Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cool Crap : Election Cannes Press Book

Another really cool crap episode, this time coolness comes from the hardback press book for Johnnie To's Election from the 2005 Cannes film festival. Similar to the Exiled press book I posted about here but a little larger, as well as the usual cast and director info, this one also has some Triad history and a great page featuring some of the hand signals the Triads use, pictured below. If these are shown in a HK movie it results in an automatic category III rating.




7 comments:

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Nice find. I love the hand signals. It's amazing how similar gang culture is worldwide.

Kingwho? said...

Cool beans! Ya know, I have seen both Election films years ago and I remember absolutely nothing of them!? I really should revisit them. By the way, a friend of mine saw Johnnie To the other day (maybe yesterday?) at the TIFF. Johnnie said that he is planning a 3rd Election picture to be released around 2014-2015.

Anonymous said...

It's taboo in HK to openly display such blatant triad symbols, despite the popularity of triad films in HK culture. I suppose To got some "connections" in order for him to get some "inside" information on triad symbols.

A hero never dies said...

BT. I have to admit I do find Triad culture fascinating, the ceremony sequence in the first Election movie is amazing.

Kingwho? I think you should revisit them, I know you aren't a big fan of To but they are great films regardless. I'd read that about a third movie, not sure why it's so far away. I've read he has a couple of other projects on the boil but enough until 2015 potentially?

Anon. Correct me if I'm wrong but I would have thought such information would be fairly easily found in HK despite their taboo nature, or am I way off the mark?

Anonymous said...

There are books on triad ritual and symbols, I was working at the Kowloon magistrate once and they have several copies of those books, presumably to let the court officials know what the triads in dock are doing. But generally, whether such triad info are easily found or not, it is not generally accepted in Hong Kong for such info items to be display openly. Thus what was unique about "Election" was that it was one of the few films that accurately captured the triad rituals.

A hero never dies said...

Anon. Thanks for the info, I visited the HK police museum, they have a small display of Triad related items. It was interesting but a little on the small size. I looked for books on the subject while in HK and couldn't find anything, which backs up your info here. I did get a great book from eBay about Triad societies and history. I may do a post on it sometime.

Daniel Thomas said...

Yeah, the reason 'Election' got the CatIII rating was for the open display of such symbols and ceremony.

Tattoos, on the other hand, have stopped carrying such meaning and are just fashion items these days. However, in Japan, they're still very much tied in with the yakuza. When I was in Japan, my ladyfriend at the time (a caucasian) went to a health spa and was only allowed in, if she covered the small tattoo (a 2" cartoon goldfish) on her shoulder-blade with a sticking plaster.

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