Thursday, September 14, 2006

Notes on some Asian films

Quick entry..
Recently seen :

China :
- Baober in Love (Li Shaohong, 2004) with Zhou Xun, Huang Jue...
A married bored salaryman unexpectedly finds true love and passion in an egnimatic, crazy but beautiful woman, Baober....
Starting like a light romantic tale, the film turns into a darker psychological drama dealing with Baober's past and memories, almost as as if it were two different movies. Visually excessive (too many effects, overdose of colours, fast-editing), if the sub-subject of this movie is also to show the massive changes of China today, the excess of camera works and visual effects makes the characters too superficial and the point too unclear. Good performance from Zhou Xun though.

HK :
- The Longest Summer (Fruit Chan, 1998) with Sam Lee, Tony Ho...
The longest summer is the 1997 summer, the summer of the handover of HK to People's Republic of China. Another story on HK by Fruit Chan (this is the second of the trilogy which includes Made in Hong Kong and Little Cheung), the film follows a group of soldiers, who after losing their job in the British Forces Overseas Hong Kong, decides to set up a robbery. The film focuses on two brothers Sam Lee, the younger one who introduces them into the triad gang and Tony Ho (the ex-soldier), capturing a sense of disjunction, loss of marks and alienation. The end reminds me of Taxi Driver. Recommended, but Made in Hong Kong is still my favourite.
Other post on Fruit Chan.

- A Fishy Story (Anthony Chan, 1989) with Maggie Cheung, Kenny Bee...
A suprising and refreshing love story set in the 60s with an historical backround inspired by the riots in HK in 1967 after the Cultural Revolution in Mainland China. Maggie Cheung plays a fresh, young aspiring movie star who is moving in a flat whose neighbour is an unlicensed taxi-driver (Kenny Bee).
Entertaining, well directed, and as usual it's always a pleasure to see Maggie Cheung!
This movie won some awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 1990 : Best Actress (Maggie Cheung), Best Cinematography (Peter Pau), Best Art Direction (Szeto Wai Yung).

South Korea :
- Public Ennemy (Kang Woo-Suk, 2002) with Sol Kyung-gu, Lee Sung-jae...
A good solid dark thriller. Well acted.

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