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New York Asian Film Festival/Japan Cuts 2012 Report 7 – CSB Interviews Chung Chang-Hwa, Director of Five Fingers of Death
Posted on 07.27.12 by David @ 8:47 am
New York Asian Film Festival 2012 Japan Cuts 2012

Legendary Hong Kong director Chung Chang-Hwa (also known as Jeong Chang-Wha) was born in Korea in 1928 and began his career in the Korean film industry after the war, working his way up through the ranks to become one of the country’s top action directors. In the late sixties, Chung was recruited by producer and media mogul Run Run Shaw to join the Hong Kong-based Shaw Brothers Studios, where he worked for years creating action, kung fu, and wu xia films like The Swift Knight.

Chung cemented his place in film history when he directed Five Fingers of Death (aka King Boxer, 1972), a brutal piece of kung fu cinema starring everyone’s favorite ruffian Lo Lieh. With its dramatic repurposing of the theme from Ironsides, innovative use of trampolines, and iconic shots of Lo Lieh’s red, glowing Iron Palm technique, Five Fingers was always destined to be a hit, but surprised everyone when it made the charts in the United States, an immediate precursor to the arrival of Bruce Lee fever and many Westerners’ first exposure to Hong Kong cinema.

After falling out with the Shaw Brothers after the release of Five Fingers, Chung then moved to Raymond Chow’s Golden Harvest studio, which soon supplanted Shaw Brothers as the preeminent purveyor of martial arts films. There, Chung worked with some of the most important kung fu actors, actresses and choreographers of the era, including Angela Mao, Sammo Hung, Bruce Leung, Kwan Tak Hing, and Yuen Woo Ping, and filming classics like Broken Oath, an action-packed reworking of Lady Snowblood. Chung stayed with Golden Harvest for a number of years, before he was lured back to Korea in the late seventies by an offer to work as a producer. Unfortunately, the Korean film industry was going through a very difficult time and Chung’s career was cut prematurely short.

Cinema Strikes Back’s David Austin had an opportunity to speak with Chung about his wide-ranging career when he visited New York to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 New York Asian Film Festival (which also featured two of his best works – The Swift Knight and Five Fingers of Death).


On Kung Fu, Wu Xia and Action Choreography

CSB: You’ve directed a number of kung fu movies and a number of wu xia swordplay movies. Which do you prefer and why?

Chung Chang-Hwa: Actually, I like both kung fu and wu xia films. But if I really have to choose just one, I would say kung fu.

CSB: Do you have any background in martial arts yourself?

Chung Chang-Hwa: When I am asked this question, I always like to say, does a director have to be able to dance a ballet to direct a film about it. I have never trained in martial arts. But even though I’ve never trained, I love kung fu and I have done a lot of research. And I’m pretty sure that I have done more research than a lot of the actual actors.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Movie News: South Korea and Contributors: David and Studios: Shaw Brothers and People: Sammo Hung and People: Yuen Wo Ping and People: Bruce Lee and Movie News: Interviews and People: Lo Lieh and Genre: Martial Arts and Venues: Film Society at Lincoln Center and People: Bruce Leung Siu-Leung and People: Angela Mao Ying and Film Festivals: New York Asian Film Festival 2012 and Film Festivals: Japan Cuts 2012
Comments: None

New York Asian Film Festival/Japan Cuts 2011 Report 4 – CSB Interviews Tsui Hark, Director of Detective Dee and the Phantom Flame and Godfather of the Hong Kong New Wave
Posted on 07.12.11 by David @ 11:24 am
New York Asian Film Festival 2011 Japan Cuts 2011

Tsui Hark should hardly needs an introduction in these parts. If you’ve seen any Hong Kong films in the last 25 years, chances are they were influenced in one way or another by Tsui. In the 80s and the early 90s, he redefined Hong Kong cinema, ushering in the New Wave, introducing modern special effects with Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain, and producing massively influential films like John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow, while helping to make stars out of Jet Li, Brigitte Lin and other luminaries. Even a partial filmography as director includes many of the greatest Hong Kong films ever to grace the screen, like Zu, Swordsman, Green Snake, The Blade, Peking Opera Blues, and the Once Upon a Time in China series, while, in close collaboration with director Ching Siu-Tung, he created A Chinese Ghost Story and New Dragon Gate Inn.

