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Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

(Di Renjie)
Sponsored by: Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office

Montreal Premiere

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

WINNER: Best Director, Actress (Carina Lau), Costume Design, Production Design, Sound Effects, Best Visual Effects, Hong Kong Film Awards 2011
Official Selection, Venice International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival 2011

Screening Times


“A consummately bizarre crowd-pleaser... affably daft... Hark's back and in a big, screwy kind of way” — Simon Abrams, SLANT

“A riot of visual imagination” — Justing Chang, VARIETY

Credits

Director: Tsui Hark
Screenplay: Chen Kuo-fu, Zhang Jialu, from Robert van Gulik
Cast: Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Li Bingbing, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Jean-Michel Casanova
Producers: Tsui Hark, Nansun Shi, Wang Zhonglei
Print Source: Indomina Releasing

Cinemabox

Description

Detective Dee is a former police officer jailed for treason when he opposed the rise of China’s only female Emperor to the throne. Her methods were not entirely ethical, you see, and speculation abounded as to how the former Emperor really died, and Dee just couldn’t stand for that. He has rotted in jail for eight years as the woman who jailed him consolidates her power as Regent for the young Crown Prince before finally making a play to take the throne herself. But the Regent’s plans do not go unopposed. Preparations for a massive coronation ceremony are interrupted when two high-ranking workers preparing a massive bronze Buddha statue spontaneously combust on the work site, an event viewed as a threat against the would-be Empress. Desperate to discover the truth, the Regent consults with a talking deer and is informed that only Dee can crack this case. And so out of jail he comes, forced to swear allegiance to the woman he once tried to depose, matched with one of the almost-Empress’s favoured and most beautiful guards and an albino Supreme Court super cop as both aides and watchers, to help him crack the case while also making sure he doesn't return to his seditious ways.

Yes, you read that right. DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME is a movie that hinges on advice delivered by a talking deer. Equal parts SHERLOCK HOLMES (Guy Ritchie style) and SCOOBY-DOO (original cartoon style), DETECTIVE DEE finds director Tsui Hark throwing a bit of everything at the wall to see what sticks, and having an absolute blast while doing it. A bit of comedy, a bit of mystery, some romance, some martial arts, a dash of horror, a trace of palace intrigue — DETECTIVE DEE is like a full season of your favourite kung fu soap opera distilled down into a more compact package with far better production values. A selection of the prestigious Venice, Toronto and Tribeca film festivals, this is the best Tsui Hark has been in ages, a triumphant return to form for one of the world’s great masters.

—Todd Brown

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