There was no small amount of anxiety 20 years ago when British rule of Hong Kong ended and it became a sovereign country, give or take officially being a “special administrative region” of China. In some circles, the big question was: What would this mean for its film industry, which created some of the most groundbreaking movies of the late 20th century? The slate of new movies at the seventh annual Hong Kong Cinema series shows that the Pearl of the Orient’s movie heart never skipped a beat.
Films of note this year include the latest by Lawrence Lau, whose 1988 debut Gangs was a staple on many video stores’ shelves back in the day. Lau’s new movie Dealer/Healer goes back farther to the 1970s and ’80s to follow the story of a drug dealer trying to go clean and finding that his old life won’t let him go. The ever-present past also factors into the prolific Herman Yau’s 77 Heartbreaks, in which a kickboxing man-child goes through his ex-girlfriend’s journal, which catalogs his many screw-ups. Just how prolific is Yau? Also shown is his The Sleep Curse — one of his three films released in 2017 — which features mad scientists, cannibals, and plenty of dismembered body parts. Hong Kong Cinema lives!
Hong Kong Cinema 2017
Starts Thursday at the New People Cinema.