Ten years after the publication of the first edition of Planet Hong Kong and three years after it went out of print, the redoubtable film scholar David Bordwell has put out—exclusively online—a second edition of his acclaimed study of the national cinema that has become an obsession of his. As Bordwell explains on his and Kristin Thompson’s website, Observations on Film Art, this revised version is being sold, as a 300-page pdf, directly from the website.
The text’s reappearance is certainly good news for aficionados of Hong Kong cinema, which has gone through many crucial industrial and artistic changes in the past decade. Bordwell has significantly updated Planet Hong Kong, which he calls in his introduction “an essayistic attempt to understand the interplay of art and entertainment in one popular cinema”; additions include a lengthy section on Wong Kar-wai, featuring analysis of In the Mood for Love (other chapters focus on such Criterion titles as The Killer and Chungking Express). And, given the electronic format, Bordwell was able to replace almost all of the book’s original black-and-white stills with color ones. Read more from the author, and find out how you can purchase a copy.