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5 things you should know about Johnnie To

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From Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan, Hong Kong cinema has influenced the world. The revolutionary action scenes of The Matrix wouldn’t have been possible without the influence of John Woo or the know-how of kung fu choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. Quentin Tarantino lifted ideas wholesale from Ringo Lam, Martin Scorsese remade Infernal Affairs as The Departed, while Wong Kar-wai influenced a generation of Oscar winners like Sofia Coppola and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. And would the epic showdown in the recently released Godzilla vs. Kong be set in Hong Kong if local films hadn’t helped popularise the cityscape itself?

Of course, the influence of Hong Kong cinema has been waning for some time now. It was galling to see Korean movie Parasite become the first foreign-language film to win best picture at the Oscars when Hong Kong’s most creative films were historically ignored when it came to awards seasons – In the Mood for Love, for instance, has had more lasting impact than the 2000 Oscar winner for best picture winner, American Beauty.

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