Ringo Lam x 3
Ringo Lam, who died last December at age 63, was one of the brightest burning talents of the Golden Age of Hong Kong popular cinema. His 1987 City on Fire set the bar for the then-emerging cycle of so-called “heroic bloodshed” films popularized by John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow, and with Woo he made a superstar out of his old acting school buddy, Chow Yun Fat. When every HK director had a signature, Lam’s was an open flame, his movies combustible objects ending in spectacular conflagrations. In a crowded field of genius, nobody hit harder than Lam—both in terms of the masterfully controlled savagery of his incomparable action sequences and in the brute force of anti-authoritarian rage that lent his films their staggering impact. Lam is gone now, but his films remain as fierce as ever—and here’s three of the finest, never to burn out or fade away.
All prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.