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Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild - Directors - Jeff LAU
劉鎮偉 | LAU Jeff

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
2011 《東成西就2011》
East Meet West 2011
2010 《越光寶盒》
Just Another Pandora's Box
2010 《出水芙蓉》
The Fantastic Water Babes
2009 《機器俠》
Kung Fu Cyborg : Metallic Attraction
2005 《情癲大聖》
A Chinese Tall Story
2002 《天下無雙》
Chinese Odyssey 2002
2002 《無限復活》
Second Time Around
1997 《麻雀飛龍》
Mahjong Dragon YUEN Corey LAI David
1997 《黑玫瑰義結金蘭》
The Black Rose II YUEN Corey
1995 《西遊記第壹佰零壹回之月光寶盒》
A Chinese Odyssey Part One - Pandora's Box
1995 《西遊記大結局之仙履奇緣》
A Chinese Odyssey Part Two - Cinderella
1995 《回魂夜》
Out of the Dark
1994 《花旗少林》
Treasure Hunt
1994 《都市情緣》
Love and the City
1993 《射鵰英雄傳之東成西就》
The Eagle Shooting Heroes Dong Cheng Xi Jiu
1993 《天長地久》
Days of Tomorrow
1992 《92 黑玫瑰對黑玫瑰》
92 Legendary La Rose Noire
1991 《九一神鵰俠侶》
Saviour Of The Soul YUEN Corey LAI David
1991 《賭霸》
The Top Bet YUEN Corey
1990 《屍家重地》
Mortuary Blues
1990 《賭聖》
All for the Winner YUEN Corey
1989 《猛鬼大廈》
Operation Pink Squad II
1989 《流氓差婆》
Thunder Cops II
1988 《猛鬼學堂》
The Haunted Cop Shop II
1988 《霸王女福星》
Operation Park Squad
1988 《金裝大酒店》
Carry on Hotel
1987 《猛鬼差館》
The Haunted Cop Shop