website statistics Sex and Zen A Bullet in the Head: The Essential Guide to Hong Kong's Mind-bending Films - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Sex and Zen A Bullet in the Head: The Essential Guide to Hong Kong's Mind-bending Films

Availability: Ready to download

Far from the orbit of Planet Hollywood, the new cinema of Hong Kong beckons. Gone are the flying pigtails and contrived fist-thuds of your father's favorite chopsockies. These are punch-straight entertainers, movies juddering with the excitement that put the "motion" in motion pictures. Dodge a thousand bullets as you contemplate the heroic gangster-knights of Master Dire Far from the orbit of Planet Hollywood, the new cinema of Hong Kong beckons. Gone are the flying pigtails and contrived fist-thuds of your father's favorite chopsockies. These are punch-straight entertainers, movies juddering with the excitement that put the "motion" in motion pictures. Dodge a thousand bullets as you contemplate the heroic gangster-knights of Master Director John Woo. Watch international superstar Jackie Chan perform action-comedy on the edge of peril. Wrap your imagination in the fantasy of director Tsui Hark, who proffers comely ghosts floating on silk, otherworldly romance, and no-joke witches and demons. And there's much more! Fighting femme flicks featuring fatales hiking up their designer dresses and bouncing spike heels off the bad guy's forehead. Stylish tragedies rivaling the best of Hollywood noir. Brain-boiling monster weirdies to delight the grindhouse faithful. Subtitles that mangle the English language into fabulous new mutations.


Compare

Far from the orbit of Planet Hollywood, the new cinema of Hong Kong beckons. Gone are the flying pigtails and contrived fist-thuds of your father's favorite chopsockies. These are punch-straight entertainers, movies juddering with the excitement that put the "motion" in motion pictures. Dodge a thousand bullets as you contemplate the heroic gangster-knights of Master Dire Far from the orbit of Planet Hollywood, the new cinema of Hong Kong beckons. Gone are the flying pigtails and contrived fist-thuds of your father's favorite chopsockies. These are punch-straight entertainers, movies juddering with the excitement that put the "motion" in motion pictures. Dodge a thousand bullets as you contemplate the heroic gangster-knights of Master Director John Woo. Watch international superstar Jackie Chan perform action-comedy on the edge of peril. Wrap your imagination in the fantasy of director Tsui Hark, who proffers comely ghosts floating on silk, otherworldly romance, and no-joke witches and demons. And there's much more! Fighting femme flicks featuring fatales hiking up their designer dresses and bouncing spike heels off the bad guy's forehead. Stylish tragedies rivaling the best of Hollywood noir. Brain-boiling monster weirdies to delight the grindhouse faithful. Subtitles that mangle the English language into fabulous new mutations.

30 review for Sex and Zen A Bullet in the Head: The Essential Guide to Hong Kong's Mind-bending Films

