Characters played by child stars have been pivotal in Hong Kong cinema and have left many charming and enchanting memories. For many Hong Kong film fans, memories of growing up bring to mind popular child stars from the same eras. Which of the child actors made the most films in the 1950s and '60s and how much were their salaries? With most of their time spent at the studio, did child stars go to school and what was their secret of success? What did they play on the set while waiting to act at the studio? Who was the ultimate cool guy among the child actors? Were the child actors scolded or beaten up when they had to cry in films? Which child actor achieved international fame after growing up?
The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s new retrospective "Merry-Go-Movies?Star Kids" includes an exhibition, "Merry-Go-Movies?Star Kids of Hong Kong Cinema in the 50s and 60s". The exhibition is running until November 3 at the HKFA's Exhibition Hall, which has been turned into a lovable and cheerful children's playground with precious photos, film clips and interviews of some child stars, including Fung Bo-bo, Michael Lai, Yuen Siu-fai, Peter Dunn, Wong Oi-ming, Shek Sau, Tsui Siu-ming, Josephine Siao, Connie Chan Po-chu and Bruce Lee, to offer visitors a chance to reminisce on the stories of child stars both on and off the screen.
The screening programme in the retrospective "Merry-Go-Movies?Star Kids" is being held from today (August 16). Guests officiating at the opening ceremony today included renowned film stars Fung Bo-bo, Michael Lai, Shek Sau and Tsui Siu-ming, as well as the Head of the HKFA, Mr Richie Lam.
The exhibition "Merry-Go-Movies?Star Kids of Hong Kong Cinema in the 50s and 60s" features classic film scenes and oral history from selected child stars. A small stage with an illustration of old Hong Kong as the background has been decorated with several cut-out figures of the child stars and the public can take photos with them. The exhibition also has a section called "Wiki-KIDDO" with 48 questions on the child stars and their old photos. In addition, the exhibition features a 3-D apple tree with lovely childhood photos of a total of 50 child stars, including Paul Chun, David Chiang, Sit Kar-yin, Raymond To, Eddie Lau and others, for the visitors to see the young stars' cute faces. Admission is free.
The screening programme in the retrospective "Merry-Go-Movies?Star Kids" will showcase 30 films featuring 12 child stars from today to September 28. The opening film of "Merry-Go-Movies?Star Kids" is "The Great Devotion" (1960), featuring Fung Bo-bo, Michael Lai and Wong Oi-ming. Other selected films include "The Seven Kids" (1961), a movie with performances by a number of child stars; "Deep in Love" (1960), featuring Wong Oi-ming and Fung Bo-bo as Patrick Tse's children from different mothers; "Father is Back" (1961), starring the lovely Shek Sau; "Father Takes a Bride" (1963), co-starring Peter Dunn and his brother Paul Dunn; "Nobody's Child" (1960), a newly restored print starring Josephine Siao; "The Scout Master" (1959), starring Connie Chan as a young boy scout; "Homeless Children" (1964), with Tsui Siu-ming; and "Story of Father and Son" (1954), starring the 8-year-old Yuen Siu-fai. Also screening are three great works by the young Bruce Lee, namely "The Kid" (1950), "A Son is Born" (1953) and "An Orphan's Tragedy" (1955), to tie in with the exhibition "Bruce Lee: Kung Fu?Art?Life" organised by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Lee's passing.
In conjunction with the screenings and the exhibition, and to give audiences a deeper understanding of the stories of the Hong Kong film industry, a seminar and a number of "Meet the Audience" talks will be held at the HKFA. Fung Bo-bo and Michael Lai will share with the audiences stories from their child star days at "The Bitter and Sweet of the Good Old Days" tomorrow (August 17), while Fung Bo-bo, Michael Lai, Shek Sau, Peter Dunn and Tsui Siu-ming, as well as the film critic Joyce Yang, will also share their experiences and opinions in the talks. All the seminars and talks will be conducted in Cantonese with free admission.
Most of the films are in Cantonese and several have Chinese and English subtitles. Tickets are priced at $40. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card bookings can be made at 2111 5999, or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk .
Detailed programme information can be found in "ProFolio 68" at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For programme enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900, or browse the webpage at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2013sk/2013sk_index.html .
Ends/Friday, August 16, 2013
Issued at HKT 20:07
The Chief Manager (Film and Cultural Exchange) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Ms Maggie Pang (fifth right), and Head of the Hong Kong Film Archive, Mr Richie Lam (fourth left), together with renowned film stars Fung Bo-bo (centre), Michael Lai (fifth left), Shek Sau (fourth right) and Tsui Siu-ming (third right) and other guests officiating at the opening ceremony of "Merry-Go-Movies•Star Kids" today (August 16).
Renowned film stars (from left) Michael Lai, Fung Bo-bo, Shek Sau and Tsui Siu-ming at the "Merry-Go-Movies•Star Kids of Hong Kong Cinema in the 50s and 60s" exhibition.
The "Merry-Go-Movies•Star Kids of Hong Kong Cinema in the 50s and 60s" exhibition.
A film still of "The Great Devotion" (1960).
A film still of "The Seven Kids" (1961).
A film still of "For Better ... For Worse" (1959).
A film still of "The Scout Master" (1959).
A film still of "The Seven Little Tigers, Concluding Episode" (1966).