By Janine Gericke.
The San Francisco Film Society continues it’s fall season with the Hong Kong cinema series. The three day event has Chow Yun-Fat, a little bit of kung fu, and a special 20th anniversary screening of Wong Kar-wai’s Chunking Express (Chung Hing sam lam, Hong Kong 1994, 98 min.), just to highlight a few of the weekend’s gems.
The first day kicks off with Wong Jing’s From Vegas to Macau (Du cheng feng yun, Hong Kong/China 2014, 93 min.). Jing and star Chow Yun Fat have previously worked together on 2012’s The Last Tycoon (Da Shang Hai) and the 1989 action comedy God of Gamblers. Kung Fu fans will not want to miss the North American premiere of Jacob Cheung’s The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom (Bai fa mo nu zhuan zhi ming ye tian guo, Hong Kong 2014, 104 min.). The film tells the love story between Wudang leader Zhou Yihang and witch Jade Raksha.
Wong Kar-wai’s stunning Chunking Express is a must see. One of the defining films of the 90s, it was released by Miramax and is considered one of the greatest films ever to come out of Hong Kong. The second day also offers a coming of age story following a group of 5 teens from high school to early in their careers in Uncertain Relationships Society (Aimei buming guanxi yanjiu xuehui, Hong Kong 2014, 120 min.) directed by Heiward Mak. Director Fruit Chan, of Three…Extremes (2004) and Made in Hong Kong (1997) brings his satirical horror comedy The Midnight After (Na ye ling san ngor jor seung liu Wongkok hio wong Daibo dik hung van, Hong Kong 2014, 124 min.) to this year’s event. The film is based on an online novel, Lost on a Red Minibus to Tai Po, in which 16 passengers find themselves stuck in a post-apocalyptic world.
The final day begins with Ann Hui’s The Golden Era (Huang jin shi dai, Hong Kong/China 2014, 178 min.), which was chosen as this year’s closing film for the Venice Film Festival. The biopic is about the short, but full life of female novelist Xiao Hong. Aberdeen (Heung Gong Jai, Hong Kong 2014, 97 min.) from director Pang Ho-cheung, takes a look into the lives of a Hong Kong family. The Hong Kong series wraps with Overheard 3 (Sit yan fung wan 3, Hong Kong/China 2014, 132 min.), directed by Alan Mak, a crime thriller involving the development of real estate in Hong Kong’s new territories.
Most definitely, a little something for everyone. Be sure to check out sffs.org for more information. All screenings will be at San Francisco’s Vogue Theater November 14-16th.
Janine Gericke is a Film International ‘In the Field’ writer.