Heroes of the East

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    Once a Hero: The Vanishing Hong Kong Cinema

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    Cash

    Posts : 63
    Join date : 2011-02-16
    Location : Central Illinois

    Once a Hero: The Vanishing Hong Kong Cinema

    Post  Cash on Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:51 am

    I can't wait to get my hands on this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Once-Hero-Vanishing-Hong-Cinema/dp/9881500516/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&coliid=IAB19W89ICKRO&colid=3V42Q4V9QPZN2

    Courtesy of Amazon.com

    Review
    The real story about Hong Kong films isn't the dramatic decline in their creativity. It is the surgical removal of their distinctiveness as movies of Hong Kong. In their eagerness to please the mainland audience, Hong Kong filmmakers now churn out movies with ready-made plots, powered by simple demographics. I smell more desperation than inspiration in the race to make the Hong Kong cinema mainland-friendly.

    About the Author
    Perry Lam was among the first to critically examine Hong Kong movies in English on a regular basis, with reviews in the early 1980s for South China Morning Post. Widely quoted by the international press including Reuters, The Associated Press, Asiaweek and Cahiers du Cin413ma, he has long been recognized as an authority on Hong Kong cinema. He was editorial director of Muse magazine and taught Asian cinema as adjunct professor of Syracuse University Hong Kong Center. He is now assistant editorial director of Oxford University Press and writes columns in Chinese for Hong Kong Economic Journal and Yazhou Zhoukan. Once A Hero: The Vanishing Hong Kong Cinema is his first English book.
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    Masterofoneinchpunch

    Posts : 401
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    Location : Modesto, CA

    Re: Once a Hero: The Vanishing Hong Kong Cinema

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch on Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:57 pm

    Great post there. I added that to my shopping list. That looks like a perfect read (argh so much to read). I'll try to get within the next couple of weeks.
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    Cash

    Posts : 63
    Join date : 2011-02-16
    Location : Central Illinois

    Re: Once a Hero: The Vanishing Hong Kong Cinema

    Post  Cash on Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:09 pm

    Great post there. I added that to my shopping list. That looks like a perfect read (argh so much to read). I'll try to get within the next couple of weeks.

    Luckily for you there's a 2-3 week wait for hard copies unless you're using a Kindle (completely zaps the intimacy out of reading a good book for me though).

    I suppose the good news is this: better to have too much to read than having difficulty finding a good book to get into which I find maddening.
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    Brian T

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    Re: Once a Hero: The Vanishing Hong Kong Cinema

    Post  Brian T on Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:10 pm

    Might have to grab that one myself. As someone who still buys every new Hong Kong movie to come down the pike, that book might be very handy when I actually get around to viewing them on a regular basis again. Nice to see a scholar examining the current state of Hong Kong cinema — pro and con from the sounds of it — instead of the usual misinformed or condescending web suspects throwing their weight around on the subject. I'm even more ecstatic that he gives props to Hong Kong's independent filmmakers. In that arena, there are promising things happening, and thankfully not in "let's return to the old days" or "let's pander to the mainland" ways, either. In fact, many of the DVDs in my "to watch" piles that I'm most excited to see are films by the new wave of indie writers and directors. Shame his book is more a scholarly work than a popular one, otherwise it might help shake off the misperception — created largely by western theatrical and DVD distributors and the online folk who blindly review their products — that Hong Kong produces nothing but rote action thrillers and period martial arts epics (the latter in actuality being a tiresome mainland habit).

    One of the reviewers of Lam's book at Amazon says he labels older directors he previously admired, including Ann Hui and Patrick Tam, as "past their prime". I suppose that could be successfully argued, but Ann Hui's A SIMPLE LIFE was one of the best films I saw at last year's TIFF, and it also picked up a couple of awards as I recall.

    Thanks for the heads-up on this one . . .

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