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Eileen Chang and Film

Eileen Chang and Film

There is something special about Eileen Chang and film. She loved movies and started writing film reviews at the tender age of 17. During the war, she would even brave the danger of air raids to go to theaters to follow the exploits of her favorite stars. She wrote about films, in essays or in novels, and her writing was greatly influenced by the grammar of film.

Chang also wrote scripts — in China after the war, and in Hong Kong, after she left China. Scripts are by nature different from novels and writing scripts allowed Chang to develop a completely different aspect of her creativity. Most of her scripts are comedies, obliging her to fabricate a world much more upbeat and even more optimistic than that of her novels. Most of her scripts became commercially successful films.

Then there are also the films based on her novels. Chang's writing is richly evocative of images, making it at once tempting for filmmakers to adapt and difficult to successfully realize. Such notable directors of the Chinese world as Ann Hui, Stanley Kwan, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ang Lee had translated her stories to screen, resulting in an interesting body of work.

Literature, scripts and films are three different but related types of artistic expressions. Films written by Eileen Chang and those based on her writing involve all three types of expressions as well as the contributions of other creative personnel like directors and adapting scriptwriters. The Hong Kong Film Archive is presenting this series of films and a compilation of her scripts to facilitate in the consideration of Chang's relationship with film.


Last Updated On :26-02-2010