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Member Lists

An Intro to Chinese Movies (No kicking)
List creator: kamapuaa
Created on: January 19, 2005 - 5:18 PM PST
Description: To my mind, the world's best films.

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Chungking Express (Criterion) (1994)
  If you're new, start here. A great mix of pop stars, high art, and populism, that characterizes some of the best HK movies. Quentin Tarantino gives a good introduction to both the director Wong Kar Wai and Hong Kong Cinema.
In the Mood for Love (Criterion Collection) (2000)
  Wong Kar Wai's best movie. Slow and sad, this is the most intense film I've seen. You'll want to rent the Bonus Disk, which shows an entirely different movie left on the cutting room floor.
Days of Being Wild (1991)
  Wong Kar Wai's second movie is a masterpiece, but also shows germs of themes that would be expanded on in his future films. While you're at it, rent the rest of WKW's movies.
Flowers of Shanghai (1998)
Not Rated
  With its clearly delineated scenes and intense set pieces, this felt more like a collection of exquisite short stories than a film. Directed by Taiwan's Hou Hsiao Hsien.
Running on Karma (2003)
  Johnny To! HK's prolific, genre-hopping director is extremely commercial and somewhat inconsistent, but easy to like. Here he makes the best superhero movie ever.
PTU (2003)
  Johnny To's Mabuse-esque flik, set in a chaotic universe of idiots, pencil-pushers, and liars, where chance is more important than actions or principles. It almost works and the results are fascinating. Expect film students to study it in 50 years.
Needing You (2000)
Not Rated
  Johnny To again. A completely charming office romance. The subject is slight but the demands of the genre are nailed perfectly. Rent the other Sammi Cheng-Johnny To movies as well.
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
Not Rated
  A fun light-hearted movie about family and food. From Ang Lee, director of "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon," when he was still a Taiwanese director and not an International Man of Mystery.
Farewell My Concubine (1993)
  A corny melodrama of the highest order, directed by 5th Generation Kaige Chen. Leslie Cheung and Gong Li are a pleasure to watch.
To Live (1994)
Not Rated
  Sorry Elvlee, but I don't believe this melodrama reflected everybody's life. Still another fun Gong Li potboiler with an interesting look at the Cultural Revolution. Directed by 5th Generation Zhang Yimou of "Hero" and "House of the Flying Daggers."
Infernal Affairs (2002)
  Could have been better, but still my favorite of the "In Too Deep" concept common to HK and Hollywood action movies. More procedural than action based.
The Longest Nite (1998)
Not Rated
  Excellent take on some genre standards - Neon-dominated city streets at night, cops and gangsters as opposite sides of the same coin. Although I prefer the similar but not-stocked The Mission.
City on Fire (1987)
  Ringo Lam is a very good if perhaps dated action director. This is my favorite to watch because the excellent ending was later made into Reservoir Dogs.
Bullet in the Head (1990)
Not Rated
  John Woo's best movie. Dramatic problems, but great scenes. It's interesting to see a Vietnamese War movie from a not-American director.
The Killer (1989)
Not Rated
  Sure John Woo's movie is a bit dated and even comes off as a parody. There's no way around it though, Chow Yun Fat is cool and so are a lot of the images.
Shaolin Soccer (2001)
  Stephen Chow's massively popular comedy. I suppose this violates my "no kicking" rule.
King of Comedy (1999)
Not Rated
  Another Stephen Chow comedy, I prefer it to Shaolin Soccer because: no computer effects, funny digs at Woo movies, intensely sweet-natured, and, uhmmm, Cecilia Cheung.
Suzhou River (2000)
  The only time I've liked 1st person POV. An interesting view of Shanghai. A unique and enjoyable art movie.
Comrades, Almost a Love Story (1997)
Not Rated
  A popular and much-awarded romance with an interesting take on HK and NYC. Maggie Cheung is outstanding.

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