×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

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

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

5.0 1
by Fredric Dannen, Barry Long
 

See All Formats & Editions

An exploration of the Hong Kong film market chronicles its history and worldwide influence, profiling its most important films and figures while providing photographs, filmographies, and a video guide.

Overview

An exploration of the Hong Kong film market chronicles its history and worldwide influence, profiling its most important films and figures while providing photographs, filmographies, and a video guide.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786883592
Publisher:
Miramax Books
Publication date:
11/28/1998
Edition description:
1ST U.S. P
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.13(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Hong Kong Babylon 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.