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Director in Action$
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Stephen Teo

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9789622098398

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622098398.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Directed by Johnnie To

Directed by Johnnie To

(p.101) 4 Directed by Johnnie To
Director in Action

Stephen Teo

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter covers A Hero Never Dies, Running out of Time, The Mission, PTU (an acronym for Police Tactical Unit) and Breaking News which carry Johnnie To's name as the solo director. A Hero Never Dies marks the phase in the Milkyway company where the credit “Directed by Johnnie To” re-appears after a brief period in which To functioned as the chief executive overseeing the production of Milkyway's films rather than merely directing the films. Running out of Time and The Mission were both released in 1999 in the wake of the HKIFF tribute, and both films had the effect of confirming To's newly found status as a stand-alone auteur. PTU and Breaking News, released in 2003 and 2004 respectively, are mature examples of To's work in the genre and they show a tendency towards formalism — a sign that To was taking his status as auteur more seriously. To is considered a craftsman auteur, one able to craft superb sequences and integrate them seamlessly into the narratives.

Keywords:   Johnnie To, A Hero Never Dies, Running out of Time, The Mission, PTU, Breaking News, auteur, Milkyway company

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