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Interview with Wong Jing, guru of mainstream cinema
God of Gambler 1/1 - Page 8
Info
Author(s) : Thomas Podvin
Date : 10/12/2007
Type(s) : Interview
 
 Intext Links  
People :
Ching Gong
Chow Yun Fat
Li Han Hsiang
Movies :
God Of Gamblers
Companies :
Hoi Ngoi
 
< Previous
Page 7 : A peacefull life
 
Next >
Page 9 : Wong Jing : the best of the worst
 
 Notes  
Interview conducted in Hong Kong by Thomas Podvin, in December 2007.
Special thanks to Angela Tong and Tony Chan.


HKCinemagic: You are famous for the gambling film genre; God of Gamblers being the most internationally renown film you've made. Why do you like this genre so much?
Wing Jing: Actually I know all forms of gambling but I am not an addict. I can play, but I have never taken it as a habit or a hobby. When I think of a suitable time and situation to gamble, it is fun and I go. But if I am busy, I don’t think it is the appropriate time to go to gamble, I will give up. Gamble is just like horse racing, it is too exciting. You have to spend a lot of energy on it. I only believe on professional things and I am semi professional on some forms of gambling. If you are a professional you have to take some time to make preparations and do it well. Put yourself in good shape then you can win. Otherwise you just bring your money to others. It is a stupid thing to do. If I don’t think I am in good shape, I won’t go.

Gambler's Delight, a gambling movie by Cheng Kang
HKCinemagic: In God of Gambler, how did you come up with the Chow Yun Fat’s character, Ko Chun?
Wong Jing: He comes from a 1960s old Cantonese movie based on some kind of ancient opera. It’s a film from [Cantonese opera legend] Yam Kim-fai, a very old ancient opera player. She is a woman but she's always played male roles. She played a guy who wants to become important in the palace. He got beaten up by a servant, who grabs his valuables and flees. He loses his memory and becomes a nut case in a small village. Even kids can hit him and kick his ass. But a girl falls in love with him and marries him. They have a young daughter together. One day his head is hit again and he gets his memory back, so he goes to his first home. But there is a key in his hand and he cannot remember which door it opens. His wife tries to find her husband, but he doesn’t remember her and she is so sad that she leaves. But the old servant knows who's who and tries to lead him to get back to the small village. When he finds out his house, he opens his door with the key, finds his wife and remembers everything. That is the original story that has inspired the God of Gamblers.
 
HKCinemagic: Was it inspired by other films, like Li Han-hsiang’s gambling films?
Wong Jing: No, actually I think Li Han Hsiang is not a good gambling movie filmmakers. Cheng Kang, Ching Siu-tung’s the father, is better. He is good. And of course, Norman Jewison is my 'teacher.' Actually I am a big fan of his, I take him as my teacher. I like most of his films, like In the Heat of the Night (1967), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Moonstruck (1987), Rollerball (1975). They are all different types of films. I follow his steps. I think a good director can do all types of films.


Jesus Super Star .....


and The Beauty and the 7 Beast....

HKCinemagic: You can do all kinds of films, but also one single film mixing all kind of genres.
Wong Jing: Yes, to give the audience a good time. They all get satisfied and then go home and have good dreams.
 
HKCinemagic: Yes and you want to make the audience happy. Is this pursuit of happiness especially important for HK people?
Wong Jing: Yes. Of course, it is important for everyone. In HK there is a lot of pressure on people. French people don’t have that pressure. They can live very well without doing anything, or doing a little bit. If you have four children you can live very well [in France]. In HK, if you have four children, it is harder.
HKCinemagic: What is your next project?
Wong Jing: I am planning to do a crime and cop film just now. And I am doing the pre-production of a Chinese godfather film of the 1930s. Actually The Godfather is one of my favorite films. My film is totally different. The godfather in Coppola’s film was not involved in politics. But in the 1930s, godfathers of China were involved in a lot of politics otherwise they couldn’t get all that power. The film will deal with a lot of things. This topic was actually forbidden before [in China].
 
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Page 9 : Wong Jing : the best of the worst

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