Johnnie To

Blind Detective

Tone is one of the most important though less-commonly discussed facets of filmmaking, one that is almost entirely disregarded in Johnnie To‘s fascinating mess, Blind Detective, an entry into the Cannes Film Festival’s small MidnightScreenings branch. Chong (Andy Lau) is the titular blind detective, a formerly-sighted member of his profession who, in light of the blinding incident, takes on missions of his own accord, much to his frustration. His partner is Tung (Sammi Cheng), an incompetent rookie cop who wants to enhance her detective skills, and so goes about trying to solve the 1997 disappearance of her childhood friend Minnie. Along the way, the pair encounter far more than they bargained for, making this would-be training exercise a very real assignment indeed.

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As the time ticks on towards this year’s fest, the official Cannes Film Festival website has just sent me a Newsletter informing me of the Avengers style band of filmy people who will make up this year’s Grand Jury- lead in Captain America style (albeit a grumpy and grizzly version now) by Robert DeNiro. Among the list of eight are stellar actors Uma Thurman and Jude Law (stellar provided we forget the other Avengers movie, and the remake of Sleuth), writer/director Oliver Assayas (Carlos) and director Johnnie To (Election). The full list is as follows:

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Director John Hillcoat

An offer is out to John Hillcoat to take on the project with locations in Hong Kong and Macao still left to be used from the Johnnie To days.

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This week Foreign Objects heads back to Hong Kong for another film from Johnnie To. Imagine an Asian Adrian Monk, but instead of being a likable and quirky crime-solver with an endearing mental issue our ex-detective is certifiably bat-shit insane. Welcome to the world of Mad Detective.

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Some of the best revenge films manage to mess with that formula in creative and startling ways, but originality isn’t always a necessity. Sometimes you just need a grieving, cat-eyed father who knows how to handle a gun and cook a mean plate of pasta. Welcome to Johnnie To’s Vengeance.

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