For our inaugural, crisis-era feature, we asked Adrian Alarilla, founder and organizer of the SEAxSEA Film Festival, for his film recommendations. These movies from China pair well with walnut prawns from Honey Court Seafood Restaurant, fried cod with black bean sauce from Hong Kong Bistro, beef chow fun from House of Hong, pork spareribs from Jade Garden, and fried chicken wings from Tai Tung.
Contact these restaurants directly for take-out or delivery orders; all are listed on our Community Support page. And don’t forget dessert! The matcha tiramisu from Fuji Bakery is transportive.
Adrian’s Film Picks
- Detective Dee: the Four Heavenly Kings is the most recent installment of the Detective Dee film franchise. Tsui Hark directs the third and “most spectacular” of the series about a real-life detective of the Tang dynasty. According to Variety, he delivers a “technical and imaginative extravaganza of sleuthing, sorcery, and ‘Game of Thrones’-like power play.”
- The 2013 installment, Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, is a prequel that introduces viewers to Detective Dee on the deadly mission that began it all.
- The first in the series, Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame, is no less action-packed. Hailed as one of the best action movies of the year when it was released in 2010, the production company described its new hero as having “the brilliant deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes allied to the daredevil martial arts prowess of Bruce Lee.”
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is a Shaw Brothers production from 1978 that was an instant classic in the action genre. Available on many streaming services. Watch it then read about its import as considered by RZA in The Wu-Tang Manual.
Finally, because it was scheduled for US release in early March, we’ll have to wait patiently for theaters to reopen to see The Wild Goose Lake, a noir thriller set in Wuhan that is the follow-up from director Diao Yinan to his Berlinale-winning 2014 film, Black Coal, Thin Ice.