The sword-and-sandal epic or the sword-and-sorcery epic? That's how this year's Academy Awards seems to be shaping up. But if Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were to get the best of Gladiator
Hence the title of UW professor David Bordwell's most recent book, Planet Hong Kong. And hence the subject of a symposium being held March 1-3 at the UW. "On the Edge, Over the Edge," which is free and open to the public, will feature an international panel of experts (including Bordwell) discussing the past, present and future of Hong Kong film. There will also be several free screenings at 4070 UW Vilas Hall, including a Saturday-evening screening of Wong Kar-wai's 1994 film, Ashes of Time. (See Movie Times on page 23 for a complete listing, and the Guide on page 26 for related events.)
Ironically, the spread of the Hong Kong esthetic to our own shores in recent years (e.g., Charlie's Angels) has been matched by a thinning out of Hong Kong films at home. Production is way down, mostly as a result of the Asian financial crisis. And there's the threat posed by that old crouching tiger, China, which took possession of Hong Kong in 1997. Can Hong Kong film regain its balance'position itself on, rather than over, the edge? The symposium devotes only one session to this question, but you can bet it'll come up over and over again.