Wong Jing

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Wong Jing
Chinese name 王晶
Chinese name 王晶 (traditional)
Chinese name 王晶 (simplified)
Pinyin Wáng Jīng (Mandarin)
Jyutping Wong4 Zing1 (Cantonese)
Born (1955-05-03) 3 May 1955 (age 58)
Hong Kong
Parents Wong Tin-Lam

Wong Jing (Chinese: 王晶; pinyin: Wáng Jīng) is a Hong Kong film director, producer, actor, presenter, and screenwriter. A prolific filmmaker with strong instincts for crowd-pleasing and publicity, in the Hong Kong cinema of the last quarter-century, as well as one of its most critically reviled.

Biography[edit]

Wong was born in Hong Kong, the son of noted film director Wong Tin-Lam. He graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a degree in Chinese literature which he describes as "useless" (Yang, 2003).

Like many Hong Kong film figures of his time, Wong began his career in television – in his case, scriptwriting for local juggernaut TVB beginning in 1975 (Teo, 1997). He moved on to writing for the Shaw Brothers studio. There, he made his directing debut with Challenge of the Gamesters in 1981. This start foreshadowed his later successes with movies about gambling, such as God of Gamblers, starring Chow Yun-fat and Andy Lau, which broke Hong Kong's all-time box office record upon its release in 1989, and started a fad for the genre.

Wong has directed, produced or written over 175 films (Yang, 2003), occasionally acting in them as well. He works with an efficient mass production method making heavy use of directing assistants and allowing him to work on several movies at once. He works under the umbrellas of two production companies he launched, Wong Jing's Workshop Ltd. and BoB and Partners Co. Ltd. (Best of the Best), the latter in partnership with director Andrew Lau and writer-producer Manfred Wong (Bordwell, 2000).

He once commented that his movies were hits because he gave the people what they wanted, and not what he thought they should want. A typical Wong production might be a broad comedy (Boys Are Easy, 1993) or an entry in a currently popular genre, such as martial arts (Holy Weapon, 1993), erotic thriller (Naked Killer, 1992) or gangster film (Young and Dangerous, 1996). It will imbue its model with lightning pacing and frequent shifts in tone to accommodate slapstick and toilet humor, sentimental heart-tugging, cartoonish violence, sexual titillation, and parodic references to well-known Hong Kong and Hollywood films.

Wong also directed or produced several of the films of comic actor Stephen Chow, who has been Hong Kong's most popular performer since the early 1990s. Examples of their collaborations include God of Gamblers II (1991), Tricky Brains (1991), Royal Tramp I and II (1992) and Sixty Million Dollar Man (1995).

Wong's commercial skills are not limited to the content of his movies or his casting. He was using Hollywood-style cross-media promotional tactics - such as tie-in novels, comic books and other products, and magazine interviews - long before they became common in Hong Kong (Bordwell, 2000).

Since the late 1990s, Wong's films have fared much worse in the box office due to the sluggish recession which has been enveloping HK cinema in the new millennium.

Wong's style, often seen as loud, crass and philistine, may be another factor in his low stock among critics. According to director Ann Hui, he remarked Hui's acclaimed 1990 drama, Song of the Exile, "Who wants to watch the autobiography of a fat woman?" In 1994, unidentified assailants attacked him outside his offices and knocked out his teeth; this was widely believed to have been retaliation for injudicious remarks, ordered by Triads, or Chinese organized crime figures, whose involvement in the industry is notorious. (Dannen and Long, 1997), although Wong himself is rumored to be related with the Triads.[1]

Filmography[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • “Only rubbish people would call my movies rubbish. What qualifies them to have an opinion? Critics are not God, and it’s not for them to judge what’s good or bad; the audience should decide. It’s easy for anyone to use a pen to dismiss others. If I was to pick up my pen, they would lose 99 per cent of the time. I’ve never, ever heard a member of the audience call my movies rubbish.” [2]
  • "Vulgarity is the basic instinct of human beings. Humans misinterpret vulgarity. I change vulgarity into art as to let you enjoy it." - Quote from movie What You Want [3]
  • "Why do they call me that? Because I'm famous. Now and then every famous director in the country gets panned. So if they curse you it proves you're really hot, like a big soccer star...if you score now, they'll cheer, but they'll curse you for sure if you miss the next time round. I don't care. The more they curse, it just proves I'm getting hotter." - On being called "the King of Crappy cinema" and an opportunist.[4]
  • "This must be the tenth generation cursing me... Those who curse me turn very quiet later...then another generation starts again. But I'm still here. Those people don't get the meaning of 'respect'. You're crappier than the person you call crap. If I'm rubbish, would I be still as hot as I was since (I was) nineteen? The audience are not stupid!" [5]

References[edit]

  • Bordwell, David. Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-674-00214-8
  • Dannen, Fredric, and Barry Long. Hong Kong Babylon: The Insider's Guide to the Hollywood of the East. New York: Miramax, 1997. ISBN 0-7868-6267-X
  • Teo, Stephen. Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions. London: British Film Institute, 1997. ISBN 0-85170-514-6
  • Yang, Jeff. Once Upon a Time in China: A Guide to Hong Kong, Taiwanese, and Mainland Chinese Cinema. New York: Atria, 2003. ISBN 0-7434-4817-0

External links[edit]