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The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Old 10-03-21, 07:48 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I saw Hong Sangsoo's two latest films, Introduction and In Front of Your Face at the NYFF. Introduction was ok and plays with structure like some of Hong's other work. I enjoyed In Front of Your Face quite a bit. The staple drunken restaurant conversation scene in this was one was one the best.

Apparently, he's already done with his next film. I'm glad Cinema Guild has been distributing these out in the US, though their rollouts aren't major. The Woman Who Ran's release was pretty minor. But, they are putting out a bunch of his older titles on Blu-ray soon.
Old 10-04-21, 07:10 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I finally got a chance to watch Train To Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020). Wasn't able to see the limited theatrical run it had last year, so I watched it in 4K UHD.

It's well-made but lacks so much of what made the first film so great, including originality.
Old 10-04-21, 07:44 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread


https://cityonfire.com/donnie-yen-fi...U4nD5OSMVs2mrQ

If you don't subscribe to Hi-Yah (comes out October 22nd) you can buy the BD of Raging Fire on November 23rd.
Old 10-22-21, 09:38 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Now on Hi-Yah! I’m watching it this way then buying the 4K.
Old 10-22-21, 09:42 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by E Unit
Now on Hi-Yah! Iím watching it this way then buying the 4K.
https://twitter.com/hiyahtv/status/1...106203147?s=21
What 4K?
Old 10-22-21, 09:45 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

When they more than likely release it that way in HK. That’s how I usually buy stuff when it comes to Donnie Yen movies. I don’t wait for Well Go releases or whoever releases them in the States.
Old 11-08-21, 12:15 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

22nd Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival just concluded its 10-day run, and I can't tell you how great it was to see movies on a big screen again, with enthusiastic audiences. Attendance was sparse for obvious reasons (although some films still managed to sell out). I was in the booth for pretty much the whole event so I rarely got to see anything. The two films I did catch were quite enjoyable though. First was Office Royale (although I don't like that title and it's NOT a translation of the Japanese....clearly it's an attempt to attract American fans who are well aware of Battle Royale):


Basically a mash-up of OL (Office Lady) workplaces and girl gangs, with the manic Japanese style of humor permeating everything. Great action and fight scenes, except I mostly preferred the off-screen fight scenes while the on-screen OLs enjoyed their breaktimes ignoring the mayhem outside.

Other movie I saw was Zhang Yimou's One Second:


As someone who's shown movies before (like say, the last 10 days) including showing from 35mm prints, I loved seeing the dedication of the film presenters so well-represented on screen. My 35mm experience is minimal, having gotten involved with projection towards the last half of the aughts, but I've still had manic experiences in the booth. Like waiting for a movie to finish so I can immediately disconnect the HDCAM deck, change the frame rate, and run it over to another screen just in time to start the movie. There was a political side to One Second as well, that I'm ashamed to admit a lot of it went over my head as I'm not as familiar with Chinese Communism. I do understand that Zhang had a difficult time with this film, and the Chinese government is not always depicted very well in it. Probably one of those movies I'll want to research and re-watch.
Old 11-10-21, 03:42 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Paff
There was a political side to One Second as well, that I'm ashamed to admit a lot of it went over my head as I'm not as familiar with Chinese Communism. I do understand that Zhang had a difficult time with this film, and the Chinese government is not always depicted very well in it. Probably one of those movies I'll want to research and re-watch.
Anyone watching this film needs to do some research if they're unfamiliar. The CCP is ok with 'certain' critical depictions of the disastrous, soul-crushing, widespread poverty-inducing Cultural Revolution – well, now, anyway – but they still forced Zhang to make plenty of changes to the film, and in particular alter the ending into something that more or less absolves the Party of direct involvement in the daughter's fate. This could've been one of Zhang's top films, and maybe still could be if the uncut pre-Festival-cancellation version ever resurfaces. As such, it's still very much worth seeing, but anyone who thinks the Chinese government doesn't dictate the terms on literally every single piece of entertainment – thus propagandizing all of them whether it's explicit or not – can dig up at least one major deletion from this film (presumably along with the "correcting" of other "technical difficulties encountered during post production" (as the CCP claimed) and hopefully understand why it's compromised.
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Old 11-13-21, 04:36 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I caught a showing of the Mui Yim-fong biopic Anita. The movie briefly covers Mui's childhood with her older sister before skipping forward to her winning a talent contest and quickly becoming a singing sensation and then a movie star and cultural icon. There is a segment devoted to her blossoming relationship with a popular Japanese singer (which I had not known of before) which feels kind of formulaic and rushed through. The movie covers the significant events in her life, such as the death of her sister, the suicide of her close friend and fellow superstar Leslie Cheung and her run-in with the triads, which forced her to retreat from the spotlight. All in all, this is a very conventional biopic, certainly not like Center Stage by Stanley Kwan, although the two movies do intersperse actual footage of their subject throughout their running times. Kwan, of course, also gave Mui her signature role in Rouge, which a portion of this film is devoted to.

