Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23

Thread: The Gallants

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,742

    The Gallants

    I could have sworn we had a thread for this film but I can't seem to find it.

    34th HKIFF Interview: Derek Kwok & Clement Cheng (The Gallants)
    Posted by Milky Li Hoi Ching on Apr 08, 2010
    Source: IONCINEMA.com Special Report
    btn news email btn news print

    Out of all the romantic-themed local films screened at this yearís HKIFF, The Gallants certainly feels like a different breed. Working alongside first-time filmmaker Clement Cheng, director Derek Kwok, perhaps best known for his debut directorial work The Pye-Dog, dodges from his usual dark, edgy styled films that revolve around story-lines with child characters, to co-direct a film that is packed with the neat Kung Fu sequences that are a throwback to Hong Kong action cinema of the 70s & 80s. Aided by spot-on casting choices, with The Gallants, Kwok and Cheng don't reinvent the Kung-Fu genre, they re-invigorate it.

    Clement Cheng Derek Kwok The Gallants

    Milky Li Hoi Ching: How did you come up with the idea for this film? And how did the project happen?
    Derek Kwok: Several years ago, when I and Clement worked at Teddy Robinís company, we came up with an idea for a film that was about a group of elderly people, who played music as a band in 60s, reuniting after a friendís accident. But the project never really worked out because there were no buyers interested. After I finished shooting The Moss, producer Lam Ka-Tung came to me, I talked to him about several ideas. Finally, I mentioned this story again, but I changed it up. Instead about music, it became an idea of a Kung Fu film. Because, at that time, the trend of Hong Kong cinema had again come to this genre, and Clement and I are big fans of the 70s Kung Fu cinema, like Chang Cheh, Ka-Leung Lau films. We also admire Chin Hung Kuei, particularly his film The Teahouse starring Chen Kwun-tai. And we like Leung Siu-lung who famously played the character Chen Zhen. The idea then came to mind that, a story about a teahouse, Chen Kwun-tai and Leung Siu-lung along with a load of Kung Fu actions and gags. Surprisingly, not only producer Lam Ka-Tung liked this idea, the investors, including Andy Lau, thought this could work and gave it go. Then we started writing the script for several months. It was how the project happened.

    Clement Cheng: We actually thought about bringing in some action stars from Shaw Brothers era to make a film about 60s, 70s action stars versus 80s action stars on this original idea too. That was until we saw films of Chin Hung Kuei, we thought his films were great, creative and current, so we added in the elements from his films to make The Gallants.

    Ching: Had you thought about bringing in other action stars aside from Leung Siu Lung and Chen Kwun-tai?
    Kwok: We had thought about a lot choices when Leung and Chen were definitely the leading men on our mind right from the start. We thought about bringing in some 80s action stars as we mentioned, like Robert Mak Tak-Law, Cynthia Rothrock etc, with Dik Lung and David Chiang making guest appearance. But in the end, you could see there were many actors we could have had on project.

    Ching: There is a sudden resurgence of Kung Fu films in Hong Kong recently; though of the same genre, I found that your film is actually very much different.
    Kwok: This film is different from any other recent Kung Fu films (particularly ones with ďKung FuĒ two words as part of the title). Our film is a youth film trying to inspire, encourage people. When youíre young, you're sure you'll have the time and opportunities to be the best. But when you get older, things are different. Youíre no longer at your best. How would you fight back to prove yourself? This is a film about that. Think back when, I once read Leung Siu Lungís interview with a magazine, he said that it was important to do things and protect people, for righteousness when you had the power thatís gained from practicing martial art. We could see what a man he is. Then we saw him back to the film industry but given a lot of dumb roles to play. I felt like I had to make this film for him, let people see what he could really do, it is a film made for him to fight back, to make a "real" comeback.

