2012 Fantasia celebrates 40 years of kung fu films
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - This year's Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada, promises to be a dream year for fans of Chinese martial arts with the celebration of 40 years since the first Hong Kong kung fu film achieved mainstream financial success in the West.
The festival presented the Canadian premiere of "Wu Xia" as one of its opening films at the Concordia Hall Theatre on July 19 (Montreal time). "Wu Xia", a 2011 martial arts thriller directed by Hong Kong director Peter Chan and starring Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tang Wei, was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
Fantasia, which is in its 16th year, is recognised as one of the most important events of its kind in North America. This year's festival will last till August 7.
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in Toronto is the presenting sponsor of the Hong Kong film section, which carries nine Hong Kong films.
"In 1972, Shaw Brothers released 'King Boxer' (later renamed 'Five Fingers of Death'), which was the first Hong Kong martial arts film that was sold to the mainstream market in North America and received box office success," said the Director of the HKETO in Toronto, Miss Gloria Lo.
"Since then, audiences around the world have come under the spell of Hong Kong's kung fu movie legends, with Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Sammo Hung, Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen becoming household names," she said.
"For Hong Kong, with more than a century of filmmaking history, there is no better way to communicate its spirit of adventure and creativity with the world than through movies," Miss Lo added.
Internationally known Hong Kong film director John Woo's frequent collaborator David Wu, whose editing style forever changed the style of action films, will be joining Fantasia as a director to host the Canadian premiere of "Cold Steel" this Saturday.
"Cold Steel" features some of the most tense sniper action since Peter Bogdanovich's "Targets". Wu, who has also worked with Tsui Hark, Ching Siu-tung and Lau Kar-leung, will be receiving a Legendary Action Excellence Award for his extraordinary achievement in action editing for almost 40 years.
Also at the festival is "Reign of Assassins" (Quebec premiere), featuring the queen of kung fu film, Michelle Yeoh, and rejuvenating the swordplay genre with new levels of powerful excitement.
Action auteur Dante Lam ignites barrels of gunfire nirvana in the shoot-em-up adventure "The Viral Factor" (Quebec premiere). Ching Siu-tung, one of the pioneers of modern martial arts films reunites with Jet Li in the retelling of the famous green and white snake legend in the action film "Sorcerer and the White Snake" (Quebec premiere).
The rarely seen Shaw Brothers classic "Fists of the White Lotus" starring Gordon Liu returns to Montreal after 30 years and splatters the screen with dynamic martial arts with craziness and kinky undertones.
The other Hong Kong films at the festival include the Canadian premiere of Pang Ho-cheung's "Vulgaria", and the Quebec premiere of his "Love in the Buff", the eagerly awaited sequel to 2010 Fantasia selection "Love in a Puff".
These two films will assault the audience's funny bones.
Rounding out the Hong Kong line-up will be the Canadian premiere of Wong Ching-po's brilliantly bleak "Revenge: A Love Story", from the producing team of Pang Ho-Cheung's "Dream Home".
Fresh from the screens of China and Hong Kong is the visually stunning supernatural martial arts flick "Painted Skin: The Resurrection" (North American premiere), which will be presented during one of Fantasia's closing night events.
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