Tag Archives: feminist

Strong roles for women in Hong Kong movies

Chung Bik-ha as Blackie in The Blade who doesn’t take any shit from nobody, even the bullies who cut the sole of her foot.

Brigitte Lin as Lien Ni-Chang and it goes without saying when she becomes the White Witch she is unmatched.

Michelle Yeoh as Sister Ko in Butterfly and Sword.

Maggie Cheung as Qiao Li in Comrades, Almost a Love Story in one of my top 10 favourite Hong Kong movies.

Maggie Cheung as Lingyu Ruan in Centre Stage.

Joey Wong as the ghost in a Chinese Ghost Story.

Karen Mok as Bak Jing-jing and Athena Chu as Zixia in A Chinese Odyssey Part 1 – Pandora’s Box, I like the scene where they keep setting Stephen Chow’s crotch on fire.

Xu Jiao as Dicky in CJ7, yes another role where a young girl plays a young boy but she is good at it.

Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien, Ziyi Zhang as Jen and Cheng Pei-Pei as Jade Fox in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Kei Gwong Hung as little Ding Dong (girl playing a boy again), Kara Hui Ying-Hung as Rainbow Sword in Demon of the Lute.

Bingbing Li as Shangguan Jing’er in Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.

Brigitte Lin playing twins in Dragon Chronicles: Maidens of Heavenly Mountain.

Cheng Pei-pei as Chin-erh in Dragon Swamp.

Brigitte Lin as Mo-Yan and Maggie Cheung as Jade King in Dragon Inn.

Joyce Godenzi as the Cambodian guerrilla leader in Eastern Condors especially the vicious stabbing she gives to one of the baddies during the ammo cache fight scene.

Brigitte Lin as Master Asia Invincible in East is Red. She even manages to overshadow the ninja submarine in this movie and also has a bald albino ninja wearing a nappy who has carrier pigeons in his mouth.

Pop duo Twins playing the Chopstick Sisters in the movie Fantasia. You would think it would just be stupid but it is quite fun.

Zhou Xun as Ling Yanqiu and Gwei Lun-mei as Zhang Xiao Wen in Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. I liked the bandit leader more than the main hero, they wore like Ancient Chinese punks.

Josephine Siao as Miu Chui-fa in Fong Sai Yuk. “It’s shit to be chased by the dogs!” is still my favourite line from this movie.

Carina Lau as Kar ling in Forbidden City Cop, the best on-screen wife for Stephen Chow in any of his movies.

Karen Mok as Sister Turkey in God of Cookery, her character manages to bring humour and pathos to the role and she has a big heart.

Anita Mui as Wonder Woman, Maggie Cheung as Thief-Catcher Chat, Michelle Yeoh as Invisble Girl. The top of the heap for good roles for women in Hong Kong movies. There has been no better trio.

Anita Yuen as Wing in He’s a Woman, She’s a Man. A sex-change comedy but it is very sweet and honest.

Maggie Cheung as Mrs Chan in In the Mood for Love do I really need to say why?

Lily Ho as Ainu has delicious revenge against brothel madame Lady Chu played by Betty Pei Ti in the movie Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, I have not seen a more satisfying revenge movie in a long time.

Sandra Ng as Sophie Yam the triad boss’ wife in her “hungry tigress” stage and the line “My baby has no anus” not even the most weird thing in Jiang hu: The Triad Zone which also includes Anthony Wong as a life sized household god statue.

Shu Qi as Bai Gu Jing with a dirty face in Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons. Yes, I know Stephen Chow told her to “not look so pretty” in the role, but I like her roles more where she does not get naked. I did an entire page of her making funny faces http://hkmovies.timchuma.com/jttwctd_funnyface.htm

Anita Mui as Madam Sung in Justice, My Foot! where she plays the wife of Stephen Chow’s character. She has to rescue him at one point.

I love Ai Kago and Shum Ying in Kung Fu Chefs so much even though the movie is a bit bleh, she kicks arse! She reminds me of a friend who is a professional dancer and is tiny.

“Women are cunning!” is one of the main things to take away from Kung Fu Cult Master, Sharla Cheung as Chao Min, Gigi Lai as Chow Chi-yu and Chingmy Yau as Tsu Chu all do well.

Yuen Qui as the Landlady in Kung Fu Hustle steals the show, my favourite scene is when she non-verbally threatens the gang boss in the back of his car.

Yuen Qui somehow ended up in Kung Fu Mahjong by Wong Jing after the success of Kung Fu Hustle, pretty much playing the same role but in the modern day.

Hui Ying-hung as Mei-ling in the movie the Lady is the Boss takes over a kung fu school and introduces “gay dancing” and fights baddies while riding a BMX “I like it!”.

Maggie Cheung as Maggie Cheung in the movie Irma Vep is great, especially since I can’t tell what parts were made up and which were real. Her reaction when someone asks her if she is a lesbian seems pretty geunine.

