Movie Talk II: Chiu Kang-chien
Playwright, Director, Poet
Fans of classics Boat People (1982), Love Unto Waste (1986), Rouge (1988) and Centre Stage (1992) may not have noticed the screenplay writer was Chiu Kang-chien, a three-time winner of Best Screenplay at the Hong Kong Film Awards, who’s known by the pseudonym Chiu Dai An-pin. Having moved to Beijing for many years, he may even be a complete stranger to younger viewers. This is one of the reasons we invited him to come to Hong Kong to talk about film. But Chiu has much more to talk about beyond film: he’s a playwright and founder of Theatre Quarterly that introduced modern theatre and film to Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 1960s. He’s also an avant-garde movie director, and uniquely, a modern poet with a classical air.
In the 1960s and 70s, he caught attention with screenplays he penned for Shaw Brothers: Dead End (1969), The Kiss of Death (1973) and Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972). Chiu proved not only to be an excellent screenwriter, but titles he co-worked in planning, conceptualizing or scripting, such as Coolie Killer (1982), Rumble Ages (1982), An Amorous Woman of the Tang Dynasty (1984), and Full Moon in New York (1990) also garnered much creative interest. Films he wrote and directed– Tong Chee Yi Li Nan (1985) and Ming Ghost (1993) – were boldly experimental whether visually (light and shadow, sets, costumes, styling, mise-en-scene) or aurally (the use of silence, poeticised dialogues, electronic music). Both titles were rarely seen in Hong Kong, Ming Ghost in particular, is a hidden gem.
Chiu Kang-chien seldom discusses his work in public. This is a valuable opportunity to talk to him face to face. Lovers of modern film/theatre, budding poets and playwrights, don’t miss it!
The Movie Talk series is curated by veteran film researcher Law Kar
The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.