Not surprisingly, Anita is unabashedly sentimental and more of a celebration of Mui's life and her strength of character than it is a film that tries to peel away the surface layers of a famous person to reveal what really made them tick. The movie shies away from ever portraying Mui in a bad light, except for the occasional alcohol and minor drug use, and tardiness. We don't learn much of anything about her relationship with her mother, which was apparently not the greatest. Still, if you were a fan of HK cinema during Mui's heyday, you will probably get some goosebumps during certain sections of this movie. Certainly, if you are at least knowledgeable of Mui's most famous songs, hearing them again and seeing them performed will bring back some choice memories. Model Louise Wong, making her film debut, bears a strong (but not uncanny) resemblance to Mui and performs admirably throughout, though the actor playing Leslie Cheung doesn't look a whole lot like him. The ubiquitous Louis Koo shows up as Eddie Lau, Mui's faithful fashion designer.

Overall, Anita is a rather glossy and surface level portrait of Hong Kong's iconic and sometimes controversial superstar, but it's a heartfelt tribute that also manages to be an entertaining and somewhat moving portrait of a memorable era that now seems so long ago. If you're the kind of person who would get a kick out of seeing a photo of Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh in their Heroic Trio outfits during the end credits, then this is probably a movie for you.



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Old 11-15-21, 01:03 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I believe Godspeed was mentioned in passing upthread a while back, but I only caught it this past weekend on TubiTV Canada.


The story concerns a nameless drug mule (played by Na Dow) who needs to get a shipment from Taipei down to a place some ways away in the south of Taiwan. Old Xu (Michael Hui) drives a taxi cab with a lot of miles on it and is desperate for a fare, so he badgers the drug mule until the latter agrees to take the cab. Unlike wacky road trip movies out of Hollywood, this tale doesn't have as many zany adventures along the way as you might imagine, which is not to say that the pair's journey to the delivery point is entirely without incident.

Old Xu and his passenger (whom he's taken to calling 'Little Boss') make it to the destination where the drop-off goes smoothly...for about 10 minutes. Then things go pear-shaped, and Old Xu and the Little Boss get kidnapped. Meanwhile, the drug mule's boss, Brother Tou (Tou Chung Hua), is aware that things went sideways and goes after those who double-crossed him.

Although it has plot elements from a crime drama, Godspeed is a dark comedy, which is to be expected since Michael Hui is one of the leads. He's more muted here than in his broad comedies from the '70s and '80s, but he's still playing to his strengths as the down-on-his-luck everyman who gets caught up in circumstances well beyond his control. Na Dow is a good foil for Hui as a surprisingly dependable drug mule whose moral compass isn't entirely broken, making him a sympathetic character. Their relationship is the heart of the film, so the fact that the two actors work so well together makes Godspeed quite engaging.

I mentioned earlier that this movie has crime drama elements, and it does get quite serious in parts. One scene involves Brother Tou and his men trying to extract information from someone they've captured. The method they use is one that I haven't seen before despite watching my share of gangster movies from various parts of the world. The film gets pretty tense during this part, and then just when you think it's over, Brother Tou insists that the prisoner do something else or die, and the tension gets ratcheted up once again. Just when you think you've seen all there is to see in interrogation scenes...

This movie was surprising and quite enjoyable. It makes me want to see more Taiwanese films, so it's a real shame that more aren't readily available to English-speaking audiences.

