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Introduction

There is something special to the Hong Kong New Wave. The movement, spanning just a few short years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, transformed our cinema. The storied situation of a band of young outsiders arriving on the scene, forging a new order in an aging industry is the stuff of which myths are made.

On the occasion of the Hong Kong Film Archive's restoration of the New Wave classic The Secret (1979), we are offering a re-examination of that important period. This programme will be launched by the premiere of the restored version of The Secret. This print, at 90 minutes, is much closer to the original release version than the 85-minute edition that had been circulating in recent years. Sixteen key works will be screened, grouped into eight categories to survey the movement from different perspectives.

Included in the lineup are Jumping Ash (1976), The Extras (1978) and The Butterfly Murders (1979). Each of these three had been considered, by different sources, the inaugural project of the movement. Each has its significance to the movement, yet no consensus had been reached. It must be noted that the New Wave was not an organised undertaking. The term New Wave' was in fact a label used by writers, searching for meaning to the happenings. We hope this programme will provide an opportunity for viewers to contemplate that critical moment in the history of our cinema.

A few years into the movement, a Second Wave splashed upon our cinematic shore. Riding on the surge was another generation of filmmakers, offering yet another round of fresh perspectives. They surf on the improved industrial waters fostered by the First Wave, continuing with the innovations and tackling contemporary issues with less social urgency but more personal concerns.

As supplements, we are also presenting a sidebar on film editor Wong Yee-shun and director editor Mary Stephen. Wong is an industry veteran who worked on many New Wave projects, shepherding the burgeoning development with his expertise and experience.

Stephen was born and raised in Hong Kong but found filmmaking success in Europe. She is a contemporary of the New Wave generation, yet her artistic and career trajectory offers an interesting comparison with her Hong Kong counterparts.

 

The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.