Hong Kong Cinemagic
Version française English version
 Capsule Reviews   English Board   Facebook  
 Movie Studios
 Your Settings

HKCine Search
Switch to Google Search
>> Help

 Film directors

 Drama & Opera

 Shaw Brothers
 Film Industry
 Cultural & Societal

 DVD Tests
 HK Cinema Books
 Where to buy?

 OST & Music
 PDF & E-books
 VIP Guestbook

 Site Map
 Editos Archives
 Site History
 Visitor guestbook
 HKCinemagic 2

Statistics :
11630 Movies
19215 People
1448 Studios
29 Articles
73 Interviews
12 DVD Reviews
32452 Screenshots
3722 Videos
Lexic : M

Favourite weapon of the hoodlums who can't get firearms, it's cheap and authorized by the law, it's often used in brawls between rival gangs.

'Ma': hemp and 'jiang': general. Chinese game similar to dominoes (only more complicated) and much appreciated in Hong Kong. It is seen for instance in In The Mood For Love or more recently in Fat Choi Spirit in which Andy Lau plays an expert in this game who is similar to the 'God of Gamblers'.

Mah-jong appeared around 1860 under the Qing, probably introduced by Hong Xiu-Quan, initiator of the Taiping revolt. It derives from a more ancient game, 'Sapèques', born around 1000 under the North Song dynasty. Its name comes from the Chinese 'maque' ('sparrow'), by which it was called in the 19th c. in central China. Originally reserved to the intellectual elite and the nobility, this game becomes more democratic in 1911 with the 1st Republic of China. It is introduced in the West in the 1920s.

It is composed of 144 tiles:
-8 bonus tiles: 4 Flowers and 4 Seasons
-12 special honour tiles (Colours): 4 Red Dragons, 4 Green Dragons, 4 White Dragons
-16 honour tiles (Winds): 4 East, 4 South, 4 West, 4 North
-108 suit tiles: 36 Bamboo, 36 Characters, 36 Circles
Combinations: (names change according to provinces)
-Chi ('eat'): a run of 3 tiles in the same suit
-Peng ('hit'): 3 tiles of a kind
-Gang ('line'): 4 tiles of a kind
-Jiang ('general'): 2 tiles of a kind

Brief presentation summary (see game instructions for more details): mah-jong is usually played by four people but two can play all the same. The 144 tiles are shuffled then assembled to form a square wall. Each player throws the dice in turn. The one with the most important sum makes the opening. From then on, one takes the tiles and gives 14 of them to the opening-maker and 13 to the other players. The opening-maker starts by picking up a tile from the wall. If it interests the player, he can keep it and throws one out of the 15 he has. Otherwise, he instantly throws back the tile he's just picked up to keep the same number as at the start. Then, it's another player's turn and so on. The rejected tiles are placed face up inside the wall. The aim is to make complete combinations. The first player to have completed all his combinations turns his tiles over and says 'Hu le!' ('I've won').

Source : Le livre de tous les jeux Ed Solar

Official language of China, taught in schools and used in broadcast media, customarily spoken by nearly 70% of its populace as well as in Taiwan and Singapore. China’s linguistic mosaic being made up of dozens, if not hundreds of local dialects, the use of a language known by all is of an absolute necessity to ensure that the Chinese people can mutually understand one another. “Official“ Mandarin is itself part of the most important Chinese linguistic branch also called Mandarin which is spread across China in the north, the north-west and south-west regions but exists itself in a great variety of sub-dialects. In historical times, the use of a common Chinese language was limited to China’s ruling and scholarly elite who coming from different regional background uses the Mandarin dialect variant spoken in the capital; Beijing. Starting in early twentieth century however in a great effort of achieving linguistic unity the Republican followed by the Communist regimes have imposed to the whole populace of China a standardized form of Mandarin primarily based on northern Chinese dialects and most especially the local dialect of Beijing. While regional dialects use remains widespread and vivid to this day, through schooling standardized Mandarin is understood and spoken by most Chinese people even in the remotest areas as a second language.

Ironically northern Mandarin is not strictly speaking a pure Chinese language itself. Indeed because north China was so often invaded and occupied by Tartars, Mongols and Manchurians conquers (mot inutile) since the tenth century, northern Mandarin dialect has been filled-up with countless foreign linguistic elements. On the other hand, having been less “visited” by invaders, some of China southeast provinces such as Guangdong and Fukkien were better able to maintain their linguistic unity and archaic language patterns. That’s why many experts have pointed out that antique Chinese poetry tends to be more melodious and makes more sense in Cantonese or Fukkien rather than Mandarin.

