Life is Cheap. . .But Toilet Paper is Expensive (1989)

  • March 17, 2023 | 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM | Friday
  • Oldham Theatre


Sorry, this event is expired and no longer available.
Share This Event

Director: Wayne Wang
Runtime: 83 minutes
Country: USA, Hong Kong
Language: English, Cantonese with English subtitles
Rating: R21

Full Synopsis

In a rejection of his bland studio comedies like Dim Sum and the landmark family drama The Joy Luck Club, Wayne Wang returned to modern-day Hong Kong for Life is Cheap…But Toilet Paper is Expensive, showing in a new 4K restoration. A mob courier (Spencer Nakasako, the film’s assistant director and documentary filmmaker who later directed Kelly Loves Tony) travels to Hong Kong to deliver a briefcase (handcuffed to his arm) but can’t find the Big Boss—so he decides to party instead. What follows takes the noir-esque premise and abstracts it into hybrid cinema, combining the filmmakers’ more documentary experiences with gonzo scripted vignettes, seeking inspiration from and escaping into the Wild Wild East of a pre-handover Hong Kong.

This film is part of the strand Dreaming of Home. For the full Constellating Histories: Encountering Asian American Diasporas Onscreen programme, please click here.

Oldham Theatre’s opening hours

Friends of AFA members may select the “Friends of AFA” option and enter your membership number if you wish to redeem your remaining complimentary tickets.

For further assistance, please contact us at 

Important Notice:
Do note that Oldham Theatre operates on a free seating arrangement. Doors will open 20 minutes before showtime so arrive early to choose a seat and avoid disrupting the screenings as AFA does not play ads and screenings will start promptly.
All patrons are encouraged to purchase your tickets online. If you choose to purchase tickets or merchandise at Oldham Theatre’s box office, cashless payment is preferred.
Measures will be taken to ensure the health and safety of all patrons at Oldham Theatre. Mask-wearing is optional as of 29 August 2022.

Concession tickets apply to Students (Local & Overseas), Full-time National Servicemen (NSF), Senior Citizens (55 years and above) only.
Please check film ratings before purchase of tickets. Please note that you may be asked to present your ID at the door (this applies to concession tickets as well). Only physical photographic identification is allowed, digital copies of identification are not allowed. AFA reserves the right to turn away any members of the public without physical photographic identification.
Upon confirmation of your order for Tickets, no exchange of Tickets will be made under any circumstances and Tickets are not transferable. No refund on Tickets will be made under any circumstances except due to cancellation of the event. The resale of Tickets at any price is prohibited.