Asian cinema has a unique method of story telling that is often missing from Hollywood blockbusters. You might well be familiar with Japanese anime or Korean drama. No longer the realm of cinema aficionados, there are some remarkable movies from Asia that may well take you on an unexpected adventure. Several of the best feature Hong Kong, so here is our list of the top ten movies that are sure to make you fall in love with the city.
The director of this movie is Hong Kong native, Wong Kar Wai and the movie effortlessly encapsulates the spirit of Hong Kong. The plot centres around a love story, told in two. We have a Taiwanese policeman who falls in love with a woman who has criminal links and another policeman who falls in love with a woman working in his local bar. You may well empathise with their loneliness in the city, but the images of Hong Kong are what really makes this movie stand apart.
Enter the Dragon
Of course, it is impossible to put aside Bruce Lee. This being his final movie, Enter the Dragon is a must for kung fu and martial arts fans but also allows an insight into how precious Bruce Lee is to the city. The film was shot on location and you can see several famous landmarks. However, if action is what you are looking for, then Enter the Dragon has it in spades.
The World of Suzie Wong
Originally a book, this movie charts the story of an American artist who falls in love with a local prostitute. The movie is also about love for Hong Kong. Several important scenes were shot by the Star Ferry, as well as the Aberdeen harbour. The movie was made by Hollywood but it manages to capture the essence of Hong Kong, without losing too much of the flavour.
This movie is said to be one of Quentin Tarantino’s influences and has more than a little in common with some Scorsese dramas. Chow Yun Fat stars as a hitman given one last job, before being double crossed. Again, the movie is filmed on location, with some fight scenes overlooking Causeway Bay. For something grittier and heavy on violence, The Killer is a must see.
This is one of the more famous Jackie Chan movies and perfectly sums up his style of acting. Harking back to Hong Kong’s colonial past, Chan is a police officer determined to stop piracy. Spanning corruption, colonialism and honour, the movie has some fantastic scenes of not only Hong Kong but also Macau.
In The Mood For Love
Set in the 1960’s, this tells the story of two neighbours who become convinced that their respective partners are cheating on them with each other. They develop a friendship, centred around this possible affair. The movie is visually stunning and skilfully portrays the conservatism of Hong Kong society at this time. Although parts of the movie were filmed in Bangkok, the movie is a beautiful testament to Hong Kong and it’s passions.
Again being one of the alleged influences behind The Departed, this movie single handedly changed the fortunes of the Hong Kong film industry. The movie tells the story of a relationship between two moles, one a police officer inside a gang and the other, a gang member inside the police force. The suspense will leave you on the edge of your seat and the unfolding drama is punctuated by cityscapes of Hong Kong. One of it’s most famous exports, Infernal Affairs is a wonder.
This movie is often viewed as a horror and upon watching it, you can soon see why. The dumplings in question are believed to be age defying and upon eating will make you lose years off your appearance. However, the secret ingredient is enough to turn your stomach. Upon meeting a particularly demanding customer, the movie highlights the lengths people go to to look young. The movie also perfectly spans the divide between rich and poor in the city.
The plot of this movie might ring a little too close to home for some. Following the story of a woman who hopes to one day buy her dream home in an extremely expensive Hong Kong, the movie perfectly shows the (albeit exaggerated) lengths people have to go to to live. Violent, gory and a little bizarre, the movie might be just the tonic after a long day of flat hunting.
This movie focuses on gangland relationships and many have compared it to The Godfather. From tense fight scenes to divided loyalties, the movie covers much of the triad legend and legacy in Hong Kong. Although showing a darker side of the city, you are immersed in a world of danger, intrigue and breathtaking violence.