The Flower Drops by the Red Chamber
Dir: Ng Wui Scr: Chun Kim Orig Story: Cao Xueqin
Set Design: Wong Hang
Cast: Pak Wan, Fong Yim-fun, Yip Ping, Ma Siu-ying
1950 / B&W / D Beta / Cantonese / 82min
The film debut of Cantonese Opera superstar Fong Yim-fun, The Flower Drops by the Red Chamber, extracted from the Chinese literary classic, Dreams of the Red Chamber, has an exquisite and sensitive style rarely found in productions of the same period. Filmed over six months (again, almost unprecedented in its time), the script concentrates on the tragic fate of Qingwen, the sentimental and fragile female protagonist, who sees her love with the young master Jia Boyu doomed by destiny and class discrimination, as demonstrated by the heart-rending outcome of the love affairs of several other maids in the imperial family. Ng Wui’s delicate mise-en-scène is aided by Ho Look-ying’s and Lee Kau’s carefully composed images and gliding camera movement. The main set, the majestic Red Chamber, is designed by Wong Hang, himself an outstanding director, too. It’s a bravura.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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