|A major film program celebrating the action styles developed over 60 years of Hong Kong cinema will screen at the Gallery of Modern Art’s Australian Cinémathèque from September 6 to November 8.
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said ‘Action, Hong Kong Style’, would trace the evolution of Hong Kong action cinema from traditional wuxia swordplay with its Chinese opera roots to the contemporary urban action choreography of John Woo and Johnny To.
‘This is a rare opportunity to experience the spectacular action and breathtaking physical feats of over 70 films from these genres on the big screen,’ Mr Saines said.
‘The program profiles cult figures such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat and Sammo Hung, as well as lesser known but no less significant directors, actors and films dating from 1949 to the present.
‘The influence of Hong Kong action cinema on popular film globally is inestimable, and this program reveals the origins of the now-pervasive ‘bullet ballet’ action introduced in The Matrix and the intricate plots that inspired celebrated Hollywood pictures including Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Scorsese’s The Departed.’
Mr Saines said the program included a special focus on Wong Fei-hung, the historical martial arts hero whose life has been more often adapted to film than any comparable figure.
‘Wong was notably portrayed by Jet Li in Tsui Hark’s breath-takingly kinetic Once Upon A Time In China 1991 and its 1992 sequel, which will open the program as a double bill on Friday September 6,’ he said.
Recent cinematic attention to Ip Man, master of the wing chun style and mentor to Bruce Lee, is also profiled in a number of high-impact features.
Other highlights include defining works from the Shaw Brothers studio; actor-director Jimmy Wang Yu’s collaboration with Brian Trenchard-Smith on the Hong Kong-Australia co-production The Man from Hong Kong 1975; the kung-fu comedy of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung; and the gritty drama of Ringo Lam’s City on Fire 1987 and Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs 2002, the films credited respectively with inspiring Reservoir Dogs and The Departed.
The Audi GOMA Bar is open from 5.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights during the program.
For screening times and film notes visit qagoma.qld.gov.au/action
Tickets will be available online in early September, and at the box office prior to screenings.
Adults $9 / 5-film pass $36
Concession: $7 / 5-film pass $28
Members $6 / 5-film pass $24