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Archive - 7th Five Flavours Film Festival

Sparrow

Man jeuk
Hong Kong 2008, 87’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Johnnie To
screenplay: Chan Kin-chung, Fung Chi-keung
cinematography: Cheng Siu-keung
editing: David M. Richardson
music: Xavier Jamaux, Fred Avril
cast: Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, Lam Ka-tung, Law Wing-cheong
language: Mandarin, Cantonese
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Berlin IFF 2008 – nominacja do Złotego Niedźwiedzia, Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards 2009 – wyróżnienie specjalne

Film description

Johnnie To worked on this light, elegant film, virtually devoid of violence, for over 3 years, between his other projects. The picture bears traces of old French cinema and American musicals, with jazzy music creating a dreamy atmosphere of ambiguity and mystery.

The protagonists are four thieves (the Cantonese word for sparrow also means
a pickpocket), who steal from people with ballet-like grace. After work, the group leader, Kei, makes black-and-white photographs on the streets of a surprisingly peaceful Hong Kong. This harmonious team will hit the rocky waters when each of them meets Chun Lei,
a beautiful femme fatale. Lei is associated with Mr. Fu, a legendary pickpocket, and her intentions are unclear.

To masterfully stages memorable film sequences, and "Sparrow" is the best proof of his talent. The beauty of the final duel, fought in the rain, with umbrellas instead of guns,
is captivating, bringing to mind the works of Wong Kar-wai. "Sparrow" reveals the lyrical side of Johnnie To, reminding us that cinema can be a truly magical experience.

Marcin Krasnowolski

Johnnie To

Director, screenwriter, producer (born 1955), author of films belonging to many genres and styles, best known as the master of action cinema. Awarded at numerous festivals, a cult artist and a role model for filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, appreciated for combining sharp social observations with dynamic image and unconventional narration.

Selected filmography:

1980 Bik seoi hon saan dyut meng gam / The Enigmatic Case
1989 Ah-long dik gu si / All About Ah-long
1995 Mou mei san taam / Loving You
1998 Bohater nie umiera nigdy / Chan sam ying hung / A Hero Never Dies
2001 Chuen jik sat sau / Fulltime Killer
2003 Daai zek lou / Running on Karma
2005 Wybór mafii / Hak se wui / Election
2007 Psychodetektyw / San taam / Mad Detective
2012 Kartel / Du zhan / Drug War

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