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Old 11-15-21, 04:35 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by L Everett Scott
I believe Godspeed was mentioned in passing upthread a while back, but I only caught it this past weekend on TubiTV Canada . . . This movie was surprising and quite enjoyable. It makes me want to see more Taiwanese films, so it's a real shame that more aren't readily available to English-speaking audiences.
Probably me that mentioned it above. SO glad someone else here was finally able to see this. Hope it does lead to more Taiwanese finds for you. Now that HK filmmakers are bound by insane rules and mainland Chinese cinema is a continued joke, Taiwanese cinema deserves a lot more attention. It really is its own unique thing, and always has been. They produce a lot of commercial ventures, but rarely the kind of fluff cranked out on the mainland, or even in Hong Kong for that matter. And for my money, the artistry, storytelling and most of all uncensored subject matter of Taiwanese filmmaking have evolved to nearly match much of what it produced by neighbours like Japan and South Korea, yet there's an overarching feel that these films could only belong to Taiwan (and yes, they do produce their share of fluff). If it weren't for their smaller population and the constant bullying and threats from China – which really needs to be slapped down for that shit – they'd probably have much wider recognition. I'm glad that TIFF's programmers seem to appreciate what's been happening there for a while now.

Can't remember where in Canada you're located, but I've discovered over the years that the Toronto Public Library system has a significant number of subtitled Taiwanese films, either via Taiwanese, Hong Kong or Singapore DVD releases (and from what I can tell, the latter don't seem to be cut for content, so far). I've noticed an increasing number of Taiwan distributors are including English subs on their releases, so that's promising, but they tend to be a bit pricey to import. Through the Toronto system, GODSPEED is available on Hoopla and Kanopy and not disc, so presumably there might be other Taiwanese shows on those services as well, maybe through your local system?

Last edited by Brian T; 11-15-21 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 11-15-21, 04:50 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

If you enjoyed The Squid Game check out the lead actor Lee Jung-jae in New World. One of my favorite of his.

Old 11-15-21, 05:17 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Perkinsun Dzees
Overall, Anita is a rather glossy and surface level portrait of Hong Kong's iconic and sometimes controversial superstar, but it's a heartfelt tribute that also manages to be an entertaining and somewhat moving portrait of a memorable era that now seems so long ago. If you're the kind of person who would get a kick out of seeing a photo of Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh in their Heroic Trio outfits during the end credits, then this is probably a movie for you.

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Old 12-13-21, 08:10 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

So I've been working my way through the Criterion Bruce Lee set and I finally got to Game of Death 2. I'd never seen it before because I always assumed it was like Game of Death, but you know, even worse. Come to find out, it's the best movie in the set! Maybe that's overstating things just a little, but the honest truth is I don't actually think most of Bruce's movies are that good. Fist of Fury is probably the best, and Enter the Dragon is cool as a star vehicle and an example of "Americanized" kung fu done right, but there's probably a hundred martial arts movies I would pick ahead of any Bruce movies.

But whatever. That's neither here nor there. Game of Death 2 though? Sign me up! It starts out just as I always imagined, a cheap exercise in exploitation. Who knew that 35-40 minutes in it would completely abandon the pretense of being a Bruce Lee movie and go completely nuts? It's like a coked-out, low budget Enter the Dragon rip-off, and I mean that in the best way possible. It's totally bonkers and I love it. It's got Hwang Jang Lee, Yuen Woo Ping choreography and Roy Horan eating raw meat and drinking animal blood. There's a one-armed dude who's only pretending to have just one arm because reasons. There's some "Game of Thrones season 1" levels of gratuitous nudity. There's even a fight with a lion but instead of a lion it's actually a guy dressed up in a lion suit. It's got it all. I loved it so much that I immediately ordered a copy of Tower of Death so I could see that version.

The fact that Criterion doesn't even list Game of Death 2 as part of the set and treats it as though it's just a bonus feature is a crime against the movies. Best bonus feature ever though.
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Old 12-16-21, 11:07 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen, Yuen Woo-ping, Tsui Hark any many more iconic names of Hong Kong action cinema will be featured in a New Chinese documentary titled Kung Fu Stuntmen: Never Say No!