    It's reflected in the character's setting as well...the characters arenít supermen or heroes; they're ordinary men, perhaps losers in life but with a great set of martial skills. There are no real villains, this has always been my principle when it comes to it; there is no real bad guy in this world. Everyone in my films is being a ďbadĒ guy for a reason. But the society would always define them. People could change from being regarded as a hero to a villain; it is a matter of the ways you look at it.

    Cheng: Our films would reflect the way we view this world, nobody is born a bad guy or with a wish of being a bad guy, everybody is put in their own roles and positions for a reason. It is all about how you see things.

    Kwok: As for those Kung Fu-titled films, frankly I do not like them, whatever they are trying to tell, I feel like those veteran actors in the films were being disrespectfully used, they have the talents that should have been worthily made more use of. We pick this cast and make this film because we like and admire these actors. This is never intended as a tribute, has no purpose to mock the 70s Hong Kong cinema or remind people of those old days. We never tried to make this film specifically ďlocalĒ too.

    Clement Cheng Derek Kwok The Gallants

    Ching: So would you still say it's a film with nostalgic theme?
    Cheng: There is no denying that the background and the way we filmed it would be filled with nostalgic cinematically feel and we had borrowed some elements from the films of Shaw Brothers era to throw into this film. And it is true that it is still a story that happens in current Hong Kong, so you can see a lot of things about this place and get some nostalgic vibes from it. But the central theme of the film remains universal, it is about only if you can make every part of yourself become a weapon, then you will be able to protect things and people you treasure. And the spirit of this can be put in anywhere, not just Hong Kong, but the whole world. If you remember, at the end of film, the last lines spoken by the narrator (Tam Bing-Man) are actually inspired by and taken from Rocky Balboa, during a scene where Rocky speaks to his son about never backing down. We love that line, so we put it in. So it is really more than just about Hong Kong.

    Ching: Seeing your opening credits and the narrative, like I said, we can see a lot of elements from the 70s & 80s cinema. Have you done any research or watched any films in specific prior to the shooting?
    Cheng: No, there was no research done. We grew up watching those films, and the influence is already in our blood and bone. All these silhouette fights had come to mind at the first thought. We both thought we should have the opening credits that way. Thereís no specific film serving as a main influence.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,742

    long interview...

    continued from previous post
    Ching: Since you guys hadnít done any Kung Fu films before this film, was the shooting process and the production hard?
    Kwok & Cheng: Every scene was hard. The two most important things needed for this genre of films are money and time, but we lacked them. Fortunately for us, we found a great martial arts choreographer Yuen Tak and a cast of great Kung Fu actors.

    Kwok: Speaking of the production, the fighting style of this film was to be more realistic, basic and practical. Iím quite sick of all those flashy action scenes, in which the actor is put high up above a tall building and all those effects of ground shaking, glass breaking. Just like what Master Leung Ka Lau used to do, we wanted only one shot for each action sequence, nothing flashy, just an old styled and practical way of filming. The characters would really feel the pain when hitting the ground; nobody can jump too high. The characters would feel breathless and tired after long fight. No more one man put up against countless opponents but still prevails. Different from action films from previous generation, we tried to make it realistic. For that, we did some research, and asked more Kung Fu actors about that and discussed with Yuen Tak to put those things in.

    Ching: How did you two get involved with film industry?
    Cheng: Before really getting involved with anything, I had numerous jobs, worked at TV and radio station, I once was a local PA in Canada for some Hollywood film productions, doing stuff like location scouting. I wanted to get into the industry, but there were no real good chances. When I returned to Hong Kong, I went to enroll a course at the HK Film Directorsí Guild. There I met Derek, after we graduated, we worked at Teddy Robinís company, one day, Liu Kim-Wa saw us writing something and introduced us to Wilson Yip Wai Shun, thatís how we got started.

    Kwok: I studied visual arts before; I always wanted to get in the industry and liked films. After studying in design, I worked as a graphic designer for two years, but I kind of disliked the way things worked as a graphic designer at that time, so I went to enroll the course. And the rest like we mentioned, we worked alongside Wilson Yip. We did a lot of making of videos, like there was one for Juliet In Love, music videos and were responsible for art direction of numerous films.