Anita Mui as Yuet and Maggie Cheung as Hsien in the movie Moon Warriors that also includes the main character riding a killer whale.

Anita Mui in Yang Luming in Mr Canton and Lady Rose as she is very classy.

Karen Mok does an excellent piss take of Natalie Portman’s character from Leon the Professional in Out of the Dark. The movie is a bit dark for a comedy.

Maggie Cheung being the butt of many jokes in the Police Story movies and also getting injured by explosives in Police Story 2 🙁

Michelle Yeoh jumping a real motorbike onto a real moving train in Police Story 3.

Michelle Yeoh’s performance in general in the movie Project S.

Michelle Yeoh as Michelle in Royal Warriors.

Maggie Cheung as single mum Ellen in the movie Sausalito, yes I used to watch everything that screened at my local Chinatown Cinema.

Chen Jiajia as Kualo in the movie Seven Swords. She’s Kualo! Do I even need to say a reason? If I made a movie it would be her backstory.

Cheng Pei-pei as Miss Yang who ends up being a whipping avenger in the movie the Shadow Whip. I am sure I saw her use someone’s leg to hit himself in one scene using the whip.

Shu Qi as Lyn, Zhao Wei as Sue, Karen Mok as Officer Hung in the film So Close and “almost, but not quite” movie but it is still fun in parts. They only hint at a possible lesbian relationship which is an opportunity wasted.

Terry Lau Wai-Yue as Demon Mom in the movie Super Inframan chowing down on scenery.

Brigitte Lin as Invincible Asia in Swordsman II.

Michelle Yeoh as Inspector Ng and Cynthia Rothrock in Yes Madam. I do not need a reason.

Sylvia Chang as Superintendent Nancy Ho in Aces Go Places.

Kara Hui as Dai-Nan in My Young Auntie who seems to hate fun.

Anita Mui as Fleur in Rouge, this movie was very sad.

MIFF 2016: The Love Witch (2016)

Director: Anner Biller
Starring: Samantha Robinson, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Dani Lennon, Lily Holleman, Gian Keys, Laura Waddell


Elaine (Samantha Robinson) moves up into a mountain town looking to start a new life after her ex-husband dies in mysterious circumstances. She is a witch and uses love magic to get what she wants from men but it never turns out the way she expects. After picking up Wayne (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) from the park and going up to his cabin he also passes away, she does her best to bury him and look after evil spirits but things start to spiral out of control when she goes after another lover.

Just describing the plot makes this movie sound a lot more serious than it turns out to be on screen especially as it is difficult to describe the wonderful production design and costumes that were also produced by Anna Biller. A lot of the time it is a big warning if the director tries to do too much on the production, think Manos Hands of Fate but other times it can go all the way around to being awesome again. This is such a case and the paintings remind me of the lion wall hanging from Samurai Cop.

If a movie can make you sad that you can’t go to places in the movie and just hang out it is a good sign. One such place is the Victorian ladies tea room where it is women only with a harp playing and serving high tea all day. Elaine wears her wonderful pink dress and floppy hat there.

Her apartment is riot and filled with every clichéd thing you could think about witchcraft, but in bright colours and with very strong imagery. Elaine does wear a black dress at one point, but on the reverse it is rainbow.

There is a mention of black and white witches in the movie and it is not really made clear on which side Elaine belongs. She is just unlucky it seems and you do feel for her at times even if any normal person would not go so far.

The cast is all excellent and I would like to see another movie with some of the same people as they all worked well. Special props to the wizened old dude who “let it all hang out” in the group witch scene even though it must have been cold. Extra special huge love to Samantha Robinson for keeping it together for the pissing into the bottle scene.

Shooting this movie seems like it would have been bastard hard as you feel like people would have wanted to crack up laughing all the time and then all the makeup would have to be redone and there was quite a lot of it.

The movie runs off the track towards then end where it breaks the “show, don’t tell” rule to get everything wrapped up with the character. It just tries to do too much with the feminist message by dumping all the reasoning in the one scene. It was hinted at in the rest of the movie but if it was done properly there wouldn’t need to be a dump at the end.

If the director wanted to they could be an award winning production and costume designer on other movies, I am sure they have considered that but wanted to do their own movies. It is more a case of trying to do too much it does not always work out which is frustrating as the rest of the movie works so well.

I would still recommend this movie to a fan of retro horror films including Hammer Horror and older 60s style movies. Even though it is not explicitly set in the past people do not seem to be immersed in technology and actually talk to each other. There were a lot of the fashionable crowd at the screening and it has sold out at MIFF for both of the screenings.

Hopefully this movie does well on DVD/Blu ray and video on demand. Not sure what happened with all the associated artwork and costumes. I know some people who would quite like to buy them or at least get the designs to make them.