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June 22, 2017

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Creative Visions – Celebrating 20 years of Hong Kong Cinema

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Did you know that one of Hong Kong’s most iconic films, Infernal Affairs, was the inspiration behind Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning film The Departed? Lucky for us in the 6ix, this film along with seven other Hong Kong classics will screen for FREE this weekend as part of Creative Visions: Hong Kong Cinema 1997-2017.

Toronto was chosen as one of only 11 cities in the world to host this event, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). What better way to celebrate than featuring some of the best movies Hong Kong has to offer? More than that, the award-winning director Heiward Mak will be in town to take part in an artist talk and introduce her critically-acclaimed directorial debut High Noon. This is a can’t miss for any cinephile.

Creative Visions: Hong Kong Cinema 1997-2017 takes place June 23 to June 25 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Here are the films you won’t want to miss:

Love off the Cuff (2017) – June 23

“Pang, along with co-writers Luk and Jimmy Wan, expose the pitfalls lurking under the comfort zone of a long relationship with whip-smart observations and quirky details.” – Variety

Synopsis: In 2010, Jimmy and Cherie fell in love in the back alleys of Hong Kong. In 2012, they each found a new love in a new city, but they ultimately chose to stay together. In 2017, Cherie and Jimmy will brave the stormy seas and save their relationship. Can Cherie and Jimmy overcome their seven-year itch? The path to finding out the answer is filled with laughs and tears.

Love in a Puff (2010) – June 24

“In his kinetic, improvisatory way, Pang has delivered a minor masterpiece that is as carefree as they come.” – Time Out 

Synopsis: Nicotine fuels a romance between two Hong Kong office workers in this romantic comedy from writer and director Pang Ho-cheung. Jimmy (Shawn Yue), nicknamed “Chimney” owing to his fondness for tobacco, works at an advertising agency and heads out for a smoke several times a day with his pals; he notices a pretty girl who works elsewhere in the office, Cherie (Miriam Yeung), who joins her own friends for a cigarette, and he tries to work up the nerve to say hello to her. One day, Jimmy finally talks to Cherie, and it goes well enough that she invites him to join her and her “hot pot pack” for an evening at the karaoke bar. Jimmy is crushed when Cherie brings her boyfriend along, but after a few conversations over a cigarette, Cherie wonders if Jimmy might be a better bet than her current beau.

Infernal Affairs (2002) – June 24

“Everything you’d want in a police action thriller: powerhouse performances, Grade A production values, a good script and suspenseful direction.” – San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis: A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop.

Kung Fu Hustle (2004) – June 24

“A film where special effects erase physics and the constraints of the human body, there’s absolutely no telling what will come next.” – AV Club

Synopsis: In Shanghai, China in the 1940s, a wannabe gangster aspires to join the notorious “Axe Gang” while residents of a housing complex exhibit extraordinary powers in defending their turf.

Election (2005) – June 24

“Reveals [director] To as a master of lean, close-quarters action.”LA Weekly

Synopsis: Rival gang leaders are locked in a struggle to become the new chairman of Hong Kong’s Triad society.

Made In Hong Kong (1997) – June 25

“The first independent film to emerge from the former British colony since the changeover to China in 1997, “Made in Hong Kong” is an intoxicating drama about teenage alienation.” – BBC

Synopsis: Autumn Moon, a low-rent triad living in Hong Kong, struggles to find meaning in his hopelessly violent existence.

The Grandmaster (2013) – June 25

“You leave this deeply flawed, deeply beautiful film with no doubt that you’ve seen an indisputable cinematic grandmaster in action.” – Rolling Stone

Synopsis: The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

High Noon (2008) – June 25 (With special guest Heiward Mak)

“The film finds strengths in its heightened emotions and its daring, and is fast, unpolished, and ultimately felt. In many ways, one could say that it channels the Hong Kong Cinema spirit.” – Love HK Film

Synopsis: Not a Hong Kong remake of Bill Clinton’s fave Western, but a remake of producer Eric Tsang’s own Taiwanese “Winds of September,” “High Noon” tracks seven rowdy high school boys with names like Smoothie, Soy Sauce and Sticky Dick from shenanigans to tragedies.

For more information and showtimes, visit the Reel Asian website. See you there this weekend!

Creative Visions: Hong Kong Cinema 1997-2017, Reel Asian