Hong Kong after a decade in the States, and set the standard of the kung-fu genre, with unparalleled speed, power and agility. He is mesmerising as Cheng, who swears an oath of non-violence to his mother, as he sets off for Thailand to live with extended family. His resolve is tested, repeatedly, when he goes to work in the local icehouse for an abusive overseer. When the abuse turns fatal for his family, Cheng breaks his promise and breaks out those furious fists and feet. 

 

Fist of Fury

M
Hong Kong, 1972
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Action
Language: English, Cantonese
Director: Lo Wei
Starring: Bruce Lee
What’s it about?
A spectacular follow-up to The Big Boss, Kung Fu pupil Chen Zhen returns to Shanghai of the 1910s, to avenge the murder of beloved teacher’ by a rival dojo. The film, and its anti-colonial sentiment,  elevated Lee to the status of national hero.

The Way of the Dragon

M
Hong Kong, 1972
Genre: Action, Crime
Language: Cantonese
Director: Bruce Lee
Starring: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, Chuck Norris, Wei Ping-ao, Huang Chung-Hsin, Robert Wall
What’s it about?
By now a bona fide international superstar, Lee turned his talents to directing, and took his show on the road: to Rome. There’s a storyline about gangsters shaking down local restauranteurs, but we all know that we’re in Rome for one reason and one reason only: to witness Bruce Lee square off against Chuck Norris in an gladiatorial fight to the death at the Colosseum.  

 

Game of Death

M
Hong Kong, 1978
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime, Action
Language: English
Director: Robert Clouse
Starring: Dean Jagger, Chuck Norris, Robert Wall, Bruce Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
What’s it about?
Released posthumously some five years after Lee’s untimely death, Game Of Death sees him play a movie star who fakes his death to weed out an actual assassination plot. The film was pieced together from the footage of an unfinished film, body doubles, and archival footage. The film includes classic footage of Lee fighting basketballer Kareem Abdul Jabar and nunchaku expert Dan Inosanto. And that jumpsuit. 

 

 



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