Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tsui Hark's Shanghai Blues HK Video DVD

My favourite of all Tsui Hark's movies, Shanghai Blues is one of the hardest to see thanks to the lack of an English friendly dvd release anywhere in the world. As far as I'm aware the only releases available are a Japanese dvd and the HK Video French release featured here.

Tsui Hark Hong Kong
Japanese release

I know the film was released on laserdisc in Hong Kong with English subtitles but I've never seen that disc come up for sale (If I had it, I wouldn't sell it either). As a result I've been trying to find the French dvd for the last couple of years, ever since seeing a rip taken from it. As is often the case with HK Video releases, the love, care and respect given to the production of the dvd is second to none. Excellent image quality aside, the whole package screams quality. An outer slipcase holds the dvd digipac along with a gorgeous booklet filled with stills from the film and behind the scenes. On the dvd itself is a 30 minute interview with Tsui Hark about the film (in English), the documentary Hong Kong Cinema Blues (in French) and a photo gallery.

Tsui Hark Hong Kong
Outer slip case
Tsui Hark Hong Kong
Dvd slipcase
Tsui Hark Hong Kong
Chapter info inside dvd slipcase
Tsui Hark Hong Kong
Tsui Hark Hong Kong
Tsui Hark Hong Kong
Sample pages of the booklet
Another fantastic release from HK Video, I know the lack of subtitles is a major issue as not everyone wants to bother adding them but as I said, the love that goes into these releases makes it more than worth the effort. Now to track down their release of Hark's The Lovers!


YTSL said...

Interesting to learn that "Shanghai Blues" is your favorite Tsui Hark film. Mine is "Peking Opera Blues" but "Shanghai Blues" ranks up there too.

Many local Hong Kong film critics share your opinion. Maybe because of that "Shanghai Blues" gets screened more often than many other Tsui Hark films at places such as the Hong Kong Film Archive. Perhaps luck will be on your side and you'll catch a screening on one of your future visits in Hong Kong? :)

A hero never dies said...


It's a close run thing for me between the two Blues films, I adore them and think they're both wonderful!

I'd love to be lucky enough to see it in Hong Kong with an audience full of fans, so fingers crossed.

Jack J said...

Like you, I've been a fan of this film for many years and along with PEKING it's my favourite Tsui Hark film (I can't choose the one before the other!). It was shown on a film channel ("Filmnet") broadcasting out of Holland in the early 90s and a friend of mine taped if for me. I still have that tv recording (but unfortunately it's no good to you as it's subbed in Danish).

A hero never dies said...

Jack, It's a movie that deserves a much wider audience, I've never been able to understand the problems preventing it's release. Any ideas?

A. said...

Good post! Have you considered doing more screen captures for comparison on your dvd reviews? It's always good for checking out which version might be the more interesting to find for viewers that way.

I haven't seen this film, due to lack of easy ways to view Tsui Hark's film in Canada (outside crappy Once Upon a Time in China DVDs), it's been hard to really absorb his cinema without resorting to importing.

A hero never dies said...

A. Thanks. Would have done that except there isn't really another release to compare it with!

Importing is the way to go, buyoyo and dddhouse are your friends.

Jack J said...

Sorry, I have no idea as to what's holding up the movie. Such a pity and so annoying. And the same goes for the restored version of his original edit of DON'T PLAY WITH FIRE. Why is it only out in an un-English friendly French box set!?!?!? (I still haven't found someone who can download the fan subbed copy for me. I'd love to see it). :(

@ A., I agree with HeroNeverDiesGuy. You really ought to visit dddhouse. They're in HK but they ship everywhere and they are very reliable and cheap. I live in Europe and I receive my stuff from them after a week or (at the most) two. If I only bought the HK films that are released locally I might as well begin to watch soaps on daytime television. :/

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