Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs) directs this "wuxia" extravaganza in which a fearsome Qing Dynasty assassination squad must contend with the whims of their bloodthirsty new emperor.
June 1, 2013
|11:55 PM||SIFF Cinema Egyptian||Date has passed|
It's 18th-century China, and the Qing Dynasty's Emperor Qian Long has a stranglehold over the defeated Han Chinese. To ensure that the Qing line remains in power, Emperor's father had assembled a secret team of elite assassins, called the Guillotines, to eliminate anyone who dared to oppose his rule. Led by master fighter Leng (Ethan Juan), the squad gets its name from a unique bladed weapon that envelopes the heads of its victims and quickly decapitates them. Under the Guillotines's reign of terror over the Han, they have never failed to eliminate their targets in 348 consecutive missions. The new Emperor, however, sees his father's Guillotines as outdated. On their next mission, the Guillotines track down and capture a Han dissident named Wolf (Huang Xiaoming) and intend to use him as a pawn to gain more power with the Emperor. But Wolf's gang ambushes the Guillotines and Wolf escapes, taking one of the Guillotines hostage. Now the rest of the squad must fight a war on two fronts-against Wolf and his band of Han rebels, and the Emperor's emissaries, who are eager to replace the squad with Western firearms. This tale of intrigue, deceit, and betrayal is brought to life by Hong Kong legend Andrew Lau (Young and Dangerous, Infernal Affairs), who films the visceral martial-arts action in breathtaking depth. The Guillotines is both a pulse-pounding "wuxia" thriller and an elegy to a fading way of life based on honor, loyalty, and tradition.
Andrew Lau began his long career as a cinematographer for popular Hong Kong directors during the ‘80s and ‘90s. He began directing with his film Against All in 1990. His 1996 movie, Young and Dangerous, was extremely popular in Hong Kong and spawned half a dozen sequels and spinoffs, often generating controversy for their alleged glorification of the Hong Kong mafia world. Lau’s work is featured at the Hong Kong Film Awards often, winning Best Director for Infernal Affairs (2002) and Best Cinematography for Confession of Pain (2006).
Sponsored in part by Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office San Francisco, Scarecrow Video, Zipcar, Delta Air Lines
|Principal Cast:||Huang Xiaoming, Ethan Juan, Shawn Yue, Li Yuchun, Boran Jing|
|Running Time:||112 minutes|
|Producer:||Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Jojo Hui Yuet-chun|
|Screenplay:||Aubrey Lam, Joyce Chan|
|Filmography:||Legend of the Fist: Return of Chen Zhen (2010); Confession of Pain (2006); Initial D (2005); Infernal Affairs II (2003); Infernal Affairs (2002); The Storm Riders (1998); Young and Dangerous (1996)|
|US Distributor:||Variance Films|
|International Sales:||Media Asia Distribution|