I was born and grew up in upstate New York in Albany. I have five older brothers.
I was invited to Hong Kong in 1983 by [film producer] Nansun Shi, who is the wife of the director Tsui Hark. Back in the ‘80s they had one of the most successful film companies [in Hong Kong]—it was called Cinema City.
She found a picture of my brother Russell, [and] flew us over for a screen test, because they were looking for new artists to act in their films. Next thing we knew we were on a plane to Hong Kong.
A stalwart of the Hong Kong film industry for more than two decades, actor Michael Wong is also a father of three and a keen pilot. He sits down with Andrea Lo on his birthday to talk about his on-screen career, his passion for aviation, and what makes Hong Kong great.
I am used to getting rejected [by investors]. Nine out of ten proposals are turned down.
I insist on filming something I want, so I traipse around the island, Kowloon and the New Territories in search of investors. Most of the time, I can’t find anyone interested.
Many mainland investors do not really understand creativity—even less than their Hong Kong counterparts. They treat movie-making as a business, and they have a lot of other concerns. They might want to cast their girlfriends.
Mabel Cheung is one of the most prominent female directors in Hong Kong. Since forming a creative team with longtime boyfriend Alex Law in the 1980s, the pair have juggled directing, scriptwriting and producing, creating classics such as “An Autumn’s Tale,” “City of Glass” and “Echoes of the Rainbow.” She talks to Grace Tsoi about moviemaking, the future of Hong Kong cinema and what to do when Daniel Wu tells you he got dumped.
When the 85th Academy Awards wrapped up in Los Angeles last month, it would have been easy to believe that director Ben Affleck was the night’s big winner. After all, his film “Argo” took home three statues, including the all-important Best Picture. But amid the glitz, the glamour, the red carpet dresses and the big Hollywood names, the Oscars generate some serious money for the film industry. So how does the need to make money reconcile with the need to honor excellence in cinema?
With the seventh annual Asian Film Awards just around the corner, Sean Hebert explores how culture and commercialism need to co-exist not only for the benefit of cinema lovers, but Hong Kong as a whole.
We are living in this global world and it’s important for 21st century filmmakers to have an international outlook—to make films in other countries like the United States or in Europe. This is not inconceivable. It happened in the 20th century with, say, John Woo, who had a successful career in Hong Kong and then moved to Hollywood and had a successful career there, and then with some of the skills and experience of all of that, went to China and made “Red Cliff”— a huge budget and special effects movie.
When Roger Garcia took over the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society in 2010, he was already an established film producer, critic and writer in Asia and internationally. With the HKIFF and the Asian Film Awards (AFA) both underway in less than a month, he sits down with Sean Hebert to discuss the evolution and new realities of filmmaking in Hong Kong.
(HK) Romance. Starring Fashion blogger at cindiddy.com Cindy Ko and her boyfriend Tim Chang. Photos by Cyrus Wong. Directed by Katie Kenny. Produced by Sarah Fung. Photo retouch by Pierre pang, Mike Hung and Phoebe Yeung.
(USA) Family comedy. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Voiced by Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, David Space, Steve Buscemi, Cee-lo Green. Category I. 91 minutes.
(USA) Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Sheriff Owens, a washed-up law enforcer resigned to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in his sleepy border town. When a cartel kingpin escapes from the FBI with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members, they emerge on—wait. Is the plot even important? The Governator is going to kill a bunch of bad guys. Need we say more? Also starring Johnny Knoxville, for some reason.
(Spain) A shockingly realistic depiction of one of the last decade’s most devastating natural disasters, the film is based on the true story of a family caught in the Indian Ocean tsunami as it hit Thailand in 2004. After a giant wall of black waves crash onto a resort, a badly injured Maria (Naomi Watts) scrambles out from the debris with her eldest son Lucas (Tom Holland) and another boy they’ve saved. Separated, Henry (Ewan McGregor) begins to search for his wife and son.
(USA) Ruthless mob boss Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is the king of 1949 L.A., running the city’s drugs, guns and prostitution rackets. Keen to take him down, a secret crew of unrealistically good-looking LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) is assembled to try and take back their city.
Also starring Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte and Emma Stone.
(USA) Quentin Tarantino’s much-anticipated western follows Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave living in the Deep South who is freed by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a German bounty hunter living in disguise as a dentist. Django is the only witness able to recognize a gang of killers that Schultz is hunting. In return, Schultz will help Django find and rescue his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from notorious plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). It’s simultaneously funny, dark, thrilling, and action-packed. Also starring Samuel L. Jackson.