Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

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The Fanciful Norwegian
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#251 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:01 am

John Woo dropped out because of health problems. Lam finished his segment and it's actually one of the two we know anything about: it's set in 2010 and stars Simon Yam and Mimi Kung as a longtime couple, with Lam's son Royce as their child. (The other segment we have some details on is Ann Hui's, which stars Sire Ma and involves the makeshift "rooftop schools" that emerged during the city's postwar population boom.) I have no idea why Cannes isn't crediting Lam, but given its special status as "Lam's legacy" (per a statement from Milkyway last year), I wonder if his contribution is being spun off in some way.

As for where these directors come down on recent events in Hong Kong, AFAIK none of them has said anything beyond vague expressions of concern, and indeed the chilling effect on the HK film industry has been so total that I'm not aware of any long-established directors publicly supporting the protests except for Evans Chan (who's never been too concerned about his commercial viability anyway) and Alfred Cheung. Certainly nobody who ever wants to work in the mainland again—or even just with mainland money—can speak out in support, with Anthony Wong and Chapman To serving as object lessons for anyone who might be considering it. Strategic silence is still an option for most, but the authorities increasingly seem to want more "proactive" steps to stay in their good graces; I'm thinking here of how Chasing Dream finally got its mainland release date less than a week after To stepped down as jury president for last year's Golden Horse Awards, which were boycotted by every major producer in Hong Kong under pressure from Beijing.

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J Wilson
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#252 Post by J Wilson » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:10 pm

How long is the usual turnaround for the Hong Kong Rescue discs? I ordered on 5/29 and haven't heard anything beyond the paypal receipt email.

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#253 Post by feihong » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:41 pm

It often takes a while. It's basically one guy doing all this.

I usually place the order, and the disc arrives right when I've forgotten I placed the order. I don't know what amount of time that is, precisely. But you might want to send an email to HKR and check at some point.

bad future
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#254 Post by bad future » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:21 am

I’m subscribed to their newsletter and they sent one on Saturday acknowledging shipping delays, citing COVID-related supplier issues that have since improved. “If you've been waiting on your order, rest assured that it will be arriving shortly.”

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#255 Post by feihong » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:21 am

I just got the Korean NOVA blu ray of Swordsman II. I really wasn't expecting it to look this good.

There is visible grain in all the low-light scenes, though the scenes in full daylight look a little softer. But I don't see the usual kind of DNR artifacts. But the picture looks clearer and brighter than I've ever seen it before. It's definitely from an HD source, and a lot of the time you can see that quite clearly.

Does anyone know if NOVA's disc of Swordsman I is similar, or is it the usual Fortune Star/NOVA upconvert? Swordsman I has always been the one I prefer of the two films (and The East is Red I saw once about 25 years ago and have not even mentioned once until today––very unremarkable). But it's probably an upconvert, no?

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barbarella satyricon
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:45 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#256 Post by barbarella satyricon » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:40 am

This person has posted (in Korean) something about the blu ray editions of all three films, though only with some bleary photos taken of their monitor/tv screen. Not a big help, obviously, and no specific technical comments as far as I can tell, but it might give a sense of how the actual thing looks?

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J Wilson
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#257 Post by J Wilson » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:14 am

feihong wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:41 pm
It often takes a while. It's basically one guy doing all this.

I usually place the order, and the disc arrives right when I've forgotten I placed the order. I don't know what amount of time that is, precisely. But you might want to send an email to HKR and check at some point.
bad future wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:21 am
I’m subscribed to their newsletter and they sent one on Saturday acknowledging shipping delays, citing COVID-related supplier issues that have since improved. “If you've been waiting on your order, rest assured that it will be arriving shortly.”
Sounds good. I kinda figured that was the case. Looking forward to getting them, whenever that is.

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#258 Post by feihong » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:13 pm

barbarella satyricon wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:40 am
This person has posted (in Korean) something about the blu ray editions of all three films, though only with some bleary photos taken of their monitor/tv screen. Not a big help, obviously, and no specific technical comments as far as I can tell, but it might give a sense of how the actual thing looks?
Thanks for that! Even though they're just photographing the screen, the latter two movies come off looking a lot better. I have the feeling Swordsman I is an upconvert. Too bad. I much prefer the casting in the first film, across the board, but Cheung Man especially. But I still have the HKL DVD, which I guess is probably a good enough way to see the movie.

