Monday, July 21, 2008

Movies, Movies, Movies

Over at Webs of Signifiance my friend has listed her 100 favorite movies. She was inspired by a friend, I was inspired by her and perhaps others will be inspired to make a list too. These are movies I like and have viewed more than once. Some I've watched many many more times than once. Most are from Hong Kong, Korea, China and Japan. There's no doubt about it, I really like Asian movies and have for many years. I say this in my about me blurb but haven't written about them as there are several excellent websites devoted to Asian movies.

The posters below are from an exhibit, KUNG FU, GANGSTERS ETC, I saw this month at the Cinematheque Quebecoise in Montreal. The Hong Kong film posters are from the collection of Colin Geddes. For a Hong Kong movie fan like myself it was a treat to see 50 movie posters together and many thanks to Mr Geddes for showing them.

Brigitte Lin in CHUNGKING EXPRESS (Wong Kar Wai , 1994). Love her blond wig, black sunglass and trench coat.

A BETTER TOMORROW III: LOVE & DEATH IN SAIGON (Tsui Hark, 1989) with Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Anita Mui. One of my favorite movies. Notice the fold line in the poster.


2001: A Space Odyssey ( Stanley Kubrick 1968)
Hal, I hope you are happy . Not only are you in the top 100 but you’re first on the list.

After This Our Exile (Patrick Tam 2006)
Aliens (James Cameron 1986)
And I Hate You So (Yee Chung Man 2000)
April Snow (Hur Jih-Ho 2005)
Art Museum By the Zoo (Lee Jeong-hyang 1998)
Ashes of Time (Wong Kar Wai 1994)

Bang Rajan ( Tanit Jitnukul 2001)
Battle Royale (Kukasaku Kinji 2000)
Be There or Be Square (Feng Xiaogang 1998)
A Better Tomorrow III: Love & Death in Saigon (Tsui Hark 1989)
Bride With White Hair (Ronnie Yu 1993)

Casablanca (Michael Curtiz 1942)
Chinese Ghost Story I (Ching Siu-Tung 1987)
Chinese Odyssey 2002 (Jeff Lau 2002)
Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai 1994)
Clueless (Amy Heckerling 1995)
Comrades Almost A Love Story (Peter Chan 1996)
Cruel Winter Blues (Lee Jeong-geom 2006)

Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar Wai 1991)
Double Impact (Sheldon Lettich 1991)
Dragon Inn (Raymond Lee1992)
Dream Factory (Feng Xiaogang 1997)
Dream Lovers (Tony Au Ting-Ping 1986)
Eighteen Springs (Ann Hui 1997)
Election I & II (Johnnie To 2005 & 2006)
Exiled (Johnnie To 2006)

Fallen Angels (Wong Kar Wai 1995)
Fantasia (Walt Disney Studio, various 1940)
Fish Called Wanda (Charles Crichton 1998)

Garden of the Finzi Contini (Vittori DeSica 1970)
Git - Feather in the Wind (Song Il-gon 2004)
The Golden Child (Michael Richie 1986)
Happiness of the Katakuris (Takashi Miike 2001)
Happy Together (Wong Kar Wai 1997)
Hero (Zhang Zimou 2002)
Heroic Trio (Johnnie To 1993)
He’s a Woman, She’s a Man (Peter Chan 1994)

Infernal Affairs I-III (Andrew Lau & Alan Mak 2002-2003)
Ingeniously Taking Mount Hua (Wei Guo 1953)
Isabella (Edmond Pang 2006)

Jade, Goddess of Mercy (Ann Hui 2003)
Johnny Mnemonic (Robert Longo 1995)
Joint Security Area (Park Chan-wook 2000)
Juliet of the Spirits (Fedrico Fellini 1965)
Just One Look (Ridley Yip 2002)

Kamome Diner - Seagull Diner (Ogigami Naoko 2006)
The King and the Clown (Lee Jun-ik 2005)

The Little Chinese Seamstress (Dai Sijiie 2002)
Love in a Fallen City (Ann Hui 1984)
The Lover (Jean-Jacques Annaud 1992)
Lust, Caution (Ang Lee 2007)

The Mad Detective (Johnnie To 2007)
The Matrix (Andy & Larry Wachowski 1999)
Megane - Glasses (Ogigami Naoko 2007)
Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-ho 2003)
My Life as McDull ( Toe Yuen 2001)
Moonlight Express (Daniel Lee 1999)
Millennium Actress (Kon Satoshi 2001)
My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki 1988)
My Sassy Girl (Kwak Jae-young 2001)
My Wife is a Gangster 2 (Jeong Heung-sun 2003)

