Blog Archives

The Sorcerer and the White Snake (2011)

Remaking Hong Kong cinema’s greatest hits seems to have been all the rage lately. Last year we had Wilson Yip’s swing at remaking A Chinese Ghost Story and Tsui Hark’s second go at King Hu’s classic Dragon Inn. To be fair, Tsui’s Flying Swords of Dragon Gate ended up as more a sequel to New Dragon Gate Inn than a remake, and it was considerably more fun than I was expecting — I’ll write it up when I get … (read more)

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Dr Wai in the Scripture With No Words (1995)

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This is a delight, as you’d expect from Ching Siu Tung, the director of Swordsman 2 and all three Chinese Ghost Story films.

The film is neatly split between fantasy and reality. In the real world, pulp writer Chau (Jet Li) is morose at his impending divorce with Monica (Rosamund Kwan). His idea box is empty, but he has a deadline to finish the latest thrilling instalment of Doc Wai, the Adventure King. He writes for a bit, but gives … (read more)

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A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

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It’s impossible to not love this Tsui Hark masterpiece. It opens with a solitary scholar in a moon-drenched abandoned monastery, tempted by a beautiful girl swathed in soft white chiffon. Her drifting veil pulls the scholar to her, and as his paper lantern floats in a bowl of water, the scholar proves himself susceptible to her wiles. Alas for our scholar, he is but a bit-player in this beautiful fable, as his temptress turns out to be the point woman … (read more)

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Witch from Nepal (1985)

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One of the best things about Hong Kong filmmakers is that they keep doing the unexpected. And who else, I ask you, would make a film that spends 90 minutes on testicles?

The testicles in this case are an enchanted pair strung on a necklace and kept as a sort of sacred talisman by a Nepali tribe. When evil threatens, and the master is killed, the second in command, fortunately enough a beautiful young woman, takes the testicles to the … (read more)

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