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The Rise of Johnnie To
From fanboy favorite to internationally acclaimed filmmaker 4/6 - Page 5
Author(s) : Marie Jost
Date : 28/2/2011
Type(s) : Analysis
Food for thought
 Intext Links  
People :
Johnnie To Kei Fung
Movies :
Fulltime Killer
A Hero Never Dies
The Mission
Needing You
Running Out Of Time
Wu Yen
Lexic :
Heroic Bloodshed
< Previous
Page 4 : 100 Years of Film: Commerce and Art
Next >
Page 6 : Return to Noir: A Rising Star on the International Festival Circuit

2001 marks the year of the first Johnnie To retrospective in the West. Concurrently two film series were screening his movies: Hong Kong Film Festival 2001 (Australia) and UCLA Film Archive, in conjunction with the Asian Film Foundation: Go Johnnie To (Los Angeles). Ten Hong Kong films were featured at the Australian festival, including four recent Johnnie To works: The Mission, Needing You, Running Out of Time, and Wu Yen. Even more significant, the UCLA film archive was slated to show seven films personally selected by the director himself. (Only six were screened, however, as Heroic Trio, was unavailable.) Johnnie To was also present at the Question and Answer session after the projection of Fulltime Killer. The other films shown at this festival included: Lifeline, A Hero Never Dies, Running Out of Time, The Mission, and Wu Yen. Already a pattern is emerging: the focus is primarily on the action and moody noir pictures, with a nod to the comedies that were then taking Hong Kong by storm. I think it is especially important to note Johnnie To’s role in positioning himself in the eyes of the West as a director of sophisticated personal reworkings of the heroic bloodshed hero genre and the suspense-thriller. Each of the films chosen by To is representative of a particular type of genre film within the Hong Kong film tradition.

Needing You, © China Star Entertainment Group, Milkyway Image (HK) Ltd., One Hundred Years of Film

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Page 4 : 100 Years of Film: Commerce and Art
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Page 6 : Return to Noir: A Rising Star on the International Festival Circuit

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