Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Prodigal Son - Yuen Biao (1981) - Tai Tung Wo Liu, Sai Kung

The second of the two identifiable locations used in this classic Sammo Hung film is used in the finale when Yuen Biao fights (and inflicts a rather sickening injury) on Frankie Chan.

As you can see, there are glimpses in the back ground of a very striking mountain range which are actually the northern Sai Kung side of Ma On Shan. The finale was filmed on what seems to be a very flat piece of ground and actually this area of the NT is quite flat. Here is a modern view courtesy of streetview of the same ridgeline. Bear in mind that on film the camera lens sometimes stretches or squashes the picture along certain planes in order to fit the TV screen/monitor.

There is a small village called Tai Tung Wo Liu here and the finale would have been filmed on land very close to the village given the angle of the mountains and other features that can be seen on the film.

The Prodigal Son - Yuen Biao (1981) - Yim Tin Tsai, Sai Kung

One of only two identifiable locations in this classic Sammo Hung film featuring Yuen Biao as the young Wing Chun exponent Leung Tsan.

I think Sammo (he directed and wrote as well as starred in the film) was trying to create some sort of homage to another film I discussed a few weeks ago because this scene is almost a direct copy of the one from River of Fury - filmed at the exact same location, featuring an opera troop aboard a boat that is docking at the pier. Here are the grabs.

Yes, this is Yim Tin Tsai in Port Shelter, Sai Kung, where about 8 years before Danny Lee ran along the exact same concrete pier to greet a junk traveling opera troop. The same house at the beginning of the pier and of course the previous version of the pier that now exists. You can read my River of Fury entry here.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires - Peter Cushing (1974) - Fei Ngo Shan, Sai Kung

In this classic collaboration (one of two) between the UK's Hammer Studios and Shaw Bros in HK, the film makers took advantage of the unspoilt mountainous area around Fei Ngo Shan (Kowloon Peak) to film the hilly scenes as the protagonists make their way to David Chiang's lost village.

Several scenes were shot but all incorporated approximately the same area. First there is this view of everyone stumbling up the hillside.The distant peaks poking up at the back are in fact eitehr end of the saddle ridge of Ma On Shan.

Judging from the angle I am guessing the camera was fairly close to the Fei Ngo Shan Road as it goes over the hill and down the other side towards Tate's Pass. Not an exact placement but this dip is close enough to the road so that the film crew had an easy job of it.

The second part featured above was reasonably close by with a view down into Port Shelter, or at least what seems to be the Hebe Haven part of it. I think this one was shot slightly further east.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Miracles - Jackie Chan (1989) - Calcada Do Carmo, Taipa

Okay, so the staircase that connects Carmel Square to Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio is called Calcada Do Carmo. It's these steps that feature in the next part of the initial Miracles set piece as a gangster's car comes crashing down the steps and JC gets in on the action by rescuing its occupants and fighting off the bad guys.

Now, once again, JC's production team have made the place look a bit busier than normal as well as 'British' with the additional fake telephone box (which promptly gets shot to pieces). The slope has since been removed and now the lane is stepped.

Miracles - Jackie Chan (1989) - Largo Do Carmo, Taipa

One of the first set pieces of this film starts with JC seated in a quiet square where he first meets the flower seller and his run of luck starts. The end of the scene ends with a gangsters car crashing nearby and he inadvertently gets promoted to lead the crime gang thanks to a unfortunate misunderstanding.

Well, the square we first see JC in is the very same square - in front of the Carmel Church in Taipa - that was used for part of the bike chase from Project A. The scene starts with a glimpse from the church bell tower.

Here is JC sitting in the square under a wooden gazebo. The gazebo was a prop (which then got smashed by the car) but the building behind wasn't and still sits in the same place looking very much like the old colonial building it was meant to be (and was, just Portuguese Colonial instead of British).

And here is our first glimpse of the happy-go-lucky flower lady (Lady Rose) standing in front of the colonnaded library (there is currently a replica there, but I have no idea when it was erected and whether or not this is the replica or original seen on film).

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Miracles - Jackie Chan (1989) - Largo Do Lilau, Macau

Not the first scene from the film (that's still to come) but here is one when JC goes to see the rose hawker at her own house. The giveaway here is the slope at the back and the large banyan trees that still occupy the square. Of course, when JC filmed there they caught it looking pretty grungy. It's hard to say if this was the original look of the place because the Macau authorities have done a huge and great job of tarting up all the old buildings and public places.

Here is the street a moment before JC's limo pulls up in front of the square on Rua De Barra. The white building in the background right is still around (this is Macau after all and not Hong Kong) but is now painted pastel pink, but the fire hydrant (if it was original) is no longer around.

JC is aided at this time by the late, great Ricky Hui who died just last year (RIP), who walks into the square to summon the old lady. Now Lilau Square today has three banyan trees in the same location - albeit with immensely beautified surroundings - but it looks as though the middle one has recently been replaced.

Miracles - Jackie Chan (1989) - Shaw's Movietown, Sai Kung

Miracles was shot during 1988 (and various behind-the-scenes moments were captured on Jonathan Ross's excellent The Incredibly Strange Film Show) and released in 1989. Being a period film (set during the 1930's) meant utilising locations that had a feel for that time, so great use was made of older parts of Macau and additionally, a huge set was constructed at Shaw's Movietown in Clearwater Bay.

1988 was a time when Shaws had largely moved away from films and into television and as such the huge backlot at the old studios was leased out to others wishing to take advantage of the large and reasonably remote (in HK terms at least) studio backlot. The main street from the film, seen below, was constructed entirely at Movietown.