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From a distance, Hong Kong cinema can seem thin. But up close there's a depth to it and a dizzying, kaleidoscopic aesthetic

By Mark Cousins   April 2009

I’m in a refugee camp, transit lounge and capitalist catch-all in which pencil-thin skyscrapers soar above old ladies selling abalone and asparagus stacked in beautiful pyramids in street markets. It’s called Hong Kong. I’m on my pilgrim’s progress, interviewing Asia’s great movie-makers.

Hong Kong’s cinematic reputation is for low cost, commercially savvy production. The cinema of the migrant, perhaps. Movies made by people who understand what quickens the pulse in other countries, and who want to make money fast.

The island’s only recent must-see films for thinking moviegoers have been the swoony, contemplative films of Wong Kar-wai, such as In…

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