Reincarnation of Golden Lotus (1989) - Clara Law
Well hard to believe there is a look and feel to such a remote genre, but this definitely feels and looks like a Hong Kong film from the late 80's. The music has that synthesized hybrid of Easternized Western music, the colors aren't sharp, and even the editing has a pace that makes it work on a John Woo level.
This was the first feature from Clara Law, and by most accounts it is her best work. The film certainly has promise. It begins with the dead Lotus about to be reincarnated, all she has to do is drink three cups of tea to erase her past, but she only drinks two, determined to go back and get revenge. She is warned that it will ruin her life, and well let's just say that's pretty obvious foreboding.
The story takes us to modern Chinese history, first in the sixties where Lotus is an orphaned child ballerina, and then her eventual exile, finall winding up in present (or at least present at the time the film was made) Hong Kong. There is certainly a contrast from the China of the beginning to the later Hong Kong. Everyone appears to be mindless slaves in China, and the ideology is shown as extreme, so not surprising the film wasn't produced there. According to the legend, Lotus was known as the "slut of all time" and her original story took place in the 10th Century. Law periodically cuts back and forth to reveal the life previously lived.
In all a pretty good film, things seem to get a little more hectic and confusing at the end, but over all I think it's a pretty compact film. It could have been longer to perhaps flesh out the different affairs carried out, but that might have made for a completely different film.