Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

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Maltic
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:36 am

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#326 Post by Maltic » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:47 am

I misremembered, sort of. What Kline said on the podcast was:
John Woo's The Killer is a good example where they must have made hundreds and hundreds of prints off the original negative, and when we finally got to it back in the early days of DVD, it was a mess. I don't even know where that negative is now, but...

Nice to know that The Killer is on his mind, but it doesn't exactly sound like he's working on a release...

On the other hand, there's this Twitter reply from the KLStudioClassics account on August 17, 2020

Again, we would love to release them [Hard Boiled and The Killer], but last we heard they were both with another label, who'll most likely release them on Blu-ray, but not 4K.

Another North American label that doesn't do UHD... it does sound like Criterion. Of course, it could still take a years for Criterion to get them out, assuming they're the label in question.

I wonder what that Hawaii DCP looked like.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#327 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:45 pm

yoloswegmaster wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:09 pm
colinr0380 wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:42 am


In a way if Criterion are going to tackle anything Hong Kong cinema related I would love to see them do some more John Woo. I don't know if Hard-Boiled and The Killer are available to return into the collection, but something like Bullet In The Head (which came to mind last week whilst watching The Deer Hunter, which Bullet In The Head is a kind of 'reimagining' of) would be a perfect fit for Criterion. But even with that, it would need someone with specialised knowledge to be able to go into some of the details surrounding the different versions there.
I recall a user on here saying that they went to a screening of 'Bullet in the Head' with John Woo in attendance, and John had said that the negatives for his preferred version were damaged. However, Grady Hendrix had said that the restoration had to be put on hold since the negatives went missing, so who knows what the real reason is for the delay.
That user was probably me. Woo didn't say it was damaged. He said it was probably thrown out. This is unfortunately some of the frustrating nature of Hong Kong cinema and their lack of preservation. Also the little bit of extra footage that exists of this film comes from a VHS submitted to film festivals. Not sure how the original ending was preserved as I believe the VCD has this less action oriented ending.

In terms of films by major directors, Ann Hui's debut The Secret has portions that came from a Betacam copy of the original cut and the original version of Tsui Hark's masterpiece, Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind, comes from a VHS his editor saved. I often think of how all these Hong Kong films were remastered with sloppy and awful 5.1 audio in the transition to DVD and that all these Blu-rays coming out of Hong Kong films are sourcing the original mono track to laserdisc copies of these films. Sort of insane to consider.

beamish14
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#328 Post by beamish14 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:11 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:45 pm
yoloswegmaster wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:09 pm
colinr0380 wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:42 am


In a way if Criterion are going to tackle anything Hong Kong cinema related I would love to see them do some more John Woo. I don't know if Hard-Boiled and The Killer are available to return into the collection, but something like Bullet In The Head (which came to mind last week whilst watching The Deer Hunter, which Bullet In The Head is a kind of 'reimagining' of) would be a perfect fit for Criterion. But even with that, it would need someone with specialised knowledge to be able to go into some of the details surrounding the different versions there.
I recall a user on here saying that they went to a screening of 'Bullet in the Head' with John Woo in attendance, and John had said that the negatives for his preferred version were damaged. However, Grady Hendrix had said that the restoration had to be put on hold since the negatives went missing, so who knows what the real reason is for the delay.
That user was probably me. Woo didn't say it was damaged. He said it was probably thrown out. This is unfortunately some of the frustrating nature of Hong Kong cinema and their lack of preservation. Also the little bit of extra footage that exists of this film comes from a VHS submitted to film festivals. Not sure how the original ending was preserved as I believe the VCD has this less action oriented ending.

In terms of films by major directors, Ann Hui's debut The Secret has portions that came from a Betacam copy of the original cut and the original version of Tsui Hark's masterpiece, Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind, comes from a VHS his editor saved. I often think of how all these Hong Kong films were remastered with sloppy and awful 5.1 audio in the transition to DVD and that all these Blu-rays coming out of Hong Kong films are sourcing the original mono track to laserdisc copies of these films. Sort of insane to consider.


It truly infuriates me that films from the 1990's (and even as recently as the 2000's in the case of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and possibly All the Pretty Horses) have unrecoverable original edits and that there is so little investment from studios to restore them. WB can piss away $100+ million USD on Justice League but can't toss in a red cent for films they tried their hardest to destroy like Being Human and Mike's Murder.

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L.A.
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#329 Post by L.A. » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:57 pm

DVD Compare has reviewed The Untold Story from Unearthed Films.

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L.A.
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#330 Post by L.A. » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:02 am

Duel to the Death (1983) coming to Blu-ray this month. Great film.

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MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
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Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#331 Post by MichaelB » Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:59 pm

No film with a fifteen-foot exploding ninja is entirely devoid of cultural merit.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Hong Kong Cinema: A Guide

#332 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:07 pm

beamish14 wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:11 pm
It truly infuriates me that films from the 1990's (and even as recently as the 2000's in the case of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and possibly All the Pretty Horses) have unrecoverable original edits and that there is so little investment from studios to restore them. WB can piss away $100+ million USD on Justice League but can't toss in a red cent for films they tried their hardest to destroy like Being Human and Mike's Murder.
Two that really stick out for me is Demme's cut for Swing Shift (where even if the original elements of the lost/cut footage has survived, Hawn could legally block any attempt to restore his cut) and Lonergan's Margaret (where Cleveland Cavs owner Gary Gilbert is basically the douchebag that's in the way of a decent restoration). At least the cuts survive in some form, but it's especially frustrating with the latter because the film elements are definitely there.

The problem with "newer" films is that they no longer have to strike anything as good as a 35mm print. I think that's how some of these older cuts survive - you have a physical, high quality element that's produced, and if it manages to "escape" or if the studio holds on to it and protects it, it can become a more-than-decent source for a restoration even if the camera negative is lost. With the digital era, the tools should make it easier to preserve a high quality version of anyone's preferred cut - an editor somewhere could output as many high quality movie files as they want from their computer and have those survive on a drive somewhere - but the same tools also make it very easy for those things not to exist. Someone gives the command, and the editor just deletes that shit with a few clicks of a mouse. Probably the only thing that might exist is the project file, which to be fair is a lot better than nothing, but then you'd have to reconnect all the source material (probably with the same exact file structure as before) to whichever computer is opening that file, and who knows if you'd have that. With something a little bit older like Margaret, I think the director's cuts are probably sourced from screener files - that is, when it came time to view the cut, they compressed the shit out of it and exported some DVD files. Even before that, it may have been a crappy VHS tape. Now that streaming is common, I'm sure whatever they create for viewing has much higher quality, but there's probably a security protocol so that whatever digital file they'd need to create isn't easily copied or leaked.

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