You know, a waste of time, but a good idea.

Whenever I start to get bored watching American films, I spend an hour or two researching the latest Asian movie breakouts, wander down to Chinatown with my little list and grab what I can. It never fails to re-up my love for cinema. I was reading the Globe this morning and they had a piece on the Hong Kong Film Awards where Shi yue wei cheng (Bodyguards and Assassins) basically swept the major categories. Sure enough, a quick reconnoiter to Spadina and I had a Blu-Ray copy ($39.99) from my favourite legit DVD shop (yes, one does indeed exist) and a burn of another award winner called Accident ($2.00).

The plot of B&A revolves around a group of volunteer bodyguards given the task of defending Sun Yat-sen, the person who founded Modern China from assassins from the evil ruling Qing Dynasty. Funny, I thought that was Mao Zedong, but what the hell do I know? They all look the same to me. The first half of the film is less an action flick than a period ensemble drama where each of the characters is introduced and the final hour, an action free-for-all. Set in Hong Kong in 1906 with the sets incredibly rendered right down to the tiniest detail and a large cast of impressive actors, B&A is a breath of fresh air - old fashioned and kind of quaint in a way only Chinese filmmakers seem to aim for these days.

I find it frustrating that North Americans can't seem to get into Chinese filmmaking because the learning curve is an easy one. There's a simplicity and purity of storytelling in their films that harkens back to earlier days of American filmmaking. I wonder if a “recommended wall” of the best of them wouldn't be a good idea. You know, a waste of time, but a good idea. Notwithstanding a truly bizarre language, the stories are typically deeply sentimental and generally about honour, friendship, love and kicking the bad guy's ass. I mean... what more do you want in a movie? An actress named Fan Bing Bing is in B&A too, as if you needed another reason to watch this. I'll grab a DVD copy next time I'm down there so you guys can/but won't watch it (Red Cliff anyone?) I'll bet almost none of you watched Mad Detective either? I will get a B&A DVD anyways... you know, a waste of time, but a good idea.

Tomorrow night – Accident – a terrific-sounding modern thriller where an assassin stages incredibly complex “accidents” for his victims. I'll be taking notes for Kadas's upcoming accidental beheading if his fucking bike isn't out of the FBE storage room next time I'm over there. As for Jules, I think I'll just have to wait and hope the odds are in my favour (they seem to be). Planning some elaborate streetcar derailment incident where the right twin gets tagged as the rave lets out might be just too damn complicated. ... you know, a waste of time, but a good idea.

But isn't it interesting that Justin Davey just disappeared one day.
Sleep tight.


the coelacanth said...

ahahaha red cliff. i apologize, i'm really bad about that stuff (over-enthusiastically pronouncing my desire to watch a film on the blog, then promptly being given said film by you, then watching it gather dust for 6 months). so sorry about that.

sooo weird - i, too was poking around spadina yesterday late-morning and ACTUALLY HELD A BURN OF ACCIDENT IN MY HANDS. i didn't know what it was, though, so i passed. sounds like i should've picked it up...

i laughed at your own accident scenarios, imagining some twisted sporg version of final destination. kris is coming east today to pick up his bike (although he did say the same thing two weeks ago...)

Withnail said...

Firstly, I like this post.
Secondly, where in Chinatown can I get an all regions player for cheap, like trade a dead cat cheap?

Britarded said...

You once told me to watch
"The Killer, it's French"
I've had a close eye on Jules ever since, he hasn't made a move. He's hardly moved at all in fact.