Last weekend, CSB’s David Austin had the opportunity to sit down with Tsui, in town for the New York Asian Film Festival, to talk about his latest film, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame. The film - starring Andy Lau as the late seventh century detective investigating mysterious deaths by spontaneous combustion at the behest of Empress Wu (Carina Lau) - is a crowd-pleasing return to form and the voluble Tsui had a lot to say about future projects, the rigors of shooting the film, working with Sammo Hung, and why Empress Wu has gotten a raw deal.


CSB: Detective Dee is a historic figure who has been the subject of many legends. Was the screenplay based on a specific story or did you develop it from scratch?

DETECTIVE-DEE.jpgTsui Hark: There have been many Detective Dee novels and television series before. Ten years ago, I started writing my own Detective Dee story. Actually, I had my own Dee story and [writer/producer/director] Chen Guofu had his own Dee story. What we were trying to do was establish something different from what had been seen before, to create a world for Dee. Every detective has his own world. Like The X-Files. The X-Files would have Twilight Zone-style material or weird science fiction discoveries. You open up a dimension or a world for the character, and you take the audience into that world. We wanted to create a world for Detective Dee, because the world defines the detective. If a detective does not have a unique world, he will be like any other detective that we have seen. So we wanted to create something like that for Dee.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: General and Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Contributors: David and People: Andy Lau and People: Tsui Hark and People: Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Movie News: Interviews and Venues: Film Society at Lincoln Center and Film Festivals: New York Asian Film Festival 2011 and Film Festivals: Japan Cuts 2011
Comments: 1 Comment

New York Asian Film Festival 2010 Report 7: CSB Interviews Bruce Leung Siu-Leung, Kung Fu Actor Extraordinaire and Star of Gallants
Posted on 08.23.10 by David @ 10:07 am

New York Asian Film Festival 2010

Bruce Leung Siu-Leung (who has gone by a number of names in the West, including Bruce Liang and Bruce Leong), now in his early sixties, has had a storied history in martial arts films, both as an actor and as an action choreographer. First entering the public eye as one of several “Lee-Alikes” in the wake of Bruce Lee’s untimely demise, Leung distinguished himself with his martial arts skills, especially as a leg fighter. Leung moved past his Bruceploitation phase to become a legitimate star in his own right in the seventies and eighties, working with producer Ng See-Yuen and alongside kung fu superstars like Angela Mao Ying and Sammo Hung, and taking leading roles for major studios in films like Call Me Dragon and Little Supermen.

Unfortunately, after an incident involving a visit to China, Leung was essentially banned from the film industry for roughly 16 years, from 1988 to 2004, when Stephen Chow brought him back to play the role of the villainous Beast in his phenomenally successful Kung Fu Hustle. Since then, Leung’s career has experienced a revival, with roles in gritty actioners like Shamo and Sasori (review here) and comedies like Just Another Pandora’s Box and Kung Fu Chefs (review here). His latest film is Gallants and it stars a slew of old school Hong Kong talent like Chen Kuan-Tai, Lo Meng, Shaw Yum-Yum and Teddy Robin, though nobody is better showcased than Leung.

Recently, CSB’s David Austin and Charlie Prince had the opportunity to sit down with Bruce Leung, in town for the New York Asian Film Festival, to talk about Gallants and the ups and downs of his career. Leung, whose thickly-calloused knuckles bespeak a lifelong tough guy (and who has one of the best business cards I’ve ever seen, see immediately below), did not disappoint.

scan0001.jpg


On Growing Up in Kung Fu Films

CSB: How did you get involved in kung fu films?

