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Johnnie To Kei-Fung's PTU

Michael Ingham

Publication Year: 2009

This book tells about an underappreciated noir masterpiece by one of Hong Kong's most prolific and commercially successful directors. Johnnie To Kei-fung has been called "the poet of post-1997 and the economic savior of the Hong Kong film industry" for an extraordinary range of films produced during some of Hong Kong cinema's most difficult years.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Series: New Hong Kong Cinema


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pp. v-vii

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Series Preface

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pp. vii-x

The New Hong Kong Cinema came into existence under very special circumstances, during a period of social and political crisis resultingin a change of cultural paradigms. Such critical moments have produced the cinematic achievements of the early Soviet cinema, and, we can now say, the recent Hong Kong cinema. If this cinema grew increasingly intriguing in the 1980s, after the announcement ...


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pp. xi-xii

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1: Introducing the Film; Introducing Johnnie — ‘One of Our Own’

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pp. 1-34

‘Yet many of Hong Kong’s most accomplished films were made in the years after the 1993 downturn. Directors had become more sophisticated, and perhaps financial desperation freed them to experiment … The golden age is over; like most local cinemas, Hong Kong’s will probably consist of a small annual output and a handful of films of artistic...

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2: ‘Into the Perilous Night’ — Police and Gangsters in the Hong Kong Mean Streets

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pp. 35-64

‘To look at Hong Kong cinema within a spectrum of diverse representations of urban space, we find different efforts from one extreme of allegorical space to the other of realist space, and in between the search for identity in nostalgic, hyper-real and simulated space. In recent years directors have also...

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3: ‘Expect the Unexpected’ — PTU’s Narrative and Aesthetics

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pp. 65-106

‘A history of forms will always be an experimental history, not an empirical one, because it is aiming at something that animates (often in a subterranean way) the work of filmmakers — some impulse that is going to emerge and develop unevenly, surprisingly, in particular movies or “runs” of movies. So, the impulse towards a certain kind of action-painting...

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4: The Coda: What’s the Story? —Morning Glory!

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pp. 107-126

To’s idiosyncrasy arises from a constant urge to renew himself not only to produce work that is different from the classical norms of the Hong Kong cinema (and its inter-textual references to Hollywood and Japanese cinemas) but from his own...


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pp. 127-130

Appendix: An interview with Johnnie To

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pp. 131-142

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pp. 143-146

Running time: 88 minutes, colour, Cantonese with English subtitles 40th Golden Horse Awards: Winner: Best original screenplay (Yau Nai-hoi 9th Annual Golden Bauhinia Awards (Hong Kong): Winner: Best picture; Best director; Best lead actor (Simon Yam); Best supporting actor (Lam Suet); Best supporting actress (Maggie Shiu); Best original screenplay ...


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pp. 147-150

E-ISBN-13: 9789888052479
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622099197

Page Count: 164
Illustrations: 26 b/w images
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: New Hong Kong Cinema
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OCLC Number: 647840530
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Johnnie To Kei-Fung's PTU

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Subject Headings

  • Hong Kong Police Force -- In motion pictures.
  • To, Johnny -- Criticism and interpretation.
  • PTU.
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