Monday, 25 January 2021

Something Good - Luca Barbareschi (2013) - Nam Sang Wai, Yuen Long

Our next film, Something Good, is an Italian production shot with English dialogue and filmed mainly in Hong Kong. Also known as The Mercury Conspiracy and The Mercury Factor, it stars Luca Barbareschi (who also directed) as Matteo, a sort of middleman dealing in the world of tainted food sales. The story appears to have been partly inspired by the melamine milk scandal that rocked Mainland China a few years ago (and had unforeseen affects on HK as the border areas became saturated with milk powder/baby formula tourists).

Matteo is in Hong Kong to set up a dodgy tainted milk formula business to export into Africa with some Chinese business partners led by Mr Feng (Kenneth Tsang) and his son Zhao (Carl Ng). His goings on bring him into contact with a Chinese woman, Jiazhen (Zhang Jingchu), who runs a restaurant business in memory of her son who was killed by tainted food.

The opening scenes are supposedly set in Mainland China where Jiazhen lives with her son. The establishing shots are definitely of the stock variety and I suspect that the close ups were shot in Hong Kong because the following shot, still supposedly in the Mainland, shows a part of Nam Sang Wai with the west end of Kai Kung Leng in the background.

The actual location is a now collapsed (according to a photo on Google Earth) boardwalk close to the Nam Sang Wai and Sing Kei stores - not far from the river boat crossing. 

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Kowloon Reservoir, Shatin

Here is the last post for this film and the location for the final scenes in the movie as it reaches its denouement. Lok and his son go fishing with Big D and his wife and the partnership between the two men finally ends. The location in question is Kowloon Reservoir which, despite its name, is actually located within the boundaries of Shatin District along the Tai Po Road. Although the reservoir itself is a new one for the blog, its dam wall - over the top of which runs Golden Hill Road - has been seen a couple of times before (A Lotus Blossom for Miss Quon, A Queen's Ransom). You can see it in the last image as Lok and his son drive away.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Chinese YMCA Wu Kai Sha Youth Village, Ma On Shan

In a brief scene, Louis Koo goes to visit an elderly relative who is in some sort of elderly nursing home. These scenes were filmed at the YMCA Wu Kai Sha youth village in Ma On Shan.

Friday, 22 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

After they have decided to work together, both Lok and Big D stand on a rooftop in TST and look down and boast about how much money they will make by working together. The rooftop in question belongs to Majestic House - it's the building that occupies the southern corner spot at the junction of Cameron and Nathan Roads, so the road they are looking down on in the first image is Cameron Road looking east.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Sung Tak Street, Wanchai

As Lok and Big D put their takeover plans into effect, they lure another gang leader to a Wine & Oyster Bar and then kill him to take over his territory. They lull him into a false sense of security and manage to convince his guards that they need to move away because the police are nearby.

The bar in question was a unit on Sung Tak Street - literally around the corner (in fact less than 10 meters) from the location where Big D was arrested earlier in the film. I'm not sure if the business was a real one at the time of filming, but suffice to say the building and premises has undergone a complete change and redecoration since 2005. The latest streetview image appears to show a small bar/restaurant called "San Ka La" (山旮旯). The bottom image shows the doomed gangster's entourage all parked up on nearby Oi Kwan Road in front of Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Ice House Street, Central

When the leadership has been decided, Lok (Simon Yam) as the victor, extends an olive branch to Big D and coaxes hims into his car so they can talk business. This puts the two warring factions - each loyal to either Lok or Big D - on tenterhooks as both groups follow the car around, scared that the drive will end in a blood bath. As it turns out, the two rivals stop the car and head off to talk business. The main road used for this clip is Ice House Street.

The beginning of the Ice House Street sequence (top two images) was filmed on the section located between Chater Road and Des Voeux Road. The lower two images, which are at the end of the scene, was filmed on the section between Des Voeux Road and Queen's Road and so should really have been seen first in the sequence (because Ice House Street is one way).

Monday, 18 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Yau Ma Tei Police Station, Yau Ma Tei

Another Police station that has since closed but will be preserved for adaptive reuse is the Yau Ma Tei Police Station. This one has only more recently been shut down and has arguably been featured in many more productions, both local and foreign, although not always from the front. The best examples of former posts on this blog are from the I Spy series (1965) and, more recently, Rush Hour 2 (2001).

Anyway, in Election this is the station where the psychopathic Big D and other society members are being held after their arrest in Wanchai.

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong

In a hospital scene as Big D's lawyer is threatening one of the already injured (by Big D as revenge) society members to vote for him, a cut scene shows us the man's son as he is mercilessly runover by a truck at an intersection. The threat is that his other children will also be in danger if Big D doesn't get the man's vote. The cut scene for the accident was filmed at the junction of Hoi Yuen Road and Hung To Road in Kwun Tong. This location is 100 metres from the previously posted Hing Yip Street location.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Old Wanchai Police Station, Wanchai

The police station where Simon Yam's character is being held is Wanchai Police Station on Gloucester Road. It's no longer used as a Police Station and was closed a few years ago with questions over what would happen to it. I believe it is being adapted for some other purpose. It's actually the only police station I have ever been in - I had to go and give a statement once following being approached by an illegal taxi driver at the airport - back in the time when the Hong Kong Police force still commanded some sort of respect (i.e. before 2014). This is a very popular angle of this building because it's shot from the nearby Fleming Road pedestrian footbridge.

