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Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Eighties - Numbers 101-81

Wow, I never thought I’d get this TOP 100 HONG KONG MOVIES OF THE EIGHTIES list started. Some people have been waiting awhile.

Chow Yun Fat
“What’s taking you so long? I have to start DRAGONBALL 2 next week!”

Chow Yun-Fat has a lot invested in this list, because it’s the eighties and he worked on a lot of Hong Kong films. That all ended in the nineties, when he left Hong Kong to make THE CORRUPTER and REPLACEMENT KILLERS. You know the rest of the story.

For those just joining us, this is’s Top 100 Hong Kong Films of the Eighties, as voted upon by actual site readers. Each sent in a list of 10-20 favorites, after which we tallied the votes according to some needlessly complex numerical formula. The cold stats: 135 readers voted, 239 films were nominated and 226 films made the final list. The 13 film differential is due to nominated films that were disqualified, e.g. A CHINESE GHOST STORY 2, which came out in 1990 and does not count in the vote.

From here on, we’ll be counting down all the films from Number 100 down to Number 1. This is the first installment of our countdown, meaning I’ll be updating this blog every 1-2 days to deliver the next 10-20 movies on the list. I figure we’ll get the whole thing done in about a week. If you’re impatient, you can always travel forward in time to see how it turns out. When you get back to the present, let us know.

Afterwards I’ll print the full list so you can see just how popular or unpopular the films you selected are. No matter what, I guarantee that Jackie Chan’s THE PROTECTOR didn’t make the list.

A note: This list has 101 films because two films ended in a dead heat for #100. There are tie-breakers built into the scoring system, with first-place votes and number of total votes helping separate films that receive equal points. However, in the case of #100 and #101, both films have the same amount of points, the same amount of first-place votes (i.e., zero), and the same amount of total votes. Yep, math is hard.

Let’s get this thing going!

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Voting Closed for the Top 100 Hong Kong Movies of the Eighties. Countdown sometime soon.

Voting has officially closed on the TOP HONG KONG MOVIES OF THE EIGHTIES, which we can now officially call the TOP 100 HONG KONG MOVIES OF THE EIGHTIES because enough votes for enough movies have been submitted. Chow Yun-Fat remains excited.

Chow Yun Fat touches his ears
“I’m prepared to rip out one hair
for each of my movies that makes this Top 100!”

All told, 135 people responded and 241 movies were nominated to make the final 100. There were about 13 films disqualified, e.g. any votes for a 1990 movie were ignored as this vote was intended to be from 1980-1989. Already the final ranking is shaping up and it has its share of surprises and also VERY expected outcomes. I capitalized “very” because you know those movies that you and your buddy voted for? Well, EVERYONE ELSE voted for them too. Add that up and you have a whole lot of people pushing THE FLYING MR. B.

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Voting now open for the Top 50 (or 100) Hong Kong Movies of the Eighties

Someone is going to be very excited about this news.

Chow Yun Fat is Happy
“Oh, I’m all a-tingle about this one!”

Sometime later this year, and Damn You, Kozo will run a Reader Vote for The Best 100 Hong Kong Films EVER. It’s going to be the companion piece to the previous two Reader Votes for Top 50 Hong Kong Movies of the Aughts and the Top 100 Hong Kong Movies of the Nineties, and I have no doubt that it will be completely biased and not actually reflect the 100 Best Hong Kong Movies ever made. However, it should be fun.

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Even good years have bad movies. Or vice-versa.

Another year of Hong Kong Cinema means another year of the LoveHKFilm Awards (link to the amazing archive of previous awards), dedicated to recognizing the best, worst and weirdest movies out of Hong Kong every year. Entertainment industry professionals undoubtedly look forward to our choices.

Jay Chou
“Hey,! I got one finger for you, and it isn’t this one!”

