CULTURE

More films from Hong Kong at second tribute

Six films from Hong Kong, produced between 1984 and 2009, make up the second showcase from the Asian moviemaking hub at the Greek Film Archive, after the first installment of the event sold out theaters last year.

Two offerings from the multicultural region?s more recent fare are Kit Hung?s controversial poetic study of the shared life of two gay men, ?Soundless Wind Chime,? and ?Overheard,? a crime thriller directed by Felix Chong and Alan Mak, writers of the international hit ?Infernal Affairs? from 2002.

?Soundless Wind Chime,? which earned awards for best director, actor and foreign language film at the festivals of Turin, Madrid, Montreal and Vancouver, blends fantasy and reality in the story of a man embarking on a new relationship while trying to discover more about the life of his long-lost former lover.

In a similar vein to ?Infernal Affairs,? ?Overheard? follows a pair of detectives who are tempted to join the cycle of corruption during their investigation into a case of corporate fraud.

A predecessor of John Woo?s blood-splattered car-chase films, ?The Long Arm of the Law? from 1984 by Johnny Mak is a classic cops-and-robbers caper in which everything goes spectacularly wrong, and also represents a study into the early technological breakthroughs in cinema that allowed for complex action sequences.

Another film that marks the early days of the now-popular genre of fantasy martial arts sagas, Clarence Fok?s 1989 ?Iceman Cometh,? shows just what Hong Kong-born action star Biao Yuen is capable of, even though he has never gained as much popularity in the West as Jackie Chan or Jet Li.

A film that takes fans back to Chan?s Hong Kong days before he made his first big international Hollywood hit, ?Rush Hour,? in 1998, Kirk Wong?s ?Crime Story? from 1993 casts Chan as an athletic detective on the trail of a kidnapper who has snatched an influential businessman.

Another crime escapade completes the list of films that will be screened in Athens, though this one comes with a comic twist that derives from the plot rather than over-the-top fighting. Johnnie To?s 1999 ?Running Out of Time? stars Andy Lau of ?House of Flying Daggers? fame as the wily cop Cheung.

The panorama runs from Thursday, April 14, to Wednesday, April 20, with screenings taking place daily at 8 and 10 p.m., except for opening night, when the screening of ?The Long Arm of the Law? starts at 8 p.m. and is followed by the opening event.

Greek Film Archive, 48 Iera Odos