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Throw Down

Yau doh lung fu bong
dir. Johnnie To
Hong Kong 2004, 95’
Polish premiere
Awards and festivals
Golden Horse Film Festival 2004 - Best Original Screenplay Chinese Film Media Awards 2005 - Best Supporting Actor Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards 2005
Hong Kong 2004
Duration: 95’
director: Johnnie To
screenplay: Yau Nai-hoi, Au Kin-yee, Yip Tin-shing
cinematography: Cheng Siu-Keung, To Hung-mo
editing: David Richardson
music: Peter Kam
cast: Louis Koo, Aaron Kwok, Cherrie Ying, Tony Leung
producer: Johnnie To, Stephen Lam
executive producer: Catherine Chan
production: One Hundred Years of Film, Sil-Metropole Organisation, Milkyway Image
language: Cantonese
colouration: colour

Film description

Tony is a young judo master who wants to try his skills on the mat against the legendary Sze-to. The latter has already had his heyday, though – now he runs a night club, where he drinks himself under the table and loses large sums gambling. What made him fall so low? Will the acquaintance with a Taiwanese girl, who dreams of becoming a singer but currently is followed by shady characters from the underworld, help him come back to the competition?

"Throw Down" is Johnnie To’s personal project, falling outside all genre classifications, unpredictable, resembling a dream. The director weaves his urban tale of eye-seducing frames and visually captivating sequences which prove his proficiency in the art of filmmaking. Excellent Louis Koo, Aaron Kwok and Cherrie Ying form a heart-moving trio of people in need of each other – they are lost but they fight to escape the labyrinth of streets and smoke-filled dives. The credit for stunning pictures of Hong Kong vibrating with its nightlife goes to Siu-keung Cheung, long-time co-operator of the director.

A masterpiece still undiscovered, a film to which To himself refers as his favourite, a tribute to Akira Kurosawa’s debut – "Sanshiro Sugata" (aka Judo Saga), but also a magical love letter to the cinema itself.

Marcin Krasnowolski

Johnnie To

A Hong Kong director, screenwriter and producer born in 1955, accomplished at different genres and styles, best known as a master of gangster movies (e.g. "The Mission", "Election", "PTU"). A cult film author who won prizes at numerous festivals and a role model for a whole generation of young Hong Kong filmmakers, but also for Quentin Tarantino. Appreciated for his ability to combine accurate social observations with dynamic images and unconventional narration. Currently more and more frequently makes films in co-production with China.

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 Miłość na diecie / Sau sun nam nui / Love on a Diet
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
2016 Trójka / San ren xing / Three

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