Chapter

Directed by Johnnie To

Stephen Teo

in Director in Action

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9789622098398
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206823 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098398.003.0004

Series: Director in Action

Directed by Johnnie To

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This chapter covers A Hero Never Dies, Running out of Time, The Mission, PTU (an acronym for Police Tactical Unit) and Breaking News which carry Johnnie To's name as the solo director. A Hero Never Dies marks the phase in the Milkyway company where the credit “Directed by Johnnie To” re-appears after a brief period in which To functioned as the chief executive overseeing the production of Milkyway's films rather than merely directing the films. Running out of Time and The Mission were both released in 1999 in the wake of the HKIFF tribute, and both films had the effect of confirming To's newly found status as a stand-alone auteur. PTU and Breaking News, released in 2003 and 2004 respectively, are mature examples of To's work in the genre and they show a tendency towards formalism — a sign that To was taking his status as auteur more seriously. To is considered a craftsman auteur, one able to craft superb sequences and integrate them seamlessly into the narratives.

Keywords: Johnnie To; A Hero Never Dies; Running out of Time; The Mission; PTU; Breaking News; auteur; Milkyway company

Chapter.  18632 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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