Hong Kong Movie Terms - Page 3

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jade babe - Term used by tabloids to designate a pretty "girl next door" type of woman.

jade screen - Films produced in Asia, specifically China, Hong Kong or Japan (similar to the term "silver screen" for Hollywood films).

jai - Cantonese for "little brother." Used by Triads to describe someone lower in rank who you still respect.

jiang hu -
An enclosed world with its own professional ethical code. Used to describe Triad society and the code of honor between swordsmen.

jing - Using cleverness to get ahead in the world. Used to describe someone who thinks with their head instead of their heart. Usually villains in HK movies are personifications of jing.

joi gin - Cantonese for "goodbye"; the pidgin English (see below) term "bye bye" is also often used.

jut jai - Cantonese for "nephew." Used by Triads to designate someone who has just entered their ranks, and also by "normal" older citizens when they are addressing someone younger than themselves.

John Woo-style - A generic term, used to describe high levels of violence, characters who shoot with a gun in each hand, and/or the use of slow motion in action sequences.

Kowloon - An area in Hong Kong known for black-market activity.

kowtow - Bowing down to someone to show respect.

kung fu - A generic term for southern Chinese martial arts styles (aka southern fist or Shaolin style) which emphasize upper-body moves.

Kwan Gung - A Mainland warlord whose valiant battles have turned him into a "saint" for both criminals and cops. Usually reffered to as "General Kwan".

kyonsi - The "hopping vampires" made famous by movies like Mr. Vampire.

Lan Kwai Fong - A district in Hong Kong whose "trendy" clubs attract mostly young foreigners.

Lantau Island - An outlying area in Hong Kong.

letterbox - A video format that shows the original theatrical ratio; also called widescreen.

Lunar New Year films - Big-budget, all-star romantic comedies/dramas that come out during Chinese New Year.

Mah Jongg - A popular gambling game in China; somewhat similar to poker or dominoes in that you must try to beat the other person's "hand." For more information about the rules or to play on-line, check this site out.

mainland - China.

mainlander - Someone who lives in China.

mamasan - The female manager (pimp) of a hostess club.

Manadrin - The dominant Chinese dialect, used over much of China and other Southeast Asia areas such as Taiwan. Sometimes used to describe traditional Chinese culture and values.

Manchu - The rulers of China that were overthrown by revolution in the 1910's. They exercised strict controls over the people, such as forcing them to wear the same hairstyle (a queue -- see below). Some martial-arts films use the Manchus as thinly-veiled symbolism for the Communist rulers of China.

Mark Six - The local Hong Kong lottery.

midnight snack - Slang for a late-night sexual encounter, usually involving prostitutes.

MIHK - Acronym for Made in Hong Kong, a British importer of Hong Kong movies.

Milkyway - A production company known for its' quirky and unconventional crime films such as A Hero Never Dies.

Miramax - The US company (along with its' subsidiaries like Dimension) that has brought many HK films to US theatres and video stores. They are disliked by many fans because their versions of HK films are almost always edited and dubbed.

mo lay tau - A Cantonese term for "nonsense comedies" personified by Steven Chow's films, with their fast pace, heavy use of Cantonese slang and toilet humor. The term's literal translation is "nine follows eight, but nine doesn't have anything to do with eight."

Mongkok - An overcrowded district in Kowloon.

mook jung - Cantonese for "dead wood" or "wooden dummy"; it is the name of the wooden training dummies seen in old-school kung fu movies, but the phrase is also used to describe stupid/slow people or bad actors like Michael Wong.

mugoi - Cantonese for "thank you."

nasty foreign chick - A kung fu genre featuring foreign female fighters; popular in the mid to late 1980's after the success of Yes, Madam!

New Territories - The northern area of Hong Kong, added in 1898.

NGs - Acronym for no goods, aka bloopers or outtakes.

numerology - The belief (held by many Chinese people) in the power of numbers and the relationships between them. Hierarchal placement is important within families, business associates, and Triad gangs, as each has their own system with people becoming more important within the organization as their numbers (which correspond to their "rank") rise. For example, Sandra Ng's "Sister Thirteen" character in the Young and Dangerous series name refers to her rank within her gang.

NTSC - Abbreviation of National Television Standards Committee. The NTSC is responsible for setting television and video standards in the United States (in Europe and the rest of the world, the dominant television standards are PAL and SECAM). The NTSC standard for television defines a composite video signal with a refresh rate of 60 half-frames (interlaced) per second. Each frame contains 525 lines and can contain 16 million different colors.

(defintion from Webopedia)

What this means for HK film fans is that video copies from Asia or Europe may be incompatible with US television sets since the resolution is different.

nutter - An insane person (as in "you're nuts").

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