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YnEoS
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:30 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#259 Post by YnEoS » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:17 am

LoveHKFilm.com finished posting the results of their Top 75 HK Films 2010s reader vote.

I had a few favorites that didn't make the list, but overall I think it turned out pretty well. I was most happy to see Peter Chan's Wu Xia in the top 5 over all the other Donnie Yen action flicks.

bad future
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#260 Post by bad future » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:19 pm

The Hong Kong Rescue release of Peking Opera Blues is on sale now after a lot of delays. No idea if their shipments are still backed up; has anyone gotten a delivery from them lately? Looking forward to getting this either way though; the film is already such a pleasure with the less than ideal releases so far, can’t wait to see what a picture and subtitle refinement does for it.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#261 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:04 pm

I ordered it, but don’t expect it anytime soon. I ordered Police Story III nearly a month ago ago and it has yet to arrive. I’m very excited to see the Tsui in HD, especially as I’ve been watching a lot of his work lately and I doubt his works will be available in better editions (happily clinging onto my laserdiscs).

cowboydan
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#262 Post by cowboydan » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:27 pm

I ordered Hard Boiled 2 months ago andit shipped next day. He mentioned in a newsleter that when he's on the final strech of finishing a release, he gets a littlr behind on shipping. But now that the release is done, he should have time to catch up on shipping.

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#263 Post by whaleallright » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:43 pm

Seems somehow inappropriate not to post this here, since we're witnessing the end of the Hong Kong that produced all the magnificent cinema discussed above.

"It [the law] marks the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before," said Mr Wong, after announcing he was quitting Demosisto.

"From now on, Hong Kong enters a new era of reign of terror, just like Taiwan's White Terror, with arbitrary prosecutions, black jails, secret trials, forced confessions, media clampdowns and political censorship.

"With sweeping powers and ill-defined law, the city will turn into a secret police state. Hong Kong protesters now face high possibilities of being extradited to China's courts for trials and life sentences."
Not that resisting Beiing would have paid off, but it's still remarkable how thoroughly Carrie Lam sold out her own people. Her name should forever live in ignominy.

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MitchPerrywinkle
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:26 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#264 Post by MitchPerrywinkle » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:21 am

Hi everybody!

I'm a student enrolled in a Programming and Curation grad school program and am currently formulating my grad project around a programme of Hong Kong "Tenement Films", primarily films set within housing projects structured around ban jian fang (baan gaan fong) which partitioned limited space for multiple families (some famous examples including Lee Tit's In the Face of Demolition, Chor Yuen's The House of 72 Tenants, and Jacob Cheung's Cageman). Right now my biggest challenge is actually finding some of these films with English subtitles and in decent digital copies (looking to present these films exclusively through streaming considering the volatile situation regarding cinemas re-opening), and quite a number of them have not received any kind of release in the west, as far as I can tell (apart from the festival circuit). Apart from the aforementioned titles, I'm also looking at:

The Dividing Wall (1952). Dirs: Chen Bai, Zhu Shilin

Save Your Water Supply (1954). Dir: Poon Bing-kuen

Backyard Adventures (1955). Dirs: Chan Pei, Ng Wui, Chu Kei

Rear Entrance (1960). Dir: Li Han-Hsiang

Lucky Seven (1970). Dir: Richard Yeung Kuen

The 82 Tenants (1982). Dir: Lee Pooi-Kuen

Gangs (1988). Dir: Lawrence Lau

If anyone has any tips for pointing me toward the potential UK rights-holders of these films, I'd greatly appreciate it! Some might be easier to figure out, like the Chor Yuen title (fairly certain Shaw Bros. hold the international rights), but others I'm having difficulty with due to the production companies which made them no longer exist (I'm hoping against hope I can find a semi-decent copy of the Lee Tit film since I've since it pop up on several lists of the greatest Hong Kong films of all time).

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#265 Post by feihong » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:07 pm

I don't know about UK rights–holders specifically, but The House of 72 Tenants and The 82 Tenants were released on DVD in HK by IVL, with English subtitles. Both are long out of print, but House of 72 Tenants is on ebay right now. Rear Entrance was also released by IVL in HK, with English subtitles. Celestial is the company that owns the rights to those films, at least in Hong Kong.

Lawrence Lau's 1988 film Gangs was one I was never able to find on video. I don't think it had a DVD release; I was never able to find it on VHS. There is a VHS tape of the follow-up film, Gangs '92. Lucky Seven is on Youtube in an English dub.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#266 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:03 pm

Gangs did get VCD and laserdisc releases and a copy of the latter is on YouTube. Unfortunately neither version had English subtitles.

