As Tears Go By

1988

Crime / Drama / Romance

162
IMDb Rating 7 10 7,712

Synopsis


Downloaded times
May 11, 2020

Director

Cast

Andy Lau as Zhao Erhu
720p.BLU
909.87 MB
1280*720
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
102 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by funang 7 / 10 / 10

'Mean Streets' in Hong Kong

Wong Kar Wai's debut effort as a feature film director already showcase flashes of talent from the would-be auteur. ALthough not as groundbreaking or innovative as some of his better known films (eg. Chungking Express/ Fallen Angels), nevertheless it displayed some of his distinct signature styles, (eg. naturalistic & idiosyncratic dialogue, character driven films) and themes(eg. love,urban environment, world in turmoil and chaos) Obviously inspired by Martin Scorsese's early effort 'Mean Streets', which was in turn partly inspired by 'beat' filmmaker John Cassevetes debut film 'Shadows'; 'As Tears Go by' is 'Mean streets' set in Hong Kong. The harsh depiction of traid and street gang culture is in sharp contrast to the stylish gun-totting hoods from John Woo's 'A Better Tomorrow'. In many ways, Wong's depiction came accross as more bittingly realistic, helped by its many on-location filming (another WKW style). Hong Kong's neon lit streets/dark dingy alleys/fluorescence interiors/late night piers, blended in perfectly with Wong's story set in contemporary urban HK. Very interesting camera work and lighting that is different from the other HK films coming out from that era. It displayed an early WKW visual flare, again evident in Chunking Express and Fallen Angels, which utilizes similar locations and settings, as well as ferentic camera movements and stylised composition. Credit should be due to art director Chang Shu Ping, who collaborated with Wong in all of his subsequent films. Of note too is cinematographer Andrew Lau, who will go on to helm the 'Young & Dangerous' series that bears several visual & subject matter influences from this film.Though I must add that Young & Dangerous portrayal of heroic gansters is more glorifying than Wong's pathetic bloodied characters. Excellant performances from all three leads, which bagged Jacky CHeung(doing a Robert de niro) the best supporting actor and Andy Lau a nomination for best actor at that year's HK film awards. Maggie Chueng claimed that this was the first time she discovered the true potential of screen acting. Also unforgettable is Alex Man's supporting turn as the most sadistic villian imaginable. 'As Tears go By' is probably the only WKW film that is fully scripted (WOng served as a scriptwriter in other generic HK movies for several years before this effort), and it shows. Some clever and subtle original touches in the first act, that translates Scorsese's tortured characters and ethnic Itlian dispora to local HK flavor and motivations. However, the conflict dragged on by the second act, and the film seems indecisive as whether to focus on the Andy Lau/Maggie Cheung love story arc or on his dillema with his understudy pal Jacky Cheung and their conflict with bad ass Alex Man. Scorsese's 'Mean Streets' works because it manages to stay focus on the main protaganist POV and motivations. The whole film is centered around Harvey Keitel's character, and the other characters serves as his burden to his climb up the mafia ranks. That direction seems lost in Wong's version. The last act/conclusion seems rushed, cliche and definitely predictable. What I suspect, and logically seems plausible, is the interference of the producers and financiers on 'As Tears go by'. WOng had claimed in interviews that his early work was being hampered in many ways by others, hence his firm decision and insistence to be the producer in all his subsequent films. He wants to and achieves total artistic control over all of his later films. Nevertheless, 'As Tears Go by' is without a doubt a milestone of WOng's career as well as Hong Kong cinema. The visceral on-screen violence, realistc seedy portrayal of HK's underworld and streets locale, and cosmopolitan loves and relationships was never before seen on HK screens during its day. It is preceded only by John Woo's 'A Better Tomorrow', which in many ways is a different kind of film with very different themes. Definitely worth catching for fans of Wong Kar Wai and those who love Hong Kong cinema. 7/10 from me.

Reviewed by tntokmenko 8 / 10 / 10

Dated, but a well thought out story of taboo romance and complex sibling rivalry.

