PORT OF CALL Takes Crowning Honors from Critics Society
Thought the End of 2015 roundups were all wrapped up? Not so fast. On January 18, a South China Morning Post piece revealed results of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society’s annual best film selection.
The list highlights the creme de la creme of 2015 Hong Kong cinema. At the top? PORT OF CALL, a crime drama ripped from the headlines. Starring Michael Ning, Jessie Li, Aaron Kwok, and Elaine Jin, PORT follows the investigation into a young prostitute’s brutal murder. For their performances, Ning and Li were also awarded Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
In addition to PORT OF CALL, the Hong Kong Film Critics Society selected a group dubbed the “seven recommended films of 2015”, per the Morning Post. The list includes the following, listed in no particular order:
THE TAKING OF TIGER MOUNTAIN
For his work on this adventure bonanza, famed filmmaker Tsui Hark (A BETTER TOMORROW) was awarded Best Director from Hong Kong critics. With a star-studded cast, including Tony Leung, Zhang Hanyu, and Yu Nan, TIGER MOUNTAIN was a box office smash in China.
MURMUR OF THE HEARTS
Director Sylvia Chang and actor Yukihiko Kageyama took home Best Screenwriter honors for this romantic drama, about an artist, her brother, a boxer, and a whole lotta family baggage.
This indie anthology uses a series of five shorts to examine a Hong Kong of the future. Gangster/politician intrigue, hunger strikes, alienation, bizarre surveillance, and dark dream worlds ensue.
SPL2: A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES
Produced by IP MAN director Wilson Yip, the titular consequences are doled out swiftly and bone crunchingly in this martial arts hit. Martial artists Tony Jaa and Wu Jing, as well as marquee names Simon Yam and Louis Koo, were recruited for this sequel to 2005’s SPL: SHA PO LANG.
Film writers the world over love ’em some Johnnie To, and in 2015, the love affair rolled on with OFFICE. A 3D musical dramedy, set in the midst of financial collapse (it’s adapted from a 2008 play), the film stars Chow Yun-fat, Sylvia Chang, and Eason Chan.
KEEPER OF DARKNESS
The Hong Kong Film Critics Society carved out some room for pure pulp with Nick Cheung’s Hong Kong horror. The film follows the tale of an offbeat exorcism, an investigator fascinated by his ways, and, inevitably, a pissed off demonic beast. For his efforts as director and star, Twitch dubbed Cheung “the new renaissance man of Hong Kong cinema” in a November review.
SHE REMEMBERS, HE FORGETS
Rounding out their elite eight of 2015, Hong Kong critics selected the story of a woman who, upon attending her high school reunion, vividly recalls a past of love, heartbreak, and regret (come to think of it, what cinematic high school reunion isn’t filled with those three things?)