John Woo’s HARD BOILED is to action, melodrama, 60s cool, and wuxia what ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST was to Westerns – a pastiche of epic proportions wherein cliché after cliché compound into spectacular art of the bloodiest, most frenetic kind, birthing then immediately putting a bullet in the head of a genre it alone will ever inhabit. In celebrating its 25th anniversary, HARD BOILED rightly, finally stands among the best and most influential films of any generation, directly cited by an incredible array of filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright, as having irrevocably shaped not only their own directorial vision, but the very art of cinema itself.
A veritable who's who of Hong Kong cinema — with career defining performances by Chow Yun-Fat, Anthony Wong, and Tony Leung, with the Venom Mob's Philip Kwok pulling double duty as both action coordinator and menacing hardman — HARD BOILED oozes cool as easily and as readily as it does bullets and blood.
Saturday event: Hard Boiled in 35mm
Midnights Summer Calendar:
— August 25/26: The Last House on Dead End Street