Kar-Wai's first film is more in line with the cinematography of other late 80's Hong Kong movies rather than his renown obscure style, seen later on in films like Chungking Express or In the Mood For Love. The characters are also normal in comparison to his later films too, as they take on archetypes seen in many Triad flicks from this era. The writing is classic Wong Kar-Wai however, and what he does with the characters is more interesting then their personalities themselves. In other words their actions speak volumes louder than their dialogue. Andy Lau plays a low-level Triad thug who in hopes of climbing the underworld's ranks becomes held down by his younger brother played by Jacky Cheung. The pair work well together and you begin to like the dynamic bond between them. Trouble ensues between the pair and their gang, and many hard decisions await Andy Lau as he tries to straighten out both his reckless brother and forbidden romance on the side. The ending has a real impact and Wong Kar-Wai's direction is responsible for such a memorable story. Although it feels Kar-Wai wasn't fully at the reigns of this one with some mediocre moments, overall his efforts can be felt wholeheartedly and the passion shines through to deliver a good experience. -7/10

Reviewed by clark-carpenter 8 / 10 / 10

Visually Arresting Debut

One of my favorite film viewing pastimes is going back to the early films of some of my favorite directors and getting a feel for where they've come from to get to where they are. In the last year or so, Wong Kar-Wai has firmly ensconced himself as my favorite contemporary filmmaker, and tonight, I treated myself to his 1988 debut feature As Tears Go By. What makes this film fascinating is the startling degree to which Wong's instinct for visual poetry and his ability to translate the almost physical pain of longing onto the screen are both already finely honed, though the languid pacing and narrative inventiveness of his later works (like undisputed masterpiece In the Mood for Love) are notably absent. As Tears Go By wears the clothing of a straightforward Hong Kong street opera of the type made famous during the 1980s by John Woo, though Wong also tips the cap to Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets. It features swaggering bravado and staccato violence one expects of such fare, and is both Wong's most accessible film and his only commercial success to date. As Tears Go By centers on Wah (Andy Lau), an up-and-coming Triad gangster trying to balance his own ambitions against his loyalty to his feckless "little brother" Fly (Jacky Cheung), whose impulsivity represents a constant danger, not only to himself, but to Wah as well (though he also provides an otherwise tense film with much needed humor). Wah's life is further complicated by a growing love for his cousin Ngor (frequent Wong collaborator Maggie Cheung in her first major dramatic role), a beautiful girl whose existence he was totally unaware of before she came to stay with him while seeking medical treatment in Hong Kong. Beneath the familiar aspects of genre film, however, lurk the seeds of Wong Kar-Wai's later mastery. As Tears Go By could have been just another bullet ballet, but it is instead a searing, romantic work of art, despite occasional clichés. Always something of an actor's director (and famous for leaning heavily on the improvisational talents of his stars, despite his own background as a screenwriter), he coaxes from his cast performances that are uniformly excellent. Jacky Cheung, in particular, stands out, and he imbues Fly with a reckless machismo that only serves to highlight the self-doubt that gnaws at his soul. The Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actor trophy which Cheung won for this role was well-deserved. But it is Wong Kar-Wai who really dominates As Tears Go By, as the visual and emotional style that characterized his later works is already in evidence. His signature thematic concerns of longing and memory, and the master iconography he associates with these concepts (slow burning cigarettes and torrential downpours, respectively) figure prominently in As Tears Go By, and while his mastery of the basic visual style he introduces in this film would increase with later films, he was already a powerful cinematic poet. The only elements of his mature style that are missing are the characteristically recursive and self-referential narrative structures of his later work and the constant weight of emotional isolation that so perfectly captures the disassociative rootlessness of modern existence (though the latter is not completely lacking, and is especially apparent in the opening scenes of the movie). This has the effect of slightly lessening the impact of some of the imagery, but it cannot keep As Tears Go By from being an immensely powerful debut film. 8/10

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