  1. 5 out of 5

    Masterofoneinchpunch

    Now that there has been a lot of solid books on Hong Kong cinema since the release of this book like David Bordwell's Planet Hong Kong (2000; which will be going online in an updated version soon) and Stephen Teo's Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions (1997) (and many more) I think this book is of more interest to the hard core aficionado of Hong Kong film than individuals looking for a detailed discussion of this former colonies cinema or looking to start their journey. The primary focus of t Now that there has been a lot of solid books on Hong Kong cinema since the release of this book like David Bordwell's Planet Hong Kong (2000; which will be going online in an updated version soon) and Stephen Teo's Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions (1997) (and many more) I think this book is of more interest to the hard core aficionado of Hong Kong film than individuals looking for a detailed discussion of this former colonies cinema or looking to start their journey. The primary focus of this book was on movies that were "less than ten years old" (1986-1996; though several older films are mentioned) that "encompass a wide range of settings, situations, and subject matter." This does lead to some discussion of films I was not that familiar with and that have not been written about a lot in other books. You understand the essence of the book with the statement in the Introduction "...over-intellectualizing film denies the primary purpose of moviegoing: entertainment." While they somewhat forgo this when reviewing several of the Wong Kar-wai films, you are not going to find anything from Ann Hui in here or even important dramatic fare like Center Stage (1992) or the Cantonese realist cinema from the 1950s. You are going to find action, cat-III, supernatural thrillers, HK film noir, martial arts and more action movies described here. You will also find specific chapters on John Woo, Tsui Hark, Jackie Chan and Ringo Lam. There is also one chapter that combines Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung and Yuen Wah together. The biggest complaint I have read on this book is the fact that many of the summaries are plot recaps that overdo discussing possible spoiler. While the reviews do offer more discussion than that and are penned by several contributing writers including Andy Klein, Chuck Stephens and others besides the two authors, the spoiler aspect can be upsetting if you do not know it is coming (the capsule reviews tend to have less of this). The best approach to reading those is to either avoid the last couple of paragraphs on the films you have not seen and want to see or just avoid reading that review all together. But there are some other bigger issues though including one of my biggest personal vexations - bad information. The Shaw Brothers chapter is definitely outdated though part of that has to due with the fact Celestial bought out library and licensed them for release in 2002. But there is a lot of data that is just plain wrong like Chang Cheh is not the director of Human Lanterns that would be Sun Chung. TVB was not founded in the 80s (it was in 1967) and Run Run Shaw has his hands in that business at least since the 70s (on the official Shaw site he states he launched TVB in 1973 which contradicts what is written on TVBs site). The Shaw Brothers did not make "thousands" of films either (the real amount appears to be near a thousand). Jimmy Wang Yu does not play in Dirty Ho, which would be Wong Yu. I do feel this chapter can and should be skipped. I did have fun with the book though. The authors and contributing writers do show a love for the cinema and it does show in their writing though sometimes they come up with hilarious statements like "There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like movies in which the with takes her head off and throws it at you, and those who don't." and "...ain't no Chuck Norris-style hairy-backed sleepwalking." The hex error segments, which are hilariously corrupted translated English from various films, are particularly fun and had me reminiscing of ones I have read in the past. And there is an introduction from Jackie Chan. If the book is inexpensive, you have seen at least some of the films in the book and you are not expecting "over-intellectualizing" sagacious content then pick this up. Otherwise, well there are many other books out there to choose from. There are two different paperback releases of this book (1996, 1997). I did my review from the 1996 version. I am not sure if there are any differences between the two.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kieran

    A solid overview of Hong Kong films from the 1980s to the mid-90s, with specific chapters dedicated to John Woo, Jackie Chan, Ringo Lam, and Tsui Hark. Though the range of films is excellent, I was disappointed that most of the book consists of plot summaries of the various movies. The writing is varied at best. However, the final section on how to navigate Chinese video stores was pleasantly nostalgic.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    Nifty organization and layout, and terse, humorous prose. The author's giddy enthusiasm for the subject is infectious. A very good guide, maybe the first really good popular-audience one covering the genre-madness that is Hong Kong commercial cinema. Titles are well selected and representative, and using this guide I was able to see quite a lot of them. Nifty organization and layout, and terse, humorous prose. The author's giddy enthusiasm for the subject is infectious. A very good guide, maybe the first really good popular-audience one covering the genre-madness that is Hong Kong commercial cinema. Titles are well selected and representative, and using this guide I was able to see quite a lot of them.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    I've been enjoying Hong Kong cinema since the late 80's. This book is one of the best introductions to these movies that I've read. A lot of old favorites, some new ones I hadn't heard of. Recommended if you enjoy cinema with a bite. I've been enjoying Hong Kong cinema since the late 80's. This book is one of the best introductions to these movies that I've read. A lot of old favorites, some new ones I hadn't heard of. Recommended if you enjoy cinema with a bite.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Harley

    A great guide to get you into Asian cinema. Not and end all be all guide but it will give you some places to start if you are new to the genre. It will allow your to sample multiple genres from that part of the world and maybe help you find something that interests you.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Interesting guide. Comprehensive, but the descriptions are interesting.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James Ricci

    Interested in building your knowledge of Asian cinema? This is a good place to start. An excellent source for archives or quick reference material.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    Expands the HK repitior to include some other genres. Good primer for those just getting into the scene.

  9. 4 out of 5

    James

    A great source to dig into the history of Hong Kong cinema. Nicely illustrated and it covers a broad range of genres.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric Moss

  11. 5 out of 5

    Phil Huff

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kurt

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mathew Shepherd

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris Young

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Hammond

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tatu

  17. 4 out of 5

    Craven Lovelace

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve Boom

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jon Y.

  20. 5 out of 5

    PopMythology.com

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bill Bryant

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fangirl

  23. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Jackson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  26. 5 out of 5

    明瑶

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Pollison

  28. 4 out of 5

    George

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ed

  30. 4 out of 5

    Josh Olsen

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...