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.
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. He’s spent the last three decades working in the Hong Kong industry, and has never (it seems) been tempted to do his business stateside. I first came to To when I found his film The Mission, which is one of the greatest men on a mission films ever made. After 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), but To has built a great library of films that have – partly because of the state of modern foreign film distribution – 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. But 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.