Ma Ge shi zuo cheng [A City Called Macau] (2019)

Ma Ge shi zuo cheng
Director: Shaohong Li
Writer: Man Keung Chan, Wei Lu, Geling Yan
Based on: Geling Yan‘s novel
Cast: Baihe Bai, Jue Huang, Gang Wu, Carina Lau, Tian Liang, Samuel Pang, Lu Wei, Le Geng, Xiaotong Yu, Xiaoming Su, Xianxu Hu, Eric Tsang
Part of: We Are One Film Festival
Seen on: 12.6.2020

Plot:
Mei Xiaoou (Bai Baihe) is a casino broker, meaning that she manages rich clients, finding them games and loans when necessary, all to keep them gambling and happy. One of her best clients is Duan Kaiwen (Gang Wu), who shows up every once in a while in Macau and knows to keep his head. Sculptor Shi (Jue Huang), to whom Xiaoou feels drawn very strongly, on the other hand gets quickly drawn into addiction. Both men will change Xiaoou’s life over the course of a decade.

A City Called Macau has an interesting premise, but it left too many things in the realm of vague references for me. I just couldn’t follow as character motivations and simply facts were left unclear for me.

The film poster showing a close-up of Mei Xiaoou (Bai Baihe).
Continue reading

Mou gaan dou [Infernal Affairs] (2002)

Mou gaan dou
Director: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, Alan Mak
Writer: Alan Mak, Felix Chong
Cast: Andy Lau, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Anthony Chau-Sang Wong, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng
Seen on: 7.8.2018

Plot:
Chen Wing Yan (Tony Chui-Wai Leung) has been working for the Hong Kong mafia for a decade and has managed to keep it a secret that he is actually a police officer and keeps feeding information back to him. But he has been doing this for so long, there is practically nobody in the police force left anymore who knows that he is undercover and anyway, he’s ready to come back home. At the same time, Lau Kin Ming (Andy Lau) has been working for the police for a decade as well, when actually he is a member of the mafia. He got used to his life as a police officer and would rather turn his back on the mafia once and for all. Both men are tasked with finding each other and so the hunt begins.

Infernal Affairs is a tense, well-made thriller that managed to draw me in, telling a good story that’s grounded in its characters.

The film poster showing Andy Lau's and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung's eyes in super close-up.
Continue reading