Bruce expressed that the true orientals are not shown especially in Hollywood and most of audience still thinks of Asian people with stereotype e. Moreover, the directors usually get him to do something just to be exotic. The Fists of Fury , came into theatres. This jump-started Lee's career into stardom and made martial arts and kung fu a global trend.
Like Valley of the Hanged is describing a triple murder in Hong Kong, about a story of the unfaithful wife and having shame to her husband  The cinema style of the Shaw Brothers in the s liked adding some nude scenes in the films and 'The Criminal 1' attract audiences in strange true stories with showing off erotic and bloody scenes. But other than this, there is lots of scenes showed the significant life of Hong Kong people, like playing mahjong in gossiping loudly over the noise of the mahjong pieces and gambling.
By the end of the s, Golden Harvest was the top studio, signing up Jackie Chan, the kung fu comedy actor-filmmaker who would spend the next 20 years as Asia's biggest box office draw Chan and Yang, , pp. Raymond Chow built upon Lee's success with Big Boss a. Fists of Fury , , Fist of Fury a.
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The Return of the Dragon , , each of which broke Hong Kong box office records. Bruce Lee appeared with minor Hollywood actors in a larger budget Enter the Dragon , a coproduction with Warner Bros. Lee's death under mysterious circumstances made him a cult hero.
Lee played a key role in opening foreign markets to Hong Kong films. Lee's films enjoyed throughout the Third World, were often taken as symbolising the rebellious pride of insurgent Asia. Meanwhile, the explosions of Cantonese and kung fu and the example of Golden Harvest had created more space for independent producers and production companies. The era of the studio juggernauts was past. The Shaws nevertheless continued film production until before turning entirely to television Teo, The rapidly growing permissiveness in film content that was general in much of the world affected Hong Kong film as well.
A genre of softcore erotica known as fengyue became a local staple the name is a contraction of a Chinese phrase implying seductive decadence. Such material did not suffer as much of a stigma in Hong Kong as in most Western countries; it was more or less part of the mainstream, sometimes featuring contributions from major directors such as Chor Yuen and Li Han Hsiang and often crossbreeding with other popular genres like martial arts, the costume film and especially comedy Teo, ; Yang, Violence also grew more intense and graphic, particularly at the instigation of martial arts filmmakers.
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Director Lung Kong blended these trends into the social-issue dramas which he had already made his speciality with late s Cantonese classics like The Story of a Discharged Prisoner and Teddy Girls In the s, he began directing in Mandarin and brought exploitation elements to serious films about subjects like prostitution The Call Girls and Lina , the atomic bomb Hiroshima 28 and the fragility of civilised society Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow , which portrayed a plague-decimated, near-future Hong Kong Teo, The brief career of Tang Shu Shuen , the territory's first noted woman director, produced two films, The Arch and China Behind , that were trailblazers for a local, socially critical art cinema.
They are also widely considered forerunners of the last major milestone of the decade, the so-called Hong Kong New Wave that would come from outside the traditional studio hierarchy and point to new possibilities for the industry Bordwell, The s and early s, saw seeds planted in the s come to full flower: the triumph of Cantonese, the birth of a new and modern cinema, superpower status in the East Asian market, and the turning of the West's attention to Hong Kong film. A cinema of greater technical polish and more sophisticated visual style, including the first forays into up-to-date special effects technology, sprang up quickly.
To this surface dazzle, the new cinema added an eclectic mixing and matching of genres, and a penchant for pushing the boundaries of sensationalistic content. Slapstick comedy, sex, the supernatural, and above all action of both the martial arts and cops-and-criminals varieties ruled, occasionally all in the same film.
One iconic film during this period was The Killer , by John Woo , which is archetypal of the heroic bloodshed genre. During this period, the Hong Kong industry was one of the few in the world that thrived in the face of the increasing global dominance of Hollywood. Indeed, it came to exert a comparable dominance in its own region of the world. The regional audience had always been vital, but now more than ever Hong Kong product filled theatres and video shelves in places like Thailand , Singapore, Malaysia , Indonesia and South Korea.
Taiwan became at least as important a market to Hong Kong film as the local one; in the early s the once-robust Taiwanese film industry came close to extinction under the onslaught of Hong Kong imports Bordwell, They even found a lesser foothold in Japan, with its own highly developed and better-funded cinema and strong taste for American movies; Jackie Chan in particular became popular there.
Almost accidentally, Hong Kong also reached further into the West, building upon the attention gained during the s kung fu craze.
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Availability in Chinatown theatres and video shops allowed the movies to be discovered by Western film cultists attracted by their "exotic" qualities and excesses. An emergence into the wider popular culture gradually followed over the coming years. It specialised in contemporary comedy and action, slickly produced according to explicitly prescribed commercial formulas.
The lavish, effects-filled spy spoof Aces Go Places and its numerous sequels epitomised the much-imitated "Cinema City style" Yang, Directors and producers Tsui Hark and Wong Jing can be singled out as definitive figures of this era. Tsui was a notorious Hong Kong New Wave tyro who symbolised that movement's absorption into the mainstream, becoming the industry's central trendsetter and technical experimenter Yang et al.
