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Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Current Cinema - John Snadden's notes on new films from China BATTLE OF MEMORIES, LOVE OFF THE CUFF, SHOCK WAVE and DEALER/HEALER

Editor's Note: I came across John Snadden's Facebook page recently and noted its sharp reports on new Chinese films going through the Melbourne multiplexes. This is the first re-post of the notes and I hope to keep them coming. Thanks John. 

Battle of Memories
A quick catch-up on the new Mainland pic BATTLE OF MEMORIES (Leste Chen, China, 2017) which is showing in Melbourne's multiplexes at the moment. In short, it's an ungainly cinema stew of film/literary references such as ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, Philip K. Dick, THE TIME MACHINE (pick your version), William Gibson and a rushed Agatha Christie plot. Sounds pretentious, eh? I tell you it's too silly to be pretentious and all summed up perfectly by a line of dialogue during a heated three way conversation: "Can someone tell me what is happening here?!"

BATTLE OF MEMORIES might sound and feel silly but it does look tremendous with top-notch production design which goes a long way in producing the often required steampunk style of this movie.

Love off the Cuff
Pang Ho-Cheung's new pic LOVE OFF THE CUFF is now on release in Melbourne as is Andy Lau's latest law and order feature SHOCK WAVE* helmed by veteran Canto film-maker Herman Yau (THE UNTOLD STORY, 1993, IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT, 2013).



Apart from the not very convincing wigs the stars wear, DRUG WARN (aka DEALER/HEALER), (probably opening 25 May simultaneous with China) could be a pretty good new release HK crime drama. It stars stars Lau Ching-Wan, Louis Koo and Gordon Lam and is directed by veteran film-maker Lawrence Lau (QUEEN OF TEMPLE STREET, SPACKED-OUT, TACTICAL UNIT: NO WAY OUT). Much of the film seems to be set in the 1970s and takes place in the criminal enclave of the Walled City.

* For another more extended enthusiastic report on SHOCK WAVE by veteran Sydney supercinephile Barrie Pattison click here.

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