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Office dir. Johnnie ToOffice dir. Johnnie To
NH Tit-Bits
15 March 2016

16th T-Mobile New Horizons IFF: "Office" by Johnnie To

Hong Kong's master of gangster films, Johnnie To, occasionally likes to try his hand at other genres. This time, instead of shootouts and car chases, he gives us songs and a comedic tone. Office is in fact a musical - and while lighthearted, it is laced with the worry and tension of the recent economic crisis. Set in 2008, the film revolves around office lovers, large transactions, scams and personal games. While the state of the company inspires optimism among its employees, some start to realize a crash lurks just around the corner. The richness of the set designs is emphasized by the use of 3D technology. The world presented is enclosed, like in a theater, within the confines of a single space almost devoid of walls. The rhythm of the day is determined by a clock that looms over everything, reminding the protagonists that the results of their work are constantly being measured, and that every second translates into profit. A galaxy of stars of Asian cinema, led by Chow Yun-fat, Sylvia Chang and Tang Wei, move - and sing - within this elaborate structure.

Born in 1955, Johnnie To is a director and producer (with his own production company, Milkyway Image). His films have been screened at all the major festivals, including Cannes, Berlin and Venice, where they have captured a multitude of awards. While known for his stories about the Mafia and gangsters, he has made films in every genre, filling them the biggest stars of Hong Kong cinema. Due to the box-office success of the films that he has both directed and produced, he is known as the Jerry Bruckheimer of Hong Kong.

Selected filmography:

 1989 Ah Long dik goo si / All About Ah-Long

1998 Bohater nie umiera nigdy / Chan sam ying hung / A Hero Never Dies

1999 Misja / Cheung foh / The Mission

2005 Wybór mafii / Hak se wui / Election

2006 Wygnani / Fong juk / Exiled

2012 Kartel / Du zhan / Drug War

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