It's featured (briefly, in the background) once on this blog before - in a minibus scene with Jeremy Irons and Maggie Cheung in Chinese Box.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong

The vehicle chase ends at Hing Yip Street in Kwun Tong as rival groups of gangsters attempt to get possession of the society baton. Jet (Nick Cheung) has already splashed white paint all over Jimmy's (Louis Koo) car windscreen to prevent Jimmy from following Jet's motorbike. Jimmy catches up with him on Hing Yip Street  and returns the favour here. Jet is then attacked by machete wielding thugs in front of the Camel Paint Centre but is then rescued by Jimmy, who proceeds to take the baton.

Chung Mei Centre on the left of screen
Camel Paint Centre in the background

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Clearwater Bay Road, Clearwater Bay

It's a bit hard to locate the scene where Gordon Lam - driving the stolen truck with the baton inside - is stopped by a police cordon whilst being following in a car by Louis Koo. However, one part of the road I do recognise is the roundabout where Clearwater Bay Road splits off into Lung Ha Wan Road and Tai Au Mun Road. It's reasonable to assume that the police cordon scene was also filmed nearby (but, obviously, not a dead cert).

The old structure that can be seen in the lower images is still in that location but is now completely covered by foliage. There is a clearer view of it over on Andi's excellent site where the same location is seen in The Angry Guest.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Cha Kwo Ling Kai Fong Building, Cha Kwo Ling

Cha Kwo Ling is an old village located at the far eastern end of Kowloon - not far from the entrance to the Eastern harbour tunnel (in fact, Double Impact fans may recall this scene which was filmed just around the corner). The kai fong hall (sort of a community centre) appears to be where a meeting is held by the triad elders where they make the decision to elect Simon Yam as the new chairman and prevent Big D from retrieving the society baton. It's a very quick establishing shot of the outside of the building and I have no idea if the interior was used at all.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Morrison Hill Road, Wanchai

The scene where Big D and his cohorts are arrested and lined up on the pavement outside the venue they were in was filmed at the corner of Morrison Hill Road and Sung Tak Street. You can just about see the painted advert for Aji Ichiban (a Japanese sweets and snack store) that is on the Redana Building in the background (bottom image). The building they are ejected from is now the Vela Boutique Hotel - although at the time of filming appears to have housed a restaurant or karaoke club (it's not clear from the film).

Monday, 11 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Nam Sang Wai, Yuen Long

There are afew scenes that were shot in the Nam Sang Wai wetland area in Yuen Long. However, I think that in the film this is all supposed to be taking place over the border in the Mainland (or I may just have misunderstood what was happening).

The abandoned house where the gangsters are surrounded by the police is located there, as well as the scenes where Big Head (Lam Suet) gets beaten up by Gordon Lam. The rural road where Big Head is waiting for the truck to drive down is Nam Sang Wai Road on the eastern bank of the Shan Pui River. The camera shot through the windscreen of their car was taken almost directly opposite the (marked on Google maps as) "Northeast Electrical Enterprises Ltd" warehouse (which can be seen on left of screen in the third image).

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - MacPherson Playground, Mongkok

The scene where the David Chiang goes to speak with Wong Tin-lam (who happens to be Wong Jing's dad in case you didn't know already) was filmed along the Shantung Street side of MacPherson Playground in Mongkok.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Sheung Shui MTR Station, Sheung Shui

One of the gang heads over the border to pick up the society's "dragon headed baton". He heads to the border via the - what was then still called - the KCR line at Sheung Shui train station. The film was made back in 2005 before the Lok Ma Chau border station was opened (2007) so the only place to go to cross the border (via the train) was Lo Wu hence the singular destination sign in the top image below.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Wing Lok Street, Central

After torturing the two guys by pushing them down the hill in wooden crates, the gang drop them off in town by pushing them out the back of a van on Wing Lok Street between Cosco Tower and Grand Millenium Plaza.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Fei Ngo Shan, Kowloon

Fei Ngo Shan (Flying Goose Hill) is the Chinese name for Kowloon Peak and this is the place where Big D (Tony Leung) takes the two people he feels are responsible for his election loss, seals them into wooden packing crates, and then repeatedly pushes them down the hill. Okay, not strictly at the peak, but along the ridgeline a little to the west from the actual peak, not far from the pavilion where Fei Ngo Shan Road switches through a cutting from the north, New Territories-side of the ridge to the south Kowloon-side.

The exact location is a little way back west from the viewing point and only a short walk from Fei Ngo Shan Road. I've tried my best to mark it in the location link at the bottom of the post, but I've just noticed it keeps snapping to the road a bit further north. So you'll just have to take it as an approximate location for now.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei

The tailor shop where Big D is getting fitted for his striped blazer was located on the corner of Public Square Street and Arthur Street but has since disappeared. As the actors move out of the shop we get a view north up Arthur Street.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Election - Simon Yam (2005) - Shanghai Street, Mongkok

In the scene where we are first introduced to the character of Jimmy (played by Louis Koo), the various characters are eating in cafe/noodle place and have brought money for one of the triad uncles. The latter then proceeds to fetch a prostitute off the street opposite and gets her to jump up and down so he can watch her boobs jiggle before leaving with her. The eatery appears to no longer exist - at least according to Google Earth - and the unit now houses a 7-11 and a "Megaman" lightbulb shop. The establishing shot for the scene is a view looking down Shanghai Street from the junction with Lai Chi Kok Road.