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|1. My Mother Is A Belly Dancer (Directed by: Lee Kung-Lok)|
|Hong Kong's best contribution to Andy Lau's "Focus: First Cuts" program and a sign of Lee Kung-Lok exceeding his co-directing partner on Fu Bo, Wong Ching-Po. Path is plowed and this drama about a certain repression set on women is highly intelligent, stylish, uplifting and what a cinema experience is about when combining these aspects.|
|2. Exiled (Directed by: Johnnie To)|
Playing it safe by echoing The Mission esthetics and gathering up its ultra cool cast (plus a few key additions), Exiled is pure exhilarating cinema for those wishing to take refuge from reality for a bit. In the Macau set surroundings, all stock themes concerning heroism and brotherhood gets amplified to celluloid reality-levels and coolness factor to go along with it gets Exiled its elite status in the Hong Kong cinema output. Johnnie To is God?
|3. Siao Yu (Directed by: Sylvia Chang)|
|A book by famed writer Yan Geling, the producing skills of Ang Lee and writer James Schamus back director Sylvia Chang's who logs her very best work as a filmmaker with this immigrant drama. Mainly shot in English and co-starring Hill Street Blues veteran Daniel J. Travanti, his story alongside with Rene Liu as immigrant Siao Yu is affecting in the simplest of ways without it being a simple-minded drama. It's different worlds meeting but not all manner of different dramas of this kind reaches as far.|
|4. Below The Lion Rock: Director Allen Fong Series|
|While the multiple Hong Kong Film Award winner for movies such as Father And Son and Ah Ying has not enjoyed an easy time on home video, at least his masterworks on the long running TV-series Below The Lion Rock is now presented to the masses. Showing a highly tuned eye for the real, drab, ordinary and felt, little goes wrong amongst the 6 short movies included this set, with Wild Child earning top honors.|
|5. After This Our Exile (Directed by: Patrick Tam)|
|Advocating the often quiet and subtle, Patrick Tam carefully thinking before sitting down in the director's chair for the first time since 1989 is pondering paying off. This Malaysia set domestic drama with a kid at the forefront is challenging, lengthy (director's cut running 159 minutes) but well worth plowing through due to excellent performances from cast that includes Aaron Kwok, Charlie Yeong and little Gow Ian Iskander. Not for all tastes (because not all genres are) but Hong Kong cinema felt highly rewarded by Tam's moving experience.|
|6. My Name Is Fame (Directed by: Lawrence Lau)|
Keen observers outside of the film biz have certainly witnessed the rise and fall of arguably Hong Kong cinema's finest treasure Lau Ching-Wan. Within the film circles, director Lawrence Lau (Spacked Out) witnessed this as well and eventually directing an award winning performance out of his lead actor (his first win at the Hong Kong Film Award after numerous nominations), My Name Is Fame is the perfect return vehicle for the duo actually. Impossible almost to separate fiction from reality as much of the film echoes Ching-Wan's own struggles, uplifting and inspiring are the key words gathered from this essential production.
|7. Women (Directed by: Stanley Kwan)|
|Rouge-director Stanley Kwan initiated his cinematic thinking about the nature of life and women at the tail end of the Shaw Brother's era. Getting a superb cast together (including Cherie Chung, Chow Yun-Fat and Cora Miao), Kwan's stale style is suitable and tuned already at debut-status.|
|8. The Postmodern Life Of My Aunt (Directed by: Ann Hui)|
|The reunion of Chow Yun-Fat and director Ann Hui (for the first time since The Story Of Woo Viet) was a very exciting idea for me on many levels. Appearing in a fine supporting role as a conman, this movie is mainly Siqin Gaowa's though who responds to both wacky and somber aspects to Hui's drama featuring characters getting on in years. At first containing moods that shouldn't fit, the more somber proceedings turn, the more effect Hui gets out of her story. Again, seeing Chow Yun-Fat being totally comfortable is a confirmation that he still has it.|
|9. Dog Bite Dog (Directed by: Soi Cheang)|
|Very anticipated and highlighted, Soi Cheang's name continues to grow stronger and even though his ultra-brutal tale of evil blurred goes into overdrive to an annoying point towards the end, there's no denying the rightful eyebrow-raiser his Dog Bite Dog (rated Category III) is. Featuring a better than usual and in-tune performance by Edison Chen, Sam Lee responds AS well as the cop hellbent on catching Chen's dog-like Cambodian killer.|
|10. Feel It... Say It... (Directed by: Bennie Chan)|
|This year's underrated sleeper hit and it's a romantic comedy lacking originality! Nothing fancy, a lot of wackiness but when the second half focuses on the connection between Eric Kot and Candy Lo's characters, here's a marvelous dual act showcasing subtlety and pure affection that glues you to the screen. From the director of Human Pork Chop!|
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