films seen
average score
China - 76 years old
Alive and kicking
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Flamboyant and colorful director who is probably Hong Kong cinema's most visible LGBTQ+ representative. His earlier films are pretty basic, straight-forward romances, his later work talks more openly about sexuality and gender identity.


Peony Pavilion

by Yonfan
You Yuan Jing Meng
2001 / 122m - Hong Kong
Peony Pavilion poster

Yonfan delivers his take on Xianzu's traditional story. Yonfan is one of the first directors to represent the LGBTQ+ community in Hong Kong cinema, so it should be no surprise that his version of the story includes a same-sex relationship. It's the stylish and colorful cinematography, the gripping soundtrack, and Rie Miyazawa's utterly enchanting performance that give the film its real power though. It's been ages since I last watched the film, but it managed to win me over for a second time. A little-known gem, by an underrated director.

No.7 Cherry Lane

by Yonfan
Ji Yuan Tai Qi Hao
2019 / 125m - Hong Kong
Drama, Romance - Animation
No.7 Cherry Lane poster

It's quite surprising to see Yonfan go the animation route. China is slowly exploring the possibilities of the medium, but so far it has stayed away from the more mature options. Yonfan is someone who likes to break no ground of course, but it's not easy for a live-action director to simply jump in and direct an animated film. That said, Yonfan did pretty well here.

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Ziming is an undergrad in English literature, who is hired by Mrs Yu to tutor her daughter. He is a handsome man and both women develop romantic feelings for him. Ziming certainly doesn't mind, taking them on separate dates to go and see movies that bring out their innermost feelings.

Yonfan is ambitious here. The film reflects on Hong Kong during the 60s, works in a love triangle and tackles a bunch of classic cinema in the process (not unlike Millennium Actress). The animation is a bit limited, but the art style is pleasant and the music very stylish. The film is a bit too meandering at times, but Yonfan never loses grip and delivers a beautiful and complex film.

Colour Blossoms

by Yonfan
Toh Sik
2004 / 106m - Hong Kong
Colour Blossoms poster

Bishonen... Beauty

by Yonfan
Meishaonian Zhi Lian
1998 / 111m - Hong Kong
Drama, Romance
Bishonen... Beauty poster

Bugis Street

by Yonfan
Yao Jie Huang Hou
1995 / 101m - Singapore
Bugis Street poster

In Between

Xin Tong Ju Shi Dai
1994 / 105m - Taiwan
Comedy, Drama, Romance
In Between poster

Three stories about modern relationships, that is, what was considered modern in 90s Hong Kong. Each short has its purpose and the quality between them is pretty consistent. Sadly it doesn't offer any of the creative freedoms you'd expect from an anthology. The result is a bit mediocre.

Last Romance

by Yonfan
Liu Jin Sui Yue
1988 / 105m - Hong Kong
Last Romance poster

Double Fixation

by Yonfan
Yi Luan Qing Mi
1987 / 96m - Hong Kong
Romance, Thriller
Double Fixation poster

Like many of Yonfan's older films, pretty decent and well-made (especially for an 80s HK film), but ultimately a bit too plain. Jacky Cheung puts in a mediocre performance and Cherie Chung can't save what's essentially a pretty standard crime flick with some misguided comedy in between.

Immortal Story

by Yonfan
Hoi Seung Fa
1986 / 95m - Hong Kong
Immortal Story poster

Lost Romance

by Yonfan
Mei Gui Di Gu Shi
1985 / 92m - Hong Kong
Lost Romance poster

Promising Miss Bowie

by Yonfan
Zhu Fu
1990 / 90m - Hong Kong
Drama, Romance
Promising Miss Bowie poster

A rather lifeless and ill-conceived romance. The drama has no impact, the actors can't bring their characters to life and the direction feels overdone. Yonfan had a rather rough start, this film is simply more proof of that. I guess one might appreciate the attempt to do more serious drama in Hong Kong, but the film itself is pretty dull.

I'm a big fan of anthologies, and this project sounded very promising on paper. Seventy renowned directors give their vision on the future of cinema. With just one minute per short, there isn't much time to make a point, but it's disheartening to see how few of them even managed to stick to the topic.

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The saddest part was that many of the short didn't even deal with the future, but openly referred to or praised the medium's past. There's also a lot of doom and gloom, with some very basic visions of people not caring enough about arthouse cinema, or playing movies on their phones. Your typical old-man-yelling-at-cloud stuff.

There is only a small selection of directors who seem to have understood the brief, and they struggle to make the most of their limited runtime. What remains is a complete mess, with most shorts looking like they were made on people's afternoon off, and hardly anything that stands out. A disappointment.

A Certain Romance

by Yonfan
Shao Nu Ri Ji
1984 / 87m - Hong Kong
A Certain Romance poster