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:

Series: Director in Action


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This chapter summarizes the contribution to genre, examining Johnnie To's achievements from the critical-theoretical perspective of genre expectations, in particular the convention of the happy ending. It also updates To's career to the release of Exiled (2006), and deals with his three most recent films: Election, Election 2, and Exiled. The two panels in the Election diptych stand apart from the rest of To's films because they contain new visions of violence and clear political implications in their narratives. All of these three films reveal the director engaging in a dialectical discourse with his own work in the action genre. Violence in To's action cinema has a didactic function inasmuch as one's cognitive senses are provoked through the viscera of violence.

Keywords: Johnnie To; Election; Election 2; Exiled; violence; political implications; director; action cinema; action genre

Chapter.  9019 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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