Chapter

The Uneven Auteur

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/9789622098398.003.0005

Series: Director in Action

The Uneven Auteur

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This chapter explores a selection of Johnnie To's works where the flaws qualify his auteur status and make him an uneven auteur. It specifically describes Needing You, Help!, Fulltime Killer, Running on Karma, and Throw Down, another group of five films which constitutes an “uneven pentad” from the point of view of genre and To's direction. Though the nucleus of this study is the gunplay action film with a concentration on the gangster film or the cops-and-robbers thrillers, it also reviews To's contribution to the Hong Kong genre cinema in toto as much as possible. All of these films contain unequal measures of excellence and flaws which result from the effort to integrate different qualities.

Keywords: Johnnie To; uneven auteur; Needing You; Help!; Fulltime Killer; Running on Karma; Throw Down; Hong Kong; action film; gangster film

Chapter.  13930 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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