The plot of the movie is told from a perspective of a young Chinese woman working as a prostitute in Hong Kong. The movie is directed by renowned film producer Fruit Chan on the year 2001.
The film is about an immigrant good-looking girl who uses her sex appeal to manipulate a group of shanty dwellers in a newly-independent Hong Kong. The results of her witty manipulation are a devastating effect on the three fully grown men. The film develops to a bizarre work of magical work, macabre and mirthful plot development. The performance of the hooker, Zhou Xun, is a luminous presence throughout the film. Also, the movie turns to a gross act of dark humour towards the end. The work by Fruit Chan is an example of an expert delivery in the field of art and literature.
The film Hollywood Hong Kong is a story of twisted tales of sex, violence, and deceit. The producer aims to capture the life and times of a deceptively looking girl from the neighbouring China who turns the fortunes of the city upside down (Johnson, 2006). The beginning of the film reveals a comically vulgar aesthetic work in Fruit Chan’s work.
PR1 Cinematic Techniques
The author has granted the main character a limited role play in the film Hollywood Hong Kong. This CT conveys the preferred reading that the main character holds a significant amount of influence in the society. The film director used the cinema technique to emphasize his point regarding his personal views of the Hong Kong society (Johnson, 2006). The author also adopts a comic style bordering black humour in his works. This cinematic technique expresses the preferred reading by highlighting the various reasons the people of Hong Kong move across the border to look for better fortunes. At the heart of the film is a tragedy, connecting a comic style featuring black humour. This cinematic technique helps is vital to assisting the director to portray the search for identity and friendships.
The film uses the raw sex scenes to explain the difficulty of making finding the right path for a lost beautiful Chinese girl in the Hong Kong society. Also, the film producer uses the analogy of a young foreign girl who ventures into prostitution driven by the ambition to make it big in life. The CT conveys the preferred reading on the challenges the people of Hong Kong have to face with their local problems. Lastly, the director planned to use a native character from Hong Kong but ended up using one from the mainland (Johnson, 2006). This cinematic technique helped shape Fruit Chan’s views of the interdependence between Hong Kong and China mainland regarding various acting films. The acting methods are therefore critical towards telling the story of Hong Kong after the 1997 independence from the British rule.
The kind of approach used by Fruit Chan in the film Hollywood Hong Kong appears different from his other films. The film director uses the prostitute character to reflect the disjointed nature of the Hong Kong society (Elley, 2001). The film director hopes to satirize the sudden interest by the natives of Hong Kong to immigrate into mainland China which he feels is inspired by the post-1997 consciousness in the country after the end of British rule.
OR1 Cinematic Techniques
The author employs the role of black humour in the cinematic experience. The movie depicts a young mainland prostitute who tries to lure her client by spamming his emails. The scene is hugely entertaining until the film turns in the direction of a grotesque comic. At this juncture, a doctor is seen severing off the limbs of a human being (Elley, 2001). The action of cutting off the legs of people takes over from pork meat. This particular cinematic technique conveys a departure from the romantic demeanour in the beginning stages to a poignant finale. It also highlights the eagerness by the film director to satirize the social, economic, and political lives of the natives of the Hong Kong country.
OR 2: Oppositional Reading
The film is the second of Fruit Chan’s trilogy on the prospect of prostitutes making a living in Hong Kong after the end of the British Rule. The movie appears less edgy and indeed more comical than the first one by the same film director dubbed “Durian Durian” (Elley, 2001). The film oscillates between a feeling of sadness and happiness as portrayed by the moods of the main actors. The protagonist, the young, beautiful prostitute upgrades the life of a tiny neighbourhood living in poverty. Therefore, the creator aims to show how China is now of influence in Hong Kong, as opposed to the first instance in the Durian Durian film.
OR 2: Cinematic Techniques
Like the majority of the films made by Fruit Chan, the storyline and the cinematic experiences behind the movie are all inspired by the real-life experiences. The movie producer got inspired by the living conditions of the prostitutes in Hong Kong and decided to write a storyline based on their interactions with their clients. The cinematic technique, therefore, encompasses the desire by the film director to tell a story of the call girls in the former British colony from a first-hand perspective. The CT helps reinforce the oppositional reading in the sense that it highlights the aspects of the society the local people feel are unpalatable. At the same time, the CT offers an intriguing perspective on why Hong Kong nationals think it is better if some scenes are shown in foreign films rather than the local ones.
