- Rear Window: Justice prevails as long as there is dedication.
- Nine Queens: Society is corrupt so why not take advantage of it?
- Platoon: War is hell because you end up fighting yourself.
- Festen: The truth will arise, no matter what class you are from.
- La Haine: Those who live by and idolise violence will be consumed by it.
- Touch of Evil: Justice prevails, even if the law is corrupt.
- Western: Justice prevails, even if the law is corrupt/ineffective.
- Science Fiction: We shouldn't overly depend on technology, otherwise it will destroy us.
- Romantic comedies: Love prevails, no matter the odds.
- Gangster: Those who live by violence and greed will be destroyed by them.
Then in the seminar, we looked at Hong Kong Cinema, a type of film making noted for its very rapid, energetic quality, and the industry itself up until the 90s was the third largest in the world, and its history makes no secret of why: the explosion of martial arts films in the 70s, such as those starring the iconic Bruce Lee, himself born in the US but returned to his native land at a young age, and then the boom of action films, especially those of John Woo (Hard Boiled, The Killer and later, Face Off and Windtalkers) which both shared that rapidfire energy and violence in contrast to the then slower action films of the West (though Woo and Lee would make films for them too in later years).
In the 2000s, though, HK Cinema began to move away from that and become more transnational, constantly exploring new ideas and changing, very much a postmodern approach, the director of Chungking Express, Wong Kar-Wai, being a sort of figure head, infusing the sensibilities of art cinema with more traditional genres and stories, like the love stories of this film, and often exploring the ideas of relationships, especially between that of the past and present and their effects. Also, on another note, we briefly looked at Asia Extreme, which, as its title implies, is a very violent, over-the-top type of film, and very stylized (famous examples include Oldboy and The Eye).
In conclusion, I felt this was a day of two halves: the first half I felt was passable, and the ideas presented certainly were interesting, but there wasn't much new ground covered and it felt like going in circles for a while over the same concept. The second half, however, was a massive improvement, in part because of the film shown and its 'uniqueness', but also because we got to look a film industry that very often gets stereotyped by us in the West due to their icons (like Lee, Chan and Li) but has a lot more going on than we tend to give it credit for.