Fantasia 2022: Coupez!, Hard Boiled, Cavalcade of Perversions: A Regular Little Orgy | Festivals & Awards

“Coupe!” is a gift to those who like bad movies, not to mock them, but because you always advocate for them to get something right soon. It was a perfect feature for me to start Fantasia, a festival that celebrates “bon cinema!” sings. every time before the lights go out. If you see a movie like “Coupez!” or “One Cut of the Dead” with fellow enthusiasts, their meaning can transcend their constructs before your very eyes.

Photo by Nick Allen

On Friday night, Fantasia celebrated John Woo, a titan filmmaker whom artistic director Mitch Davis considered “a spiritual father of Fantasia,” given Woo’s influence on the action genre and any films that find meaning and craft in the extreme. Woo received the festival’s 2022 Career Achievement Award and introduced his legendary “Hard Boiled” by thanking many people, including his influences: his mother, who took him to Chinese movies and Hollywood fare, including musicals (his father wrote off movies as “fake”); the directors of the French New Wave, including Truffuat, Melville and Demy; and the stunt people from his movies, whom he admires. Woo had recently suffered his own recent injury – chasing his two-year-old granddaughter – but with the same spirit of his movies, he kept going and was ready to share his love of cinema. Woo apologized for having a cane and wheelchair, whereupon the crowd showered him in unison with words of love and support.

Woo then sat down to enjoy the first and third acts of his film, in which Chow Yun Fat plays a jazz clarinet solo in the opening credits, not to mention. Needless to say, “Hard Boiled” remains one of the greatest action movies of all time, a genre feat that not only raises the bar for action spectacle, but challenged anyone to even watch it (and some of Woo’s best predecessors did). . Screened last night on a much-loved 35mm print, the film has its own scope, its grand-guignol-or-grand-guignol hospital sequence roaring all the more like a non-stop apocalyptic thunderstorm. The 35mm presentation also made me appreciate further Woo’s slow motion and character-based style – the components that make films “fake” but beautiful and poetic in how they take tone and storytelling to the next level. It’s about Tony Leung walking through a library looking for a book with a gun in it, or watching the ballet stunt dives through glass so common it becomes impressionistic.

After the film, Woo spoke in a Q&A about the drive behind “Hard Boiled” – he was angry about the crime in Hong Kong at the time and wanted to respond with what he called “Hong Kong Dirty Harry”. Woo painted a photo of an intense shoot that was held together by family, and due to circumstances that would rightly be considered dangerous, led to real blood and sweat. Tony Leung nearly lost his eyesight after a string of glass (they couldn’t afford fake glass, Woo said) left him blind for a week. It was also funny to hear Woo talk about getting tired of all the explosions and gunfire of his own movie, as if even the master of these sequences has a breaking point.