With the exponential growth of the Chinese film industry new filmmakers have revitalised the genre with their passion and creativity. Ten recent Mainland films showcasing different styles, most of which are the directors' debut works, will be shown in the "Chinese Film Panorama 2012 - New Forces of the Chinese Cinema" from October 20 to November 25.
The selected films have been shot in different styles to reflect the multifaceted nature of life. They include "Kora" (2011), the adventures of a young cyclist in Tibet; "Be A Mother" (2011), which touches on the ethics of surrogate motherhood; a delightful urban comedy "Sleepless Fashion" (2011); "Lucky Dog" (2009), which depicts life in a north-east provincial town; an absurd black humour satire "No Liar, No Cry" (2011); the touching "Promise" (2012); a picturesque melodrama with pleasant music, "Folk Songs Singing" (2011); "Heaven Eternal, Earth Everlasting" (2010) which looks at grown-ups of the post-80s generation; "City Monkey" (2010), a film full of energy and "Memories from the Watchtower" (2012), a film set in the military stations of the Chinese-Soviet border.
The screenings will be held at the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive, the Lecture Hall of the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Cine-Art House.
"Chinese Film Panorama 2012 - New Forces of the Chinese Cinema" is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the South China Film Industry Workers Union, in association with Sil-Metropole Organisation Ltd and Southern Film Co Ltd.
The award-winning film "Kora" by young director Du Jiayi features a Taiwanese youngster embarking on a 2,000-kilometre solo bicycle trip from Lijiang in Yunnan to Lhasa in Tibet to fulfill the wish of his dead brother. It is a journey involving extreme cold weather, 5,000-metre high snowy mountains and fast-flowing rivers. The adventure was shot in a realistic style and includes magnificent scenery and enchanting humanity. The film won the Best Artistic Contribution Award at the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival and Best Debut Film at the 19th Beijing College Student Film Festival.
Starring Alex Fong and Qin Lan, "Be a Mother" touches on the ethical issues raised by surrogacy. A successful couple find a beautiful young student to serve as the surrogate mother, and what starts off as a "deliver and run" transaction takes on unexpected twists with a husband-wife-surrogate mother relationship. Director Yu Zhong deals meticulously with the ethical sentiments and human trials. The film was awarded the Best Original Screenplay Award at the 3rd China Image Film Festival (England) and the Best Cinematography Award at the Macau International Movie Festival 2011.
Starring Vic Chou, Vivian Hsu, Yu Nan, Alan Tam and Lam Suet from Hong Kong and Taiwan, the light-hearted comedy "Sleepless Fashion" features the young editor of a lifestyle magazine publishing his own magazine after being fired by his boss. With a thought-provoking and delightful style, director Yin Lichuan transmits the message that young entrepreneurs must lose their arrogance in order to gain success.
"Lucky Dog" is the debut film of director Zhang Meng, who later became known for his award-winning "The Piano in a Factory". A story focusing more on the melancholic side of life but not without a comic touch from the bright side, the film vividly describes a single day in the retired life of Big Ears Wang and the host of emotions involved. With love and earnestness, this lively film plays on the heartstrings of the audience. The film was awarded the Jury Prix of Asian New Talent Award at the 11th Shanghai International Film Festival.
Director Xu Chuanhai's black comedy "No Liar, No Cry" can be classified as a sort of Chinese Spaghetti Western. A frontier man has discovered a gold mine but does not have the ability to harness it. Instead, it attracts deceit and destruction with fools and bad guys locked in a deadly battle of wits. With stylish acting from Wu Gang, Zhang Xinyu and Cherrie Ying, this farcical adventure is played out on a rollercoaster of action, suspense and absurdity.
The "new forces" directors often touch on themes of life and growth. Based on director Li Fangfang's own novel, "Heaven Eternal, Earth Everlasting" is a bittersweet tale of youthhood memories. The film is a slice of the post-1980s seen through the eyes of the new director and filmmaker. It also includes episodes during the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Another story about youth, "City Monkey" features "parkour", the fashionable new activity for youngsters. The players are seen jumping up and off buildings, into houses and over the rooftops, releasing their youthful energy with their dangerous moves. The film also includes performances by Mainland China's top parkour group, making all the dangerous moves all the more exciting. The film won the Best Leading Actress Award at the 47th Taipei Golden Horse Awards and the Best New Actor Award at the 18th Beijing College Student Film Festival.
A touching story about to love and be loved, "Promise" takes a melancholic look at family relationships in a composed and subtle way. To reduce her father's worries, a peasant daughter would like to see him re-married. Love finally blossoms between the new couple and the "sisters". The daughters gradually come to understand the hardships lived by their parents and the importance of love in family relationships. The film won the Special Award for Concern of Humanity at the 19th Beijing College Student Film Festival.
A film set against the tense border dispute on the Chinese-Soviet border during the Cold War, "Memories from the Watchtower" is based on the personal experience of writer Zeng Xianmin as a soldier on the border. Without any actual war scenes, it shows the life of soldiers on both sides of two remote military stations and the symbolic value of cross-border co-operation between China and Russia.
With pleasant folk music and picturesque village scenery, "Folk Songs Singing" is a story of love, music, power and filial duty. The daughter defies her father's wish and leaves the village to pursue her dreams of learning about music. But when she returns after her training, she finds that her hometown is not the same. The film was awarded the Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Music of Golden Goblet Award at the 14th Shanghai International Film Festival.
All films are in Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles.
Tickets priced at $55 are available at URBTIX (for screenings at the Hong Kong Film Archive and Hong Kong Space Museum), Cine-Art House and Cityline (for screenings at Cine-Art House). Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card telephone booking can be made at 2111 5999 (URBTIX) or 2317 6666 (Cityline), or Internet booking at www.urbtix.hk (URBTIX) or www.cityline.com (Cityline).
For enquiries, please call 2734 2900. Programme details can be found in the programme booklets available at all URBTIX outlets or Cine-Art House, or by browsing the webpage at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2012cfp/2012cfp_index.html.
Ends/Friday, October 12, 2012
A film still from "Kora" (2011).
A film still from "Be A Mother" (2011).
A film still from "Sleepless Fashion" (2011).
A film still from "City Monkey" (2010).
A film still from "No Liar, No Cry" (2011).
A film still from "Heaven Eternal, Earth Everlasting" (2010).
A film still from "Lucky Dog" (2009).
A film still from "Promise" (2012).