John Wei, the director of Kung Fu Stuntmen: Never Say No!, had this to say: “Many legendary stuntmen live hard lives and many are unknown,” Wei said. “That’s why I decided to make a documentary film in tribute to their continued efforts and never-yielding spirit.” (via Shine)

Kung Fu Stuntmen: Never Say No! is the first of its kind since Robin Shou’s 2004 doc Red Trousers: The Life of Hong Kong Stuntmen, which featured industry names such as Beatrice Chia, Keith Cooke, Hakim Alston, Craig Reid, Sammo Hung, Mike Leeder, Lau Kar-leung, Wong Chi Man, Leung Chi Ming, Monique Marie Ozimkowshi, Jude Poyer, Ng Wing Sum and Ridley Tsui.

A U.S. release date is still pending, but an import Region A release will be available from DDDhouse.com on December 28th.
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Old 12-16-21, 12:56 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by dex14
Dex, don't make me post that Jules Winfield GIF again.
Old 12-30-21, 02:40 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Thought I'd highly recommend the documentary DENISE HO: BECOMING THE SONG about Hong Kong Cantopop star, disciple of likewise outspoken legend Anita Mui (mentioned earlier in this thread), actress, LGBTQ activist, fellow Canadian, and – most importantly – advocate for democracy Denise Ho, because she was arrested a couple of days ago (along with several journalists from an independent news outlet Stand News, on whose board she sits) by the vile Beijing communist party-controlled forces that are presently crushing all independent and contrary thought in the formerly free and democratic city with their conveniently vague and twistable "sedition" and "subversion" laws. She was released on bail yesterday, but I'm sure the bully CCP will make sure her troubles never end. Remind me again why we should just accept Mainland Chinese movies and culture at face value . . .

Here's the full movie, legally, on YouTube. Can't guarantee that it will play in your region, but it's probably available on other sites as well, and there's a Kino DVD that might be at your local library. It's not the greatest pro-democracy doc I've seen, and frankly could've been longer, but it does show the sheer scope of the protests that obviously so rattled Beijing in 2014 and beyond that they feared mainlanders might be likewise inspired, and demonstrates Ho's dedication to her beliefs in spite of serious career and financial consequences, unlike so many of her industry pals who've willingly bent over for Beijing (cough-JackieDonnie-cough).


More reporting:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/hong-k...tion-1.6300372
Journalists charged after Hong Kong police raid news outlet; Canadian Denise Ho released
Spoiler:
Two former senior editors of Hong Kong's pro-democracy Stand News were charged with conspiring to publish seditious materials and denied bail by a court on Thursday, following a police raid on their office that prompted its closure.

About 200 officers raided the non-profit online publication's office, froze its assets and arrested seven current and former senior editors and former board members on Wednesday, including Cantopop star and Canadian citizen Denise Ho.

Ho was released on bail Thursday morning after 36 hours of detainment.

National Security Police filed one count each of conspiracy to publish a seditious publication against Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam, former editors at Stand News. Police also said they would prosecute the company for sedition, according to a charge sheet.

The cases were brought to West Kowloon court on Thursday, police said in a statement. Lam was not present in court because he was in the hospital. Both were denied bail.

Erosion of press freedoms

Media advocacy groups and some Western governments criticized the raid and arrests as a sign of further erosion of press freedoms since China imposed a sweeping national security law in the former British colony last year.

Magistrate Peter Law in the West Kowloon Magistrates' Court denied bail applications for Chung, the former Stand News chief editor, and Lam, the acting chief editor. Hong Kong laws restrict media coverage of bail hearings.

Along with Ho, three other former members of the Stand News board — former democratic legislator and lawyer Margaret Ng, Chow Tat-chi and Christine Fang — were released on police bail pending further investigations. They had not been charged yet.

Police said all four are due to report to police in late March.

Ng told reporters as she left the police station that, "continuing to care for each other is very important."

Ho left without comment.

Also arrested on Wednesday was Chung's wife, Chan Pui-man. Formerly a senior editor with the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper, she was already being held in prison on different charges and was re-arrested there.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the promise that wide-ranging individual rights, including a free press, would be protected.

But pro-democracy activists and rights groups say freedoms have been eroded, in particular since China imposed the new national security law after months of at times violent pro-democracy protests.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Canada was deeply concerned about the arrests.

Former federal justice minister and human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler said Canada has a responsibility to take a stand as the leader of the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations earlier this year, and as one of the founding countries of the Media Freedom Coalition.

"What we're seeing is a frontal assault not only on media freedom, not only on the safety and security of journalists, not only on the democracy movement — but on democracy itself in Hong Kong," Cotler said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Hong Kong authorities to release the detainees.

