Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

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Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:09 pm

I know Brian has created a thread for a specific book :), but I wanted an area where we could discuss errors and potential errors with all books on Asian cinema. I was thinking one post per book and, of course, discussion or comments in other posts.

Please check the below, if I am wrong I will change. Answers to the questions below are greatly appreciated.

Planet Hong Kong (2000) by David Bordwell

"…Golden Harvest bought the Cathay studio in Diamond Hill and arranged for overseas distribution through Cathay. Chow lured away King Hu, Wang Yu, director Lo Wei, and other Shaws talent, but his biggest coup was signing Bruce Lee." (pg. 68)
King Hu went to Taiwan (Union Productions) after the Shaw Brothers.
"Take the cycle launched by Wong Jing in 1989 with God of Gamblers." (pg. 131)
The cycle was started by Casino Raiders which came out earlier that year.
"In 1997 he [Tsui Hark] remade A Chinese Ghost Story as Hong Kong's first animated feature." (pg. 136)
Three Older Master Cute films were made before this: [url href="http://hkmdb.com/db/search/results/S8reZk2NYFMw9i3Rf958Q-1.mhtml"]HKMDB link[/url] (thanks dleedee)
"…he has played a stud who pretends to be gay in order to attract sympathetic women (The Eighth Happiness, 1988)." (pg. 160)
He plays effeminate in the film, he does not play gay.
"After the hero of Casino Raiders (1989) is hurt in his left hand, he demands that the villain bet his right arm and leg, while the villain counterbets on the heroine's right hand." (pg. 186)
His hand isn't hurt, he was shot in the torso twice.
"In Casino Raiders (1989) Sam (Andy Lau), who has failed his wife and friend, must redeem himself in a crucial card game. He takes off his wedding ring to be able to play more nimbly." (pg. 198)
Sam is actually Alan Tam. He doesn't take off his ring to play more nimbly he takes it off because he is ordered to.
"Patrick Yau's remarkable 1998 thrillers The Longest Nite (sic) and Expect the Unexpected mobilize rigorous cutting and dynamic movement not in order to project the exuberance of sheer movement but to give punishing force to a blunt, bleak nihilism." (pg. 246)
Not that this is David Bordwell's fault, but we now know who did most of the directing in these films.
"…the spiraling cycles of Russian roulette of Bullet in the Head…" (pg. 251)
Technically what Jacky Cheung went through wasn't Russian roulette since there was no chance.

I have some questions on these:

[on Taiwan] "In 1988 about 190 domestically made films were released; by 1994 there were only 18." (pg. 74)
Where is a reliable "newer" -source on this information?
"...(they recall the tiresome blooper credits of 1970s Burt Reynolds movies), these montages announce the films' eagerness to please,…" (pg. 134)
I'm going to check some of these films when I have a chance. Does anyone know any specific titles that Burt Reynolds was in during the 1970s where there were blooper credits?
"He [Tsui Hark] was born in Vietnam in 1951…" (pg. 137)
He was possibly born in Canton, moved to Saigon later. However, so many sites have contradictory information on this. He stated Canton in Hong Kong Babylon interview. Does anyone have any good info on this? Even the year is different on where you look. States he is Vietnamese in this interview: http://www.time.com/time/asia/features/ ... 32000.html
"In thirty years King Hu made just eleven features…" (pg. 254)
This may be twelve. I'm not sure of the status of "The Juvenizer and All The King's Men.
Last edited by Masterofoneinchpunch on Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:36 am

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:"In 1997 he [Tsui Hark] remade A Chinese Ghost Story as Hong Kong's first animated feature." (pg. 136)
Is this true?


I found this blog entry about a supposed Hong Kong animated film from 1980 called CHINESE GODS . . .
http://teleport-city.com/wordpress/?p=620

but I have a feeling he may have watched a Cantonese dubbed version of a (supposedly) 1975 Taiwanese picture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zptWuC-9 ... re=related
(warning: you may trip out watching this)

I recall watching some kind of Bruce Lee animated feature (not the one above) on a weekly "Kung Fu Theater" presentation shown on a Detroit TV station in the late 70's or early 80's, complete with Lee in the yellow suit, but this may have also been a Taiwanese picture for all I can remember. I may also have been part-animation, part live action.

