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]

As the Light Goes Out

The bond of brotherhood is always stronger when you can be pitched into a life and death situation at any time and the only thing that gets you through the inferno is the trust that your brother will have your back. The firefighters of Hong Kong’s Pillar Point division who are expecting a quiet night to see off their retiring chief find their faith in each other stretched to the limits when a small fire at a liquor warehouse threatens to plunge the whole of Hong kong into darkness if it spreads to a nearby power plant supplying natural gas. Politics, rivalry, and suspicion all come into play when dubious decisions are made, warnings are ignored and colleagues start to fall. Can the Pillar Point brotherhood survive the night, if not the fire, with their trust in each other intact?


A crew of seasoned criminals led by the notorious Nam, armed with high-powered weapons, pulls off another smooth and violent armored car heist in broad daylight in a crowded street. Whoever tries to get in their way, they will show no mercy. This puts the police force to shame and humiliation. A hardboiled senior police inspector Lui, hot on the trails of Nam and his tight crew, determines to put an end to this madness that causes the lives of innocent people. But he soon comes face to face with the cruel reality that the usual police tactics are too futile to send these armed thieves behind bars. Extreme crime requires extreme justice, even if it means crossing his moral line. Tou, an ex-con desperate to leave his criminal past behind, volunteers to be Lui’s snitch in exchange for a fresh start with her girlfriend Bing. But little does he know what hellish situation he’s getting himself into.