In April the Hong Kong Film Archive's (HKFA) "Morning Matinee" will screen four Cantonese and one Mandarin film starring renowned Cantonese opera stars Yam Kim-fai, Fong Yim-fun, Sun Ma Si-tsang, Lam Kar-sing and film idols Connie Chan Po-chu, Josephine Siao Fong-fong, Patsy Kar Ling and Helen Ma.
The films, "Unexpected Fortune", "Lovers' Tears", "Chai Kung Versus Vampire", "Affection and Hatred of the Knight" and "Deaf and Mute Heroine" will be shown at 11am on April 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 respectively at the Cinema of the HKFA. "Deaf and Mute Heroine" is in Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles. Other screenings are in Cantonese without subtitles.
"Unexpected Fortune" (1963) features the Cantonese opera trio of Yam Kim-fai, Law Yim-hing and Poon Yat-on. The Emperor issues an edict to recruit someone who can bring an end to the long drought and a cobbler (Poon) responds, believing his brother Yam is an expert in astronomy and astrology. The humble Yam is summoned to court, where he is drawn into palatial intrigue and as well as a royal romance with the princess.
Adapted from the Cantonese opera of the same title, the film "Lovers' Tears" (1958) stays close to the original script in the first half but adds a few dramatic twists in the second. It is the story of a scholar (Lam Kar-sing) who is persecuted, along with his wife, by a treacherous minister. His brother swears to uphold his honor. A saga of dramatic twists and turns, with great opera performances by Lam and leading actress Fong Yim-fun.
Chai Kung, the monk known affectionately in folklore as Living Buddha, is loved for his eccentric personality and big-hearted chivalry, often standing up for the underdog against the powerful and corrupt. Starring Cantonese opera superstar Sun Ma Si-tsang, "Chai Kung Versus Vampire" (1965) features the monk's adventure while solving a mysterious case of missing young women, landing himself briefly in jail in the process.
"Affection and Hatred of the Knight" (1964) is as much a romance as it is a "wuxia" film. Matinee idol Patrick Tse Yin plays a carefree martial artist who unwittingly gets involved in a highway robbery, only to realise that it is connected to the murder of his own father. In the process, he has to use his manly charm on a young woman (Tam Sin-hung), so that he can save the life of his lover, the beautiful Patsy Kar Ling.
"The Deaf and Mute Heroine" (1971) is known for its cult reputation built on moody decoupage, beautifully choreographed action and the title character's enigmatic presence. Helen Ma creates among the most memorable of martial arts women in this story of honour and revenge, helped in no small way by her nemesis, an equally brooding, enigmatic beauty played by sex kitten Shirley Huang. Wu Ma, a character actor who also appears, proves unequivocally his accomplishments as a director.
Tickets priced at $20 for the films are available now at 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. Credit card bookings can be made at 2111 5999, or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk
Detailed programme information can be obtained in the "ProFolio 57" leaflet distributed at all performance venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 / 2734 2900 or browse the website: www.filmarchive.gov.hk or www.lcsd.gov.hk/fp.
Ends/Friday, March 4, 2011
A film still from "Unexpected Fortune" (1963).
A film still from "Lovers' Tears" (1958).
A film still from "Chai Kung Versus Vampire" (1965).
A film still from "Affection and Hatred of the Knight" (1964).
A film still from "Deaf and Mute Heroine" (1971).