offoffoff film
 RELATED PROJECTS

      







 ADVERTISEMENT













Site links
  • OFFOFFOFF Home
  • About OFFOFFOFF
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
     
    Search the site:
     

    Film section
  • Film main page
  • Film archive
  • Audio index
  • Film links


    Top 10 lists


  • Top 10 films of 2004
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2003
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2002
  • Top 10 films of 2001
  • Top 10 films of 2000
  • Top 10 films of 1999
  •  All of our top 10 lists, 1999 - 2004

    Current movies


  • Afterschool
  • Antichrist
  • Broken Embraces
  • Dare
  • District 9
  • The End of Poverty?
  • Fix
  • Food Beware
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Pirate Radio
  • Precious
  • Red Cliff
  • The September Issue

    Festivals


  • New York Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • Brooklyn International Film Festival

    Archive


    Complete archive

    Recent reviews:
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer
  • The Art of the Steal
  • The Beetle
  • Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
  • Boy A
  • Brideshead Revisited
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • Burn After Reading
  • Cold Souls
  • The Duchess
  • Elegy
  • Enlighten Up! A Skeptic's Journey Into the World of Yoga
  • Felon
  • Five Minutes of Heaven
  • Flame and Citron
  • Frozen River
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • The Human Condition
  • Hunger
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • The Lemon Tree
  • Lorna's Silence
  • A Man Named Pearl
  • Man on Wire
  • Memorial Day
  • Mister Foe
  • Morning Light
  • My F├╝hrer
  • My One and Only
  • Paris
  • The Pervert's Guide to Cinema
  • Peter and Vandy
  • Police, Adjective
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  • Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • A Secret
  • Sleep Dealer
  • St. Trinian's
  • Thirst
  • Throw Down Your Heart
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor
  • What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Wild Grass
  • Jay DiPietro

  •  REVIEW: RUNAWAY PISTOL

    Runaway Pistol

    Guns kill people

    If that's what you want to see, go ahead and watch the Hong Kong film "The Runaway Pistol," but don't go looking for any further significance in its story of a gun's journey from one owner to another.

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com

    There's a saying in screenwriting, as in life, to the effect that you don't pull out a gun unless you plan to use it. That's pretty much the only idea in "The Runaway Pistol," a low-budget movie produced by Hong Kong heartthrob Andy Lau that follows an illicit firearm from one temporary owner to the next.

      
    RUNAWAY PISTOL
    Original title: Zouhuo Qiang.
    Written and directed by: Wah-Chuen Lam.
    Produced by: Andy Lau.
    Cast: Kenneth Bi, Crystal Lui, Chun-Chun Wong, Wilson Yip.
    In Cantonese with English subtitles.
     SCHEDULE
    Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave. (at Second Street) Thurs., May 15, 2003, 9 p.m. Tues., May 20, 2003, 6:30 p.m.

     RELATED ARTICLES
    Asian Films Are Go! 2003
  • Overview
  • Double Agent
  • Double Vision
  • Out

  • Ping Pong
  • Runaway Pistol
  • So Close
  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

  • Previous years' festivals
  • When Korean Cinema Attacks! (2001)
  • Asian Films Are Go! (2002)

  • Official site
  • The gun speaks to us from time to time in flawless Cantonese, telling us that it's a dangerous gun and it goes off a little too easily. Naturally, it goes off plenty in the movie as it passes from hand to hotheaded hand.

    If there were more to it than that, there might be something to recommend "The Runaway Pistol," but the film tries to impress us with the grittiness of its hardened street punks and hookers rather than explore any actual stories. (Can a movie that jumps from character to character have at least a little depth? Yes — a much better effort was the American film "Twenty Bucks," which followed a $20 bill from person to person.)

    In fact, you'd think every woman in Hong Kong was a prostitute, from the one shot through the mouth while giving a john a barrel job for a porn magazine, to the one who accidentally picks the gun up from under a car and uses it to ward off an attack from her pimp boyfriend, to the immigrant mom who turns tricks while her puzzled young son peeks through a doorway at her.

    The men are no prize either, models of hollow movie machismo. As one young hoodlum — fresh from bumping off a hooker, naturally — hands off his gun to a crime boss, the mob elder asks him out of the blue if he's ever killed anyone with a cleaver. He hasn't.

    "You're missing the most exciting thing in a gangster's life," the older man tells him. "You know, when you're holding a sharp cleaver and you chop it into real flesh, it feels so good. Like sex without a condom."

    The Chinese have discovered pop Freudianism. I'm so impressed.

    Somebody out there is going to think of this movie as terribly avant-garde, but it's really a set of empty scenes with emotionless violence and posing actors. Check out how depraved we are, is all the film has to say.

    MAY 15, 2003
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



    Post a comment on "Runaway Pistol"