Regarding the Shaw/Celestial titles, I've been able to get in touch with the rightsholders through distribution@celestialpictures.com.

The Dividing Wall and In the Face of Demolition are now with the Sil-Metropole Organisation, successor of the "left-wing" studios of the '50s and '60s. They also have Gangs and Cageman. Possible contact points (I haven't tried any of these myself) are information@silmetropole.com, request@silmetropole.com, and ashleyleung@silmetropole.com.

An unsubtitled DVD of Backyard Adventures was released in the mid-aughts by a company called Pearl City Video Ltd. (珠城錄像有限公司); the Hong Kong Companies Registry shows that they were still active as of last year, but I can't find any contact info. Pearl City has released titles from the Sil-Metropole library, including a subtitled VCD of In the Face of Demolition, so Sil-Metropole may be the owners of this film as well.

The Hong Kong Film Archive (hkfa@lcsd.gov.hk) has helped me out in the past with tracking down rightsholders, so it's worth reaching out to them. Be warned that In the Face of the Demolition is likely the only one of the '50s films on your list that exists with English subtitles.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#267 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:33 pm

Patrick Tam's Final Victory, scripted by Wong Kar Wai and produced by Sammo Hung, has been released in Hong Kong. I've wanted to purchase some more of these Panorama/Fortune Star Blu-rays, but I'm skeptical of the quality after being very disappointed by The Haunted Cop Shop, especially at the price I paid. It seems some releases like Robotrix may actually be full HD. I've tried to see as many of these Wong scripted films (even some of the limp Frankie Chan ones) and from my understanding, it seems Final Victory is a seminal one that looks forward to the films he would direct.

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YnEoS
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#268 Post by YnEoS » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:46 am

Working on an overhaul of the initial post so it will be a full fledged guide. Added a bunch to the books sections, and a few big threads and guides/posts from the lists project. Over the next few days I'll finish looking over individual books I forgot, adding the threads from all the DVD labels that have a space here, and any individual films or filmmakers that got their own topic, I'll also comb through this thread and link any in depth reviews. If anyone has any additional resources they think should be included or general ideas on formatting or whatever for how to make the guide more useful, feel free to DM me, although keep in mind it'll probably change a good amount over the next week or so.

If anyone feels like writing an in depth review on a specific film, or a guide to any specific topic (filmmaker, studio, genre, whatever) and doesn't have any other place to put it, feel free to drop it here, and I'll eventually link it to the initial post so everyone can easily find it and it won't get lost amid all the discussion. Multiple people approaching the same topic is also more than welcome. Also if you decide to do something Hong Kong related for a list project or another thread, DM me and it'll also be linked here.

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whaleallright
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#269 Post by whaleallright » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:09 pm

Curious if anyone's seen the blu-ray of Patrick Tam's My Heart Is That Eternal Rose. Just an upscale?

Of all the many English titles of HK films that sound unidiomatic and perhaps poorly translated, I think this is my favorite.

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feihong
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#270 Post by feihong » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:21 pm

Not an upscale. My Heart is That Eternal Rose is a full 1080p transfer, with no serious DNR at all. Like in other films with soft focus, the soft focus shooting in the beginning looks a little weird on blu ray, but after that it is sharp as a tack, with great grain throughout. It looks like one of the best transfers of a Hong Kong movie out there. The Tsui Hark-produced The Raid got the same treatment from CN entertainment, and their Wild Search disc looks pretty good, too.

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feihong
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema

#271 Post by feihong » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:30 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:33 pm
Patrick Tam's Final Victory, scripted by Wong Kar Wai and produced by Sammo Hung, has been released in Hong Kong. I've wanted to purchase some more of these Panorama/Fortune Star Blu-rays, but I'm skeptical of the quality after being very disappointed by The Haunted Cop Shop, especially at the price I paid. It seems some releases like Robotrix may actually be full HD. I've tried to see as many of these Wong scripted films (even some of the limp Frankie Chan ones) and from my understanding, it seems Final Victory is a seminal one that looks forward to the films he would direct.
Robotrix is full HD, and looks pretty good. Final Victory is an interesting indicator of where Wong would go as a director, too. I ordered the blu ray, and it has shipped. I'll post what I discover about it when it arrives. I have the Fortune Star DVD of Final Victory, but I'm hoping even though it's Fortune Stat/Panorama that the blu ray will be higher quality.

