Steeped in the recent recession of Hong Kong cinema, there is an attempt by local commercial producers and investors to look into the independent film scene for new directors, including Wong Ching-po, who could be seen as the most heavily marketed new Hong Kong film director in the industry’s history. This paper focuses on analyzing Wong’s two commercial gangster films, Jianghu and Ah Sou, which were both critical and box-office disappointments, and to what extent the films fail to comply with the standards of the Hong Kong gangster genre are demonstrated. The two films are loaded with tensions, including the aspirations of a new director to work against the conventional gangster genre, the damage of visual excesses on narrative unity, as well as the swaying between superficial symbolism and the portrayal of deep psychology. The interaction between auteur expressions and genre formula are explored, and how they bring each other into crisis in a unique moment of a failing era in cinema.


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pp. 121-141
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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