Hong Kong leader defends raid

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam defended the raid on Stand News amid a wider crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city, telling reporters that "inciting other people ... could not be condoned under the guise of news reporting."

In a statement, the Chinese foreign ministry's Hong Kong office said support for press freedom was being used as an excuse to disrupt stability in the city.

"Those who engage in activities that endanger national security … under the cover of journalism are the black sheep tarnishing the press freedom and will be held accountable," it said.

Stand News was set up in 2014 as a non-profit organization, and until this week was the most prominent remaining independent pro-democracy publication in Hong Kong after a national security investigation this year led to the closure of jailed tycoon Jimmy Lai's Apple Daily newspaper.

Stand News shut down hours after the raid and all of its employees were dismissed. Its website was not accessible on Thursday and its London bureau chief, Yeung Tin-shui, said on Facebook his office had also closed.

The seven arrests on Wednesday fell under a crime ordinance that dates from Hong Kong's days as a British colony before 1997, when it was returned to China with a promise from Beijing that it would keep Western-style freedoms for 50 years.

If convicted, they could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 5,000 Hong Kong dollars (about $800 Cdn).

With files from Thomson Reuters

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/worl...ive-career-in/
Canadian Cantopop star Denise Ho sacrificed a lucrative career in China to speak out for Hong Kong
Spoiler:

Canadian Cantopop star Denise Ho sacrificed a lucrative career in China to speak out for Hong Kong
James Griffiths

Hong Kong activist and music star Denise Ho bows to well wishers as she is released from Western Police Station, on Dec. 30.Vincent Yu/The Associated Press
Growing up in Hong Kong and Montreal, it was always the latter city Denise Ho associated with politics, with people standing up for what they believed. Watching the 1995 Quebec independence referendum, she would reflect later, lit a political flame within her, though one that would take years to reach full force.

On Wednesday, Ms. Ho was one of seven people arrested in relation to the independent media outlet Stand News. She is accused of sedition, and could face years in prison if convicted. The pop star and three other former members of the Stand News editorial board were released Thursday on bail pending further investigations. All four are due to report to police in late March.

The arrest was a development Ms. Ho had long seen coming, since she sacrificed a lucrative career in mainland China to speak out for democracy in Hong Kong. “Right now, I am facing threats from the communist government, pro-Beijing supporters, and could face arrest and prosecution at any time,” she said in 2019. This only became more likely a year later, when Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on Hong Kong, one that has powered a sweeping crackdown on civil society, leaving Ms. Ho one of the few prominent activists not yet in prison.

Born in Hong Kong in 1977, Ms. Ho’s family moved to Canada when she was 11, soon becoming citizens. Eight years later, she moved back, entering a singing competition that was to launch her music career. She was a mentee of Cantopop superstar Anita Mui, who helped her get a record deal and employed Ms. Ho as a backup signer.

In 1997, Hong Kong was handed over from British to Chinese rule. At the time, she had not intention of rocking the boat, nor was she overly concerned: China was opening up to the world, and being part of the same country gave artists like Ms. Ho access to the biggest audience on earth.

Even as things began to shift in Hong Kong, as it became clear the grand promises of autonomy and freedom Beijing made in the run-up to handover were not being honoured, Ms. Ho held her tongue. Active in promoting LGBT rights, making history as one of the first Hong Kong celebrities to come out, she avoided topics that could see her blacklisted in China. “As a celebrity, I was told to stay neutral and not get involved in politics,” Ms. Ho said later.

All that changed with 87 rounds of tear gas in 2014. When police fired on student pro-democracy protesters, it sparked the Umbrella Movement, bringing hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers to the streets, Ms. Ho among them. She became one of the movement’s most prominent figures, arrested at a protest camp in December of that year.

Her involvement in the protests ended any chance of work in China. Denounced by state media, brands dropped her, and Ms. Ho swapped awards shows and TV appearances for a tiny studio in Wong Chuk Hang, on the south side of Hong Kong Island, where she began rebuilding her career, this time as a fully independent artist.

Ms. Ho continued her activism through 2019, when Hong Kong again exploded with anti-government protests that were met by an even heavier police response than five years earlier. In July of that year, Ms. Ho appeared at the United Nations, where she was repeatedly interrupted by Chinese delegates during a speech to the Human Rights Council.

