Back to IndieWire

Showtime (Yong Xin Tiao)

Director Stanley Kwan re-examines his familiar Shanghai through the lens of a performance academy where two troupes – one transported across time from the 1930s, the other one very much of today – are forced to act as one to put on a contemporary show. Where one group emphasises traditional skills and core competences, the other one stresses performance and self-expression. Can the torch be successfully passed from one generation to the next? How can old and new remain in step with each other? While the story is told through performance and music, the city of Shanghai also has lessons for the youth of both eras. [Synopsis courtesy Venice Film Festival]

Days of Being Wild

The movie is set in Hong Kong and the Philippines in 1960. Yuddy, or ‘York’ in English (Leslie Cheung), is a playboy in Hong Kong and is well-known for stealing girls’ hearts and breaking them. His first victim is Li Zhen (Maggie Cheung) who suffered emotional and mental depression as a result of Yuddy’s wayward attitude. Li Zhen eventually seeks much-needed solace from a sympathetic policeman named Tide (Andy Lau). Their near-romance is often hinted at but never materialises.


Bends straddles the Hong Kong-­-Shenzhen border and tells the story of Anna, an affluent housewife and FAI, her chauffeur, and their unexpected friendship as they each negotiate the pressures of Hong Kong life and the city’s increasingly complex relationship to mainland China. Fai is struggling to find a way to bring his pregnant wife and young daughter over the Hong Kong border from Shenzhen to give birth to their second child, even though he crosses the border easily every day working as a chauffeur for Anna. Anna, in contrast, is struggling to keep up the facade of her ostentatious lifestyle into which she has married, after the sudden disappearance of her husband amid financial turmoil. Their two lives collide in a common space, the car.