Favorite films

  • 92 Legendary La Rose Noire
  • Sweet Bean
  • Parents' Hearts
  • Three Love Affairs

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  • Fantasia

    ★★★★½

  • Hero of the Beggars

    ★★★★

  • Midnight

    ★½

  • Funny Business

    ★★★★

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  • Three Love Affairs

    Three Love Affairs

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Perfect rom-com documenting the changing cityscape of the independent and mid-scale film co (compared with MPGI and SB) film co Lan Kwong, my favourite. Starring my absolute fave Cantonese film actress Ding Ying. She is, as Dr Ng Chun-hung said in the post-screening talk, a talented, dedicated, diligent, virtuous, innocent, and loyal worker of the company until she moved to Canada until now.

    This film has a tight structure and intricate details, thanks to the director cum screenwriter Mok Hong-see,…

  • Fight Back to School

    Fight Back to School

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Hong Kong cinema when it was still carefully crafted. Chow's films intertextual references (like the maze here echoing Chow's fave kungfu star Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon) and allegorical cues (like the communist graffiti on the walls of the abandoned building during the opening sequences) are brilliant.

    Part of 2020 Stephen Chow's marathon. Very good one but not his best.

    I want to write a book on Hong Kong comedy.

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  • Views of Hong Kong

    Views of Hong Kong

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Valuable footage of a Hong Kong that was must spacious and less crowded and more colonial than today's. The waters and mountains characterised the small place, and it was already quite westernised (despite some forms of farming practices were still in place).

    Quite amused that Aberdeen (not the one in Scotland, but in southern district in HK) was dubbed "Little Hong Kong."

    Viewed this 9 mins short in a book talk event of the HKFA when promoting their books. The…

  • Fantasia

    Fantasia

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    There are some films that get better by viewing and this is one of them.

    In the first viewing, some may complain this is not "as funny as Michael Hui's comedies," but those audience may only have just watched his best ones. His mid- and late-career ones are more humane than funny and there are always contradiction in various forms (too many to mentioned, but e.g. his mild critique of capitalism and also a protector of the institution; his elite…

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  • The God of Cookery

    The God of Cookery

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Rewatching the God of Cookery, I was amazed by its ingenuity. Yet this time I was both saddened and relieved that the iconic landmark Tai Pak Floating Restaurant's nearly mythical interior has been well-preserved by this film amply, as it has been closed on 1st March, 2020 until further notice. After watching this film, I also recalled how Stephen Chow's comedies have a similar "formula" as Michael Hui - just add a bit of mo lei tau (nonsensical humour). Both…

  • Days

    Days

    ★★★★½

    A brighter film than Stray Dogs and The Deserted. Consistent with his usual style and themes. It seems that Tsai has returned to storytelling but keeps the form pared-down. This habit is already seen in his earlier films like The River. A “writerly” film in the sense of Roland Barthes. Probably easier to strike a cord with spectators during COVID-19.

    I always appreciate the calligraphy in Tsai's films (think The River). The characters of Days were penned by Lee Kang-sheng.…