Spanning 60 years, the Wong Fei-hung saga represents the longest-running and most prolific series of movies in the history of Hong Kong Cinema, and it owes some of its success to the various martial arts featured in the movies. Disciples of Master Wong will demonstrate some of these martial arts at the seminar entitled "The Kung Fu Saga of Wong Fei-hung", to be held at 4.30pm on Saturday (May 12) at the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA), at which they will also chat with the audience about Wong fei-hung's movies.
The seminar will be held after the screening of the film "Wong Fei-hung's Battle with the Five Tigers in the Boxing Ring". Mr Li Chan-wo, godson of Wong's wife Mok Kwai-lan and master of the "hung" fist; Mr Lau Ka-yung, a fifth generation student of Master Wong and Mr Pang Chi-ming, a fourth generation student, will perform the "hung" fist and elaborate on the differences between Wong's real martial arts practice and the fighting staged in films.
Li Chan-wo has been promoting martial arts, lion dancing, leech craft and the spirit of Master Wong for many years. At the seminar Li will demonstrate some of Master Wong's traditional kung fu; movie action director Lau Ka-yung will perform the "hung" fist and elaborate on the differences between Wong's real martial arts practice and the fighting staged in films; and researcher of martial arts' culture Pang Chi-ming will focus on the culture of traditional martial arts clinics in Shunde and Guangzhou. The seminar will be conducted in Cantonese. Admission is free.
The retrospective "Once Upon a Hero: The Wong Fei-hung Saga", held at the HKFA until May 26, is screening 26 Wong Fei-hung films and television dramas from the late 1940s to the 1990s. The selected films include director Wu Pang and producer Chow Sze-luk's "Wong Fei-hung Sets Fire to Dashatou" (1956), which culminates in a final set at a brothel; the first Wong Fei-hung film produced by Kwan Tak-hing, "Wong Fei-hung's Battle with the Five Tigers in the Boxing Ring" (1958); "Wong Fei-hung and Wife Eradicated the Three Rascals" (1958), a rare film in which the master's wife is featured; director Yuen Woo-ping's "Dreadnaught" (1981), starring Kwan Tak-hing and Yuen Biao; and director Tsui Hark's "Once Upon a Time in China" (1991), starring Jet Li.
An exhibition titled "Benevolence and Loftiness: The Cinematic Legend of Wong Fei-hung" is being held at the Exhibition Hall of the HKFA from now until July 22. It features a setting based on Master Wong's famous Po Chi Lam clinic together with precious film stills, videos, and oral history interviews. Admission is free.
In addition, the HKFA's new book "Mastering Virtue: The Cinematic Legend of a Martial Artist", with an English edition on CD-ROM has been published. The first-of-its-kind monograph examines the cinema of Wong Fei-hung from a historical background and considers artistic characteristics and film genres.
Further information and details of the retrospective can be obtained in the "ProFolio 62" distributed at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For programme enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900 or browse the website: www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2012wfh/2012wfh_index.html.
Ends/Tuesday, May 8, 2012