JUMP CUT
 A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA


Notes

Thanks to Grigoris Daskalogrigorakis for his helpful comments.

1. Larry Gross, “Nonchalant Grace,” Sight and Sound, 6, no. 9 (September 1996), p. 8.

2. Stephen Teo, Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimension (London: British Film Institute, 1997), p. 244.

3. John A. Lent, The Asian Film Industry (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1990), p. 118. Also, see Teo, p. 244.

4. For example, see Tony Rayns, “Hard Boiled,” Sight and Sound, 2, No. 4 (August 1992), p. 21.

5. For more on the history of Hong Kong cinema, see Lent, pp. 92-121; Fredric Dannen and Barry Long, Hong Kong Babylon: An Insider’s Guide to the Hollywood of the East (New York: Hyperion/Miramax, 1997), pp. 1-55; Paul Fonoroff, “Hong Kong Cinema,” in Encyclopedia of Chinese Film, eds. Yingjin Zhang and Zhiwei Xiao (New York: Routledge, 1998), pp. 31-46; Lisa Odham Stokes and Michael Hoover, City on Fire: Hong Kong Cinema (New York: Verso, 1999); and Teo, Hong Kong Cinema.

6. For example, see Teo, pp. 144-49. Some newspaper film reviews have also called the colony’s action cinema “the Hong Kong New Wave.”

7. Rone Tempest, “Hong Kong’s Film Business Struggles to Make a Comeback,” Los Angeles Times, March 21, 1999, pp. C1, 16.

8. In great demand, Doyle has worked not only for other directors in Hong Kong, but for filmmakers in other industries as well: Chen Kaige’s Temptress Moon (1996) in China and Park Ki-Yong’s Motel Cactus (1997) in South Korea, for example. He made his Hollywood debut with Gus Van Sant’s ill-advised 1998 remake of Psycho. Doyle has also published books of his photographs and writings, such as A Cloud in Trousers (Santa Monica, Ca.: Smart Art Press, 1998).

9. Stephen Rowley, “Chungking Express, Happy Together, and Postmodern Space,” http://www.werple.net.au/~lerowley/postmod2.htm (July 15, 1999), p.3.

10. See Tony Rayns, “Poet of Time,” Sight and Sound, 5, no. 9 (September 1995), p. 12.

11. Wong interviewed by Jimmy Ngai, “A Dialogue with Wong Kar-Wai: Cutting Between Time and Two Cities,” in Wong Kar-Wai, ed. Danièle Rivère (Paris: Dis Voir, n.d.), p. 113. Ellipses in original.

12. Cf. Gross, p. 8.

13. There seems to be some disagreement whether the kung fu film is a kind of wuxia pian or a separate category. Lau Shing-Hon refers to both kung fu and swordplay movies as wuxia pian, but Teo reserves the term wuxia pian exclusively for the swashbucklers, which he says were “clearly delineated” from kung fu until the two genres were combined in the 1970s, when martial heroes were shown fighting both armed and unarmed. See Lau Shing-Hon, Introduction, A Study of the Hong Kong Martial Arts Film (Hong Kong: Hong Kong International Film Festival, 1980), p. 3; and Teo, pp. 98-99.

14. Jin Yong is actually the pen name of Hong Kong newspaper mogul Louis Cha.

15. Jeff Yang, “Chinese Pulp Fiction,” in Eastern Standard Time: A Guide to Asian Influence on American Culture, eds. Jeff Yang et al. (New York: Mariner, 1997), p. 41.

16. Sek Kei, “The Development of ‘Martial Arts’ in Hong Kong Cinema,” in A Study of the Hong Kong Martial Arts Film, p. 27.

17. For more on nationalism in the films of Bruce Lee, see Tony Rayns, “Bruce Lee: Narcissism and Nationalism,” in A Study of the Hong Kong Martial Arts Film, pp. 109-12; and Teo, pp. 110-21. By “classical” martial-arts films, I mean in particular those textually conservative wuxia pian produced by Hong Kong before the 1980s, as well as some later examples, such as Jackie Chan’s star vehicles. Once the 1997 issue came into play, the conflation of nationalism and violence became too contradictory not to rupture the on-screen content (with cross-dressing, surrealistic geysers of blood, bodies exploding cataclysmically, etc.) of most martial-arts movies, especially Tsui Hark’s and Ching Siu-Tung’s.

18. Tony Rayns, “Chaos and Anger,” Sight and Sound, 4, no. 10 (October 1994), p. 15.

19. Although the film’s soundtrack clearly refers to this character as “633” (luk-sam-sam), the number on his uniform epaulets reads “663,” and some sources call the character by this number.

20. For example, see Tony Rayns, “Fallen Angels” (review), Sight and Sound, 6, no. 9 (September 1996), p. 42.

21. For example, see Jean-Marc Lalanne, “Images from the Inside,” in Wong Kar-Wai, pp. 22-24.

22. Ackbar Abbas, “The Erotics of Disappointment,” in Wong Kar-Wai, p. 46.

23. For more on the relationship between colonialism and narrative, see Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media (New York: Routledge, 1994).

24. Brigitte Lin (Chinese name: Lin Ching-Hsia) is originally from Taiwan and speaks her voice-overs in Mandarin. Since Hong Kong’s local Chinese dialect is Cantonese, Lin’s character embodies a Chinese identity larger than just Hong Kong. For an appreciation of Lin’s career, see Howard Hampton, “Venus, Armed,” Film Comment, 32, No. 5 (September-October 1996), pp. 42-48.

25. This genre is known in Hong Kong as the “hero” film. I borrow the term “heroic bloodshed” from Rick Baker, quoted in Bey Logan, Hong Kong Action Cinema (Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook, 1995), p. 126.

26. Most Hong Kong films are given titles in both Chinese and English for domestic consumption, and sometimes, the two titles have little to do with each other. However, Fallen Angels is more or less a literal translation of the Chinese title, (in Mandarin/pinyin:) Duoluo Tianshi, except that the words have less of a religious resonance in Hong Kong.

27. As a heterosexual viewer, I never cared whether Yiu-Fai and Po-Wing ever patched up their relationship. However, a gay friend of mine told me that he empathized with the two characters and hoped that the film would have them end up together.

28. However, another 1997 Hong Kong movie titled Happy Together, one directed by Sherman Wong, used a heterosexual cross-border couple to symbolize the settlement’s new union to the mainland.

29. Although Wong is very critical of Yiu-Fai and Po-Wing’s particular relationship—because their personalities are so incompatible— I don’t think that Happy Together intends to be critical of gay relationships in general. After all, Yiu-Fai never renounces his homosexuality.

30. For a brief summary of romantic love as portrayed in transnational Chinese cinema, see Yingjin Zhang, “Love and Marriage,” in Encyclopedia of Chinese Film, pp. 230-33.

31. For more about Third Cinema, see Fernando Solanas and Octavio Gettino, “Towards a Third Cinema,” in Movies and Methods, ed. Bill Nichols (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1976), pp. 44-64.

32. Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” New Left Review, no. 146 (July-August 1984), p. 89.

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