Bruce Leung: It’s a long story. I grew up in a single-parent family. To protect my family, every day when I walked past I saw little kids learning how to do martial arts and I wanted to learn. I used rice, and I would chop it until it was in really small pieces every day. My grandma would hit me when she saw me because I would cut the rice so small. To help my family, I got involved in the movies when I was 15.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: General and Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Contributors: David and People: Stephen Chow Sing Chi and Movie News: Interviews and Film Festivals: New York Asian Film Festival 2010 and People: Bruce Leung Siu-Leung and People: Angela Mao Ying
Comments: 2 Comments

New York Asian Film Festival 2010 Report 5: CSB Interviews Sammo Hung, Kung Fu Legend
Posted on 07.07.10 by David @ 9:03 am

New York Asian Film Festival 2010

For those familiar with Hong Kong cinema, Sammo Hung is a legend. Coming up in the same Peking Opera training school as Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao, Sammo has since made a name for himself as one of the greatest martial arts actors, directors and choreographers of all time, as well as one of the most beloved stars in Hong Kong. Big Brother Big’s filmography would take pages to even summarize, but a quick list of his outstanding work includes Magnificent Butcher, The Prodigal Son, Millionaire’s Express, Knockabout, Eastern Condors, Wheels on Meals, Pedicab Driver, Encounters of the Spooky Kind and Dragons Forever. Nevertheless, Sammo remains less well known in the U.S. than his peers, Jackie Chan and Jet Li, despite an attempted breakthrough into U.S. television with Martial Law, which ran for several years in the late nineties. Since then, Sammo has aged gracefully into the Great Man of Hong Kong cinema, appearing frequently on the screen and providing support and choreography for countless other films.

Recently, CSB’s David Austin and Charlie Prince had the honor of sitting down with Sammo, in town for screenings at the New York Asian Film Festival of Ip Man (for which he choreographed the action), Ip Man 2 (for which he provided choreography and took on a role as Ip Man’s rival), and Kung Fu Chefs (in which he stars) ((reviews of all three films may be found here) as well as Eastern Condors (which he directed and starred in), and to receive the Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award.

CSB: Congratulations on the lifetime achievement award last night. Because your back catalog of films is so extraordinarily deep, before we discuss Ip Man and your more recent work, I want to ask whether there any of your older movies that don’t get the attention you think they deserve or are not seen as much as they should be?

Sammo Hung: To me, making movies is a natural progression, one thing after another. My hope would be that all of my movies get the recognition they deserve.

CSB: How is your body holding up after all these years? Can you still get in there and handle long days?

Sammo Hung: I wish my body could go back 20 years (laughs).




On the Ip Man films and Wing Chun

CSB: You did the choreography for both the first and second Ip Man films, but only appeared in the second film. Did choreographing these films present any unique challenges?

Sammo Hung: I did some research about Wing Chun. Many years ago, I did two films focusing on Wing Chun. One was The Prodigal Son with Yuen Biao. The other was Zan xian sheng yu zhao qian hua [Warriors Two], starring myself, Leung Kar-yan, and the Korean, Ka Sa Fa [Casanova Wong]. So what I was thinking about here was how to create fights that were different from what I did before. The previous films were both period pieces set a long time ago in China. Ip Man is set in the much more recent past – the ‘30s and ‘40s. Much closer to now. So the action has to look more like that of today. Also, Ip Man deals with real people, not people created to fit into history hundreds of years ago. Everything, the fights, must look closer to today and like real fights and real movements.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Contributors: David and Contributors: Charlie and People: Donnie Yen and People: Sammo Hung and Movie News: Interviews and Genre: Martial Arts and Film Festivals: New York Asian Film Festival 2010
Comments: None

New York Asian Film Festival 2009 Report 6: CSB Interviews Nick Chin, Director of Magazine Gap Road
Posted on 07.01.09 by David @ 12:03 am

New York Asian Film Festival 2009

Nick Chin made his start working in documentary films before directing the award winning short film Tai Tai. Following the success of that film, Chin directed his first feature length film, Magazine Gap Road, an icy noir about a former high class prostitute Samantha (Jessey Meng), who fled her former lover and client, the terrifying Hans (Zhen Shiming) and made a new life for herself in the upper crust of Hong Kong. This life is threatened when an old friend, Kate (Qu Ying), resurfaces, dragging Samantha back into Hans’s orbit. This unusually star-studded first feature also stars Hong Kong legends Richard Ng, who appeared in just about every comedy made in Hong Kong in the 1980s, and Elvis Tsui, who did the same in just about every Category III film, as well as Ng’s son, Carl. While the subject matter may be grimy, the treatment is anything but – Chin presents some of the most gorgeous views of Hong Kong I’ve seen in years and dresses his cast in high style.

