A reformer and pioneer of Hong Kong cinema, director Patrick Lung Kong vowed to change the face of Cantonese cinema and was ahead of his time in farsighted portrayals of sensitive social issues like the plague in "Yesterday Today Tomorrow" and the anti-nuclear film "Hiroshima 28". He was keen to explore new ways of storytelling and experimented with different editing and pacing techniques. His films are impressive viewing, even today.
The Hong Kong Film Archive's (HKFA) new exhibition "A Creative Journey with Lung Kong" runs from today (March 19) to May 16. Apart from introducing Lung's directorial career, the HKFA has collaborated with the Hong Kong Arts Centre to invite artists of the new generation to create visual art works that echo the film world and inspiring spirit of Lung Kong.
New creative works from director Vincent Chui, Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Award winners Rita Hui and Sham Ka-ki, visual artist Chow Chun-fai and cultural scholar Au-Yeung Shing will demonstrate the cross-generation exchange and their carrying forward director Lung's daring and forthright spirit.
In addition, artwork that Lung had completed in the United States in recent years, including calligraphy, oil paintings and stone seals, are also on display in the exhibition. Interviews with film veterans Josephine Siao Fong Fong, Nancy Sit Ka-yin, Kenneth Tsang Kong and film editor Wong Yee-shun on their experiences with director Lung will also be shown.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held today at the HKFA. Guests attending the reception include the Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of the Leisure and Cultural Services, Dr Louis Ng Chi-wa, director Lung Kong, and film veterans, including Nancy Sit Ka-yin, Ng See-yuen, Cheung Tung-joe, Takkie Yeung and Vincent Chui.
Two seminars will be held at the Cinema of the HKFA. Director Lung and film critic Lawrence Lau will share their experiences and memories in "The Cinema of Lung Kong" at 5pm tomorrow (March 20). Director Vincent Chui, artists Chow Chun-fai, Rita Hui, Sham Ka-ki and Au-Yeung Shing will have "A Dialogue with Lung Kong" at 7.30pm on March 23. Both seminars will be conducted in Cantonese. Admission is free for the exhibition and seminars.
An outstanding character in Hong Kong cinematic history, director Lung left an indelible imprint as one of the most original and uncompromising auteurs of the 1960s and 70s. He was audacious, strong-willed and always ready to take bold steps in his filmic endeavours, yet he was also eloquent, amiable, a trendy groundbreaker and a gentle scholar. His unique approach to filmmaking might have been met with mixed reactions but his influence is long-lasting.
A film buff who could watch five films a day in different cinemas, Lung started his film career in the 1950s as an actor with Shaw Studio. He learnt directing from veterans Chow Sze-luk and Chun Kim. He worked his way through acting, scriptwriting, directing, producing, marketing and overseas distribution. With Cantonese cinema in a state of decline in the 1960s, Lung's dream was to elevate it to new levels by pushing the envelope of Hong Kong film practice. He realised his dreams by making three films with commercial appeal and then one with personal his vision.
Lung is a director of strong personal vision, expressing highly opinionated views, and his films are not without sensational treatment. He cared deeply about Hong Kong, addressing in his films such social issues as the rehabilitation of ex-convicts, career criminals, juvenile delinquency and prostitution. He championed an active institutional role in dealing with these social issues at a time when such an idea was as novel as it is commonplace today.
Apart from the exhibition, 15 of Lung's works together with three reference films will be shown from today to May 8 at the Cinema of the HKFA in the retrospective "Hong Kong Auteur, Lung Kong". The films shown are Lung's work for director Chun Kim in "The Big Circus", "Pink Tears" and "Mimi-Private Eye"; his directorial debut "Prince of Broadcasters"; his celebrated titles "Story of a Discharged Prisoner", "Teddy Girls", the highly controversial "Yesterday Today Tomorrow" and "Hiroshima 28"; feminine-based "The Call Girls" and "My Beloved"; melodrama "Pei Shih" and touching love stories "The Window", "Mitra", which was shot in Iran, and sci-fi "Laugh In", and director Patrick Tam's "Love Massacre" for which Lung was the producer. Also screened will be reference films from three directors: John Woo's "A Better Tomorrow", Chor Yuen's "The Joys and Sorrows of Youth" and Derek Yee's "The Lunatics".
A new book "Oral History Series (6): Director Lung Kong" will include detailed interviews with the director and essays from well-known critics and scholars expressing their views on Lung's work. Priced at $120, the book is in Chinese and the English edition is in CD-ROM.
Tickets for all screenings priced at $30 are available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Reservations can be made at 2734 9009 or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk.
Detailed programme information can be obtained in"ProFolio 51" or "The 34th HKIFF Programme and Booking Folder" distributed at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For programme enquiries, please call 2739 2139/2734 2900 or browse the websites: www.filmarchive.gov.hk or www.lcsd.gov.hk/fp .
Ends/Friday, March 19, 2010
The opening reception of "A Creative Journey with Lung Kong" was held today (March 19) at the Hong Kong Film Archive. Photo shows director Lung Kong (left) and the Assistant Director (Heritage and Museums) of Leisure and Cultural Services, Dr Louis Ng Chi-wa.
"A Creative Journey with Lung Kong" is being held from today (March 19) to May 16 at the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Film Archive. The exhibition not only features Lung's directorial career, but also visual art works from new-generation artists that echo the film world of Lung Kong.
Picture shows some of the exhibits at the exhibition entitled "A Creative Journey with Lung Kong".