The even more prolific Wong is, by most accounts, the most commercially successful and critically reviled Hong Kong filmmaker of the last two decades, with his relentless output of aggressively crowd-pleasing and cannily marketed pulp films. Other hallmarks of this era included the gangster or " Triad " movie trend launched by director John Woo, producer and long-time actor Alan Tang and dominated by actor Chow Yun-fat ; romantic melodramas and martial arts fantasies starring Brigitte Lin ; the comedies of stars like Cherie Chung and Stephen Chow; traditional kung fu movies dominated by Jet Li ; and contemporary, stunt -driven kung fu action epitomised by the work of Jackie Chan.
The government's introduction of a film ratings system in had a certainly unintended effect on subsequent trends. By the height of the boom in the early s, roughly half of the theatrical features produced were Category III-rated softcore erotica descended from the fengyue movies of the s. Naked Killer also became an international cult classic. The rating also covered a trend for grisly, taboo-tweaking exploitation and horror films, often supposedly based on true crime stories, such as Men Behind the Sun , Dr.
Since the mids, the trend has withered with the shrinking of the general Hong Kong film market and the wider availability of pornography in home video formats Bordwell, In this landscape of pulp, there remained some ground for an alternative cinema or art cinema , due at least in part to the influence of the New Wave.
Some New Wave filmmakers such as Ann Hui and Yim Ho continued to earn acclaim with personal and political films made at the edges of the mainstream. The second half of the s also saw the emergence of what is sometimes called a "Second Wave". Like the New Wavers, they tended to be graduates of overseas film schools and local television apprenticeships, and to be interested in going beyond the usual, commercial subject matters and styles.
These artists began to earn Hong Kong unprecedented attention and respect in international critical circles and the global film festival circuit. During the s, the Hong Kong film industry underwent a drastic decline from which it has not recovered. Domestic ticket sales had already started to drop in the late s, but the regional audience kept the industry booming into the early years of the next decade Teo, But by the mids, it went into freefall.
Revenues were cut in half. By the decade's end, the number of films produced in a typical year dropped from an early s high of well over to somewhere around a large part of this reduction was in the "Category III" softcore pornography area. Ironically, this was the same period during which Hong Kong cinema emerged into something like mainstream visibility in the U. The greater access to the Mainland that came with the July handover to China, was not as much of a boon as hoped, and presented its own problems, particularly with regard to censorship.
The industry had one of its darkest years in In addition to the continuing slump, a SARS virus outbreak kept many theatres virtually empty for a time and shut down film production for four months; only fifty-four movies were made Li, The Hong Kong Government in April , introduced a Film Guarantee Fund as an incentive to local banks to become involved in the motion picture industry. The guarantee operates to secure a percentage of monies loaned by banks to film production companies.
The Fund has received a mixed reception from industry participants, and less than enthusiastic reception from financial institutions who perceive investment in local films as high risk ventures with little collateral. Film guarantee legal documents commissioned by the Hong Kong Government in late April are based on Canadian documents, which have limited relevance to the local industry.
Efforts by local filmmakers to refinish their product have had mixed results overall. These include technically glossier visuals, including much digital imagery ; greater use of Hollywood-style mass marketing techniques; and heavy reliance on casting teen-friendly Cantopop music stars. Successful genre cycles in the late s and early s have included: American-styled, high-tech action pictures such as Downtown Torpedoes , Gen-X Cops and Purple Storm both ; the "Triad kids" subgenre launched by Young and Dangerous ; yuppie -centric romantic comedies like The Truth About Jane and Sam , Needing You In the s, there have been some bright spots.
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Milkyway Image , founded by filmmakers Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai in the mids, has had considerable critical and commercial success, especially with offbeat and character-driven crime films like The Mission and Running on Karma An even more successful example of the genre was the blockbuster Infernal Affairs trilogy —03 of police thrillers co-directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak the Oscar -winning movie The Departed , was based on this movie. Comedian Stephen Chow, the most consistently popular screen star of the s, directed and starred in Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle ; these used digital special effects to push his distinctive humor into new realms of the surreal and became the territory's two highest-grossing films to date, garnering numerous awards locally and internationally.
Still, some observers believe that, given the depressed state of the industry and the rapidly strengthening economic and political ties among Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan, the distinctive entity of Hong Kong cinema that emerged after World War II may have a limited lifespan.
The lines between the mainland and Hong Kong industries are ever more blurred, especially now that China is producing increasing numbers of slick, mass-appeal popular films. Predictions are notoriously difficult in this rapidly changing part of the world, but the trend may be towards a more pan-Chinese cinema, as existed in the first half of the twentieth century. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Now in Paperback! This was America's first look at a Chinese martial arts movie. In Chicago that same year, Duel of the Iron Fist debuted. With the release of Bruce Lee's films, the market exploded. And thus began America's love affair with what is one of the most misunderstood and maligned film ge Now in Paperback! And thus began America's love affair with what is one of the most misunderstood and maligned film genres.
The Encyclopedia covers the genre from to The genre, however, can be very confusing: films often have several titles, and many of the stars have more than one pseudonym. In an effort to clarify some of the confusion, the authors have included all the information available to them on almost 3, films. Each entry includes a listing of the production company, the cast and crew, distributors, running times, reviews with star ratings whenever possible, and alternate film titles.
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