Friday, July 27, 2012
Definitely amongst the ten
A Hero Never Dies asked me to take part in his upcoming TOP 10 of favourite Hong Kong films (and thanks for the offer!). I first encountered the Hong kong film via the old UK fanzine IN THE FLESH when I lived in London in the late 80s. Editor Steve C. was among the very first to dig up those unknown treasures via tape-trading (and you still owe me for a full subscription, Steve C.!!!). And later on Jonathan Ross did an edition of his The Incredibly Strange Film Show devoted to HK cinema. I watched and re-watched that episode over and over again. Shortly after a number of the films started turning up on Channel 4. I think I still have some of those tapes with ad snippets in them. LOL.
So, almost 25 years as a HK movie fan, what do you choose as your favourites??? I thought it would be a piece of cake, just take the 10 most loved ones from the early days! But, usch, 10 quickly turned into 20 and there's more popping up like there's no stopping them. Too many faves!!
But one film that sits firmly placed in the back of my mind and has done so ever since that first viewing via a 3rd generation video dupe from UK TV is ROUGE. This is ANITA MUI's film. And Leslie Cheung's. It's a ghost movie about loss but in contradiction to, for instance, A CHINESE GHOST STORY it's not full-on ghost fighting at breakneck speed. And there's no scenes set in the realm of death. It's a quiet and sad love story about a woman who should have died but didn't and thus have to go from one eternity to the next in search for the love she lost.
It's a gripping, sad, wonderful, and awesome film. And the main actors' reality isn't any less sad; A few years after the film was finished Leslie Cheung killed himself (he couldn't stand getting older) and soon after Anita Mui died from Cancer. She was just over 40. Both were big film and pop stars in HK and in the Chinese markets. Anita Mui had a big audience in Canada (many Chinese live in Canada).
So that's ONE down. Now I just gotta settle on the remaining 9. @_@
I posted the cover for my VHS here. Unfortunately, it's been reported (on ADG) that the most recent HK DVD has the top and bottom chopped off. The old HK DVD and the VHS uses the original picture format.