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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘Faye Wong’ Category

An Odyssey Worth Taking

Faye Wong

While crossing over to Genting, Malaysia during a Singaporean vacation a summer or two ago, I picked up a number of affordably-priced Hong Kong DVDs, including Police Story 3: Supercop, For Bad Boys Only, and the TVB series, EU. Amongst the plethora of films I purchased for bargain basement prices was Jeff Lau’s Lunar New Year Comedy, Chinese Odyssey 2002, a comedic follow-up of sorts to the Lau-directed, Stephen Chow-led Monkey King movies, A Chinese Odyssey Part 1: Pandora’s Box and A Chinese Odyssey Part 2: Cinderella. I’d seen the movie previously and enjoyed it, but I only owned the VCD so I figured it was about time for an upgrade.

Although not directly connected to the two previous films I mentioned, the tone of Chinese Odyssey 2002 is quite similar. Mixing equal parts lowbrow comedy,  (self-)parody, and heartfelt romance, the film makes for quite a mishmash of genres. Narratively, Chinese Odyssey 2002 centers on Tony Leung Chiu-Wai’s Ah Long (aka “Bully the Kid” in the English subtitles), the local village hooligan whose frequent shenanigans have jeopardized the marriage prospects of his cute, prone to cross-dressing sister, Feng (a mesmerizing Vicki Zhao). As fate would have it, the Princess Wushuang (Faye Wong) has fled the palace in search of –well, I’m not sure. A genuine experience of the outside world? A newfound sense of freedom? A way to avoid an inevitable arranged marriage? One imagines it’s some combination of the three and then some.

Tony Leung 01

Stay strong, Little Tony. Stay strong.

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My Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s — WKW is A-OK

Chungking Express

Lesson learned from watching Chungking Express and Amelie: stalking is totally okay…if you’re a doe-eyed cutie

I’d wager vital parts of my anatomy that Chungking Express is probably the first Wong Kar-Wai film that most Americans saw. It took the top slot in the Reader’s Poll, and although I didn’t vote it #1, I probably would’ve if you’d asked me ten or eleven years ago. When I first saw this flick via Quentin Tarantino’s now defunct Rolling Thunder label (The fact that they never released Rolling Thunder itself  boggles the mind), and I honestly didn’t know what to think of the movie once I’d finished it. Confused, challenged, yet strangely exhilarated, Chungking Express was like no Hong Kong movie I’d seen before — and that’s actually saying something if you think about how weird, wild, and downright nutty Hong Kong cinema can get. Interestingly enough, it was an experience that I would have repeatedly when watching other Wong Kar-Wai films.

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My Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s

 LoveAndy

With the official LoveHKFilm.com reader poll on the Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s now complete, I thought I might as well share my own top choices with everyone. The moment this poll was announced, I scribbled down what amounted to about  twenty-five or so 90s era Hong Kong films that I absolutely loved or really, really liked. After consulting our archive and recommendation lists to make sure a really wonderful movie hadn’t completely slipped my mind, I whittled the list down to twenty choices and sent them in to Kozo. Of course, there are so many films to choose from, so even personal faves like Lost and Found and Rave Fever got cut out in the process. Before I begin, let me be clear about one thing, I had ZERO desire to create a list that would be considered as “representative” of the decade. That’s a tactic  we often see in random magazine and website top ten lists (I’m looking at you, Entertainment Weekly), as a few “respectable choices” are mindlessly tacked on to add some air of legitimacy. Well, NONE of my choices were made because I thought I should fulfill somebody else’s expectations of what a top ten (or twenty in my case) list should look like. I went with my head, my heart, and my gut.

The last time I composed a top ten list, I chose to do a countdown. I did so for at least three reasons: 1) I was modeling it after current AICN and former CHUD.com critic, Jeremy “Mr. Beaks” Smith’s ambitious Top 100 Films of the Decade countdown, 2) a LoveHKFilm.com’s reader’s poll countdown was already under way, and I thought that readers might be interested to know if my picks coincided with their own, in anticipation of the final ten, and 3) it seemed like writing and posting about my choices in piecemeal fashion made a lot more sense than crafting an overlong and unwieldy blog post that nobody would want to read. Sounds logical enough, right?

Well, this time around, I’m going to do things a little differently. Not only is the 90s readers’ poll long over, but I just really don’t have a desire to write about every movie that I chose with the same level of depth. Instead of a countdown, I’m gonna just lay it all out here and then talk about some of the films in separate blog posts.

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