    Ching: Which filmmakers or films have inspired and influenced you the most?
    Kwok: There are too many. If I have to name one, A Better Tomorrow by John Woo have influenced me greatly. That was the first time I really felt emotionally overwhelmed by a film that much in a cinema. Akira Kurosawa is very influential to me as well; I particularly like his works Stray Dog and Ras****n.

    Cheng: For me, I would name these filmmakers - Quentin Tarantino, PT Anderson and Stephen Chow. To say more, I could also mention Akira Kurosawa too, and Clint Eastwood. I like his works so much right after seeing Unforgiven. I never really liked his acting works, but seeing that film really made me a fan of his. Stephen Chow would be the one that influenced me ever since I was really young. There arenít any directorial works of his I really dislike.

    Ching: So, whatís next?
    Kwok: I just finished shooting Frozen and its post-production work. It will be coming to the theatre. Then I will start shooting a project titled The Enchanter (a project that won HAF award this year) probably around July and August. The screenplay was originally written by Peng Ho-Cheung. It is about a magician-turned-gambler.

    Cheng: I had a film that just premiered; it was titled Merry-Go-Round, a film to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. This film was co-directed by me and Yan Yan Mak, director of Hu die. The film starred Ella Koon, Lawrence Chou, Teddy Robin, Denise Ho etc.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,742

    Still haven't seen this...

    ...it's high up on my list to watch soon.
    Low-budget Hong Kong action-comedy becomes critics', cult favourite
    Min Lee, The Associated Press Feb 22, 2011 06:01:44 AM

    HONG KONG - A low-budget Hong Kong action-comedy stole the spotlight at the local critics' awards prize ceremony on Tuesday, earning praise for capturing this southern Chinese territory's can-do spirit and providing an alternative to star-studded blockbusters.

    The 5 million Hong Kong dollar ($642,000) production "Gallants" was an unlikely standout among last year's releases, with its quirky tale of a Hong Kong kung fu master who briefly awakens from a 30-year-long coma to train two aging students and two newcomers. There are no major stars in the cast, no lavish period costumes or epic fight scenes. Instead, co-directors Clement Cheng and Kwok Chi-kin assembled a team of veteran actors from 1970s and 1980s Hong Kong movies.

    And yet the 2010 release has become a critical hit and cult favourite. It clinched best film and best actor prizes at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society annual awards in results announced earlier in the year, and was voted one of the two audience favourites at the New York Asian Film Festival last year.

    It also has been nominated in seven categories, including best film and best director, at the upcoming Hong Kong Film Awards, which will be announced on April 17.

    At the critics prize ceremony on Tuesday, Teddy Robin, who played the loud and flirtatious kung fu master who rises from a coma, received loud cheers as he picked up his best actor trophy.

    "I really didn't expect that many viewers to like this movie," one of the directors, Kwok, told The Associated Press after the award ceremony. "When I made this movie, I didn't really think about the response. When it came to casting and the direction of the story, I just followed my preferences, but it turns out that quite a few people like the movie."

    Hong Kong Film Critics Society President Bryan Chang said he particularly enjoyed the humour and the never-say-die spirit of the movie, which is captured by the mantra repeated by Robin's character ó "If you don't fight you won't lose, but if you fight you must try to win."

    "I haven't seen something so cheerful and so funny in a long time," Chang told the AP.

    "Gallants" may lack on-screen star power, but its main investor was Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau, who also visited the set to give acting tips.

    Producer Lam Ka-tung, a veteran actor himself, called the critical acclaim a form of vindication for creative, low-budget productions.

    "The general climate dictates that you need certain stars, you need to be able to guarantee certain markets. But I wondered does it have to be that way? I think it's important to try new things," Lam told the AP.

