MIFF - 26th July 2003

Film Buff's Forecast

As I listen to this show every Saturday I arrived at the Festival Club just after 12pm to see the host of the programme interviewing the festival director.

I also noticed the SAFETY CURTAIN with the excellent painting of the art deco style woman on it with angel's wings. After seeing the surroundings for this year's Festival Club I am glad it is in the Forum Theatre this year as the atmosphere is a lot better there.

During the show there were many festival related guests including legendary Hong Kong film star Cheng Pei-Pei and David Stratton from the Movie Show.

After the programme finished I walked around the city for a couple of hours and decided to call into the pop-culture store Minatour as I hadn't been there in ages.

I don't usually buy anything from there as they are too expensive for me, but today I decided to have a look at the Hong Kong movie books they have there. It was good that I did as I had a look at one called VideoHound's Dragon Asian Action & Cult Flicks and opened it at random.

The review I saw was for a film 'Bakery Amour' - not bad, as the film is fairly recent and a bit obscure. While looking at the index I saw a that it also had a comprehensive list of Asian Cinema websites.

"I wonder if the Heroic Cinema website is listed?" I thought as I scanned down the page, "Hmm, yes, now what's these other sites...WHAT!"

Listed in between the Temple of Kung Fu movies and Ultimate Ninja! websites is was my website. Here's the publication details if you want to check it:
VideoHound's Dragon Asian Action & Cult Flicks, Brian Thomas, Visible Ink Press, 2003
My Hong Kong movie review site is listed on page 713

Of course I proceeded straight to the cash register to buy it. I showed it to a couple of people later and they liked it. Even if my site wasn't listed in the book I probably would have considered buying it as it is a very comprehensive review listing of Hong Kong movies.

Politically Animated: Animation vs. Cartoons

Back down at the Festival Club I wanted to see the forum with the political cartoonists including Bruce Petty and some other prominent figures in the Australian scene. It looked like they were going to do some improvised cartooning also which would have been fun to watch. I had to leave half way through though as I wanted to get to the next session early.

Come Drink With Me

It was a good thing that I did leave early or I would have been outside in the rain with the other latecomers. The super keen Heroic Cinema website team were the first in line and I was told off by an usher when I tried to talk to Mark on the red carpet about the book I had book I had just bought.

One tip for going to see a session at the cinema is that if you don't want to get any particular seat is to just sit in the bar and walk straight in when the line gets moving. This is good for the late night sessions as you don't want to be standing out in the street in the cold, dark and wet Melbourne winter.

I also had my picture taken with a mobile phone as part of a promotion:
(I'm in the one in the red t-shirt that has a white cross on it.)

Cheng Pei-Pei (who stars as in the film as Golden Swallow) introduced the film and told everyone to remember that is was made 38 years ago so some of the things in the film may look old fashioned today.

After watching this movie I can see why it is regarded as so important. It has influenced hundreds of other Hong Kong movies in the same genre and also is the reason why "Crouching Tiger" and the Matrix got made.

The performance by Cheng Pei-Pei in the film is excellent. I especially liked the way her eyes were so expressive in many scenes. The fighting was quite good, but I was disappointed the way they decided to cheat by hiding some of the action.

My favourite scene was the one in the inn where Golden Swallow faces off with Smiling Tiger and his henchmen. The reason I liked this scene is that it was really good to see where Dragon Inn got it's ideas from.

I also liked some of the sets including the waterfall scene next to Drunken Cat's house and Buddhist temple.