东邪西毒 | Ashes of Time

Ashes of Time

Ou-yang Feng lives in the middle of a desert, where he acts as a middle man to various swordsmen in ancient China. One of those swordsmen is Huang Yao-shi, who has found some magic wine that causes one to forget the past. At another time, Huang met Mu-rong Yin and under the influence of drink, promised to marry Mu-rong’s sister Mu-rong Yang. Huang jilts her, and Mu-rong Yin hires Ou-yang to kill Huang. But then Mu-rong Yang hires Ou-yang to protect Huang. This is awkward, because Mu-rong Yang and Mu-rong Yin are in reality the same person. Other unrelated plot lines careen about. Among them is Ou-yang’s continuing efforts to destroy a band of horse thieves. Oy-yang recruits another swordsman, a man who is going blind and wants to get home to see his wife before his sight goes completely. The swordsman is killed. Ou-yang then meets another swordsman (Jackie Cheung) who doesn’t like wearing shoes. Oy-yang sends this man after the horse thieves, with better results. We then find out what a man must give up to follow the martial path.

Directed by Kar Wai Wong | Starring : Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Ka Fai | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Shanghai Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival

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重庆森林 | Chungking Express

Chungking Express

The whiplash, double-pronged Chungking Express is one of the defining works of nineties cinema and the film that made Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai an instant icon. Two heartsick Hong Kong cops, both jilted by ex-lovers, cross paths at the Midnight Express take-out restaurant stand, where the ethereal pixie waitress Faye works. Anything goes in Wong’s gloriously shot and utterly unexpected charmer, which cemented the sex appeal of its gorgeous stars and forever turned canned pineapple and the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’” into tokens of romantic longing.

Directed by Kar Wai Wong | Starring : Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Brigitte Lin, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Valerie Chow | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, London Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

暗恋桃花源 | The Peach Blossom Land

Secret Love Peach Blossom

Two drama companies happened to share one auditorium for rehearsal. Friction was inevitable. One of them played ‘Peach Blossom’, a comedy in medieval costume. Another played ‘Secret Love’, a sad story with contemporary setting. Though unreconciled in all aspects, they find themselves telling the same story: the story of Chinese people forced to leave home.

Directed by Stan Lai | Starring : Brigitte Lin, Shih-chieh Chin, Bao-ming Gu, Lichun Lee, Chen Limei | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival

滚滚红尘 | Red Dust

Red Dust

Red Dust tells us the story of writer Shao Hua during the period 1935-1950. The story starts from a very personal point of view, by depicting the days when Shao Hua used to write alone, locked up in the attic by her father, then slowly unfolds to the wider reality of a country suffering poverty and persecution, because of the Japanese first, because of the clashes between the nationalists and the communists later. However, it’s not a sad movie: Shao Hua has love and friendship to care about, and indeed the movie is more of a journey of her heart, as she climbs through the ups and downs of life, with moments of laughter and glee following or giving way to moments of disappointment and insight. Alongside, as she is a writer, we also get to see as the steps of her existence influence the developing of her novel.

Directed by Ho Yim | Starring : Brigitte Lin, Han Chin, Maggie Cheung, Richard Ng, Josephine Koo | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival

爱杀 | Love Massacre

Love Massacre3

Set in a surprisingly minimalist San Francisco, Patrick Tam’s stylish slasher movie manages to evoke both Antonioni and Mario Bava in this tale of a ravishing young co-ed whose studly boyfriend turns into a demented stalker after the suicide of his sister.

Directed by Patrick Tam | Starring : Brigitte Lin, Kuo-Chu Chang, Charlie Chin, Tina Lau, Deannie Yip | Presented at N/A