Tuesday, January 05, 2010

And furthermore

That was short and sweet. I guess no one loves me. Not even the jury duty system. After one day they tell me to go home and stay there and just when I had found a perfect place to take a nap in. I am used to getting that treatment from women but not from city hall! I actually did get as far as Jury Selection on one case but in a really weird creepy way it was a malpractice suit that very much mirrored some stuff that has been going on within my family so they let me go. But jury duty in Brooklyn isn't so bad any more. Soft seats as compared to the hard benches that made sleeping really difficult the last time there. Wide screen TV's showing the news all day (someone killed by an Amtrak train, a drunk school bus driver, a gunfight in a courtroom, freezing weather hitting Florida - all things that should have been avoided if Obama was only doing his job and making the world a perfect place!), but best of all they now provide Internet access! So I spent much of the day reading LoveHK Film's list of the top 50 Hong Kong films of this past decade. A very nice list indeed and I would say for the most part the films are all worthy of being seen and are a great starting (and maybe ending) point for people who want to catch up on what Hong Kong has been up to for these past ten years.

The list was comprised of some 150 people sending in their top 10 films and so it has a lot of variety and doesn't miss many of the true classics. I didn't send in mine actually because I felt I had seen so few films from the past three years that it would look kind of shakey, but after looking at the films chosen it seems clear most of the contributors stopped much of their Hong Kong viewing about the same time I did - or there just haven't been many good films recently. Of the 50 films it turned out I have seen 45 of them. So I will put together my list now. But before getting to that I wanted to mention a few films that didn't make it to the top 50 and at least in my opinion are more worthy than some that did (and some that to me don't really belong as they are really more Mainland or Taiwanese films).

From 2000

Spacked Out
A War Named Desire
Double Tap

From 2001

From the Queen to the Chief Executive
La Brassiere
Visible Secret

From 2002

Runaway Pistol
So Close
Inner Senses

From 2004


From 2006

Dog Bite Dog
Heavenly Kings

From 2008

Besieged City

So if you add these to the 50 films you really have a great list to get started. And I guess what is striking is that even in this down decade of Hong Kong film when production budgets have hit rock bottom and the number of films released has dropped considerably, Hong Kong is still making some remarkable films. Sometimes I need a reminder.

So this would be my Top 10 Hong Kong films of the Decade!

10. (tie) Just One Look and Dumplings
9.   Spacked Out
8.   Chinese Oddysey 2002
7.   Infernal Affairs
6.   From the Queen to the Chief Executive
5.   In the Mood for Love
4.   PTU
3.   Running on Karma
2.   Exiled
1.   Kung Fu Hustle


Anonymous said...

Yeah, that list was a fun read. I was surprised by how many I had seen given how I've buried my head in the Hong Kong movies of the 50s and 60s for the last half decade. I saw 37 and 1/2. And now of course, the completist in me wants to catch up on what I missed (even the Donnie Yen movies).

I'm glad you mentioned some films that were noticeably absent for me. Namely, Inner Senses, Running on Karma, and Fruit Chan's films (although I'd be hard pressed to decide whether I'd include Dumplings, Durian Durian, Hollywood Hong Kong, or Dumplings -- all favorites of mine).

Brian said...

Ya - one of these days I need to do some catching up as well - most notably with Ip Man, Red Cliff and Election 2. Running on Karma was actually on the list - somewhere around number 11 with a quote from Grady. We showed that at the NYAFF way back and audiences just loved it so much. Of the ones I mentioned the two that surprise me the most not to see are Close to You and La Brassiere - both with mass appeal. Or so I thought!

Steve said...

If I was making such a list probably only a third of those currently on it would make it. A number of quieter/quirkier films aren't on the list, such as Herbal Tea, Fantasia, and 2 Young, but that's understandable.

I'm surprised to find I've seen all of the films on the list except Juliet in Love, Fulltime Killer, and My Life as McDull -- will have to move them up on my list.

Brian said...

Those are good ones as well - liked all three that you mention but had forgotten about them. The list of decent films for the last decade just keeps getting longer. There were really not that many on the list that I didn't like - Perhaps Love and Protege being the main culprits - but even a film like My Wife is 18 has a certain HK silliness about it that I enjoyed. Juliet in Love is great - probably would be in my 10-20 list, I am not an animation fan but McDull is excellent and kind of depressing in the same way Up was for the first 15 minutes and though FTK is not a fave by any means it has a reall swagger to it.

Grady Hendrix said...

I had DUMPLINGS in my top ten, but that fascist Ross at LoveHKFilm probably didn't count my vote.

Also, liking PTU means you're a fascist, too.

Why r there so many fascists on the internets? Someone should do something about this.

Brian said...

Have Obama fix it. What is he doing any how? This would of course mean Johnny To is a Fascist too? Well, probably so. That would explain Love on a Diet - making the world a more perfect place by losing weight and having everyone look like Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng.

ewaffle said...

Everybody loves "Exiled". Which everybody should. Parts of it are perfect and worth re-watching more than once.

Steve said...

Saw Juliet in Love; liked it in some ways but often the decisions of the characters were hard to believe.

WRT the top 50 list in general, a big part of my disagreement with it is the uncritical love for Johnny To; I find him very hit or miss. And Fascist.