The New Decade: Hong Kong Film
A pervasive theme in the films coming out of the prolific national cinema of Hong Kong has been their transfer over to China in 1997. The Brooklyn Academy of Music is putting a spotlight on this preoccupation in their current series The New Decade: Hong Kong Film. Running through the end of next weekend, the series offers a number of intriguing prospects made in the last 10 years. In particular, we'd recommend checking out a special advance screening of Exiled next Thursday at 7 pm, the newest film by action director Johnnie To which will be getting a wider theatrical release at the end of the month. With the flare of a modern day Western, but set in decadent Macau, it's about a group of gangsters whose code of honor prevents them from killing one of their old cohorts despite the fact that they've been hired to carry out the hit by the local gang lord. With Sam Peckinpah-esque shoot-outs, John Ford-ish camaraderie but Wachowski brother style get ups, it's an odd mash up of influences and well worth watching. If you get in a To kind of mood after Exiled, there's also a double feature on Sunday the 26th of two more of his gang movies, Election and Triad Election, which have both played at a number of festivals to great acclaim.
Other movie events happening around town this weekend include a group of melodramas directed by Vincent Minnelli (aka Judy Garland's husband and the Hollywood musicals giant) at Anthology Film Archives, a program of French New Wave director Claude Chabrol's less well known movies at MoMA including his newest called The Necklace which gets its North American premiere, and on Tuesday, the New York premiere run of Hannah Takes the Stairs the kick off film in a series at the IFC Center devoted to new indie directors called The New Talkies: Generation DIY.