Hong Kong film recommendations?
July 22, 2011 1:45 AM   Subscribe

What are some great Hong Kong movies for a movie marathon?

Inspired by this old Mefi post, I'm having a Hong Kong movie marathon this weekend. What are some good Hong Kong movies from the past few decades that I shouldn't miss?

They don't need to be set in Hong Kong (I like An Autumn's Tale, and that's a HK-made movie set in New York), but should at least have a Hong Kong theme.

bonus: would love recommendations for great Hong Kong TV drama series too! particularly if they are representative of a certain genre (e.g. the crimesolving-police genre etc) of HK TV.
posted by aielen to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Kung Fu Hustle
posted by sharkfu at 1:50 AM on July 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm a big fan of Johnnie To movies.
I thought Mad Detective was insanely entertaining.
posted by vacapinta at 2:17 AM on July 22, 2011

Anything directed by Wong Kar-wai.

Chungking Express
In the Mood for Love
posted by TheOtherGuy at 2:58 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Infernal affairs is pretty awesome, and arguably superior to The Departed. More details on IMDB and Wikipedia.
posted by asymptotic at 3:12 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

gah! Edit: '2054' should be '2046'
posted by TheOtherGuy at 3:27 AM on July 22, 2011

Seconding Chungking Express. It has such a mood to it.
posted by timshel at 3:37 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Hard Boiled. Some of the best action sequences ever, starring Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai.
posted by jeffmshaw at 3:52 AM on July 22, 2011

Best answer: A simpler way would be pick either a director or actor.

John Woo
A Better Tomorrow Trilogy, (1986), (1987), (1989),
The Killer (1989)
Hard Boiled (1992)

Wong Kar Wai
As Tears Go By (1988),
Days of Being Wild (1990)
Happy Together (1997)

Stanley Kwan's Rouge (1988),
Run Ling Yu (1992),
Comerades, Almost a Love Story (1997)
Hong Kong (1984)

Johnny To
Sparrow (2008) might be worth to look at, if you like French New Wave
All About Ah-Long (1989)

Steven Chow,
King of Comedy, The Tricky Master, Flirting Scholar, From Beijing with Love, Sam sei goon

Bruce Lee
Way of the Dragon
The Big Boss

Jet Lee
Once Upon a Time in China trilogy

Jackie Chan
Rumble in the Bronx
Drunken Master (1978)

Tung-Shing Yee
- Yoshiko Kawashima
- Viva Erotica

Other stuff,
- He's a Woman, She's a Man and Who's the Woman, Who's the Man

Or you could separate Hong Kong cinema by early cinema, golden age (roughly late 80's) and contemporary

For TV Drama, 'the genre that echos Law & Order/Criminal Minds/CSI, etc'
- Detective Investigation Files series, especially the first 3 seasons.
- Police Cadet series
- Files of Justice series
- Armed Reaction series
- Untraceable Evidence
- Witness to a Prosecution
'the genre that echoes ER, etc'
Healing Hands

Louis Cha's Martial Arts Adaptations. Any early 1980's adaptations are good, 90's are second choices. Notably, The Legend of Condor Heroes (1983) from the Condor Trilogy.

Must See
- The Bund (1980)
- Looking Back in Anger (1988)
- The Greed of Man (1992)
- A Kindred Spirit
- War and Beauty (2004)

Other Personal Favourites
- Les Femmes Desperados
- Secret of the Heart
- Old Time Buddy and its sequel, To Catch a Thief
- At Threshold of an Era
- Fate of Clairvoyant
- 萬家傳說(1989)
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1979)
- Rosy Business
- Winter Tears, Summer Love (1984)
- It Runs in the Family

And I think your next askme question might be where to look for them, esp. the TVB dramas.

Some lists,
- TVB Annual Anniversary List
- 24th Hong Kong Film Festival, Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures
- Hong Kong Cinema
- Hong Kong Film Award
posted by easilyconfused at 4:47 AM on July 22, 2011 [13 favorites]

A lot of the ones already mentioned here, and also Fallen Angels by Wong Kar-wai. It's under-seen and underrated. Amazing mood, score, and acting. Plus it stars the gorgeous Takeshi Kaneshiro.
posted by methroach at 5:11 AM on July 22, 2011

La Moustache is an excellent French film that takes place partly in Hong Kong.
posted by Jahaza at 5:20 AM on July 22, 2011

It looks like most of the major bases have been covered (John Woo, Wong Kar-Wai, Johnnie To, Stephen Chow), so you're in good hands!

In addition, I'll recommend Election and its sequel Triad Election, both from Johnnie To's filmography. From Tung-Shing Yee's, I'll recommend One Nite in Mongkok.
posted by C^3 at 5:34 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Raise The Red Lantern
Farewell My Concubine
Ju Dou

None of these are action movies, by the way. If I had to pick only 1, it'd probably be Farewell My Concubine.
posted by jquinby at 5:35 AM on July 22, 2011

I always liked Godzilla versus King Kong, and... oh. Hong Kong.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 5:58 AM on July 22, 2011

jquinby: while all are worthy, not one of the three movies mentioned is a Hong Kong movie.

Surprised no one has suggested the film starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, Wong Kar-Wai's masterpiece: In the Mood for Love
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:24 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

City on Fire by Ringo Lam, allegedly the inspiration for some quite significant scenes in Reservoir Dogs (Wikipedia, IMDB).

On a more light-hearted theme, I thought Love in a Puff (Wikipedia, IMDB) had a great city and conversational mood, but I did see it late night on a flight, so I'm not totally sure of my judgement on that one.

Among the many great suggestions already, I'd agree that you have to include some Wong Kar-Wai and Chungking Express perhaps has the best 'feel' of Hong Kong. Infernal Affairs is excellent and far better than The Departed, but I wouldn't bother with the sequels.
posted by Temagami at 6:47 AM on July 22, 2011

Heroic Trio is pure insanity.
posted by cazoo at 7:37 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Anna Hui's The Way We Are is a remarkable little slice-of-life.

And I always discover new things from the Recommendations lists at Love HK Film.
posted by milquetoast at 9:47 AM on July 22, 2011

Back in the day Running Out of Time made me sit up and notice Andy Lau outside of his pop-star image.

Green Snake and Fist of Legend are my rewatch favorites for the HK fantasy and martial arts genres.
posted by jyorraku at 10:12 PM on July 22, 2011

Best answer: Ignoring the stuff that hasn't been recommended already:

Comrades: Almost a Love Story
-- my personal favourite HK movie.
Young and Dangerous -- all of 'em. You could have a Young and Dangerous marathon!
Anything with Sandra Ng, but I especially like Dance of a Dream (with Andy Lau and Anita Mui), and the first Golden Chicken movie (a history of HK through a hooker's perspective.) Her spin-off Young and Dangerous movie, Portland Street Blues in which she plays a lesbian triad is pretty great as well.
No love for Fruit Chan on Metafilter? Hollywood Hong Kong is great.

Also, any Johnnie To recommendations that doesn't include his dual contribution to the gambling and lunar new year comedy genres, Fat Choi Spirit isn't worth the proverbial candle.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:25 AM on July 31, 2011

I'd skip the HK tv drama though, and go Korean all the way.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:29 AM on July 31, 2011

Ah, I see I missed easilyconfused recommendation for Comrades. That's because he'd listed it as directed by Stanley Kwan, when it's really directed by Peter Chan.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:35 AM on July 31, 2011

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