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1989, 110 min, Hong Kong, Dir: John Woo

The film that put John Woo on the international map, and almost single-handedly redefined the style, pace (and body count) of the modern gangster film. Sensitive, honorable hitman Chow Yun-Fat accidentally blinds singer Sally Yeh in a nightclub shootout, then falls in love with her. Rule-breaking cop Danny Lee, hot on Chow's trail, forms an uneasy alliance with the killer when gonzo gang boss Fui-On Shing goes ballistic, trying to take them all out in an escalating series of gloriously operatic gun battles, punctuated by white doves, swirling pop music and Chow’s impossibly cool demeanor.

Wo hu cang long
2000, Sony Pictures Classics, 120 min, China/USA, Dir: Ang Lee

Director Ang Lee virtually reinvented Chinese cinema's wuxia swordplay genre with this startlingly good, moving romantic adventure starring Michele Yeoh and Chow Yun-Fat as estranged lovers searching for the stolen Green Destiny sword. Ziyi Zhang is the hotblooded younger girl who is equally adept at martial arts, bent on crossing blades with the two at every opportunity. With celebrated veteran wuxia star Cheng Pei-Pei as super-villainess Jade Fox. Exhilirating! Nominated for 10 Oscars and winner of 4, including Best Foreign-Language Film. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

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