CN has a bunch of Mei Ah titles they are releasing. Like the Panorama discs some are full HD, some appear to be tampered with in some way. The CN disc of Victim looks like an upconvert, with heavy DNR. Full Contact looks better, but not great. Wild Search has genuine film grain and HD sharp picture for a lot of scenes, though not all. Then My Heart Is That Eternal Rose and The Raid are just full HD, with no noticeable DNR at all, beautiful transfers. I recall Mei Ah releasing "HD–ready" dvds towards the end of their run of releases; maybe they had some of their films scanned in hi-definition at that time? That's my guess, anyway. Someone probably has a better idea of how these things work.

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L.A.
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#272 Post by L.A. » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:10 pm

Robotrix is one of the coolest Hong Kong films that I have seen. Obvious Terminator and Robocop copy but successfully done :D. The old DVD from Legendary/Joy Sales looked pretty good if I recall. I’m going to order the Blu-ray.

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#273 Post by whaleallright » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:31 pm

Thanks for the info about the Patrick Tam Blu-Rays! (Of course, the moment after I posted my question, I realized you had addressed it above!) As usual, YesAsia doesn't seem to consistently stock everything I'm looking for (stuff seems to disappear from their inventory quickly), so I guess I'll get them on eBay unless somebody here has a recommendation for buying HK videos.

cowboydan
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:27 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#274 Post by cowboydan » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:23 am

whaleallright wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:31 pm
Thanks for the info about the Patrick Tam Blu-Rays! (Of course, the moment after I posted my question, I realized you had addressed it above!) As usual, YesAsia doesn't seem to consistently stock everything I'm looking for (stuff seems to disappear from their inventory quickly), so I guess I'll get them on eBay unless somebody here has a recommendation for buying HK videos.
Sorry if I'm misunderstanding your post, but are you under the impression that "My Heart is That Eternal Rose" is out of stock at Yesasia? Because they still have it.
non-US/NA link https://www.yesasia.com/global/my-heart ... /info.html
US/NA link https://www.yesasia.com/us/my-heart-is- ... /info.html

Some people prefer dddhouse and moviesuper because their prices are cheaper than Yesasia. In my experience Yesasia tends to stock more of the items that I'm looking for which includes Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese releases on top of Hong Kong releases. Unfortunately, Hong Kong post is temporary suspended, so dddhouse isn't operating. I'm not sure what moviesuper is doing right now. Yesasia have moved to using FedEx instead of HK Post. Even before HK post was suspended, HK post wasn't delivering to the US. So I made an order from dddhouse and moviesuper than both shipped by boat in June and I'm still waiting on those haha. But those were the only shops where I could find Region A Remastered "Throw Down" and the Macau set film "Isabella".

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feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#275 Post by feihong » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:31 am

I just ordered a DVD of Ringo Lam's Touch and Go, only to find that Vicol just released a blu-ray of the film. As far as I know, the Vicol releases so far have been full HD.

Between CN, Panorama and Vicol, it seems like a lot of lower-visibility HK cinema titles are being released on blu ray. I wonder what the odds are for some of the lesser-known and cultish movies of the 80s and 90s to get a release. I've been watching Cupid One, the Ringo Lam film. It's got an adorable performance by Sally Yeh, and a cute performance by Mark Cheng, too. I think it probably plays a lot better now than it did in the past. The Deltamac DVD sells now for about $50. I feel like the minute I buy it, Vicol or some company will announce a blu ray. Or...or it'll never come out on blu ray, and I'll have missed a "sweet" deal on an ultra–rare DVD. Weirdly, though it doesn't seem like this movie has too much to say (I'm watching it without subtitles, though it's pretty clear what's going on––this is a movie where the principle supporting cast consists of a single parrot; it plays very visually), I'm very struck by the way movies like this simply don't get made any more. It's a film where the focus is on regular people feeling emotions (albeit Sally Yeh's character seems to be very rich, but that's whatever in this context) about each other. It has contrivances––there's some hijinks and boat stuff––but it doesn't have any of the bullsh*t of modern-day movies––the insistent need for things to have to mean more, somehow with less human substance. I've read people say that Ringo Lam was better at action, but I think Ringo was just very good working with actors, bringing character motivations to the surface. It's a nice movie, where pretty people stare into one another's eyes and act not too very superficial (except when they're required to do so).It'd be nice to see its' like on blu ray, anyway.

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