This is the fifth year that has run its awards using a jury of individuals. Despite the unofficial nature of these awards, everyone who’s a part of the jury makes an effort to see most if not all the films, frequently trading DVDs and VCDs towards the end of the year. People in the jury will actually buy a copy of stuff they normally wouldn’t buy, like BUTTERFLY LOVERS or WONDER WOMEN, and pass them around so that people can see what they missed. Such dedication and/or masochism is to be commended.

Tang Wei 2
“I’m just pretending to pay attention.”

Also, the jury takes movies seriously. We watch them and we honestly discuss them. There are biases and blindspots like in any process based on opinion, but the group doesn’t cater to a single type of movie watching. Not everyone is an art film fan or a genre geek, and we actually try to recognize the gaps between films and audiences when making our selections. It’s not a process that wins friends and influences people, but it’s the way things have worked out.

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One last gasp in the 10th year

Hey everyone, it’s a blog entry! Remember when we used to do this every two weeks or so? Now we’re looking at a two year gap. It’s simply awful, but now we’re back. Yay!

Jackie Panda
“Do I look like I care about your stupid blog?
When Jackie reads, nothing else matters!”

Since I haven’t done this in a while, this will be a big blog entry with highlights of what’s coming up on the site, plus some “how did we end up here” navel-gazing. Since self-reflection is undoubtedly tiresome, the promises and other highlights come first. Even better, it’ll happen in bullet points. If I could draw up an infographic, I would.

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NYAFF 2011 Tsui Hark Edition - Coverage by Michael Wells

Welcome to the third and final installment of Michael Wells’ coverage of the 2011 New York Asian Film Festival here on Damn You, Kozo. Michael writes for the Everybody Likes Movies blog, and it’s a place for, well, everybody who likes movies. This time out, Michael talks about director Tsui Hark, plus some guy named Tsui Hark and maybe a little something about Hark (first name) Tsui (last name). They’re all fascinating people. He also talks about two other films he saw at the NYAFF. After this entry, Michael will ride the Information Superhighway back to his regular haunt on Everybody Likes Movies. We thank him for his time and his copious way with words. His cheap per-word rates are helpful too.


By Michael Wells

Grady Hendrix, co-founder, co-programmer and official publicity whore for the New York Asian Film Festival, took the words right out of my mouth when he stood up before the screening of DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME and gushed, misty-eyed, about how Tsui Hark had changed his life and that of the other members of the Subway Cinema group (Daniel Craft, Goran Topalavic and Marc Walkow, as well as retired founding members Brian Naas, Paul Kazee and Nat Olson). I, too, can credit or blame this single individual, more than any other, for an addiction to Hong Kong film that would lead me to orally pleasure strangers in back alleys, like some desperate crackhead at rock bottom, if that was what it took to get my eyeballs on these movies.

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NYAFF 2011 Coverage by Michael Wells - PART 2

If you haven’t been paying attention, have simply had better things to do, longtime Asian Cinema fan Michael Wells of the Everyone Likes Movies blog is contributing coverage of the 2011 New York Asian Film Festival here on Damn You, Kozo. This is Part Two of his three-part effort - Part One can be found right here, while Part Three is likely to drop sometime in the next few days. Also, be sure to visit Everyone Likes Movies for more of Michael’s movie musings.


By Michael Wells

The NYAFF programmers say they’ve been wanting for a few years to show Yeo Joon-han’s SELL OUT! (Malaysia, 2008), a low-budget indie musical comedy satirizing corporate capitalism in general and Malaysia’s ethnically-Chinese, “Manglish”-speaking yuppie elite in particular. I would bet they made that decision as soon as they saw the opening: a filmmaker who has just won the Kryzhindangzhongbushaus Village Far Eastern Film Festival Young Oversea-Chinese Women New Director’s Honorary Mention Award is interviewed for TV, proves as pompously impenetrable as the drying-paint minimalist drama he directed, lambastes popular genre cinema and all who make it, and then is killed along with most of the other people in the room when a post-robbery shootout spills through the door. It’s virtually a one-scene manifesto - and a very funny one - for the festival’s sloppy, smoochy embrace of pulp movies and their bored distaste for stereotypical festival art cinema.

