Having screened movies about filmmaking by European masters in the last few months, the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s "Restored Treasures" series will present three restored Hollywood films that focus on the world of showbiz, at 2pm on April 1, May 6 and June 3 at the Cinema of the HKFA.
The three restored treasures are the cheerful musical, "Singing in the Rain", the melodramatic fable "A Star is Born" and the multiple Oscar winner "All about Eve". All were made in the 1950s during the heyday of the Hollywood studio era.
Co-directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, "Singing in the Rain" (1952) is a love story - between a man and a woman and between filmmakers and filmmaking. Set in 1927, when Hollywood was going through its awkward transition from silents to talkies, the film offers a romantic - not to mention very funny - take on the troubles and travails of filmmaking. The film is a product of the MGM studio during a period of amazing creativity. The dance scene with Gene Kelly frolicking in the rain became a classic in film history, and the movie itself is now considered by many as one of the greatest film musicals.
Starring Judy Garland and James Mason, "A Star is Born" (1954) is a melodrama about the rise of a star and the fall of another, who just happen to be a married couple. Director George Cukor tells the story, alternating between exquisite drama and sumptuous musical numbers, and capturing the harsh reality of the movie industry and the seductiveness of the showbiz world. The original film was 182 minutes, but the premiere screening was cut to 154 minutes. The version to be screened was restored in 1983 to 176 minutes, and some missing scenes were reconstructed using stills.
Director Joseph L Mankiewicz's "All About Eve" (1950) is a multiple Oscar winner well known for its depiction of ruthless ambition, filtered through an intimate portrait of the theatre world. The film offers a highly cynical view of show business. The title character is a seemingly innocent young devotee who snakes her way into the life of an ageing star and schemes to push the latter aside. The film is adapted from a short story based on real life. Starring Bettie Davies and Anne Baxter, the director films the tale with a complicated structure, vivid characters and witty, intelligent dialogues.
Film critics Ka Ming, Shu Kei, Wong Ain-ling and the Programmer of the HKFA, Sam Ho, will host post-screening talks for "Singing in the Rain", "A Star is Born" and "All about Eve" respectively. The talks will be conducted in Cantonese.
The films are in English. "All about Eve" has English subtitles.
Tickets for "Singing in the Rain" are now available at URBTIX outlets. Tickets for "A Star is Born" will be available from April 6, and tickets for "All about Eve" will be available from May 3. Tickets are priced at $50. Half-price concessionary 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 on 2111 5999, or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk.
Detailed programme information can be found in "ProFolio 62", which is 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: www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2011rt3/2011rt3_film.html.
Ends/Thursday, March 15, 2012
A film still from "Singing in the Rain" (1952).
A film still from "A Star is Born" (1954).