OR 3: Oppositional Reading
The early film experiences and the main titles are set on pig skins. The Chu family are depicted as ugly with a sumo wrestler build. Also, they have a pork stall at the last shantytown in the Hong Kong city, the Tai Hom Village (Elley, 2001). The early scenes in the film help underline the dusty, sweaty, and noisy environment with which the family earns their living.
OR 3: Cinematic Techniques
The use of the pigskins contributes in part to the comical black twist the film adopts towards the end. The opposition reading conveys the feeling of hard economic times in a newly independent country. As such the CT tends to provide a contrary narrative to the one offered by the film director especially after the film’s transformation to a dark comedy scene. OR 4: Oppositional Reading
Zhou mixes her roles in the film with ease. At first, she wittingly spams the email of Wung, an eighteen-year-old. The two meet on an alley where they eventually have sex. Zhou expertly uses her charm to win the friendship of one of Wung’s younger brother and their father (Elley, 2001). She also seduces the latter and manages to have sex with him too (Elley, 2001). Cleverly, the young women use her lawyer to blackmail both of them into sending them money. In the end, she uses her blackmail money to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. Additionally, the film director also makes a point of how the mainland easily influences Hog Kong and its culture.
OR 4: Cinematic Techniques
The combination of different roles is a skill which the film director has mastered and maintained to a pulsating effect in the movie Hollywood Hong Kong. Zhou executes her function as an ambitious prostitute by flipping through her various personalities Elley, 2001). The portrayal of a character in diverse perspectives is a cinematic technique used to a significant extent by the director. The CT conveys the OR in the sense that the majority of prostitutes have to find various ways to survive and are way smarter than what they are portrayed as lacking ambition and drive to make their lives better.
OR 5: Oppositional Reading
The threat from blackmail by Zhou result in a severing of the limbs brutal people attached to the scheming prostitute. Fruit Chan decorates the story with a diverse collection of the characters residing in the shantytown where the movie is set (Elley, 2001). The climax is a replacement attempt by a Shanghainese doctor of the limbs through a surgical operation which turns out to be catastrophic.
OR 5: Cinematic Techniques
The cinematic technique in this scene adopts a storytelling attitude. The narrative is told from a Zhou perspective and appears to justify her actions of hiring thugs to terrorize both the father and son. The CT tries to the OR by telling the story of the struggles by those in Hong Kong to survive in the harsh economic and social times after the British colonialism. Zhou professionally seduces Ming, and then goes on to have sexual intercourse with a man who later acts as her lawyer (Elley, 2001). The movement of characters from one act to another is a cinematic technique so expertly undertaken by the movie director to explain his attitude regarding the behavior of his countrymen.
The movement of the story told by the film to a period of dark comedy is likely to introduce a new twist to the intended audience. The cinema producer aims to shoot the movie differently from the rest of his works. Although it is a continuation of a trilogy, Fruit Chan is keen to add a different dimension to the film which adds excitement and novelty. For example, he uses the limited role plays of the hooker Zhou from mainland China to portray the struggles and vulnerabilities of the post-colonialist Hong Kong. The call girl tries expertly seduces a father and her son then uses a lawyer to blackmail them into giving her money. The film also turns hugely grotesque in the closing stages. Her target’s limbs are amputated, and Fruit Chan cleverly inserts a scene where a medical operation goes wrong. The whole message of the film is to try and satirize the living standards of the society and drive home the notion that people in the newly independent nation are gullible.
Hollywood in Hong Kong continues the narration of the previous movie by Fruit Chan. However, the screenplay and the cinematic techniques of the movie tends to convey a completely different picture altogether. This film tells the story of a society that is struggling to adapt to the economic and social demands of an influx of foreign nationals. Also, unlike the other films directed by Fruit Chan, the movie adopts dark humor to show a twist in the plot. Moreover, the cinema allows incorporates the art of switching roles by the main character to add spice and increase the excitement around the film, further propagating its message across.
Elley, Derek. (2001). Hollywood, Hong Kong. Variety, https://variety.com/2001/film/reviews/hollywood-hong-kong-1200470117/
Johnson, M. D. (2006). Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Film Directors. By MICHAEL BERRY (Foreword by Martin Scorsese)[New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. x+ 568 pp. $24.50. ISBN 0-231-13331-6.]-. The China Quarterly, 186, 495-496.