It’s worth noticing that Mandarin is only the western name of the language. In Mainland China it’s called putonghua meaning “regular language”, while in Taiwan it’s guoyu meaning “national language. The western term origin might have come because putonghua was the tongue spoken by Chinese officials and scholars; the Mandarins.

Written by Yves Gendron based on an original text by Matthieu Gincré. Special contribution by Jun Wan.

People descended from the Djurdjets (Ruzhen in Mandarin) of Eastern Mongolia. Nurhaci, the Djurdjets Khan (leader) proclaimed himself emperor and started the conquest of China. His son, Huang Tai-Ji changed the name of Djurdjet into Manchu and the Jin empire into the Qing dynasty and continued the invasion started by his father. This conquest began in Manchuria, hence the name Manchu.

Sources : Que sais je ? "La Chine impériale" de Denys Lombard & Encarta

Manhua / Manga
The Manhua ('caricature') or manga in Japanese refers to the Chinese comic books. The Manhua comes from the Japanese manga, yet differs from the use of colour and also because they are directly inspired by Chinese culture and HK films. The best-known cartoonist is Andy Seto with 'Cyber Weapon Z'. They are also more finally-worked and inspire some live films such as The Storm Riders, A Man Called Hero, Young And Dangerous.

A few Japanese manga were adapted like Nicky Larson (City Hunter) by Wong Jing, Let’s go slam dunk by Yuan Ji Lin, Victory by Andy Chin or Dragon From Russia by Clarence Ford and Killer’s romance by Philip Ko which are not as good as Christophe Gans' Crying Freeman.

Sometimes, the manga is inspired by HK cinema, as for example Shaolin Soccer which generated a paper adaptation following its world success.

Sources : HK Orient extreme cinema N°7 juin 1998 ed : Seven sept

Bibliography :

"Mr Wang" by Ye Qian-Yu
"Spirit" by Li Chi-Tak ed Dargaud (1volume)
"Cyber weapon Z" by Andy Seto ed:Tonkam (10 volumes)
"King of fighters" by Andy Seto ed:Tonkam (5volumes)
"Young guns" by Lin Zhen-De

Filmography :

The Strange Hero Yi Zhimei by Huang Feng
Super Inframan by Hua Shan
Killer's Romance by Philip Ko
Dragon From Russia by Clarence Ford
Story Of Ricky by Nam Nai Choi
Future Cops by Wong Jing
Niki Larson (City Hunter) by Wong Jing
Victory by Andy Chin
Let's Go Slam Dunk by Yuan Jin-Lin
Saviour Of The Soul de Corey Yuen and de David Lai
Saviour Of The Soul 2 by Corey Yuen and David Lai
The black rose by Chu Yuan
92 Legendary La Rose Noire by Joe Chan
97 Legendary La Rose Noire by Corey Yuen and Jeff Lau
Heroic Trio by Johnnie To
Heroic trio 2: Executioners by Tony Ching Siu Tung and Johnnie To
Young And Dangerous by Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Young And Dangerous 2 by Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Young And Dangerous 3 by Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Young And Dangerous 4 de Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Young And Dangerous 5 de Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Young And Dangerous : The Prequel by Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Born to be king (Young & Dangerous 6) by Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Black Mask by Daniel Lee
Black Mask 2 : City Of Masks by Tsui Hark
A Man Called Hero by Andrew Lau
The Storm Riders by Andrew Lau
The storm riders 2 by Andrew Lau Wai Keung
Old Master Q by Li Tie
Master Q 2001 by Herman Yau
Master Q : Incredible Pet Detective
Silver Hawk by Jingle Ma
Infernal Affairs by Andrew Lau Wai Keung

Mark Six
It's the name of the lottery in HK. Sophie Ngan wins the Mark Six every time she has an orgasm in Electrical Girl.


Mo Lai To
Typically Hongkongese humour essentially based on the absurd and nonsense. With Chinese word puns untranslatable in English, it's all the rage over there. The specialist of 'mo lai to' is indisputably the fart man Wong Jing who was one of the precursors in this field closely followed by the wild Stephen Chow.

