School on Fire

School on Fire ★★★★

Triad affairs from the streets of Hong Kong seep through the school culture in Ringo Lam's genre take on schools. The volatile dynamics of Triad members and the cautious, hands-off approach of the authorities both signify Hong Kong's difficult relationship with Mainland China. But it can also be a stand-in for the bleaker undercurrent that highlights Hong Kong's turbulent relations with itself. Lam's camera techniques are similar to Woo's in how it continuously pans from side to side in an attempt to capture the rapid sequence of events. The only major difference is Woo's mayhems contain a lot of guns while Lam relies on hand to hand combat or knife slicing through thin air.

While the film's uncensored parts don't look apprehensive in its form, it was definitely a sticky situation for the censor board back then, given how little Lam does to conceal its sordid aesthetics. He loved to call a spade a spade!

Watched w/Collab gang!

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