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ƧT (1979)
The Secret

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 02/27/2001
Summary: Impressive

Ann Hui's HK cinema debut is impressive in every way. Great cast, including some outstanding small parts from very old actors, though Norman Chu steals the show as the is-he-harmless-or-a-killer madman. Creepy dark photography. The lovely Sylv Chang in the lead (she even acts quite well, too).

It's tempting to describe this as a heavily Western-influenced film with distinct Oriental touches though, as Hui went to film school in London, this is hardly surprising. It certainly stands up well against any mystery-thriller in Western cinema at the time.

At first, the pace seems rather slow, and events and shots disconnected, but it starts to make sense after about 20 minutes, and never lets up after that.

I've chatted with several people who profess to dislike Ann Hui's films. To those people I say, watch The Secret (and Song Of The Exile), and prepare to change your view.

Rated : unmissable.

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Not a straight murder thriller, but rather a kind ofpsychological horror movie that is grounded in local superstition and beliefs. Covering her canvas with intricate details (some of which were culled from Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now), Ann Hui's debut feature evokes a sense of mystery and impending doom through the description of Chinese rituals and deference to symbols associated with death, marriage, and birth. The movie was one of the first to herald the arrival of the new wave and remains one of Hui's best.

[Reviewed by Anonymous]