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A Preview Guide to San Francisco’s 3rd Annual Hong Kong Cinema Film Festival

36th_Chamber_of_Shaolin_01This year San Francisco’s Hong Kong Cinema Festival, now in its third year, is being held at The Vogue Theatre (3290 Sacramento Street) and consists of eight films being shown throughout three days (From Oct. 4 – Oct. 6). Follow the jump for showtimes and to see my brief takes on four of the eight; “A Complicated Story“, “Conspirators“, “The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter” and “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin“.

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Our Guide to Hong Kong Cinema Festival 2011

Weather we asked for it or not, San Francisco’s first ever film festival dedicated exclusively to Hong Kong cinema is finally upon us. This is San Francisco’s chance to catch new films from the country that has produced such talented directors as Wong Kar-wai (Chungking Express), Fruit Chan (Dumplings), Wilson Yip (Ip Man), and Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle). Sadly, none of these director’s films are featured in the 7-film lineup, but that’s okay.  Now the doors are open for another Hong Kong native to potentially emerge as yet another talent.  Unfortunately, with the exception of Vincent Kok‘s Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, there wasn’t really a whole lot to rave about this year. I’m going to chalk this festival up to rookie year jitters and keep my fingers crossed for improvement next year.

Hopefully our subjective star rating guide will help you plan out your festival schedule when deciding what is and isn’t worth your time.  As always, if you’ve seen any of these films or are planning to and disagree with any of our reviews feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section.

Mr. and Mrs. Incredible – “If you’re a fan of fantastical action/comedy films which require a suspension of disbelief to all gravitational laws, yet offer characters you can get invested in, then there is no reason why you won’t fall in love with this film”

Echoes of The Rainbow – “A very interesting sense of Hong Kong culture, the English influence, and is a bit of a strong indictment against the corruption of the police and medical system… beneath the cheese, this is a good film.”

All About Love – “This film managed to take the sexy out of tango”

City Under Siege – “Trying to make a serious relationship out of a ridiculous premise ruined the cheesiness we crave in B-movies.”

Merry-Go-Round – “Merry-Go-Round fails in achieving its prologue announcement stating that every decision we make molds us into how we live our lives.”

Punished – “A stinker of a revenge film”

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – “By the end of this entire affair I was ready to karate chop myself in the esophagus.  That way at least I would have that choked-up feeling that this movie was aiming for.”

Announcing The 2011 Hong Kong Cinema Festival

San Francisco’s first ever Hong Kong Cinema Festival has the good fortune of being the first festival in the San Francisco Film Society’s programming schedule to be held exclusively at their new primary screening location, New People Cinema. From September 23rd through the 25th those in the Bay Area will have the chance to see what our friends from the far east have been up to.

The festival consists of 7 films, and judging from the trailers – which I do with a grain of salt – there seems to be something for everyone.  There’s Sci-fi (City Under Seige), Super Hero (Mr. and Mrs. Incredible), Romance (All About Love, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart), Thriller (Punished), Drama (Merry-Go-Round), and Dramedy (Echos of The Rainbow).  Aside from there not being a single horror film on the roster, the first ever Hong Kong Cinema Festival should still be interesting.

Ticket info, trailers and full schedule information can be found after the jump Read More…

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