CLASSICS: Secret Spies Never Die!

Dedicated to the heritage of film, the Classics section showcases both canonical masterpieces and often overlooked gems of cinema history – in particular films by Asian auteurs that have been recently digitally restored.

This year, the Festival brings a Classics programme with a new thematic focus, Secret Spies Never Die!, presenting significant spy films and its interesting offshoots from the ‘50s to ‘80s, tracing out a fascinating episode in Asian cinematic history.

From Korean director Hang Hyeong-mo’s The Hand of Fate (1954) to Singapore’s very own Gerak Kilat (1966) by Jamil Sulong and the first Australian-Hong Kong co-production The Man from Hong Kong (1975), the Festival’s Classics line-up draws attention to the region’s unique storytelling style of the popular cult genre.

Co-presented with the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, in celebration of the School’s 25th Anniversary in film and communications studies.

Co-curated with Lee Sang Joon
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University

Gerak Kilat

Dubbed Singapore’s own James Bond, this Shaw Brothers Studio Malay language outing is the first in the celebrated Jefri Zain secret agent series.

Dir. Jamil Sulong
Singapore (1966)

Operation Lipstick

Regarded as a prized Shaw and pop cinema classic, this wacky spy caper brims with Bond conventions and the ensuing destruction of their wry sacredness.

Dir. Inoue Umetsugu
Hong Kong (1966)

Operation Revenge

A lightweight spy comedy that takes the best of the Bond universe to preposterously ridiculous results.

Dir. Ubol Yugala
Thailand (1967)

The Hand of Fate

Part film noir and part espionage thriller, this melodrama narrates the tragedy of a divided Korea through a tale of forbidden love.

Dir. Han Hyeong-Mo
South Korea (1954)

The Man from Hong Kong

Australia’s first martial arts flick gives a Bond cum Bruce Lee-inspired cop a free pass to trash through Sydney.

Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith, Jimmy Wang Yu
Hong Kong, Australia (1975)

The One Armed Executioner

From one of grindhouse cinema’s greats, comes a revenge tale replete with firepower, sensationalism and a surprising dose of melancholia.

Dir. Bobby A. Suarez
Philippines (1981)