CRIME. Whether it’s the latest Nordic noir murder investigation on TV, a new Rebus novel from Ian Rankin or a classic Agatha Christie on the stage of the King’s, there’s no denying that tales of murder and corruption continue to fascinate.
With the ongoing success of subtitled cop dramas such as The Killing, Braquo, and Wallander, the timing of next month’s Hong Kong Crime Season at the Filmhouse couldn’t be better.
Crime: Hong Kong Style is the biggest celebration of the island’s film ever to be held in the UK. The nationwide event features the screening of 20 movies ranging from cult favourites to classics and forgotten gems, seven of which will be screened at the Filmhouse.
Those include the UK premiere of Dante Lam’s That Demon Within, and the UK premiere of Overheard 3, after which there will be a Q&A with director Felix Chong.
Season curator Andy Willis says, “This programme will represent much more than the stereotypical images of triad gangsters wielding machetes on the neon-lit streets of Kowloon – though there may be some machete wielding going on. We want to allow audiences to connect and re-connect with iconic Hong Kong crime films that excite, entertain and often also educate.”
The event’s producer Rachel Hayward, adds, “We’re particularly excited to be welcoming celebrated writer and director Felix Chong, who will also be visiting some of the touring venues for special Q&A’s and events.
“This is the biggest film season event in the UK to date that recognises and showcases the quintessential role the Hong Kong crime film genre plays in global cinema.”
Overheard 3 - 5 March
THE third instalment of Alan Mak and Felix Chong’s Overheard series focuses on corruption and land acquisition in Hong Kong’s new territories. Again displaying a strong social conscience, Overheard 3 needs no previous knowledge of the series to be enjoyed.
This screening will be accompanied by a post-screening Q&A with director Felix Chong.
That Demon Within - 9 March
THE new Hong Kong action maestro Dante Lam is behind this taut and ultimately unsettling psychological thriller.
Quiet and distant cop Dave (Daniel Wu) is increasingly haunted by the violent images of a criminal gang who use traditional demon masks when committing their crimes. Truth, reality and imagination begin to blur in this stylish film.
Portland Street Blues - 20 March
A RELATIVE of the popular Young and Dangerous franchise, Portland Street Blues offers a significant lead role for Sandra Ng, who takes the opportunity to deliver a nuanced and powerful performance as a woman who rises up through the ranks of a triad gang.
The Pilferers’Progress (aka Money Crazy) - 23 March
RICKY Hui and Richard Ng star as a pair of criminals who join forces to help a young woman retrieve her family’s jewels from Rich Chen.
A broad slapstick comedy, here John Woo is venturing into territory that will be distinctly unfamiliar to his many UK fans.
The Pilferers’ Progress is an example of Hong Kong comedy at its frenetic and crazy best.
The film was a box-office smash in Hong Kong.
Election - 28 March
JOHNNIE To is one of Hong Kong’s most important contemporary filmmakers and this one of his greatest works. Starring acting heavyweights Simon Yam and Tony Leung Ka-fai, Election focuses on the selection of a new triad leader and explores a string of issues from generational conflict to tradition and loyalty.
At the same time Election is a pointed reflection on the politics of post-1997 Hong Kong.
Police Story - 31 March
FOLLOWING his disappointment with the US produced The Protector (1985), Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan wrote and directed this crime story vehicle to showcase his wide variety of skills in front of and behind the camera.
The result is a hugely influential blend of action, comedy and crime and remains perhaps one of the greatest films ever made.
Infernal Affairs - 7 April
BRINGING together two of Asia’s biggest stars, Andy Lau and Tony Leung, Infernal Affairs became a world-wide hit upon its release and remains one of Hong Kong’s most famous and influential crime films. At its core it is a classic, edge-of-the-seat, cop and gangster cat and mouse story.
Crime: Hong Kong Style, Filmhouse, Lothian Road, 3 March-7 April, for full details of programme visit filmhousecinema.com