February – April 2016

  • CRIME: Hong Kong Style is an explosive new season of crime films from Hong Kong encompassing 20 different titles
  • Season will feature four UK premieres including Dante Lam’s That Demon Within, Felix Chong’s Once A Gangster, Alan Mak & Felix Chong’s Overheard 3 and legendary director Ringo Lam’s Wild City
  • CRIME: Hong Kong Style will also welcome celebrated writer and director Felix Chong
  • Season to tour the UK with 30 venues confirmed across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland

HOME, Manchester’s international centre for contemporary visual art, theatre and film, is delighted to announce CRIME: Hong Kong Style, the UK’s biggest and boldest celebration of Hong Kong Cinema to date. Curated by Andy Willis, Reader in Film Studies at the University of Salford and Senior Visiting Curator (Film) at HOME, the season will showcase 20 titles, including everything from cult movies (Police Story, As Tears Go By), classics (Infernal Affairs, Election) to forgotten gems (Too Many Ways to be No.1, Portland Street Blues); with four UK premieres (Dante Lam’s That Demon Within, Felix Chong’s Once A Gangster, Alan Mak & Felix Chong’s Overheard 3 and Ringo Lam’s Wild City) and One Hour Intros, Q&As and a special visit from acclaimed writer and director Felix Chong. Chong is one of contemporary Hong Kong cinema’s most celebrated figures. As a co-writer of the influential Infernal Affairs and co-director of the highly successful Overheard series, he has become a key figure in recent developments in Hong Kong crime films. Chong is a winner of numerous awards for his writing and directing.

CRIME: Hong Kong Style is also set to tour the UK, with 30 partnering venues confirmed to screen a selection of the films, including Glasgow Film Theatre, Queens Theatre in Belfast, Showroom in Sheffield, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Broadway in Nottingham and Quad in Derby.

According to film experts, there has undoubtedly been a recent surge in interest in global Chinese cinema, primarily focusing on films produced in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) such as the BFI’s 2014 Electric Shadows season, a five-month programme celebrating China’s rich film tradition.

Building on this discourse, CRIME: Hong Kong Style aims to allow audiences to reconnect with the innovative contribution of the Hong Kong film industry to the ever popular genre of crime film. Its programme focuses on the influence of Hong Kong filmmakers on one of global cinemas most enduring genres, including films from the 1980s and 1990s ‘golden era’ of the Hong Kong gangster film but also works from the 60s and 70s – revealing the complex and rich heritage of Hong Kong crime films often unknown to UK audiences. The programme will also include striking contemporary Hong Kong crime films that show an awareness of the city’s history in their self-reflexive style and reworking of the genre’s codes and conventions.

Andy Willis commented: “This programme will represent much more than the stereotypical images of triad gangsters wielding machetes on the neon-lit streets of Kowloon – though there may be some machete wielding going on. We want to allow audiences to connect and re-connect with iconic Hong Kong crime films that excite, entertain and often also educate.”

Rachel Hayward, CRIME: Hong Kong Style Producer, added: “We’re particularly excited to be welcoming celebrated writer and director Felix Chong, who will also be visiting some of the touring venues for special Q&A’s and events. This is the biggest film season event in the UK to date that recognises and showcases the quintessential role the Hong Kong crime film genre plays in global cinema.”

For full programme details and to book tickets please visit www.homemcr.org or contact the HOME box office on 0161 200 1500.

CRIME: Hong Kong Style is presented with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery. The season is also supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London.

CRIME: Hong Kong Style programme highlights include: 

UK Premiere: That Demon Within (魔警)

Dir Dante Lam/2014 HK CN/111 mins/CTBA
Daniel Wu, Nick Cheung, Sixuan Chen, Kai Chi Liu, Ka Wah Lam, Andy On, Kwok-Lun Lee

The new Hong Kong action maestro Dante Lam is behind this taut and ultimately unsettling psychological thriller. Quiet and distant cop Dave (Daniel Wu) is increasingly haunted by the violent images of a criminal gang who use traditional demon masks when committing their crimes. Truth, reality and imagination begin to blur in this stylish film with which Lam once again brings a new energy to the Hong Kong crime film.

UK Premiere: Wild City (迷城)

Dir Ringo Lam/2015 HK/120 mins/CTBA
Louis Koo, Shawn Yue, Liya Tong, Hsiao-chuan Chang, Jack Kao

Ringo Lam, the director of one of the most influential Hong Kong crime films City on Fire (1987), returns to the crime genre with this exciting and stylish neo-noir. Starring Louis Koo and Shawn Yue, Wild City offers a classic cat and mouse tale as a former cop and his wayward brother quickly get out of their depth when they take on a ruthless gang of Taiwanese gangsters.

