Of Movies and Hong Kong

Ah, just returned from the Hong Kong trip and found a little time to update the blog. Of course it was a great trip. There were only two setbacks, the first being the typhoon that resulted in us not being able to go on a tour on Hong Kong’s last junk and bringing much rain to the island resulting in us getting wet many times and the second being me not rich enough to grab all the DVDs that I wanted.

I ended up buying over 20 DVDs, 2 books and watched 2 movies. This is beside the fact that thanks to my geeky friend’s thorough knowledge of Hong Kong and its movies, I get to visit many movie locations, for example in Lan Kwai Fong where Wong Kar Wai filmed “Chungking Express” only too bad that the Midnight Express food stall is no longer there, drank at the herbal tea shop where they filmed “Herbal Tea”, ate at the Goldfinch Restaurant where Tony and Maggie ate in “In the Mood for Love”, travelled on the Travelator, walk the streets of “PTU”, had a night in Mongkok, etc. etc. I only wish to get hold of a police uniform and walk around the Hong Kong streets pretending at times being Simon Yam, at times being Tony Leung and at times being Andy Lau in “Days of Being Wild”. That will be really cool.

The DVDs that I have bought include a superb box set of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films from 1983 to 1986 and this comes together with a beautiful picture book plus some notes on the movies. I have also bought *ahem* (*in vain mood*) a limited edition box set of Yon Fan’s trilogy, “Bugis Street”, “Bishonen”, and “Poeny Pavilion”. Not to mention also a copy of Tsai Ming Liang’s latest “The Wayward Cloud”. Have watched “The Wayward Cloud” since I returned and it’s a crazy film, typical of Tsai. It will never pass the censors here. The visuals are really powerful. I like that film.

The DVDs there are really cheap, some for only about RM9.00 each. These are original DVDs! Unfortunately most of them are Hong Kong movies but if you are a great fan of Hong Kong movies, this is the place to go. We went to the Original Video store in Mongkok. This is the cheapest place to buy DVDs. We also went to UFO near Causeway Bay. The selection there is great as well although the price is slightly higher than that of Original Video. However, for great selection of non-Hong Kong movies, please go to the store at the Broadway Cinematheque. The selection of foreign movies there is just as great although the price can be 10 times or more of local Hong Kong DVDs. Well, given that, it is still cheaper than you order through Amazon or via Fox Home Video. Here’s a guide to buying DVDs in Hong Kong if you are interested. I met the author of the guide, Tim Young, there since my geeky friend is meeting him and he is a superbly nice guy.

For a tour of Hong Kong’s movie past, we visited the Hong Kong Film Archive as well. The exhibition there was very well done and I bought a book on Tsui Hark and another on “A Century of Chinese Cinema”.

Well, that’s about all of some of the movie related stuffs that we did. The other touristsy things were also great. I really look forward to going to Hong Kong again and I hope to be able to make it to the film festival next year.

Oh, by the way, “Swing Girls” was really nice. Too bad they are not showing it in Malaysia and I don’t recall Uncle Ho releasing that title as well ;-)

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