Hong Kong filmmaker Benny Chan (陳木勝) passed away from nasopharyngeal cancer on August 23, 2020. He was 58 years old. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Benny had his beginnings in television. In 1981, the 20-year-old Benny joined the now-defunct Rediffusion TV as a production assistance (PA). He then transferred to TVB the following year and started to work under Johnnie To (杜琪峰) as his assistant director. He was soon promoted to director, and had a hand in directing classic TVB wuxia dramas such as The Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain <雪山飛狐> and The New Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre <倚天屠龍記>.
His directorial debut after leaving TVB was 1990’s A Moment of Romance <天若有情> starring Andy Lau (劉德華) and Jacklyn Wu (吳倩蓮). The film was a box office hit across Asia, and also became one of Andy Lau’s representative works.
“It’s been hard to receive this news,” said Andy in a press release. “My heart hurts. Life is impermanence.”
Besides Andy Lau, Benny had been consistently collaborating with Louis Koo (古天樂) since 2006’s Rob-B-Hood <寶貝計劃>. The duo were great friends on and off screen.
“I’m feeling down,” said Louis when reporters reached out to him for comment.
Benny’s last film before his passing was Raging Fire <怒火> starring Donnie Yen (甄子丹) and Nicholas Tse (謝霆鋒). It will be released posthumously. Raging Fire actor Patrick Tam (譚耀文) said, “I was ecstatic to finally be able to collaborate with such a talented director. I still remember the incomparable excitement. I was not expecting that would be the last time we see each other.”
Benny directed many great action films during the latter years of Hong Kong’s golden cinematic era. A Moment of Romance, Big Bullet <衝鋒隊：怒火街頭>, Who Am I? <我是誰>, Gen-X Cops <特警新人類>, New Police Story <新警察故事>, and Divergence <三岔口> were some of his more famous works.
Rest in peace, Benny!
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.