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Film - "Made in Hong Kong" series - 2010

(adapted from the Freer Gallery's website)

Fifteenth Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival

The 2010 edition of the Freer’s popular annual festival is cosponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

Red Cliff—Part 1
Friday, June 18, 7 pm
Sunday, June 20, 2 pm
John Woo’s spectacular dramatization of the famous Han dynasty-era Battle of Red Cliff was released in the U.S. in a truncated version. The Freer opens its 2010 Made in Hong Kong Film Festival with the full, two-part version originally released to critical and popular acclaim in Asia. The epic features vast, bloody battle scenes, a cast of thousands, and some of East Asia’s biggest movie stars (Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, and Chang Chen among them). In part one, cagy prime minister Cao Cao persuades the weak Han emperor to allow him to take his army south to battle two emerging southern leaders. According to Stephen Rea of the Philadelphia Inquirer, “This is magnificent filmmaking, and a magnificent film.” (Dir., John Woo; 2009; 142 min.; Mandarin with English subtitles)

Red Cliff—Part 2
Friday, June 25, 7 pm
Sunday, June 27, 2 pm
John Woo’s two-part film, in the words of Variety critic Derek Elley, “balances character, grit, spectacle and visceral action in a meaty, dramatically satisfying pie that delivers on the hype and will surprise many who felt the Hong Kong helmer progressively lost his mojo during his long years stateside.” The second part of this monumental cinematic treatment of the Battle of Red Cliff delves even more deeply into the complex military strategy and backstabbing espionage behind the bloodshed, even as it delivers tremendous battle scenes on land and sea. (Dir., John Woo; 2009; 142 min.; Mandarin with English subtitles)

Friday, July 9, 7 pm
Sunday, July 11, 2 pm
French singer Johnny Hallyday stars as a Parisian chef who travels to Hong Kong to avenge the death of his daughter’s family in Johnnie To’s latest high-voltage noir thriller. When he joins forces with a gang of underworld assassins (including To regulars Anthony Wong, Lam Suet, and Simon Yam), the bullets fly and revelations about his daughter’s assailants—and his own mysterious past—come to light. Per Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter, “Popcorn and art certainly can co-exist, as this movie amply demonstrates.” (Dir., Johnnie To; 2009; 108 min.; English, Cantonese, and French with English subtitles)

Ip Man
Friday, July 16, 7 pm
Sunday, July 18, 2 pm
Best known as Bruce Lee’s teacher, Ip Man is renowned as one of the world’s greatest kung fu masters. Part historical epic, part kung fu extravaganza, this film focuses on the life of Ip Man, played by Donnie Yen, during the Sino-Japanese War, when he went from a humble martial arts master to a tough partisan fighter who used his skills to battle the Japanese invaders. Winner of the Best Picture and Best Action Choreography awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards, Ip Man laces a fascinating true story with astonishing fight scenes to appeal to kung-fu connoisseurs and neophytes alike. (Dir., Wilson Yip; 2008; 107 min.; Cantonese, Mandarin, and Japanese with English subtitles)

Rule Number One
Friday, July 23, 7 pm
Sunday, July 25, 2 pm
Kelvin Tong’s clever police thriller/ghost story mash-up combines fast-paced action with supernatural chills. After he claims that a ghost saved his life during a confrontation with a murderer, a young cop is assigned to the mysterious Miscellaneous Affairs Department, where he and his enigmatic supervisor investigate reports of paranormal activity. Their jobs become even more dangerous when it becomes clear that one particular ghost is targeting them. James Mudge of Beyond Hollywood named this “one of the best films of any description from Hong Kong in 2008.” (Dir., Kelvin Tong; 2008; 93 min.; Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles)

The Contract
Friday, July 30, 7 pm
Sunday, August 1, 2 pm
In the 1970s and 80s, the Hui Brothers kept Hong Kong audiences in stitches with a string of popular slapstick comedies that have rarely been seen in the U.S. This screening provides a rare chance to see them in all their ridiculous glory. This classic satire of the entertainment industry is full of silly jokes, wacky physical comedy, and amazing stunts. It tells the story of a beleaguered television executive who, with help from his eccentric inventor brother and a sub-par magician friend, goes to amazing lengths to get out of his contract so he can move on to his dream job. (Dir., Michael Hui; 1978; 97 min.; Cantonese with English subtitles)

The Pye Dog
Friday, August 6, 7 pm
Sunday, August 8, 2 pm
Three strangers—-a boy who refuses to speak, a gangster posing as a janitor at the boy’s school, and a mysterious substitute teacher—-come together by chance, but slowly discover that their fates are intertwined. A poignant tale of loyalty and friendship masquerading as a crime drama, this film is stylishly shot, full of images of uncanny beauty that enhance its wistful mood. (Dir., Derek Kwok; 2007; 90 min.; Cantonese with English subtitles)

Magic Boy
Friday, August 13, 7 pm
Sunday, August 15, 2 pm
A teenage magician falls head over heels for a store clerk in this delightful comedy. Starring real-life apprentice magician Anjo Leung—who performs tricks without the help of special effects—this film charms with its sleights-of-hand and evocation of Mongkok street life and the excitement of first love. (Dir., Adam Wong; 2007; 88 min.; Cantonese with English subtitles)

This page created August 2010 - Last modified August 25, 2010

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