Artist of the Year 2021: John Woo
Movies are listed in watch order
鐵漢柔情 The Young Dragons (1975)
女子跆拳群英會 The Dragon Tamers (1975)
Watched with pretty janky subtitles. Rarely incomprehensible, one could always feels the texture of Mandarin grammar beneath the English words. When so much of modern media is made easy to access, there was something nostalgic and exhilirating about watching something endearingly bootlegged.
帝女花 Princess Chang-Ping (1976)
少林門 Hand of Death (1976)
豪俠 Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1979)
錢作怪 From Riches to Rags (1980)
Has exactly two good jokes in it, and they’re subtle enough that they might not have even been intentional.
摩登天師 To Hell with the Devil (1982)
八彩林亞珍 Plain Jane to the Rescue (1982)
The slapstick stuff doesn’t do much for me, but there’s a comedy of desperation throughout that’s biting and quite good. The tunnel scene alone, of people recognizing their power having stopped the machine of the city, and extracting mahjongg/pop concerts/free tunnel tolls for life is a particularly fun power fantasy to see on screen.
英雄無淚 Heroes Shed No Tears (1986)
英雄本色 A Better Tomorrow (1986)
A startling stylistic leap from Heroes Shed No Tears. I expected to see a more gradual discovery of style.
英雄本色2 A Better Tomorrow II (1987)
喋血雙雄 The Killer (1989)
義膽群英 Just Heroes (1989)
Having characters in your film talk about being fans of the movie you made 3 years ago is a bold move.
喋血街頭 Bullet in the Head (1990)