Film Comment (May/June 2014)

David Michôd’s The Rover, Hong Kong center, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, Tsai Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs, Moustapha Akkad, John Wayne, the answer to “too many indies,” James Gray’s The Immigrant, Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best!, Berlin 2014 insurance, SXSW 2014 assurance.

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David Michôd’s The Rover, Hong Kong center, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, Tsai Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs, Moustapha Akkad, John Wayne, the answer to “too many indies,” James Gray’s The Immigrant, Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best!, Berlin 2014 insurance, SXSW 2014 assurance.

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J- I ---- PHOTO BY OLIVIER ROLLER MADE TIME TRAVELER F ROM THE late Eighties would surely recognize the triad-and-true sig11posts of Johnnie To's most significant post-reunification Ho11g Ko11g fil1ns: laco11ic varieties of masculine pride and honor unfurled like flags 011 a national holiday, friendship i11 jeopardy and under external pressure, a ventureso1ne visual and thematic co11ti11uity with the squib-splattered heyday of John Woo, Tsui H ark, and Ringo Lam. In the same breath, he or she would note how astutely To dista11ces hllnself from yesteryear's blood-and-guts models, ringing n1uted, polytonal chai1ges on the custon1ary semiautomatic barrages.

Wl1en Margaret Thatcher's gover11ment began talks with Deng Xiaopit1g in 1982, a general anxiety about the return to China was felt throughout the Hong Kong film industry, especially amo11g the New Wave directors. 1uare Massacre i11spired wary actors, directors, and producers to pick up as many foreign passports as possible in case life in Ho11g Kong became untenable after the return to Mainland control. As the film bubble started to pop in the early Nineties, top talent impleme11ted their exit strategies, less because of the 11a11dover than because the industry was in1ploding.

MADE IN HONG KONG II Hong Kong cinema's eight-year wild ride from boom to bust By Grady Hendrix >> IN FO cu s: The Neiu York Asiarz Film Festival, featuring a Hong Kong Forever! sidebar, runs June 27 - July 10 at the Film Society. lmcomment May-Ju11e 2 or4 I --- MADE IN HONG KONG II N Tl-IE BEGINNING, THERE WAS SrIA\V. Ho11g Kong 11ad plenty of other studios before the tl1ree Shaw brothers fou11ded theirs in 1958-Great Wall, Long Shong, Sw1 Lue11, Great Chi11a Film-but one by one they drove them fron1 the marketplace ai1d, after the head of their toughest rival, Cathay, died in a plane crash, Shaw Brothers beca111e the biggest kids on the block.

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