Not much help, I know, but perhaps CHINESE GHOST STORY was the first true animated feature from the city. It seems unlikely, but Hong Kong never had much of an animation industry outside of television.
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Re: Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:49 am

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:"...(they recall the tiresome blooper credits of 1970s Burt Reynolds movies), these montages announce the films' eagerness to please,…" (pg. 134)


Not sure what you're looking for here. I re-read this section and it seems he was rather enamoured of the "guilt-free zest" of Hong Kong filmmakers, their "pure nervous exhiliaration" in making movies, which is visible by the very inclusion of outtakes under the credits (moreso than their content, I'm guessing). Outtakes are still fairly common in Hong Kong movies, mostly comedies of course. Their use definitely subsided in Hollywood, but contrary to what Bordwell seems to be suggesting, they did still appear in movies at the time his book was written, and they're still in use today, just not very often.

On a side note, unlike Bordwell, I never found the Burt Reynolds bloopers tiresome at all. They're still pretty funny today:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvHTeNThAo0
(interesting that certain Reynolds pictures like this one were produced by a Hong Kong company . . . 8) )
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Re: Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:41 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:...Not sure what you're looking for here. I re-read this section and it seems he was rather enamoured of the "guilt-free zest" of Hong Kong filmmakers, their "pure nervous exhiliaration" in making movies, which is visible by the very inclusion of outtakes under the credits (moreso than their content, I'm guessing). Outtakes are still fairly common in Hong Kong movies, mostly comedies of course. Their use definitely subsided in Hollywood, but contrary to what Bordwell seems to be suggesting, they did still appear in movies at the time his book was written, and they're still in use today, just not very often.

On a side note, unlike Bordwell, I never found the Burt Reynolds bloopers tiresome at all. They're still pretty funny today:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvHTeNThAo0
(interesting that certain Reynolds pictures like this one were produced by a Hong Kong company . . . 8) )


Thanks Brian for info on the animated feature and this. I agree perhaps CHINESE GHOST STORY was the first animated feature. I'll leave the question up though. It just seems weird that it would take so long for a HK animated feature to appear.

What I was looking for was if Burt Reynolds had films were there were bloopers before THE CANNONBALL RUN (1981). I'll modify my question. I was sure that they were still in use at the time his book was written, I just could not think of any titles. Any titles come to mind?
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Re: Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

Postby dleedlee » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:38 pm

re: animation

Well, there were the Master Cute films from the early '80s
http://hkmdb.com/db/search/results/S8re ... 8Q-1.mhtml
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Re: Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:46 pm

dleedlee wrote:re: animation

Well, there were the Master Cute films from the early '80s
http://hkmdb.com/db/search/results/S8re ... 8Q-1.mhtml


Good find. Calros states it is the first animated release. HKFA states that it was done in 35 mm. I wonder how it did at the box office? I'll modify my statement above (I'll give you credit as well).

It looks like part III is on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO350xhx ... re=related
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Re: Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

Postby dleedlee » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:19 pm

Our db has b.o. numbers for II and III. I've watched two of them on DVD but couldn't manage facing the third one...someday. The live action Mr Funny Bone films were funnier in retrospect.
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Re: Errata: Errors in Books on Asian Cinema

Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:15 pm

dleedlee wrote:Well, there were the Master Cute films from the early '80s
http://hkmdb.com/db/search/results/S8re ... 8Q-1.mhtml


This character crossed my mind when I was digging, but all I could find were TV episodes at YouTube. Of course, serves me right for only searching "Master Q" instead of "Master Cute". :roll:


Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:What I was looking for was if Burt Reynolds had films were there were bloopers before THE CANNONBALL RUN (1981). I'll modify my question. I was sure that they were still in use at the time his book was written, I just could not think of any titles. Any titles come to mind?


SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT 2 had some very funny ones. That film predates CANNONBALL RUN by only a year, though. Not sure if previous Reynolds movies had them, but if they didn't, they should have! :)

I can't think of movies specifically from the time of publication of Bordwell's book, but in general and off the top of my head: THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, GRUMPY OLD MEN, TALLEDEGA NIGHTS. One or both of the TOY STORY movies had them, although being CG, they're borderline. Didn't BEING THERE have some outtakes at the end? Also, YEAR ONE, if anybody cares. :lol: I think Bordwell was tracing the evolution of end-reel outtakes as popular inclusions to the Reynolds pictures, even though he found them tiresome himself.

I like seeing them in Hong Kong movies, too. One recent example that I can think of is NOBODY'S PERFECT (2008), although I'm sure there are plenty of others, given how often outtakes show up at the end of Hong Kong comedies.
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