Hong Kong Babylon: An Insider's Guide to the Hollywood of the East

( 1 )

Overview

Chronicling the history and worldwide allure of this runaway industry, the author of Hit Men explores the influence--and the dark side--of the Hong Kong cinema--"the second largest exporter of movies in the world" (Newsweek). The enigmatic actors and directors who populate the Hong Kong cinema are profiled, as is the dark inner world of the producers, many of whom belong to the Chinese underworld. 8 pp. of photos. 192 pp.
Read More Show Less
...
See more details below
This Hardcover is Not Available through BN.com
Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books
Sending request ...

Overview

Chronicling the history and worldwide allure of this runaway industry, the author of Hit Men explores the influence--and the dark side--of the Hong Kong cinema--"the second largest exporter of movies in the world" (Newsweek). The enigmatic actors and directors who populate the Hong Kong cinema are profiled, as is the dark inner world of the producers, many of whom belong to the Chinese underworld. 8 pp. of photos. 192 pp.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Serious devotees of car crashes, chases, technological disasters, explosions and death-defying stunts in what are euphemistically known as "action" movies may already be aware that the Hong Kong film industry leads the world in this genre and that Jackie Chan, its ubiquitous acrobatic star, is among the most popular film actors in the world. Readers can only marvel at the revelations of this essayan expanded version of New Yorker staffer Dannen's considerably more accessible article of August 7, 1995, in that magazine. For example, the authors tell us that the industry is dominated by gangsters who will kill, kidnap and otherwise terrorize to get the script, directors or actors they want; that actors commonly do their own dangerous stunts; and that most of the actors are poorly paid by Hollywood standards and work much harder. Four-fifths of the book, written with New York City Hong Kong film collector Long, is devoted to plot summaries of more than 300 Hong Kong movies, biographical sketches and brief interviews with leading filmmakers. The authors go into more detail here than any but an ardent Hong Kong film buff may want to know about "Babylon." Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
Journalist Dannen (Hit Men, not reviewed) and Hong Kong film maven and collector Long take a look at one of the world's most vital cinemas, one that's facing an uncertain future under its new Chinese rulers.

The Hong Kong cinema is one of the world's most prolific and energetic. Recently, two of its most majestic figures, actor-director Jackie Chan and director John Woo, have successfully made the transition to working in the West. Many others—actor Chow Yun-Fat, directors Ringo Lam and Tsui Hark—are following in their footsteps, filled with hope. Dannen went to Hong Kong for a New Yorker article to see how the industry was facing up to this summer's handover to China of the former British colony. The result was a typical New Yorker piece, which is also the first section of this book: exhaustively reported and handsomely written but somehow superficial, delivering rather less than promised and geared for a readership of tourist-voyeurs. The remainder of the book consists of very brief interviews by Dannen, with numerous directors, producers, and actors, accompanied by filmographies; capsule descriptions by Long of some 300 key Hong Kong films; and recommendations from a dozen critics. Dannen's essay touches briefly on a number of issues worth exploring in greater depth: onerous working conditions, low budgets, and shoddy production values; the huge market for Hong Kong films throughout Asia; the language problem (Mandarin versus Cantonese), which is only going to get worse now that the Mandarin-speaking mainlanders are in charge; the role of underworld figures whose presence permeates the film industry. Neither Dannen nor Long is able to convey the energy and inventiveness that make the best Hong Kong films so entertaining.

Producer Peter Chan tells Dannen, "We don't have a clue why you Americans like [our films] so much." This book won't tell you, either.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641027369
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/23/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 412

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Access
A Note on Names
1 Hong Kong Babylon: A Reporter Looks at the Hollywood of the East 1
2 Film-makers: Selected Interviews and Filmographies 57
3 Plot Summaries: Hong Kong Movies from the New Wave to the Present 169
4 Recommended Viewing: Twelve Critics Choose Their Favorite Hong Kong Films 326
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2001

    Great reference for Hong Kong Cinema

    I love this book. It is very informative. I like the way the book is structured which contains filmmaker (director/producer/actor) information, plot summaries of films and multiple critics' top picks of Hong Kong Cinema. Highly recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)