New Love Story of Leung Shan-pak and Chuk Ying-toi
Dir: Chan Pei
Scr: Tse Hung
Cast: Yam Kam-fai, Wong Chiu-mo, Leung Mo-sheung, Yee Chau-shui
1951 / B&W / D Beta / Cantonese / 91min
The convention of role types in Cantonese opera is turned upside down in this breakthrough rendition of a well-known folklore. Yam Kim-fai plays not the male lead this time, but the secluded maiden Chuk Ying-toi who seeks schooling in male disguise, accompanied by her maidservant played by Leung Mo-sheung in another cross-dressing role. The duo, both celebrated female xiaosheng who played young male characters in Cantonese opera, swiftly switch between vocal styles and costumes of the two sexes in a dazzling display of virtuosity. In the ending sequence, Yam, in male persona, falls into a passionate embrace with a real man – Leung Shan-pak (Wong Chiumo), a surprising twist which took the audience aback at the time. A gender proposition way ahead of its time!
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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