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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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The Uneven Auteur

The Uneven Auteur

(p.145) 5 The Uneven Auteur
Director in Action

Stephen Teo

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter explores a selection of Johnnie To's works where the flaws qualify his auteur status and make him an uneven auteur. It specifically describes Needing You, Help!, Fulltime Killer, Running on Karma, and Throw Down, another group of five films which constitutes an “uneven pentad” from the point of view of genre and To's direction. Though the nucleus of this study is the gunplay action film with a concentration on the gangster film or the cops-and-robbers thrillers, it also reviews To's contribution to the Hong Kong genre cinema in toto as much as possible. All of these films contain unequal measures of excellence and flaws which result from the effort to integrate different qualities.

Keywords:   Johnnie To, uneven auteur, Needing You, Help!, Fulltime Killer, Running on Karma, Throw Down, Hong Kong, action film, gangster film

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