Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs—The Trilogy


Gina Marchetti

ISBN : 978-962-209-801-5

Film, Media, Fine Arts The New Hong Kong Cinema

April 2007

224 pages, 5.5″ x 7.5″, 59 b&w illus.

  • HK$195.00

Infernal Affairs has received journalistic, popular and corporate notice but little vigorous critical attention. In this book, Gina Marchetti explores the way this example of Hong Kong’s cinematic eclecticism has crossed borders as a story, a commercial product and a work of art; and has had an undeniable impact on current Hong Kong cinema. Moreover, she uses this trilogy to highlight the way Hong Kong cinema continues to be inextricably intertwined with global film culture and the transnational movie market.

Infernal Affairs served as the source for the Academy Award-winning film The Departed (2006). The Martin Scorsese-directed film won Oscars for best motion picture, director, adapted screenplay and film editing. This is the first time that an American film based on a Hong Kong production swept the Academy Awards by winning four top prizes.

Gina Marchetti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. She is the author of Romance and the “Yellow Peril”: Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction (1993) and From Tian’anmen to Times Square: Transnational China and the Chinese Diaspora on Global Screens (1989–1997) (2006).

“Although remade by Martin Scorsese, Infernal Affairs still awaits recognition as one of the masterworks of international genre filmmaking. Gina Marchetti’s hugely insightful book calls much-deserved attention to this deceptively complex trilogy, but explicates the multiple levels on which it operates, in particular showing the myriad and subtle ways it draws on the particularities of Hong Kong history and society while at the same time participating in global film movements.” —David Desser, Professor and Director, Unit for Cinema Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“Gina Marchetti manages quite a balancing act in this book: her analysis of the Infernal Affairs films is rich and detailed, and she very successfully aligns specific narrative tropes with a range of relevant (and complex) issues and concepts, including postmodernity, globalization, surveillance, new technologies, and the construction of identity. At the same time, the discussion is grounded in real-world analogies and examples, which combines with Marchetti’s refreshingly lucid writing to make the book useful and interesting for both film studies scholars and their students.” —Steve Fore, Associate Professor, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong