The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s new series "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies" has received an enthusiastic response, with tickets for the movies showing in October and November all sold out within a short time. Additional screenings for five of the films will be held in November and December.
The extra screenings include director Tsui Hark's "Shanghai Blues" (1984) and Ng Wui's "The Seventh Heaven" (1956), to be shown at 7.30pm on November 21 and 22 respectively. Director Kam Kwok-leung's "Wonder Women" (1987), starring Carol Cheng, Cecilia Yip and Michael Wong, will be shown at 9.45pm on November 26 and the director will meet the audience before the screening.
The other two films are director Fung Fung's "The Kid" (1950) starring Bruce Lee and Yee Chau-shui, and "The Way of the Dragon" (1972), the only film directed by Bruce Lee. They will be shown at 7.30pm on December 23 and 30 respectively.
Hong Kong has a rich cinematic heritage and Hong Kong cinema has enjoyed widespread global success. The HKFA and a panel of experts well-versed in the history of Hong Kong cinema have selected 100 films from 1916 to 1999 including silent movies, documentaries with historical significance, Mandarin and Cantonese films, films of different political views, studio works and independent films for viewers to experience some of the best movies made in Hong Kong.
The panellists are renowned writers and researchers Mr Law Kar and Ms Wong Ain-ling; the Dean of the School of Film and Television of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Mr Shu Kei; the Artistic Director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Mr Li Cheuk-to; the HKFA's Programmer, Mr Sam Ho; and the HKFA's Research Officer, Mr Po Fung.
Renowned actor Mr Simon Yam is the programme ambassador of "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies". The series, which started in October, has 100 great movies being screened on the second and the fourth Saturdays of each month at the Cinema of the HKFA.
An additional screening of the comedy "Shanghai Blues" will be shown in November. Starring Sylvia Chang, Kenny Bee and Sally Yeh, the film animates Shanghai of the 1930s and '40s with equal measures of nostalgia for old China and projection of Hong Kong's modernity. Director Tsui Hark executes the story with a mix of romantic naiveté, cartoonish comedy and ironic sarcasm. Based on a Hollywood adaptation of the play by Austin Strong, "The Seventh Heaven" is not only one of the first odd-couple films but also one of the best. Marked by great performances by Patrick Tse and Ng Wui, the film is an inspired blend of social realism and comedy.
A female version of the odd-couple film, "Wonder Women" conveys the vibrant urbanity of Hong Kong in all its neon glamour and shallow frivolity. The tone of the film is by turns engaging and ironic, fortified by genuine pathos for the common woman. Carol Cheng captures her character in all her beauty and silliness, showing strengths and weaknesses as well as nobility and vulgarity.
"The Kid" and "The Way of the Dragon", both featuring Bruce Lee, will be shown in December. Adapted from a serialised comic strip, "The Kid" revolves around Lee's character, an orphan raised by a poor teacher but on the verge of plunging into a future of depravity. At the tender age of 10, Lee proves he is a gifted actor and a star with natural charisma. "The Way of the Dragon" expands on Lee's earlier kung fu movies' themes and concerns such as the code of humility and a sense of national pride tinged with anger.
"The Way of the Dragon" is in Mandarin and English. Other films are in Cantonese. All five films have Chinese and English subtitles. Screening details of other films in "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies" will be announced later.
Tickets for the extra screenings of "Shanghai Blues", "The Seventh Heaven" and "Wonder Women" are available now at all URBTIX outlets. Tickets for the extra screenings of "The Kid" and "The Way of the Dragon" will be available from November 10 onwards. Tickets are priced at $30, with half-price concessionary discounts 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 on 2111 5999, or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk.
Detailed programme information is available in the leaflet distributed at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900, or browse the webpage at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2011ms100/2011ms100_index.html.
Ends/Friday, November 4, 2011
A film still from "Wonder Women" (1987).
A film still from "The Kid" (1950).
A film still from "The Way of the Dragon" (1972).