Modern Cinema

Johnnie To: Cops and Robbers

July 20–August 6, 2017
SFMOMA's Phyllis Wattis Theater

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Hong Kong film director and producer Johnnie To is a master of the contemporary crime film, fusing elements of minimalist French noir (especially the films of Jean-Pierre Melville), the complex narrative structure of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy, and the B-movie panache of Seijun Suzuki. Restless and prolific, he has made more than seventy films and has applied his signature style to other genres, including a musical (Johnnie To's Office). He has shown six films at the Cannes Film Festival and received countless other nominations and awards. His films embody the sociopolitical life, criminal codes, and law enforcement conduct of Hong Kong (and now mainland China), while simultaneously resonating with the greatest films in the genre, many of which are included in this season of Modern Cinema.

Johnnie To will attend the final weekend of the program, August 3–6.


Modern Cinema, co-presented by SFFILM and SFMOMA, is an ongoing film series exploring the dynamic forces interacting between cinema's past and present. This season of Modern Cinema is sponsored by:



Modern Cinema's Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion T. McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund. Additional support is provided by Becky Draper.