Portland Street Blues | Chicago Reader

Portland Street Blues

Raymond Yip?s 1998 gangland melodrama approaches the pathos, intensity, and visual punch of John Woo?s Bullet in the Head, as “Sister Thirteen,” a macho but tenderhearted gang leader (Sandra Ng), battles for control of a seedy district in Hong Kong. The chronicle of her triumphant rise plays like a traditional Chinese martial-arts saga, driven by honor, revenge, and chaste love, but Ng delivers a fierce, multifaceted performance as the stoic Thirteen; part Madame Mao, part Mercedes McCambridge, and part Mother Teresa, she?s a force as elemental as James Cagney in White Heat.

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