I
think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the
entertainment business every single day of the year, including weekends.
Sometimes it may be something simple, like a video that showcases
something fun and sometimes it may be a movie poster that embraces the
aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to. Sometimes it may be a
long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the staff and extended
family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in on it. So, take
this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit of positivity
from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll help you
through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in their
busy celluloid digesting day.


12.02.10
By Andre Dellamorte

What I’m Thankful For:
Johnnie To’s Heroic Tracking Shot




I
could and should write at length about one of my favorite directors,
but today, I want to highlight one of the reasons why I love To. To has spent his time working in the Hong
Kong industry, never coming to America to give it go, and has been going strong for over twenty years now, usually putting out at least a film a year. I
first came to To when I found his film The Mission (obviously not the Robert De Niro version),
which is one of the greatest men on a mission films ever made. With that I was converted, I thought this guy was one of the greats. I
wasn’t as crazy about his Full Time Killer (which
got quite a bit of attention at the time) and his production schedule means he’s made a number of minor films, but To built a library of great movies that – partly because of the
state of modern foreign film distribution – have floated under the
American radar. Election and Triad Election got some attention over here, but
his release record is spotty at best, though his films often show up at
Cannes. Not because he’s a high-minded auteur like fellow Hong Kong Cannes
regular Wong Kar-Wai, but because he’s one of the best directors at
genre.

You
can’t make films like he does and not know genre construction, and how
to play with it, and To has an impish side to his work. What I’m
thankful for today is the opening of 2004 film Breaking News.
The film features one of my favorite character actors Lam Suet, and is
filled with a number of great things, but watch this, and tell me
Johnnie To isn’t the motherfuckingest.



Point, set, match, To.