    In other awards presented on Tuesday, best director went to Taiwanese filmmaker Su Chao-pin, who directed former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh in the kung fu thriller "Reign of Assassins." Best actress went to Miriam Yeung for the romantic comedy "Perfect Wedding." Best screenwriter went to Ivy Ho for "Crossing Hennessy," which she also directed.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,742

    My pick for the BEST OF 2010!

    I was leaning towards Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame for my fav pick of last year, but The Gallants just stole it away. I watched in last Saturday morning - couldn't sleep so at 3AM I popped it into my DVD player to see if the subtitles worked and I just couldn't stop watching it. THIS FILM ROCKS. It's such an old skool homage. It celebrates that golden era of Golden Harvest and Shaw Brothers films with an innovative update for 2010. It even has the Fist of Fury soundtrack. There's some hysterical comic elements and shades of Tarantino. It begins a little Napoleon Dynamite-ish, but moves into something completely different. There are a few cliches, but the ending isn't cliche. In fact, >>>POSSIBLE SPOILER<<< if you expect the cliche finale, well don't.>>>END SPOILER<<< Seeing Chen Kuan Tai and Bruce Leung Siu Lung in action again was a great treat, although truth be told, I wouldn't have recognized them if not for the credits.

    This will resonate with anyone who has ever trained with a traditional old skool kung fu master.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,742

    The Gallants is a horrible title

    The Chinese name is Da Leitai (打擂台). Da as in Sanda; Leitai as in the raised platform on which kung fu duels are fought. An alternative title is Fists Of Dignity, which I like a little better, especially as there's some homage to Fist of Fury. Gallant means chivalry and noble spirit, which does fit for this film, but it's such an antiquated term that it doesn't sell the film. It's more like a bad translation.

    I'm posting the lyrics to FIST OF FURY here. If you see Gallants, and I urge you to do so, you'll understand. We published these in the Wisdom section of our Sept/Oct 2006 issue.

    FIST OF FURY LYRICS
    I use hands to hold my fellow man
    I use hands to help with what I can
    But when I face an unjust injury
    Then I’ll change my hands into fists of fury

    I use hands to show my friendliness
    I use hands to give a kind caress
    Bu when a man slaughters fellowman
    Then I’ll change my hands into fist of fury

    No more hands to give my love to you
    But you’ll know I’ve done what I must do
    I’ve fought the strong and I did right the wrong
    When I changed my hands into fists of fury
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,742

    Called it!

    What did I say for my review? "My pick for the BEST OF 2010!"

    Gallants and Dee split HK Film Awards
    By Patrick Frater
    Sun, 17 April 2011, 23:59 PM (HKT)
    Awards News

    The 30th Hong Kong Film Awards (香港電影金像獎) split their honours on Sunday night between fantasy actioner Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (狄仁杰之通天帝國) and retro martial arts picture Gallants (打擂台).

    While Detective Dee collected six awards including best director for Tsui Hark (徐克) and best actress for Carina Lau (劉嘉玲), the more Hong Kong-focussed Gallants claimed the final prize for best picture. Earlier in the evening it had collected three others including both supporting actor and actress.

    Detective Dee also collected awards for best costume, best art direction, visual effects and best sound.

    Other winners included Stool Pigeon (線人, Nicholas Tse 謝霆鋒 as best actor) and Ip Man 2 (葉問2, Sammo Hung 洪金寶 for best action direction) and Love In A Puff (志明與春嬌, Pang Ho-cheung 彭浩翔 and Heiward Mak 麥曦茵 for best screenplay).

    Japan's Confessions (告白) collected the award for best Asian film, beating favourites Aftershock (唐山大地震) and Under The Hawthorn Tree (山楂樹之戀).

    Guest presenters in the nearly four hours included Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢), Chow Yun-fat (周潤發), Vicki Zhao (趙薇), Eric Tsang (曾志偉), Michael Hui (許冠文), Kara Hui (惠英紅), Jackie Chan (成龍) and Zhou Xun (周迅).

