Film career [edit ]
Lam joined the Shaw Brothers studio at a young age as a junior actor. Years by and by he was promoted to the television camera department as focus puller. From that position he moved up to become a cameraman. As a cameraman he worked with a numeral of celebrated directors, chiefly with Sun Chung with whom he worked on films such as The Drug Connection ( 1976 ), Big Bad Sis ( 1976 ), The Proud Youth ( 1978 ) or The Avenging Eagle ( 1978 ). Lam worked as a cameraman for seven years and was regarded as one of the best of his trade at the Shaw Brothers studio. Despite the boost of the studio, a well as the opinion of such landmark endowment as Tsui Hark and Sammo Hung, Lam has refused to become a film director until star actor Danny Lee invited him to co-direct One Way Only ( 1981 ), which became the inaugural directorial work for each of them. [ 1 ] Lam ’ s first film as solo director was the mod crime drama Brothers from the Walled City ( 1982 ), which he followed with an even more polish and liberal urban thriller Men from the Gutter ( 1983 ), both produced by Shaw Brothers. even though Lam is not mentioned as one of the directors of the Hong Kong New Wave of the act of the 70 ’ sulfur and 80 ’ randomness, these two films display an identical access to the films of say Dennis Yu or Johnny Mak. The only deviation is that Lam was not an auteur in the classical music sense, meaning he was the director and cameraman of the films, but not the generator of the script. Nevertheless, Brothers from the Walled City and Men from the Gutter, equitable like the contemporary New Wave films, combine popular genres with personal play, their characters and conflicts are grounded in the everyday social reality of Hong Kong and they were filmed on actual locations, not just in a studio apartment. In 1984 Lam directed the comedy Three Stooges Go Undercover, which was written by Wong Jing, who is besides credited as the writer of the original narrative of One Way Only. Lam ’ s cooperation with Wong, who subsequently became one of the most influential writers and producers in Hong Kong cinema, continued with shooting Wong ’ s two directorial projects Prince Charming ( 1984 ) and The Flying Mr. B ( 1985 ). In 1985 both Lam and Wong left Shaw Brothers for Golden Harvest where they continued their collaboration with Ghost Snatchers ( 1986 ) and The Seventh Curse ( 1986 ). Both films written by Wong Jing, the first matchless with him in a star function and the second gear produced by him, these films marked a new steering in Lam ’ s career.
Reading: Lam Ngai Kai – Wikipedia
Golden Harvest became Lams family studio for the rest of his career and Lam became their specialist conductor for films with mechanical and ocular special effects. In 1987 Lam directed Killer’s Nocturne, an epic revenge drama set in the gambling milieu of old Shanghai and written by Manfred Wong, the belated writer and producer behind the vastly democratic Young and Dangerous series. In 1988 Lam set the flat coat for the CAT III exploitation boom with his rape and revenge movie Her Vengeance. Another milestone in his filmography is the historical erotic comedy with fantasy elements Erotic Ghost Story ( 1990 ), which again started the whole stream of erotic films with historical / fantasy settings such as Sex and Zen ( 1991 ). At the lapp time Lam directed two spectacular adaptations of Makoto Ogino ’ s manga series Spirit Warrior – The Peacock King ( 1989 ) and Saga of the Phoenix ( 1990 ) starring Yuen Biao and Gloria Yip. Lam ’ s most ill-famed film is his 1991 extraordinary gore movie Story of Ricky. meticulously true to its reference substantial, this adaptation of the violent manga Riki-Oh by Masahiko Takajo and Tetsuya Saruwatari combines both late trends in Lam ‘s filmography – high concept adaptations of japanese comics and hyper-violent exploitation films abundant with bodily fluids. even though the film late gained a huge cult status in the West, in its day it did not do so well in the local cinema. It grossed only HK $ 2 147 778, [ 2 ] whereas Lam ’ s former films for Golden Harvest normally grossed about 8 to 10 million HK $. [ 3 ] Lam ’ s death film to date is The Cat ( 1992 ), an hallucinatory mixture of action, horror, drollery and skill fiction .
critical analysis and recurring themes [edit ]
Combining low-brow drollery with elements of action, gamble and even horror, Lam Ngai Kai ’ s films starting with Ghost Snatchers are a prime model of Hong Kong film as an cinema of attractions [ 4 ] as described by film learner Tom Gunning and far examined in film studies all over the world. [ 5 ] Gunning ’ mho analysis sees the independent principle of early on cinema as “ exhibitionist confrontation rather than diegetic absorption ” and can be expanded not merely to experimental cinema but besides to sealed trends in commercial film. Hong Kong films are a prime exercise of a cinema where narrative is secondary to a constant stream of attractions.
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Because of their sensational concentrate on the torso and its functions, deformations and deathrate, the majority of Lam ’ second movies for Golden Harvest, can be interpreted using Mikhail Bakhtin ’ s concept of grotesque platonism and the grotesque body. Some of Lam ’ s films, specially Ghost Snatchers, Her Vengeance and The Cat, can be seen as part of the stream of Hong Kong films reinterpreting the anxieties and agitation in Hong Kong anterior to its handover to China. Like many other films of that time, including all sorts of CAT III exploitation films but besides mainstream titles like John Woo ’ mho Hard Boiled ( 1992 ), have regular Hong Kong citizens abruptly facing an hardhearted evil force threatening their way of biography and their identical universe. particularly The Cat immediately mentions the fateful class 1997. [ 6 ]
french critic Xavier Desbarats has repeatedly compared Lam ‘s work with that of Edward D. Wood, Jr. ,. [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ]