The Spooky Bunch
Dir: Ann Hui
Scr: Joyce Chan
Prod Co: Hi-Pitch
Cast: Josephine Siao Fong-fong, Kenny Bee, Tina Lau, Lau Hark-suen, Kwan Chung
1980 / Colour / D Beta / Cantonese / Chi & Eng Subtitles / 97 min
From the aging rises the New. In The Spooky Bunch, the traditions of Cantonese opera that had fallen out of vogue in the 1970s and 80s provide an evocative dramatic context for the youthful New Wave. Director Ann Hui, in only her second film, puts an exclamation mark on the movement that effectively revolutionized Hong Kong cinema. She was ahead of her time in assaying local Hong Kong culture, using the island Cheung Chau as a giant backstage for the opera, a confluence of the new and the old, the living and the dead, the young and the elderly, the real and the theatrical, the yin and the yang… Josephine Siao, who restored this print of the film out of her own pocket, is brilliant as an actress of wacky energy, a “kidult” ahead of her time. And Ann Hui, whose career is still going strong more than thirty years later, is at her stylized best, skillfully channeling Cantonese opera’s iconic qualities to realize the titled spooky mood.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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