After six weeks co-teaching a series of film classes in Hong Kong for a group of young New Mexico filmmakers, I’ve returned to the land of Enchantment, refreshed, revitalized and eager to give Alibi readers the scoop on crapola like Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (Oh, boy.)
The Hong Kong trip was quite the experience. It was a thrill to see a movie industry I’ve admired for decades up close and personal. In addition to watching countless H.K. films, the students (11 undergraduates from NMSU) and the instructors (myself, Jacob Kaltenback, Sherwin Lau) were able to meet local authors (Pak Tong Cheuk, Hong Kong New Wave Cinema: 1978-2000), directors (Laurence Lau of Lee Rock and City Without Baseball, Mabel Cheung of The Soong Sisters and City of Glass) and art directors (Second Chan, who did Kung Fu Hustle). We combed the Hong Kong Film Archive, visited the storied Shaw Brothers Studio and lingered at the front gate of Jackie Chan’s joint. (Sadly, no one invited us in.) This year felt like a coming-out party for China and Hong Kong, and it was unique to see summer blockbusters like The Dark Knight, The Mummy 3 and John Woo’s Red Cliff (still unreleased here in America) in the very country in which they were shot. (Dark Knight was awesome, by the way.)
In the end, though, it’s good to be back in Burque, loaded down with Kung Fu DVDs and fueled with a continuing enthusiasm for all things cinematic. I look forward to seeing what Hollywood and the New Mexico film scene has to offer us in the coming months. In the meantime, I owe a big thanks to the rest of the Alibi staff for picking up the slack while I was gone. Good job, team. See you in the funny papers.