Johnnie To Kei-Fung's PTU (Google eBook)
PTU is an underappreciated noir masterpiece by one of Hong Kong's most prolific and commercially successful directors. Johnnie To Kei-fung has been called "the poet of post-1997 and the economic savior of the Hong Kong film industry" for an extraordinary range of films produced during some of Hong Kong cinema's most difficult years. While many of To's celebrated films such as Election, Exiled and The Mission feature themes of criminal glory and revenge, PTU centers on the ethical dilemmas, personal dramas and stoic teamwork in the elite Police Tactical Unit. The story follows the PTU's all-night search for an officer's missing gun as they navigate triad turf struggles and marauding jewel thieves from mainland China. Shot over several years in the hauntingly empty pre-dawn streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, and released coincidentally amid the 2003 SARS panic, the film evokes Hong Kong's post-handover economic despair and multiple identity crises. In terms of character development and psychological complexity, Mike Ingham argues that PTU is the most aesthetically rigorous and satisfying of To's many films.
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2 Into the Perilous Night Police and Gangsters in the Hong Kong Mean Streets
3 Expect the Unexpected PTUs Narrative and Aesthetics
Whats the Story? Morning Glory
Abbas action ﬁlms actors aesthetic Andrew Lau audiences auteur authentic Baldhead Bordwell camera Canton Road characters Chinese city’s close—ups creative criminal critical depiction difﬁcult Director in Action Eyeball Film ﬁlm’s ﬁlmic ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst Fulltime Killer gangsters genre heroic bloodshed Hollywood Hong Kong cinema Hong Kong Culture Hong Kong ﬁlmmakers Hong Kong ﬁlms Hong Kong Police Infernal Aﬂairs inﬂuenced Inspector Leigh Cheng intensiﬁed interview John Woo Johnnie Kat’s Kong’s Kowloon Lam Suet Lo’s Longest Nite Madam mainland gang Mike Mike’s patrol Milkyway Image mobile phone movie narrative Nathan Road ofﬁcial plot police force police ofﬁcers Ponytail’s PTU ofﬁcers PTU patrol PTU’s punks recognisable reﬂect restaurant Ruby Wong Running on Karma SARS scene sense Sergeant shoot—out shooting shot signiﬁcant Simon Yam social space speciﬁc Stephen Teo street Teo’s theatrical To’s ﬁlm triad Tsim Sha Tsui viewer visual