Tsui Hark was born in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam. He started making films on 8mm cameras at the age of 13. He immigrated to Hong Kong in 1966 and after completing secondary school, went to the U.S. to attend Southern Methodist University in Texas, only to drop out after one year to travel around the United States. He later enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin in their film program. Upon graduation, Tsui worked as an editor for a Chinese newspaper in New York City’s Chinatown, at the same time organizing a community theatre group and working with local cable television. In 1976, he collaborated with Christine Choy on a 45-minute documentary dealing with the Chinese-American community, From Spikes to Spindles.
Upon his return to Hong Kong, Tsui joined TVB as a director, and was involved in various series including A House Is Not A Home, Little People and Tycoon. He then directed Gold Dagger Romance for Commercial Television.
Tsui made his feature film debut in 1979 with The Butterfly Murders, which was followed in quick succession by We’re Going to Eat You (1980), Dangerous Encounter-1st Kind (1980), All the Wrong Clues (1981) and Aces Go Places-Our Man from Bond Street (1984). In 1983, he attempted a big-budget sci-fi martial arts film, Zu: The Warriors from the Magic Mountain, which incorporated the latest special effects technology from the United States. He formed the Film Workshop Co., Ltd. in 1984 with his wife and producing partner Nansun Shi, which produced a slew of films with Tsui as director, including Shanghai Blues (1985), Working Class (1985), Peking Opera Blues (1986), A Better Tomorrow III (1989) and Swordsman (1990). The company also produced A Better Tomorrow (1986) directed by John Woo and A Chinese Ghost Story, directed by Tony Ching Siu-tung, both of which transformed their respective genres.
Tsui’s 1991 work Once Upon a Time in China successfullyreinvented the heroic image of Wong Fei-hung, at the same time taking the martial arts genre to new heights. The film earned him the Best Director Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards and he went on to make several sequels, all of which commercial and critical successes.
Tsui was equally adept at tackling romantic subjects, as evidenced in the mythical Green Snake (1993), the drama The Lovers (1994) and the romantic comedy Love in the Time of Twilight (1995).
In 1997, Tsui went to work in Hollywood, directing Jean-Claude Van Demme in Double Team (1997) and Knock Off (1998), neither of which big hits.
In 2001, Tsui remade his own classic Zu: Warriors of the magic Mountain as The Legend of Zu, which was the first Hong Kong film to feature extensive CGI effects.
From 2005 onwards, Tsui kept exploring various genres, including the martial arts epic Seven Swords (2005), the comedy All About Women (2008), the suspense drama Missing (2009), and the detective mystery Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010) and Young Detective Dee:Rise of the Sea Dragon (2013) as well as the first 3-D martial arts film ever made, Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011). Tsui won his second Best Director award at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2011 for Detective Dee.
In addition to writing, directing and producing, Tsui had also appeared in front of the camera on numerous films including Yes, Madam (1984), Working Class (1985) and Final Victory (1987). He was nominated for the Supporting Actor at the 1988 Hong Kong Film Awards for his performance in Final Victory.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||Young Detective Dee:Rise of the Sea Dragon|
||Flying Swords of Dragon Gate|
||Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame|
||All About Women|
||Triangle||LAM Ringo TO Johnnie|
||Triangle||LAM Ringo TO Johnnie|
||1:99||CHEUNG Mabel LAW Alex CHAN Gordon CHEN Teddy LAU Andrew CHAN Peter MA Joe CHOW Sing Chi Stephen CHAN Fruit MAK Shiu Fai Alan LAM Dante|
||Black Mask II|
||The Legend of Zu|
||Time and Tide|
||The Chinese Feast|
||Love in the Time of Twilight|
||Once Upon a Time in China V|
||Once Upon a Time in China III|
||The Twin Dragons||LAM Ringo|
||Once Upon a Time in China II|
||King of Chess||YIM Ho|
||The Banquet||KO Chi Sum Clifton CHEUNG Kin Ting Alfred CHEUNG Tung Joe|
||The Raid||CHING Siu Tung Tony|
||Once Upon a Time in China|
||A Better Tomorrow III|
||Peking Opera Blues|
||Aces Go Places - Our Man from Bond Street|
||Zu: The Warriors from the Magic Mountain|
||All the Wrong Clues|
||We're Going to Eat You|
||Dangerous Encounter - 1st Kind|
||The Butterfly Murders|