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Modern Cinema: Johnnie To

Cops and Robbers

July 20–August 6, 2017
Phyllis Wattis Theater
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Hong Kong film director and producer Johnnie To is a master of the contemporary crime film, fusing elements of minimalist French noir (especially the films of Jean-Pierre Melville), the complex narrative structure of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, and the B-movie panache of Seijun Suzuki. Restless and prolific, he has made more than seventy films and has applied his signature style to other genres, including a musical (Johnnie To’s Office). He has shown six films at the Cannes Film Festival and received countless other nominations and awards. His films embody the sociopolitical life, criminal codes, and law enforcement conduct of Hong Kong (and now mainland China), while simultaneously resonating with the greatest films in the genre, many of which are included in this season of Modern Cinema.

Johnnie To will attend the final weekend of the program, August 3–6.

Modern Cinema, co-presented by SFMOMA and SFFILM, is and ongoing film series exploring the dynamic forces interacting between cinema’s past and present.

Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion T. McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.

Header image: (mobile) Johnnie To, Exiled, 2006 (still); photo: courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Events in this Series

See all past events
Film

Drug War

Thursday, July 20, 2017, 8:45 p.m.
Man pointing a pistol at someone offscreen
Film

Stray Dog

Thursday, July 20, 2017, 6 p.m.
Two men with guns
Film

Fulltime Killer

Friday, July 21, 2017, 6 p.m.
Man with a shotgun in building
Film

Bound

Friday, July 21, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
Two women sitting on a bed
Film

Lifeline

Saturday, July 22, 2017, 2 p.m.
Two police officers looking at a row of firemen
Film

Heat

Saturday, July 22, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro sitting opposite each other at a diner
Film

Running Out of Time

Saturday, July 22, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
A man and a woman driving at night
Film

Where a Good Man Goes

Sunday, July 23, 2017, 2:30 p.m.
A woman holding a curtain, looking into the camera
Film

The Killing

Sunday, July 23, 2017, 5 p.m.
Three men sitting around a table
Film

Three

Sunday, July 23, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
A man sits in a hospital bed facing another man
Film

Two Men in Manhattan

Thursday, July 27, 2017, 6 p.m.
Two men at night with the New York skyline behind them
Film

Vengeance

Thursday, July 27, 2017, 8:15 p.m.
A man with a gun standing on a street at night
Film

Branded to Kill

Friday, July 28, 2017, 6 p.m.
A woman looking into the camera as she hugs a man
Film

Blind Detective

Friday, July 28, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
Film still of a man pointing a gun and holding a human skull
Film

PTU

Saturday, July 29, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
A female police officer looking down
Film

A Hero Never Dies

Saturday, July 29, 2017, 3 p.m.
Man standing at a shop counter
Film

The Harder They Come

Saturday, July 29, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
Film still from Harder They Come
Film

Johnnie To’s Office

Sunday, July 30, 2017, 4 p.m.
People standing in an office
Film

The Sicilian Clan

Sunday, July 30, 2017, 7 p.m.
Four men sitting around a table
Talks

An Evening with Johnnie To

Thursday, August 3, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Photo of filmmaker Johnnie To
Film

Election

Friday, August 4, 2017, 6 p.m.
Angry man being held back by police
Film

Triad Election (a.k.a. Election 2)

Friday, August 4, 2017, 8:45 p.m.
Six men sitting in a row
Film

The Mission

Saturday, August 5, 2017, 2 p.m.
​A man wearing sunglasses going up an escalator
Film

The Godfather

Saturday, August 5, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Marlon Brando in a suit smoking a cigar
Film

Exiled

Saturday, August 5, 2017, 8:30 p.m.
Four gang members standing in a desert
Film

Breaking News

Sunday, August 6, 2017, 2:30 p.m.
Man holding two pistols
Film

The Wild Bunch (Director’s Cut)

Sunday, August 6, 2017, 5 p.m.
Four cowboys walking with guns through a village
Film

Life Without Principle

Sunday, August 6, 2017, 8:15 p.m.
A man holds up a bottle of whiskey