Nana (Otani Kentaro 2005)
Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow 1987)

Okinawa Rendez-vous (Gordon Chan 2000)
Out of Sight (Steven Soderbergh 1998)

Peking Opera Blues (Tsui Hark 1986)
Peony Pavilion (Yonfan 2001)
Philadelphia Story (George Cukor 1940)
Police Story 3 (Stanley Tong 1993)
Pistol Opera (Seijun Suzuki 2001)
Princess Raccoon (Seijun Suzuki 2005)

The Returner (Takashi Yamazaki 2002)
Rouge (Stanley Kwan 1987)
Rumble in the Bronx (Stanley Tong 1995)

Shinobi (Shimoyama Ten 2005)
Sixteen Candles (1984 John Hughes)
So Close (Corey Yuen 2002)
Sorry Baby (Feng Xiaogang 1999)
Speed (Jan de Bont 1994)
The Story of Rose - Rose - Lost Romance (Yonfan 1985)
Suzhou River (Lou Ye 2000)
Swiri (Kang Je-gyu 1999)
Swordsman II & III ( Ching Siu Tung 1992)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Park Chan-wook 2005)

Terminator 1 & 2 (James Cameron 1984 & 1991)
A Terracotta Warrior (Ching Siu Tung 1990)
Tokyo Raiders (Jingle Ma 2000)
A Touch of Zen (King Hu 1969)
The Transporter (Cory Yuen 2002)
Tune in Tomorrow (Jon Amiel 1990)

Untold Scandal (Lee Je-yong 2003)
The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer 1995)

Viva Erotica (Derek Yee 1996)
Visible Secret (Ann Hui 2001)

The White Countess (James Ivory 2005)


YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

A few comments if I may:-

- In general: Gosh, you've got lots more Hong Kong (and other Asian) movies than most people would, especially for someone living in Vermont! :)

- ART MUSEUM BY THE ZOO: Love the title and it's actually the first Korean film I ever saw... Aaaah, memories! :)

- A question arising from seeing BANG RAJAN on your list: Have you seen the Thai (as opposed to Miramaxed) version of SURIYOTHAI?

- What's CRUEL WINTER BLUES? Please tell about it and what makes you like it so.

- So you really prefer the later Johnnie To Milkyway crime films (e.g., EXILED, MAD DETECTIVE) to the earlier ones (e.g., A HERO NEVER DIES -- which so very nearly made it on to my 100 movies list)?

- Woah, you really like Ann Hui, don't you? Knew you did but never realized how much until I saw your list. Have you seen her THE SECRET and SONG OF THE EXILE yet? And, of course, really would highly recommend THE WAY WE ARE. :)

sbk said...

Hi ytsl

Thanks for your comments.

I too was a little surprised at the number of Hong Kong movies. And also the number of movies starring handsome men on the pretty side. Another friend pointed this out to me too...

Do you see any trends in your 100 Movies?

ART MUSEUM BY THE ZOO-I think it was one of the first movies I saw at Anthology Archives in NYC as part of what's now the NYAFF. Yes, aaah, memories.

SURIYOTHAI-Gordon has what I think is a Thai copy of it. We don't have the 'Miramaxed' one. I have to admit I haven't watched it.

I'm going to do a blog about Na Moon Ne [mid 60's female lead of CRUEL WINTER BLUES] and will go on and on about the movie.

I like most of Johnnie To's movies and to pick favorites depends a lot on my mood. I will say sometimes I like movies that may be slightly 'pretentious'.

I haven't seen THE SECRET or SONG OF EXILE yet. Can't wait to see THE WAY WE ARE.

YTSL said...

Hi again sbk --

Oh, didn't notice the number of movies starring handsome men on the pretty side... but I did notice quite a few Leslie movies. So...

Re trends in my own list: I notice the lacks -- of horror, sci-fi (except when it was by Steven Spielberg... kind of embarrassing, really!). Also nothing from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, Central America and only one entry from South America. :S

"I will say sometimes I like movies that may be slightly 'pretentious'."

Funny, because of all the lists I've seen, I'd say that yours is the most unpretentious of all! :)

Re films you've not yet seen: I get the feeling you'll like SURIYOTHAI if you loved BANG RAJAN even though SURIYOTHAI is more drama and BANG RAJAN more action. SONG OF THE EXILE used to be available on VHS tape in more international US video stores -- see whether you can find it. THE SECRET is very difficult to find, I'm afraid. My VHS tape was a dupe of someone's that was taped off a Hong Kong TV channel!