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NYAFF 2011 Coverage by Michael Wells - PART 1

Michael Wells of the Everyone Likes Movies blog has graciously offered to cover the 2011 edition of the New York Asian Film Festival (Called NYAFF by friends and intimate acquaintances) for, and we’re posting his text here on Damn You, Kozo! This is only Part One of his mult-chapter, super verbose look at the fest and its movies, so check back in the coming days for more on this week-long fest. Also, be sure to visit Everyone Likes Movies for more of Michael’s movie musings.


By Michael Wells

It’s a sign that you’ve arrived when the press gives you your own set of cliches. So, in celebration of this year’s bigger-than-ever 10th annual edition of the New York Asian Film Festival, here goes: Kung fu monks and giant robots and violence and sex and body fluids. Cheeky defiance of the staid art-cinema norm of film festivals. Scrappy four-man team makes it all happen. They’re not culture big shots, they’re just regular fans like their audience. They charge it all to their credit cards! Don’t they know how hard it is to get credit these days? Crazy! And that guy with the red hair and the loud suits who shouts a lot before the movies? Crazy! Also there are three other guys. And they’re not even Asian! But now they’re almost respectable (they get actual Asians who make movies to fly over for the festival and they show movies at the Lincoln Center Film Society right across the street from the Metropolitan Opera and NY Philharmonic) but not quite, because they still raffle off prizes to the audience and still kung fu monks and giant robots and blood and slime and only in New York!

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Edison is happy that we’re blogging again

Complain all you want, he still can’t hear you.

“It’s all pops and buzzes from here, dawg.”

Edison is a bad role model. If we did things his way, we would gladly ignore any and all criticism, and would classify those who criticize us as “haters” a.k.a. “people who don’t agree with me, and thus are terrible or awful because of it.” When you think about it, Edison is actually a prime example of the Internet generation: poor English standards, bad perspective and overwhelmingly in love with himself. At least he’s good with a camera.

Bringing this back a bit, and the powers-that-run-it have received a fair amount of criticism over the years. I try to look at the good side: going on ten years online, has long outlived what I thought would be its usefulness. It’s done a great deal for me, and supposedly it’s done a good deal for others too. At least, that’s what the email I get tells me.

At the same time, my email also tells me that the site has annoyed and even offended some, and I do take those complaints seriously. Still, I eventually have to decide if the complaints are fair and have merit, or if they come from people who are operating from a limited if not selfish perspective. It would help if I could read minds, but I don’t seem to be able to do that. Yet.

The last time I updated Damn You, Kozo was over a year ago. In that time, has taken numerous vacations and the site blogs have become rather quiet. Something needs to change. has a focus, limited and unpopular though it may be. Damn You, Kozo needs a focus too. As soon as I figure out what it is, I’ll do it.

In the meantime, this blog will reopen with occasional posts. Michael Wells of the Everyone Likes Movies blog will be contributing some guest posts on the latest New York Asian Film Festival plus we may do one of those Top 100 Hong Kong Movies reader polls again. We might also post some pictures.

It’s good to be back.

What happens in Udine - pics and notes from FEFF12

It’s been nearly a month since I attended the 12th Udine Far East Film Festival, but I have yet to post more than one or two photos detailing the trip. In past years, I’ve usually written quickly about the experience, but this year? It didn’t happen. Besides a podcast I did over at Paul Fox and Kevin Ma’s KongCast, all I did was put up one photo of LGM and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here’s a photo of me taking that photo:

Me taking photo
That’s GALLANTS co-director Clement Cheng in the background,
wondering why I’m interrupting an interview to take toy photos.

Obviously, I act in a completely professional manner while I’m over there.

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