    Spotted in the audience were Gordon Chan (陳嘉上), Peter Lam (林建岳), Nansun Shi (施南生), Jack So (蘇澤光), John Chong (莊澄), James Wang Zhonglei (王中磊), Raymond Wong (黃浩然) and a tearful Cecilia Cheung (張柏芝).
    Earlier this year Gallants was named as the best picture of 2010 in the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards (香港電影評論學會大獎).
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #7
    Great movie. Gives hope for the future of (Hong Kong) kung fu films.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    new york,ny,U.S.A
    Posts
    3,230
    doesnt this movie star all the old school stars? doesnt give me hope...makes me feel sad.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,742

    Chen Kuan Tai and Bruce Leung Siu Lung

    You must see it before you judge. Chen Kuan Tai and Bruce Leung Siu Lung turn in amazing performances. It gave me hope too because their roles are perfect for them as aging martial arts stars. The film has a tongue-in-cheek edge from the get-go, but they portray their characters with dignity.

    I just watched it again and it didn't have nearly the impact upon me like with the first time, as I knew where it was all going. The initial appeal was that Gallants is such a different take on the genre. But I still loved Master Law's role - his character is my new idol.

    I think you'll enjoy this, Doug. It's a significant martial arts film (obviously now with the HKFA award). See it.

    Can anyone tell me why it said "Ketamine" on the TV when Cheung first enters Law's Tea Shop?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    new york,ny,U.S.A
    Posts
    3,230
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    You must see it before you judge. Chen Kuan Tai and Bruce Leung Siu Lung turn in amazing performances. It gave me hope too because their roles are perfect for them as aging martial arts stars. The film has a tongue-in-cheek edge from the get-go, but they portray their characters with dignity.

    I just watched it again and it didn't have nearly the impact upon me like with the first time, as I knew where it was all going. The initial appeal was that Gallants is such a different take on the genre. But I still loved Master Law's role - his character is my new idol.

    I think you'll enjoy this, Doug. It's a significant martial arts film (obviously now with the HKFA award). See it.

    Can anyone tell me why it said "Ketamine" on the TV when Cheung first enters Law's Tea Shop?
    its why it makes me sad gene....their are no real youngsters with talent like thisn in hk anymore.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    4,895
    Ironically, when Bruce Liang/Leung started out in the business, he was the youngest stuntman in HK at the time. It really is a bit sad that there's no youngsters in HK who can or will take up the mantle; certainly not to the degree of talent, variety, and numbers of the 1960s through the '80s.

    The Taiwanese MA film industry, which thrived and accounted for as many old-school MA films as HK during the golden era, died out a long time ago. Overall, I think MA films -- and esp. MA training -- are not a priority with many young people there now.

  12. #12
    I know Sharon Yeung Pan Pan has a school called The Hit Hut, which is for cinematic martial arts. There are young people who are being trained for this stuff. Not to mention what Bey Logan and his production company are doing. I know the talent is scarce, but its out there somewhere, and I'm not talking about mainland wushu performers.

    Oh yeah, I'd love to see Taiwanese cinema make a triumphant return, but its all wishful thinking.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,742

    There's really no comparison

    When you get veterans like Kwan Tak Hing and Leung Siu Lung still delivering exciting fight scenes after such long and illustrious careers, you just got to bow down to that. I'm confident there will be veterans of this generation too, but only time will tell.

    Still wondering about that "ketamine" reference in the film. Anyone?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    When you get veterans like Kwan Tak Hing and Leung Siu Lung still delivering exciting fight scenes after such long and illustrious careers, you just got to bow down to that. I'm confident there will be veterans of this generation too, but only time will tell.

    Still wondering about that "ketamine" reference in the film. Anyone?
    You mean Chen Kuan Tai?

  15. #15
    A friend had told me that the film was to originally have been a rock and roll movie because of the director living next door to Sam Hui. Once the kung fu actors came in, the script was changed.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •