Mainland movies commemorate China's reform and opening up
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, 10 Mainland films depicting social and economic changes in China over the past decades will be shown in the "Chinese Film Panorama 2008" next month.
The 10 films include the two opening films "Sudden Incidence" and "Way of the Snowstorm"; romantic comedy "The Longest Night in Shanghai"; documentary "Dream Weavers - Beijing 2008"; affectionate tale "Good Man"; stories about rural life and cultural heritage in the reform era in "Song of Tibet", "Heavenly Grassland" and "In the Wild Mountains"; and dramas about industrialisation in "The Dream is Alive" and "Final Dash".
The screenings will run from October 16 to November 9 at the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive, and the Lecture Halls of the Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Science Museum.
"Chinese Film Panorama 2008: Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of China's Reform and Opening-up" 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.
In the past three decades, China's cinema has commercialised, modernised and internationalised, raising its artistic standards to international levels.
Based on the novel by the Fujian writer Yang Shaoheng, the opening film "Sudden Incidence" (2007) is about the conflict between a veteran county official and his new young deputy who begin as rivals but whose relationship ends in mutual trust after they tackle a series of unexpected incidents. The film won the Award for Realism-themed Film at the 15th Beijing Student Film Festival.
Another opening film "Way of the Snowstorm" (2007), which was filmed on location on the beautiful plateaus of Xinjiang, is about the joint efforts of police and civilians in a rescue operation conducted in a blizzard. Under the severest conditions, the extremes of human nature, self-sacrifice and selfishness, are exposed in this thriller of magnificent scope. The film won the Best Feature Film award at the Kazakhstan Almaty International Film Festival.
The engineers and scientists in "The Dream is Alive" (2007) battle the forces of nature in building a modern harbour. This story about industrialisation has action scenes such as a helicopter rescue and a flood of seawater surging into the harbour. It won the Best Actress award (Miao Pu) at the 15th Beijing Student Film Festival.
How can a Japanese man and Chinese woman taxi driver, without a common language, spend a night in dazzling Shanghai? Starring Zhao Wei, Motoki Masahiro, Sam Lee and Dylan Kuo, "The Longest Night in Shanghai" (2007) is an urban romantic comedy by a Sixth Generation director, Zhang Yibai. The film won the Press Prize for the Best Box-office-to-be Film and the Most Attractive Actress (Zhao Wei) at the 10th Shanghai International Film Festival as well as the Jury Award and the Most Popular Actress award at the 14th Beijing Student Film Festival.
Through a beautiful Tibetan girl's love and hatred for her three lovers, the affectionate "Song of Tibet" (2000) reveals the changes in Tibetan history and culture over five decades. The film was entirely shot on the stunning plateaus of Tibet and it won Best Music, Screenplay Special Award and Actress Special Award (Danzengzhuoga) at the 20th Golden Rooster Awards.
Directed by Sai Fu and Mai Lisi, a couple renowned for capturing the compelling beauty of the grasslands, the panoramic "Heavenly Grassland" (2002) tells of the hopes and dreams of Inner Mongolian nomads. The film won Best Director, Best Film Techniques and Best Film Song at the 8th Huabiao Awards as well as Best Actor (Ning Cai) and Best Music at the 22nd Golden Rooster Awards.
The acclaimed "In the Wild Mountains" (1985) was filmed in the early years of the reform era. Through the story of "wife exchange", it tells of the impact of the new policies on a remote village in northern Shanxi Province. The film has won several local and international awards, including the Grand Prix at the 8th Nantes Tri-continental International Film Festival in France, and was one of the Best Ten Chinese Films at the 5th Hong Kong Film Awards.
Shot in Yangzhou with its sights, sounds, songs and folkloric culture, "Good Man" (2007) is an affectionate tale showing that traditional values of self-sacrifice can still be found in a modern society where egocentricity prevails. The film won the Best Actress award (Ma Yili) at the 9th Changchun Film Festival and the Jury Award at the 15th Beijing Student Film Festival.
Technological advancement is integral to the process of modernisation. Through the development of new computer chips, "Final Dash" (2002) sparks off competition between China and the United States. Creativity, opportunities and patriotism become inseparable in this tale about the quest for excellence and self-determination. The film won Best Feature Film at the 8th Huabiao Awards.
Not to be missed is China's first documentary on the seven-year planning for the Olympics, "Dream Weavers - Beijing 2008" (2008). Relating the aspirations and efforts of a Chinese family, the hurdler Liu Xiang and three gymnasts, the film takes the audience behind the scenes of the planning for the Beijing Olympics and shows a nation’s collective vision of "One World One Dream".
Except for "The Longest Night in Shanghai", which is in Putonghua and Japanese, all films are in Putonghua. All films have English and Chinese subtitles.
Tickets priced at $45 are available 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. There will be a 10% discount for each purchase of six to 10 tickets and a 20% for each purchase of 11 or more tickets.
For programme information and discount details, call 2734 2900, 2780 5355 or 2527 7284 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/fp. Reservations can be made by phone on 2734 9009 or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk.
Ends/Friday, September 19, 2008
The film still of "The Longest Night in Shanghai" (2007).
The film still of "Song of Tibet" (2000).