An HK area north of Tsimshatsui in Kowloon. It is best known for two things: computer, video, etc. equipment at the best prices and a very busy place with triads (like Yau Ma Tei). Hence the title of the film Mongkok Story with Anthony Wong.

Monkey King
The Monkey King is a popular myth in China which has influenced plenty of works in theatre, cinema or comics. It was written by Wu Cheng’en in the 15th century and inspired by real events on the journey between China and India to retrieve Buddhist Sutras. Here is a summary of the legend:

A long time ago, a mountain as old as time delivered a mysterious stone egg, which shortly after gave birth to a monkey. This stone monkey quickly met other monkeys.
The other monkeys had decided to appoint as king the one who would succeed in crossing a powerful water curtain. No one had succeeded yet, but the Monkey managed to and was crowned King of the Monkeys or Sun Wukong.
Later, the Monkey King met Subodhi, who taught him the secrets of knowledge and wisdom. The Monkey King needed a weapon so he decided to meet the Dragon King, in the Great East Sea, who gave him a magic staff which can either enlarge to touch the clouds or shrink to be hidden behind an ear. He also wanted to be immortal, so, he went to see the King of Death and crossed out the names of all the monkeys from the Register of the Quick and the Dead.
The King of Death and the Dragon King thus complained about the Monkey King to the Jade Emperor, Master of Heaven. He sent men to put the Monkey King back on the straight and narrow way, but the Monkey King was the strongest and defeated all the men. So as to keep him quiet, he was then sent to the Heavenly Kingdom and appointed keeper of the heavenly stables. Then he was keeper of the peaches of immortality. But there, the Monkey King ate Sacred Peaches. Eventually, the Monkey King was captured by Erh-lang and brought before the Gods of Heaven. To punish him, he was shut up in a furnace for years, to be burnt dead. Yet he survived. The Jade Emperor then appealed to Buddha who imprisoned the Monkey King under a huge mountain to let him think about his misdeeds.
500 years later, Tripitaka (Xuanzang), a young Prince, met the Monkey King and freed him. The Monkey King thus decided to escort the young Prince to India in search of the sacred texts: the Sutras. But just after having started their journey, they crossed a river from which a Dragon sprung. The Dragon ate Tripitaka’s horse so the Monkey hit it with his staff. Buddha then changed the Dragon into a horse so that the Prince could resume his journey! On the way, the Monkey King, the Dragon and Tripitaka met an uncouth pig, incapable of resisting to temptations, called Zhu Bajie and who decided to join the group. ??????????? (passage non compris) who killed the people who crossed it. This was only the beginning of an incredible journey to India which would last 14 years, during which the Monkey King and his companions cover nine kingdoms and have numerous fantastic adventures. Eventually, the Sutras were shown to the Emperor in the imperial capital and the four travellers were sent to heaven.

Regarding cinema, the myth engendered several adaptations. The Shaw Brothers did a series of 4 films on the adventures of the Monkey King and his companions (Monkey Goes West (see picture above), Princess Iron Fan, Cave Of The Silken Web, Land Of Many Perfumes) always directed by Ho Meng Hua. A few years later, Stephen Chow, with the assistance of the director Jeff Lau, puts the myth through the Mo Lai To mill with his Chinese Odyssey. A TV series has also tackled the myth as well as a US TV film (in which there are Russel Wong and Richard Ng). But what has popularised the legend of the Monkey King is certainly its unofficial manga/TV series adaptation ‘Dragon Ball’ by Akira Toriyama!

"xi you ji" ("The journey to the West") by Wu Cheng-En

Novel translated into French:
Le singe-pélerin ou le pélerinage d'occident si-yeou-ki . (Translated from the Chinese by Arthur Waley, French version by George Deniker).
pocket edition : Payot

b>Manga in French based in the novel:
"Saiyuki" by Kasuya Minekura ed: Génération comics
"Saiyukiden:l'étrange voyage en occident" Katsuya Terada ed: Delcourt
"Dragon ball" by Akira Toriyama ed: Glénat

b>Anime in French: "Saiyuki" ed : Déclic Images

b>Film released in France : "Le roi singe" by and with Stephen Chow ed : HK vidéo

Mook Jong (mu ren)
Mook Jong means ‘wooden man’; the wooden dummy is an instrument complementary to the training with a partner. It allows to refine the techniques and so eliminate all parasitic movements, to work on fluidity, speed and explosiveness to a certain extent; to develop automatic reflexes, to combine and create sequences of movements. Wing Chun has popularized this tool, but another style from South China like Choy Li Fut has its own dummy, yet this latter is composed of two articulated arms. There are also rotary dummies.

