To the audience, Herman Yau is best known as the creator of violent cult films. To friends and colleagues, Herman is a sincere, hardworking gentleman. Herman himself admits that he can be an “excessive” filmmaker, but he has also made some great films throughout his career. Herman is not just a film buff; he’s also an avid reader, a writer and he even plays guitar. Even after becoming a filmmaker, Herman earned a Master degree in Cultural Studies and a PhD in Social Science. He is a man with a passion for life and a concern for social causes, devoted to capturing reality and engaging in debates about the world at large. Each Herman Yau film has its own redeemable quality, and we have chosen a few of those films for this program so we can all learn more about what drives Herman Yau.
It’s hard to believe that 27 years have passed since Reunion (1988). We were all fueled by our youthful (and reckless) spirit and it was my good friend Apple Kwan who initiated this film. As a member of the film industry, I worked on all kinds of films to make a living, but I also made an effort to make films that I wanted to make. At the time, there were many independent filmmakers making short films, but very few made feature films. When Apple told us that he wanted to make a feature film, many of his friends offered to help without hesitation. I was honored that Apple asked me to be his cinematographer and his composer. Even as I’m writing this text, memories from the film set remain so clear to me. We were all ecstatic when the film was finally released in 1988. We were even happier that the actors were recognised for their work, and that the film resulted in more opportunities for them.
Looking back at the experience brings back all kinds of emotions. I may have been in this industry for nearly three decades already, but that passion I had for cinema when I first started hasn’t faded. Yet, I admit that I have become a much different person from the old me. Some of us wanted to change the world, but we let the world change us. Apple Kwan is an exception to that rule. Even today, he is still an incredibly
kind soul with a passion for cinema.
Herman Yau 2013.11.20
The Movie Talk series is curated by veteran film researcher Law Kar
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