UK Premiere: Overheard 3 (竊聽風雲 3)

Dirs Alan Mak & Felix Chong/2014 HK CN/131 mins Lau Ching-wan, Louis Koo, Daniel Wu

Another free-standing film, the third instalment of Alan Mak and Felix Chong’s Overheard series focuses on corruption and land acquisition in Hong Kong’s new territories. Again displaying a strong social conscience, Overheard 3 offers Lau Ching- wan, Louis Koo, Daniel Wu new roles and needs no previous knowledge of the series to be enjoyed.

EVENT: This screening will be accompanied by a post-screening Q&A with director Felix Chong.

The Pilferers’ Progress (aka Money Crazy) (發錢寒)
Dir John Woo/1977 HK/92 mins/CTBA
Richard Ng, Ricky Hui, Angie Chiu, Ying Cheung, Ming Yu, Chin-Lai Sung, Hoi Sang, Lan Law

Ricky Hui and Richard Ng star as a pair of criminals who join forces to help a young woman retrieve her family’s jewels from Rich Chen. A broad slapstick comedy, here John Woo is venturing into territory that will be distinctly unfamiliar to his many UK fans. The Pilferers’ Progress is an example of Hong Kong comedy at its frenetic and crazy best and proves that Woo is more than simply a master of cinematic mayhem. The film was a box-office smash in Hong Kong.

Police Story (警察故事)
Dir Jackie Chan/1985 HK/99 mins
Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Kwok-Hung Lam, Bill Tung, Yuen Chor, Charlie Cho

Following his disappointment with the US produced The Protector (1985), Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan wrote and directed this crime story vehicle to showcase his wide variety of skills in front of and behind the camera. The result is a hugely influential blend of action, comedy and crime and remains perhaps one of the greatest films ever made.

As Tears Go By (旺角卡門)
Dir Wong Kar-wai/1988 HK/102 mins/CTBA
Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, Jacky Cheung, Alex Man, Ronald Wong, To-Hoi Kong, Ching Wai, Kau Lam

Award-winning director Wong Kar-wai’s debut, As Tears Go By, is a classic gangster film about loyalty, ambition and respect. It centres on Wah, a tough criminal specialising in debt collecting for the mob, who has to continually look out for his best friend Fly. When Ngor arrives in Hong Kong, her presence makes Wah question his life. With a stellar cast including Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and Maggie Cheung, the influence of As Tears Go By can still be seen on contemporary Hong Kong crime films over two decades after its release.

Portland Street Blues (古惑仔情義篇之洪興十三妹) Dir Yip Wai Man/1998 HK/114 mins/CTBA

Sandra Kwan Yue Ng, Kristy Yang, Alex Fong, Yeung-Ming Wan, Qi Shu, Noel Chik, Ekin Cheng, Man Tat Ng, Ken Lo

A relative of the popular Young and Dangerous franchise, Portland Street Blues offers a significant lead role for Sandra Ng, who takes the opportunity to deliver a nuanced and powerful performance as a woman who rises up through the ranks of a triad gang.

Infernal Affairs (無間道)
Dir Andrew Lau/2002 HK/101mins/Cantonese and English with partial EngST /CTBA

Andy Lau, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue

Bringing together two of Asia’s biggest stars, Andy Lau and Tony Leung, Infernal Affairs became a world-wide hit upon its release and remains one of Hong Kong’s most famous and influential crime films. At its core it is a classic, edge of the seat, cop and gangster cat and mouse story. Infernal Affairs was later remade by Martin Scorsese as the award-winning The Departed.

Election (黑社會)
Dir Johnnie To/2005 HK/100 mins/Cantonese, Mandarin, English with EngST/CTBA) 

Simon Yam, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Louis Koo, Nick Cheung, Tung Lam, Siu-Fai, Suet Lam, Tian-Lin Wang, Bing- Man Tam, Maggie Siu

Johnnie To is one of Hong Kong’s most important contemporary filmmakers and this one of his greatest works. Starring Hong Kong acting heavyweights Simon Yam and Tony Leung Ka-fai, Election focuses on the selection of a new triad leader and explores a string of issues from generational conflict to tradition and loyalty. At the same time Election is a pointed reflection on the politics of post-1997 Hong Kong.

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