In Rumble In The Bronx by Stanley Tong, Jackie Chan gives a short demonstration, too short but superb. There’s also one in Gorgeous by Vincent Kok with a chrome dummy, and even Shu Qi does her arms in on it. Jason Scott Lee does a bit of it in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story by Rob Cohen. In Shaolin Wooden Men by Chen Chi Hwa, we can see a corridor full of rather eccentric dummies which will be used in the video game Tekken 4 by Namco. Still in this film, Jackie’s master, imprisoned in a cave, makes up a dummy with branches reminding a little the Choy Li Fut one. And of course, you can refer once again to Warriors Two by and with Sammo Hung to admire the sequences of movements by Leung Kar Yan and Casanova Wong.

Muay thai
Thai boxing, this combat sport includes fist, leg and especially knee and elbow techniques which made its fame. Muay thai would be 2000 years old.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the kingdom of Siam was often in conflict with its neighbours the Khmers and the Burmese. The use of this boxing was thus frequent and included in military trainings. The techniques were strongly impregnated with the systems of Chinese combats (the Thai people come from western China). With time, this boxing evolved and developed its own techniques. In the 16th century, king Naresuen the Great, a renowned expert, was captured by the Burmese and regained freedom by fighting boxers (afterwards, the boxer Nai Khnom Tom would experience a similar adventure). The creation of Krabi Krabong is attributed to Naresuen because he was among the first to create sequences of movements with the use of sabre (krabi) and stick (krabong). Modern Muay thai comes directly from Krabi Krabong. In the 17th century, under the reign of king Pra Shao Sua alias the Tiger King, other techniques were created and Muay thai spread among the people who quickly set up tournaments. The Tiger King was a Muay thai expert who trained 6 hours a day with his soldiers. It is said that at night he would leave his palace dressed as a peasant to attend tournaments and face local champions. To this day, some combat strategies are known to be part of the Tiger King’s style. Nai Khnom Tom will undoubtedly remain the most famous Thai boxer; at the time he had the title of Siam’s best boxer. One day, he got captured by the Burmese who were ready to let him free if he managed to defeat 12 boxers specialized in bando (Burmese martial art, related to Muay thai). He killed the 12 opponents and won the Burmese spectators’ esteem and the king of Burma set him free. In 1930, rules were imposed as well as the use of a box and gloves to limit the number of deaths and serious injuries. This sport has become very popular all over the world and especially in Japan. To elbow is forbidden in Western countries and Japan except in Thailand. Trainings are very intensive and take place in camps (prakong). The toughening of shins and work on kicks are made with the use of a pao (a small rectangular punch bag with straps held by the trainer). The most famous gyms which organize those fights are the Lumpini and the Rajadamnern.

- A nan leaf placed under the tongue would make the skin thicker and insensitive to pain.
- The offering of flowers to the ring’s guardian angel.
- An image of Buddha put under the krang rang, a small string attached to the arm.
- Women are forbidden on the ring, their presence would give bad vibrations. Since the creation of women’s leagues, it concerns non-fighting women. Most certainly, the superstition most open to criticism.
Muay thai tournaments start with the Wai Kruh, a prayer on bended knee in honour to the master, then the fighters perform the Ram Muay (different according to camps), a dance routine which aims at warming up the body, concentrating the mind, invoking the gods and scaring the opponent.

Filmography :
Ong Bak by Prachya Pinkaew is the reference about Muay thai because of its technical richness and physical exploits of the martial artists.
Beautiful Boxer
Ong Bak 2 (in production)

Source :
"Méthodes de lutte orientale" by Peter Lewis Ed : Minerva

 A  B  C  D  E  F
 G  H  I  J  K  L
 M  N  O  P  Q  R
 S  T  U  V  W  X
latest additions

 Manhua / Manga
 Mark Six
 Mo Lai To
 Monkey King
 Mook Jong (mu ren)
 Muay thai

 Advertise with Google AdSense   Submit a review   Contact   FAQ   Terms of use   Disclaimer   Error Report  
copyright ©1998-2013 hkcinemagic.com