Cinema Strikes Back’s David Austin recently had an opportunity to talk with Chin, who was in New York for the presentation of Magazine Gap Road at the 2009 New York Asian Film Festival, about his work as an independent filmmaker in Hong Kong and the making of Magazine Gap Road.

Magazine

On His Early Career and Television Projects

CSB: I understand that you are not from Hong Kong. Where did you grow up?

NC: I grew up in London. My parents are Shanghainese. I lived in New York for about eight years and I’ve been in and out of Hong Kong. I have been in Hong Kong for the past three years because of this film.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Contributors: David and Movie News: Interviews and Film Festivals: New York Asian Film Festival 2009
Comments: None

Egregious Theft and Dishonesty: My Time on Set with Wong Kar-wai and Natalie Portman
Posted on 06.30.08 by Charlie @ 5:30 pm

We’re all fans of Wong Kar-wai’s films here at CSB, so you can imagine our excitement upon learning that my friend Mike May had been cast opposite Natalie Portman in a series of poker scenes in Wong Kar Wai’s latest film My Blueberry Nights. In addition to being a professional poker player by day, Mike maintains an excellent blog and has kindly written up the article below about his experiences on set — which we’re posting today in honor of tomorrow’s release of the film on DVD here in the United States.
- Charlie

In all actuality I know very little about acting. There are of course many occupations I know absolutely nothing about: Nascar racing, neurosurgery, Blackwater mercenary-ing, to name a few. However, this has never been a problem since no one has ever thrown a laser scalpel, or an assault rifle, or a souped up V8 engine block into my hands and said “All right, let’s do this!”

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: General and Movie News: Hong Kong and Contributors: Charlie and People: Wong Kar-wai and Movie News: China
Comments: None

Chan and Li Admit Their New Movie Isn’t Great
Posted on 09.18.07 by David @ 5:44 pm

Forbidden KingdomA fascinating journey into honesty in publicity today. Jackie Chan and Jet Li have been paired together for the first time (a combination of equivalent significance to Pacino and De Niro appearing in a scene together in Heat) in a new Hollywood production titled “The Forbidden Kingdom.” The results: not great according to Jackie. Li concurred, telling his public not to have too high expectations for the Chan/Li fight scene. It is refreshing to have people come out and admit that they’re doing it for the money, and can’t even be bothered to pretend that the results are good.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: General and Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and People: Jet Li and People: Jackie Chan and Movie News: China
Comments: None

Outdoor Chinese-Language Cinema in Boston’s Chinatown
Posted on 08.31.07 by David @ 3:16 pm

Between September 5th and 9th, Films At The Gate will be showing free Chinese-language films in the open air in the heart of Boston’s Chinatown. This year’s program is focusing on Hong Kong comedy. While the screenings have not yet all been announced, I am told that that classic Hong Kong comedy will definitely be represented in Jackie Chan’s Project A and Sammo Hung’s Shanghai Express (aka Millionaires’ Express) - two true crowd-pleasers. There will also be films featuring favorites Sam Hui, Leung Sing-po, and Stephen Chow.

While most fans of Hong Kong cinema will be familiar with Project A, Millionaire’s Express may come as more of a pleasant surprise. Packed to the gills with a veritable who’s who of HK slapstick and action talent, including Sammo, Yuen Biao , Yasuaki Kurata, Rosamund Kwan, Lam Ching-ying, and Eric Tsang, Wu Ma, and Shaw Brothers stalwarts like Hou Hsiao and Fan Mei-sheng. There are also fight cameos by Shaw nogoodnik Wang Lung , Richard Norton, and Cynthia Rothrock during the insanely-long and impressive final brawl, as well as kid fu. Honestly, I’m only scratching the surface - almost every face in this film willbe familiar. Plot threads and pants are left a-flappin’ in the breeze as Sammo leads his army of firefighters and hookers against the greatest collection of banditos since Blazing Saddles.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: General and Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Film Festivals: News and Movie News: China
Comments: None

Ang Lee’s Latest Slapped with an NC-17
Posted on 08.24.07 by David @ 10:02 am

Tony Leung Chiu-waiAng Lee’s espionage and patriotism film “Lust, Caution,” set during the Japanese-occupation of China and following the attempt of a young woman to assassinate an amorous official, has been hit with an NC-17. Apparently stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Tang Fei exchange a few more pelvic thrusts than are approved of by the MPAA. As we all know, MPAA members are strictly forbidden from exchanging in more than 2-3 pelvic thrusts per sex act with their spouses and lovers.