“The [1993] Vienna Declaration guarantees democracy and human rights,” Ms. Ho said. “Yet in Hong Kong today, these are under serious attack.”

Months later, she testified before a U.S. Congressional hearing alongside Joshua Wong, the former Umbrella Movement leader turned politician, in support of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (HKHRDA), a law passed in late 2019 that obliged Washington to impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses in the territory.

The sanctions outraged Beijing. Ms. Ho was denounced by Chinese state media as a “secessionist” and “radical anti-government figure.” Following the passage of the national security law in mid-2020, others who had called for international sanctions were accused of committing the new crime of “collusion with foreign forces,” and many fled into exile. Mr. Wong and nearly every other remaining opposition politician found themselves jailed for “subversion” over a primary vote held to pick candidates for upcoming legislative elections.

Throughout 2021, the authorities circled closer and closer to Ms. Ho. A concert she had arranged was cancelled at the last minute on public security grounds, and local media reported she was being investigated by the police. A fund set up to cover protesters’ legal bills, in which she was a trustee, was one of dozens of civil society groups unable to continue operating under the national security law. Ms. Ho also stepped down as a director of Stand News, along with other board members associated with the pro-democracy movement.

Ultimately, this was not enough. On Wednesday, more than 200 police officers raided Stand’s offices along with the homes of Ms. Ho and other former directors. She was one of seven arrested for “conspiracy to publish a seditious publication.” Ms. Ho could be jailed for up to two years if found guilty, and may face further charges under the security law.

In a statement, Global Affairs Canada said it was “deeply concerned by the arrests … including Canadian citizen and activist Denise Ho.”

Politicians across the spectrum have spoken out in support of Ms. Ho. Conservative MP Garnett Genuis called for a “swift and emphatic response” from Ottawa. Green Party interim leader Amita Kuttner said she was “alarmed” by Ms. Ho’s arrest, while Hong Kong-born NDP lawmaker Jenny Kwan said the city “has turned into a police state,” adding “Canada needs to work urgently with ally countries to address this grave situation.”

On Facebook, Ms. Ho’s assistant posted a characteristically upbeat message from her: “Friends, please don’t worry.”

Last edited by Brian T; 12-30-21 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 12-30-21, 07:34 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Brian T
she was arrested a couple of days ago (along with several journalists from an independent news outlet Stand News, on whose board she sits) by the vile Beijing communist party-controlled forces that are presently crushing all independent and contrary thought in the formerly free and democratic city with their conveniently vague and twistable "sedition" and "subversion" laws. She was released on bail yesterday, but I'm sure the bully CCP will make sure her troubles never end. Remind me again why we should just accept Mainland Chinese movies and culture at face value . . .
This response to non-conformist politics and ideology is utterly reprehensible but hardly surprising given that the Mainland is still a totalitarian regime no matter how you slice it. It's horrible to see this type of persecution, and unfortunately these tactics are scaring filmmakers and other artists into submission, flight, or retirement.

With the Mainland having all the money, I suspect we're going to see fewer and fewer HK-flavoured big budget productions like Raging Fire. Hong Kong cinema is unquestionably struggling, and it looks a lot like its new identity has taken the form of intimate dramas, which makes sense given the extremely limited resources available to the local filmmakers. I think movies like Drifting, Zero to Hero, and Elisa's Day are fairly representative of what we can expect from the former colony from now on.

I generally ignore Mainland films but got roped into watching Cliff Walkers recently. I found it hilarious how the members of the fledgling Communist Party are the brave and noble heroes and the despicable Kuomintang is the essence of evil. And yet, the Kuomintang is never actually called that in dialogue, so we just have a 'Japanese-controlled' local government as the villain.

That's actually pretty tricky if you think about it: you want to make a movie where the Kuomintang is the big bad but can't actually refer to it by name. It might be easier to play soccer with your feet shackled.

