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Almost Gone! Recommended. By Stephan Hammond and Mike Wilkins. Post-WWII, creative freedom was scarce in Asia, but Hong Kong was a safe space for filmmakers seeking to profit from overseas Chinese markets and Chinatowns worldwide. This is the true story of the Hong Kong film industry, one that doesn’t skimp on the good bits: the hyperkinetic films themselves. Included are intrepid firsthand accounts of the culture, from stars like Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan and filmmakers like Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam. Packed with photos, some nudity. Headpress, 2020. Mature Readers.

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Post-WWII, creative freedom was scarce in Asia, but Hong Kong was a safe space for filmmakers seeking to profit from overseas Chinese markets and Chinatowns worldwide. This is the true story of the Hong Kong film industry, one that doesn’t skimp on the good bits: the hyperkinetic films themselves. Included are intrepid firsthand accounts of the culture, from stars like Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan and filmmakers like Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam. Packed with photos, some nudity.

Both Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest set up massive operations in Hong Kong. By the 1980s, Hong Kong’s Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan were famous throughout Asia. Their winning formula of humour and martial arts prowess ripped through kung fu stereotypes, while filmmakers like Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam served up fantasy, horror and noir crime dramas for rabid cinemagoing hordes in the grindhouses of Kowloon. It was a glorious time.

More Sex, Better Zen, Faster Bullets contains the best bits of Sex and Zen & A Bullet in the Head (1996) and Hollywood East (2000) — the two best known tomes on Hong Kong films of the twentieth century — revised and with the inclusion of new material. The result is the most comprehensive encyclopedia of Hong Kong film available anywhere.

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