Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hong Kong Film

Times have been interesting in Hong Kong cinema in the last few years, with something of a revival from the doldrums experienced after the Hong Kong action style and personnel were absorbed by Hollywood. Pretty much every Hollywood action film nowadays incorporates the Hong Kong action aesthetic, from Matrix to Casino Royale via Charlies' Angels although with much bigger budgets and Hong Kong film has been struggling to find a new identity, led by the prolific Johnnie To. At the start of 2007 we had had a couple of years of pretty strong offerings from some of the more interesting directors in Hong Kong. To in particular produced some of his strongest work in the Election films, particularly Election 2 whilst still showing he can still do stylised action in his own way with films like Exiled. Pang Ho Cheung also made probably his best film to date in Isabella, bringing elements of his film making and scriptwriting to a cohesive whole at last. Together with newer directors making interesting films like My Mother is a Belly Dancer as part of the Focus: First Cuts film development programme for young directors, things were looking good.

That's why the last year has been a such a disappointment. Johnnie To seems to have gone off the boil with the weak Mad Detective, Pang disappointed with the stylishly shot but otherwise limp Exodus and I find it hard to think of a Hong Kong film that has impressed in the past year or so. Here's hoping things get back on track in 2008.


ulaca said...

You must be pretty proficient in Cantonese, Biddles!

Any relation of Terry - the jump jockey. He married my cousin.

David Biddlecombe said...

I speak a little Cantonese but the main relevant ability I have is that I can read the subtitles! :P

Crikey, it's many years since anybody asked me if I was related to Terry Biddlecombe. The answer is no, not as far as I know anyway.