Monday, July 9, 2012

All About Ah Long - Chow Yun Fat (1989) - Li Chit Street, Wanchai

Li Chit Street once had some very uniquely styled shophouses along it - making them instantly recognisable to anyone who knew them. This is basically what led me to identifying this location initially because the buildings had very distinctive curved balconies on each floor.

Of course none of these buildings exits any more and you can see what happened on this blog post I did on my other blog several years ago. The fake ones built as 'replacements' kept some of the style of the original balconies but of course this is a really sad state of affairs. It's a bit like wandering down Main Street at Disneyland and admiring the architectural merits of the faux-facades that line it.

Thankfully for us Johnnie To, the director of this film, managed to capture some of the history of this place when he decided o have it as the location of Chow Yun Fat's abode. Once again proving that HK-made films provide some under-appreciated documentational quality that give us a glimpse of what once was. Anyway, rant over with here are the screen shots - there are several throughout the whole film.


 Incidentally, the large windowed office block at the other end of the street is called the "Dominion Centre" and still sits proudly at the other end on Queens Road East. On the far right end of Li Chit St is an old building which bizarrely still stands even though the rest of the street was razed and rebuilt. Here are some grabs of those balconies I mentioned.

Followed by some daytime shots showing the place to be a small market-type street. I'm not sure if this was conjured up just for the film but I doubt it and it's in stark contrast to the place now. These days the street is no longer a vehicular thoroughfare and has a development called Li Chit Garden straddling the middle of what used to be the road. This is the reason the older buildings were knocked down.

 Some better views of the balconies, complete with Mr Chow himself hanging out his dirty laundry.
 
And finally, what the same street looks like today seen from the same angle (from Johnston Road) which clearly shows the Li Chit Garden lower floors cutting off the view to the other end.

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