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Cinema Rediscovered: Life is Cheap… But Toilet Paper is Expensive (18)

Wed 13 Sep 2023


Other Information

Rated 18


£8* Standard | £5* Student / Under 25s



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Cinema Rediscovered: Life is Cheap… But Toilet Paper is Expensive (18)

Dir. Wayne Wang
1989 | 89 mins | US
Wan Kin Cheng, John Chan, Kwan-Min Cheng

Part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour Cinema – the UK’s leading festival of classic cinema and film restorations – is back for its seventh edition. We celebrate their return to cinemas with a selection of two films as part of the season strand: ‘Restored & Rediscovered’.

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, Director Wayne Wang plays fast and loose with genre, blurring the lines between gangster film, political polemics and DIY filmmaking all at once, including supporting cast roles for erstwhile Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest studio regulars such as Lo Lieh and Lo Wei.

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.

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.

Content warning: The film contains documentary footage from a Hong Kong livestock market, including scenes which some viewers may find upsetting.

BBFC Rating Details:

Rated 18


*Subject to a £1.50 ticketing system charge. We don’t charge this to make a profit. Find out more >>

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