A gripping thriller revolving around fiscal skulduggery on the Hong Kong stock exchange, the film is co-written and co-directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, two-thirds of the creative team behind the terrific Infernal Affairs films – the first of which spawned Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed. A sequel in name only, Mak and Chong’s new film shares a similar surveillance theme with 2009’s original Overheard, and boasts the same lead actors in Lau Ching Wan, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu, but is otherwise unrelated – so you don’t have to have seen the first film to get to grips with its twisty intrigue.
After the opening night, which will find Hong Kong superstar Maggie Cheung in attendance*, alongside Alan Mak, London’s cult Prince Charles Cinema will play host to four films showcasing the range of contemporary Hong Kong cinema.
Ip Man, the 2008 martial arts biopic based on the early life of the Wing Chun grandmaster who trained Bruce Lee, screens on Tuesday 13th September.
Alex Law’s heartwarming 1960s-set tale Echoes of the Rainbow, winner of the Crystal Bear award at last year’s Berlin Film Festival is on Wednesday 14th September.
Love in a Puff, on Thursday 15th September, spins a breezy romance whose tobacco-addicted lovers meet-cute as a result of Hong Kong’s indoor smoking ban. Pang Ho-cheung’s 2010 romantic comedy has been compared to France’s Eric Rohmer – in my book, high praise indeed.
Hong Kong Film Week comes to a suitably exciting climax on Friday 16th September with Dante Lam’s 2008 police drama The Beast Stalker in which Nicholas Tse’s guilt-stricken cop seeks redemption by trying to locate a district attorney’s kidnapped daughter after bringing about a terrible car crash during his pursuit of a crime lord.
Hong Kong Film Week runs in London from 12-16 September as part of the Think Asia, Think Hong Kong campaign, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
* Sadly, Maggie didn’t manage to make the event, but Overheard 2’s co-director Alan Mak was there.