Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind

dir. Tsui Hark

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Three nerdy teenage pranksters are drawn into a deranged rampage of urban terrorism by a sociopathic blackmailing beauty in Tsui Hark's incendiary, controversial and taboo-busting classic of the Hong Kong New Wave.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS FILM CONTAINS DISTURBING GRAPHIC IMAGERY AND SCENES OF VIOLENCE. VIEWER DISCRETION IS STRONGLY ADVISED.

The discordant and cheerfully offensive trumpet that heralded the arrival of the Hong Kong New Wave has been restored to the vision of its author. Upon its original release, Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind had its incendiary opening sequence banned by the British-led bureaucracy, which was afraid that the film's depiction of serial bombings of movie theatres would lead to copycat crimes in real life — but if they thought that was offensive, did they even bother to watch the rest of the film? A thoroughly deranged urban rampage by three nerdy teenage "bomb-makers," a sociopathic blackmailing beauty and an American Vietnam vet reveals Hong Kong as a city of deceit, cover-up, lurking terror and gruesome violence. Dangerous Encounters' propulsive energy, docudrama feeling and deep-seated, politically fuelled cynicism and anger would become trademarks of the Hong Kong New Wave of the decade to follow, and established Tsui as one of the medium's most outrageous (and courageous) innovators. "[Tsui] creates a subversive, desperate portrait of a Hong Kong society that has lost its values. A quintessential New Wave film" (Aurélien Dirler).