::: “Lust” too hot for Hollywood censors
Gregg Goldstein, Reuters, August 24, 2007

::: See our previous article on Lust, Caution


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Movie News: USA and Movie News: China and People: Tony Leung Chiu-wai and People: Ang Lee
Comments: None

NYAFF Report 2: “The Banquet” and “Hard Boiled”
Posted on 06.20.07 by David @ 10:05 am

New York Asian Film Festival 2007

Part 2 of our report on the 2007 Subway Cinema New York Asian Film Festival, which starts this weekend:


The Banquet
AKA: Ye Yan
Country and Year: China (2006)
Director: Xiaogang Feng
Rating: 2 out of 4 stars (average)
Review by: Jeff

The Banquet

The Banquet is a lugubrious tale of palace intrigue from Mainland China starring Zhang Ziyi. Clearly pitched at the international arthouse audience, the film is ostensibly a pseudo-Shakespearean period piece concerning a struggle for power following the death of the Emperor among the late Emperor’s lover, brother, general, and others. However, the film is far more concerned with lavish set design than it is with plot mechanics or characterization. To be fair, though, the set design is pretty amazing; nearly every scene takes place in elaborate palace rooms filled with unusual statues and other odd details which bring to mind the work of Matthew Barney.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Movie Reviews and Movie Reviews: Hong Kong and Contributors: David and Film Festivals: News and People: John Woo and People: Kuo Cheh (5 Venoms) and People: Zhang Ziyi and Movie News: China and People: Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Contributors: Jeff and People: Chow Yun-fat and Film Festivals: New York Asian Film Festival 2007 and Movie Reviews: Capsule Reviews and Movie Reviews: China
Comments: 1 Comment

Celestial Shaw Brothers Catalog for 2007 Available - Chinese Super Ninjas At Last
Posted on 06.08.07 by David @ 10:23 am

shaws

This coming a few days late, but there is terrific news on the Shaw Brothers front. At long least, Celestial/IVL is releasing some of the most anticipated Shaw Brothers films. Most significant is Chinese Super Ninjas aka Five Element Ninja, one of my personal favorites. Unapologetically gory and completely insane, it’s a real high point for Chang Cheh. The plot finds Lo Meng and the Baby Venoms tangling with an element-themed array of deadly ninjas, ranging from ninjas who burrow underground to ninjas who hide in the water. You might wonder what the fifth element is (hint: the answer is not Milla Jovovich). Prepare yourself for the bling of the Gold Ninjas, the gangsta rappers of the ninja food chain. All that plus sexy female fire ninjas, tree ninjas, and people tripping over their own intestines. CSB’s own Jeff marks a viewing of Chinese Super Ninjas as what converted him into a Shaw fan on the spot. Those of you out there who have seen this, give it some love.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and DVD News and DVD News: Hong Kong and Studios: Shaw Brothers and People: Chang Cheh and People: Kuo Cheh (5 Venoms) and People: Lo Meng (5 Venoms) and DVD Companies: Celestial and People: Ti Lung
Comments: 1 Comment

Chen Kuan Tai Interview from 2006 on HKCinemagic
Posted on 04.27.07 by David @ 8:24 am

Five Tough Guys Shaw Brothers

Chen Kuan-tai remains one of our favorite old school Shaw Brothers stars, because of his badass demeanor and excellent kung fu. Whether teaching respect to uppity youngsters in The Teahouse, taking on three Venoms singlehandedly in Crippled Avengers, or defending the honor of Shaolin Temple in Men from the Monastery (released this week by Celestial/IVL), Chen is truly The Man. This interview by HKCinemagic is not at all recent, but after just stumbling across it this week, I wanted to make sure that more people had a chance to read it.

::: Interview with Big Brother Chen Kuan Tai
Chu King-wei, HKCinemagic.com, January 5, 2006

Thanks to David-Olivier on the Asian DVD Guide forum for bringing this to our attention here.


