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Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive

Rating 18
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Event details

Directed by Wayne Wang

A nameless cowboy (Spencer Nakasako) arrives in Hong Kong, tasked with bringing a briefcase to a local crime kingpin, where he falls in love with the gangster’s mistress (Cora Miao). Imploding from a basic, pulpy premise, Wayne Wang plays fast and loose with genre, blurring the lines between gangster film, political polemics and DIY filmmaking all at once.

As the film becomes increasingly convoluted (and gorgeously stylised), we come across a rogue’s gallery of Hong Kong’s many social classes at the start of the city’s last decade before the Handover back to mainland China. A candy-coloured noir that functions as an elegy to a Hong Kong that has long since disappeared, and a gem of independent cinema waiting to be rediscovered on the big screen.

Content warning: The film contains documentary footage from a Hong Kong livestock market. Some viewers may find the scenes upsetting.

A 4K Digital restoration by Lightbox Film Centre at University of the Arts in collaboration with University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

This screening will be introduced by a screening of “Think Chinese — Life Is Cheap… and Wayne Wang’s Tales From The Diaspora”, a short film written & edited by film historian Jonathan Bygraves.

Presented as part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour, a Watershed project.
With support from BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery, Park Circus and MUBI.

Approx 86 mins

£8.90 / £8 for screenings before 5pm
(Non-Members: £9.90 / £8.90 )

£6.65 for under 16s
(Non-Members: £7.40)

£5 for Young Storyhouse Card
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Cantonese with English Subtitles