Incidentally, if the mere mention of the Kuomintang and an independent Taiwan are so taboo, how is it that we got recent restorations of Once Upon a Time in China II? I'm guessing that the negative is kept well away from the CCP who'd probably have it burned in an instant.
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Old 12-31-21, 08:53 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

Originally Posted by Brian T
Thought I'd highly recommend the documentary DENISE HO: BECOMING THE SONG about Hong Kong Cantopop star, disciple of likewise outspoken legend Anita Mui (mentioned earlier in this thread), actress, LGBTQ activist, fellow Canadian, and Ė most importantly Ė advocate for democracy Denise Ho, because she was arrested a couple of days ago (along with several journalists from an independent news outlet Stand News, on whose board she sits) by the vile Beijing communist party-controlled forces that are presently crushing all independent and contrary thought in the formerly free and democratic city with their conveniently vague and twistable "sedition" and "subversion" laws. She was released on bail yesterday, but I'm sure the bully CCP will make sure her troubles never end. Remind me again why we should just accept Mainland Chinese movies and culture at face value . . .

Here's the full movie, legally, on YouTube. Can't guarantee that it will play in your region, but it's probably available on other sites as well, and there's a Kino DVD that might be at your local library. It's not the greatest pro-democracy doc I've seen, and frankly could've been longer, but it does show the sheer scope of the protests that obviously so rattled Beijing in 2014 and beyond that they feared mainlanders might be likewise inspired, and demonstrates Ho's dedication to her beliefs in spite of serious career and financial consequences, unlike so many of her industry pals who've willingly bent over for Beijing (cough-JackieDonnie-cough).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwfyIXFW2uw

More reporting:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/hong-k...tion-1.6300372
Journalists charged after Hong Kong police raid news outlet; Canadian Denise Ho released
Spoiler:

I'm getting a "This video is not available" message. For a second there I thought Mainland had squelched it, but when I looked up the title on YT I see a "Buy or rent" link for watching it. Thanks.
Old 01-07-22, 09:57 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

https://whatsondisneyplus.com/anita-...o-disney-apac/

Anita: Director’s Cut coming to Disney+

“Originally the film was released in 2021 and was the second-biggest film of 2021 at the Hong Kong box office, but this special edition is going to be released in five 45-minute instalments on Disney+. This new directors cut will have an extra hour of content that was cut from original film.”
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Old 01-08-22, 07:52 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I would have never guessed that Disney would acquire Anita but excited to finally see it.
Old 01-08-22, 07:58 AM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I watched The Fantastic Magic Baby (1975) and I loved it. Itís Chang Cheh adaptation of The Journey to the West as a Peking Opera. Itís filmed like a stage play. The fight choreography is done in the same style as the opera with lots of acrobatics and hand to hand combat that seems more rhythmic than actual fighting.

It took me a very long time to find an English copy but excited to cross this title off from his filmography. Itís quite unlike anything he did before or after. Heaven and Hell might be another one that is different but I have yet to see that.
Old 01-08-22, 12:52 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I'm planning to see G Storm tomorrow. It just opened in limited theaters here in the States. It's playing at a local AMC. Louis Koo is one of the stars. Looks like an action packed police thriller




Luk (Louis Koo) and Ching (Kevin Cheng) were working on a Customs corruption case. They found out the case was linked to King, the leader of an international human trafficking group, which also involved Emma Pong (Jessica Hsuan), the Chief Justice of South East Asia. Luk and Ching, together with Chief Inspector Lau Po-keung (Julian Cheung), were determined to bring King to justice.

Old 01-08-22, 04:27 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread

I watched King Boxer in the new Arrow Shaw Brothers set. I may have seen it as a kid, but I don't recall. I think I may have the old Dragon Dynasty DVD, but just never watched it. Anyways, it was pretty good. Pretty violent revenge. I had to look it up and saw the lead Lieh Lo passed away about 20 years ago. Granted the movie is 50 years old, so a lot of the main cast and crew is likely deceased.
Old 01-09-22, 08:08 PM
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Re: The One and Only Asian movies reviews, comments, news, and appreciation thread



I just got back from seeing G Storm. It was playing at an AMC about 20 minutes from me. No, this is not a Well go USA release.

Little did I know when I watched it that I discovered it was part of a 5 film series and this was the final film. There was a flashback sequence that showed clips from the previous films.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G_Storm

Anyways, I did enjoy it and was able to follow it despite not seeing any of the previous films. It's an action thriller that focuses on this special unit that's fighting against sex trafficking terrorists. Louis Koo plays the leader of the unit.

Apparently this movie began production in late 2019 and was shut down due to the pandemic for a period of time.

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