Thursday, January 13, 2011

When They Want To Movies Can Still Blow Your Fucking Mind

On the Occasion of Having Recently Watched Johnnie To's Latest Film, Vengeance

Today David Bordwell wrote a great post on his blog, here. It's one entry in a series-in-progress pertaining to the PDF publication of the second edition of his excellent book Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment, which you can buy here. Bordwell's blog post contains the following passage:

"Yet all signs of life haven’t been muffled. In the current restrictive climate, Johnnie To can make eccentric, occasionally shocking films like Running on Karma (2003) and Throw Down (2004). I take comfort in learning just last weekend what terminated Stephen Chow’s directorship of The Green Hornet. According to one report he proposed to plant a microchip in the hero’s brain and have Kato control him with a joystick. In an Entertainment Weekly article not online, director Michel Gondry claims that Chow’s plans were too far out. 'Really, really crazy ideas that you would not dare bring to a studio. AIDS was involved. Plastic boobs were involved too.' That Gondry, one of Hollywood’s approved Wild Things, can find something Chow proposed over the top gives you hope.

"A couple of months before the handover, I was in Kowloon talking with a cab driver. He told me confidently, 'Chinese people are born capitalists. We know very well how to make money. We will never accept Communism.'

" 'But,' I said, 'the Mainland has had a Communist government for forty years.'

"He shrugged. 'Forty years is not a long time.' "


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