If I have to identify a beginning of my life in film, I would say it all started with the existence of Bruce Lee. Why? Because he is cool! To tell you the truth, I made a small fortune — enough to buy a motorcycle during my college years — by teaching kung fu to Westerners, pretending to be a fellow student of Lee! Such is the powerful allure of Lee.
Which film influenced me the most? That has to be The Godfather because it broke new grounds for the gangster genre, which used to be solely about killing your enemies in cold blood, without spending any effort to illustrate the humanity and family life of a gangster. There is also much to learn from the film’s images, which are lively and atmospheric. It could be a film textbook.
Jeff Lau (aka Jeffrey Lau, Lau Chun-wai) studied art in the United Kingdom before returning to Hong Kong to work in advertising. He joined a finance company later and the company’s expansion led him into the film industry. In 1980, he partnered with director Dennis Yu, founding Century Motion Picture & Distribution and Continental Century Motion Picture & Distribution. His companies were responsible for several classics of the Hong Kong New Wave, including Alex Cheung’s Man on the Brink (1981) and Yu’s The Imp (1981). After the closing of Continental Century in 1985, Lau joined Alan Tang’s In-Gear Film Production in 1987. There, he partnered with budding scriptwriter Wong Kar-wai to co-write The Haunted Cop Shop (1987), which Lau directed, a film that started a new direction in the ghost genre by bucking the trend of vampire movies popular at the time.
Heeding the success of the Haunted series, Lau was given numerous opportunities to direct wild and raunchy comedies. In 1990, Lau, along with Corey Yuen, was invited by producer Ng See-yuen to make the gambler comedy All For the Winner, which broke Hong Kong’s box-office record and helped elevate Stephen Chow to stardom. Lau later wrote and directed the comedy 92 Legendary La Rose Noire (1992) under two separate pseudonyms, which, with its ironic tribute to 1960s Cantonese cinema, created a retro craze in Hong Kong. The same year, he and Wong Kar-wai co-founded Jet Tone Productions, which was responsible for Lau’s The Eagle Shooting Heroes Dong Cheng Xi Jiu (1993), Wong’s Chungking Express (1994) and other projects. Lau and Stephen Chow reunited in 1995 for A Chinese Odyssey Part I & II, which was nominated for Best Screenplay at the Hong Kong Film Awards while earning Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards from the Hong Kong Film Critics Society.
Lau and longtime collaborator Corey Yuen launched Cinemagic in 1997 but the company’s releases were neither commercially nor critically well-received. After secretly penning Timeless Romance in 1998, Lau withdrew from the film business for several years, before being invited by Johnnie To and Wong Kar-wai to direct Second Time Around (2002) and Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002), respectively. He later served as producer on Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle (2004). In recent years, Lau’s new films, A Chinese Tall Story (2005) and Just Another Pandora’s Box (2010) both found inspiration from his previous film, A Chinese Odyssey. Like a playful child with many interests, Lau excelled in screenwriting, directing, production-supervising and producing, making his directorial mark with nonsensical, self-conscious comedies, with a special interest in time-traveling themes.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||East Meet West 2011|
||Just Another Pandora's Box|
||The Fantastic Water Babes|
||Kung Fu Cyborg : Metallic Attraction|
||A Chinese Tall Story|
||Chinese Odyssey 2002|
||Second Time Around|
||Mahjong Dragon||YUEN Corey LAI David|
||The Black Rose II||YUEN Corey|
||A Chinese Odyssey Part One - Pandora's Box|
||A Chinese Odyssey Part Two - Cinderella|
||Out of the Dark|
||Love and the City|
||The Eagle Shooting Heroes Dong Cheng Xi Jiu|
||Days of Tomorrow|
||92 Legendary La Rose Noire|
||Saviour Of The Soul||YUEN Corey LAI David|
||The Top Bet||YUEN Corey|
||All for the Winner||YUEN Corey|
||Operation Pink Squad II|
||Thunder Cops II|
||The Haunted Cop Shop II|
||Operation Park Squad|
||Carry on Hotel|
||The Haunted Cop Shop|