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Andrew Pfeffer

Andrew Pfeffer

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This leading Hong Kong action filmmaker has kept a lower profile than some of his contemporaries as far as publicity is concerned. Nevertheless, he has helmed some of the key films of the "heroic bloodshed" cycle of HK action movies. The hard-hitting heist film, "City on Fire" (1987)--best known stateside as the unacknowledged but indisputable inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's 1991 debut "Reservoir Dogs"--gave Lam his first major hit and inaugurated a series of features ("Prison on Fire" 1987; "School on Fire" 1988).Lam's films are noted for the grim realism of their violence and their gritty surfaces. Whereas violence in the films of John Woo is often aestheticized and balletic, similar acts in Lam's world are brutal and brutalizing. In his most extreme work, "Full Contact" (1992), Lam created a more dreamy and stylized environment for the gory confrontation between an honorable gang leader (Chow Yun-fat) and his psychotic gay rival (Simon Yam). Even jaded Hong Kong audiences were frightened away by the level of mayhem on display. As in "City on Fire," Lam made mincemeat of the notion of honor among thieves.Lam followed in the footsteps of John Woo by making his US directorial debut with a...

This leading Hong Kong action filmmaker has kept a lower profile than some of his contemporaries as far as publicity is concerned. Nevertheless, he has helmed some of the key films of the "heroic bloodshed" cycle of HK action movies. The hard-hitting heist film, "City on Fire" (1987)--best known stateside as the unacknowledged but indisputable inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's 1991 debut "Reservoir Dogs"--gave Lam his first major hit and inaugurated a series of features ("Prison on Fire" 1987; "School on Fire" 1988).

Lam's films are noted for the grim realism of their violence and their gritty surfaces. Whereas violence in the films of John Woo is often aestheticized and balletic, similar acts in Lam's world are brutal and brutalizing. In his most extreme work, "Full Contact" (1992), Lam created a more dreamy and stylized environment for the gory confrontation between an honorable gang leader (Chow Yun-fat) and his psychotic gay rival (Simon Yam). Even jaded Hong Kong audiences were frightened away by the level of mayhem on display. As in "City on Fire," Lam made mincemeat of the notion of honor among thieves.

Lam followed in the footsteps of John Woo by making his US directorial debut with a Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle, "Maximum Risk" (1996). Here the protagonist must take on the identity of a gangster twin that he never knew he had. Reviews were mixed and box-office was not up to par but Lam had arrived.

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CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Everly (2014)
2.
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