Prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To has directed more than forty films, including Election, Exiled, and Mad Detective. His latest, Vengeance, is currently in some North American theaters, from IFC Films.
1. The opening scene, with the horses, is one of the best ever. It always mesmerizes me.
2. It has a great setup, great characters, and a great theme. Kurosawa’s vision raised the film to another level.
3. Sam Peckinpah and Dustin Hoffman at their best. The rape scene is horrific and haunting.
4. The first view of the sword sent chills through my spine.
5. This film gave birth to the cool hit man archetype.
6. It contains a Buddhist concept that is echoed in some of my own works. Here we see three heroes caught in a unique situation where their friendship matters more than anything else.
7. It’s a film with great flavors. I wish it would just play on and on.
8. An abstract and strange world. A view of what we all may become one day.
9. It’s almost surreal to see Chinese costume drama performed with English dialogue!
10. A film that combines the sitcom and the samurai film.