Filed under: General and Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Studios: Shaw Brothers and People: Chen Kuan-tai and Genre: Martial Arts
Comments: None

CSB Interviews Johnnie To, Director of Election and Election 2 (Triad Election)
Posted on 04.23.07 by David @ 5:54 am

Johnnie To, the director of such Hong Kong classics as The Heroic Trio and The Mission, has been on a roll the last few years with a steady succession of masterful films, including Election (see review here), Election 2 (see capsule review here), PTU, Running on Karma, Breaking News, and Exiled (see review here). His Milkyway production company has become a sign of excellence and creativity in cinema.

Johnnie To’s Election Behind the Scenes

In preparation for the US release of Election and Election 2 (retitled Triad Election) at the Film Forum in New York (see link here), and with Magnolia Pictures plans to do the same with Exiled, CSB’s David Austin had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. To (in a hotel courtyard so that Mr. To could enjoy his stogie) and discuss the Election films, along with some of his other recent work.


CSB: One question I have to ask before we talk about the Election films – I heard Simon Yam says he wants to do some more PTU movies. Are you going to be involved?

JT: Yes, it’s our company. It will be a four-part television feature shot in 35mm. The name is not PTU – it will be called Tactical Unit instead. Basically, the same characters from PTU return – Simon, Lam Suet, and Maggie Siu come back. I am the producer. Each of the four parts will be directed by good directors - next generation directors. For instance, Law Wing-cheong, who did “2 Become 1,” and Larry Lau [Lawrence Ah Mon], who did the recent Lau Ching-wan movie where he plays an actor who’s out of love with film [My Name is Fame], and he did “Spacked Out” for Milkyway, and “Gimme Gimme.” Universe financed it; it’s supposed to be something for the cable channel.

(Click Here To Read More…)


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Contributors: David and Movies: Election (2005) and People: Johnnie To and Movie News: Interviews and Movies: Election 2 (2006) and Movies: Exiled (2006)
Comments: 1 Comment

Hong Kong’s “Exiled” to Get Hollywood Remake
Posted on 03.27.07 by Charlie @ 8:25 am

Anthony Wong in Exiled

Daily Variety is reporting today that Johnnie To’s latest film Exiled has been set up for a Hollywood remake. Media Asia brokered the deal with Samuel Hadida, who is attached as a producer. Hadida’s past work includes Domino and Silent Hill, and he is currently in post-production on Resident Evil: Extinction. As of now, it appears no other cast or crew for the remake have been announced.

Media Asia is undoubtedly still riding high from having set up the remake for Infernal Affairs, which resulted in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed and a host of Academy Awards. Last month Media Asia sold remake rights of Confessions of Pain to Warner Brothers.

Check out Dave’s review of Exiled here.


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and Movie News: USA and Contributors: Charlie and People: Johnnie To
Comments: 2 Comments

Peter Chan’s Latest Film to Focus on Taiping Rebellion
Posted on 03.13.07 by David @ 9:28 am

For those not familiar with the Taiping Rebellion, the Taiping were the largest internal threat to the Manchu Qing dynasty prior to social and cultural upheavals that toppled in the early 20th century (I recommend Jonathan Spence’s God’s Chinese Son for more detail). The Taiping Rebellion was a massive social movement/armed insurrection led by a man named Hong, a ne’er-do-well who repeatedly failed the governmental exams. Hong might have continued to languish in obscurity, except for the fact that he became convinced that he was Jesus’s younger brother, and forged an army out of the Hakka minority in Southern China. Hong was a certifiable nut, but his armies had some great successes in the mid-1800s, and eventually captured Nanking and made it their new capital. Of course, the whole thing ended horribly.

Peter Chan, not known for his historical epics, is basing his new film, “The Warlords,” on this historical incident. The new film stars Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, and Jet Li as mercenaries with a complex relationship of brotherhood and betrayal during this chaotic period. If the plot sounds at all familiar, it’s because it’s based on the same source material as Chang Cheh’s Blood Brothers, with Chen Kuan Tai, David Chiang and Ti Lung. For those who haven’t seen Blood Brothers, I strongly encourage you to check it out - it’s one of Chang’s best works, and possibily Ti Lung’s best performance.

::: “Warlords” a departure for Hong Kong filmmaker
Jonathan Landreth, Reuters, March 12, 2007


Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and People: Andy Lau and People: Jet Li and People: Takeshi Kaneshiro and Movie News: China and People: Peter Chan
Comments: 1 Comment

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