Happy Birthday to legendary Hong Kong director and producer, Tsui Hark. The 62 year-old filmmaker began in the Hong Kong New Wave before becoming famous for his classic Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983), Peking Opera Blues (1986) and the Once Upon a Time in China series, among others. He’s also a noted producer, responsible for A Better Tomorrow (1986), A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) and The Killer (1989).
This recent, longer-form interview is from the 2011 New York Asian Film Festival, where Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010) was playing. Tsui Hark talks about his start as a documentary assistant, studying film in Texas, how the reception of Hong Kong films (and their styles) has changed in North America, his philosophy on entertainment and escapism, the global influence, the tradition of wuxia films (from blue collar entertainment into grandeur), the comparison between wuxia and western films, basing films on historical figures, how Detective Dee was made and his interest in moving into documentaries.