The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s flagship "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies" series will screen six films directed by Yue Feng, Zhu Shilin, Chor Yuen, Patrick Lung Kong, Ann Hui and Wong Kar-wai from November to January. The programme includes brilliant melodramas, films on controversial topics and works adapted from literary classics by Jin Yong.
Directors Yue Feng and Zhu Shilin were both experts in illustrating human emotions and mise-en-scène, as showcased in Yue's great work "Golden Lotus" (1957) and Zhu's masterpiece "The Eternal Love" (1960). Chor Yuen and Patrick Lung Kong were outstanding directors in the 1960s. Chor's melodrama "Ungratefulness" (1965) has been seen as a breakthrough in Cantonese cinema, and Lung's "Story of a Discharged Prisoner" (1967) left a strong influence on the crime genre in Hong Kong cinema. The two wuxia works adapted from Jin Yong's novels, with completely different filming styles, are Ann Hui's "The Romance of Book & Sword" (1987) and Wong Kar-wai's "Ashes of Time" (1994), which won numerous awards both locally and overseas.
The six films will be shown on November 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at the HKFA, and from November to January 2014 at Broadway Cinematheque (BC). In addition, "The Eternal Love" and "The Romance of Book & Sword" will also be screened on November 30 and January 19, 2014, respectively at Cine-Art House.
Director Yue Feng's "Golden Lotus" tells the tragic tale of a doomed love triangle involving a man caught between a singer and the rich girl he's being forced to marry. The film is a showcase of Linda Lin Dai's talent as she plays dual roles and adapts to the personalities of both women brilliantly - a performance that earned her a much-deserved Best Actress award at the Asia Pacific Film Festival. An exceptional visual storyteller, Yue makes studio sets look convincingly like scenes in northern China, and creates a strong contrast between the grand homes of the rich and the cramped spaces of the poor to show the different worlds that the two women inhabit, in addition to offering complex contemplation on the dilemma between marriage and love.
Starring Hsia Moon, Fu Che and Kung Chiu-hsia, "The Eternal Love" is a masterpiece from director Zhu Shilin's later years. The film starts on a light note, showing a family celebrating several joyous events, yet it ends with a series of tragedies including the mother's suicide and even murder. Zhu's attentiveness to mise-en-scène can be seen in a married couple's use of candles - from the red candles in the wedding chamber to the white candles used at a funeral showing the injustice that shatters the family.
"Ungratefulness" is considered a genre breakthrough in the world of Cantonese cinema. The impressive melodrama depicts the love and desire of a strong-willed heroine and is a signature work of director Chor Yuen. Patrick Tse Yin falls ill after eloping with Patsy Kar Ling to Hong Kong. On his death bed, he begs Kar Ling to pay for his younger brother's studies in Australia. Years later, the brother returns to Hong Kong and falls in love with the now well-known courtesan Kar Ling, not knowing that she was his late brother's girlfriend.
Director Patrick Lung Kong's films often challenge audiences with controversial topics. In his masterwork "Story of a Discharged Prisoner", the ex-convict Tse Yin is driven out by his own family and pressured by both sides of the law. The film is full of strong dramatic conflicts and tense, stylish action scenes. Lung's film left a strong influence on the crime genre in Hong Kong cinema, and even inspired one of director John Woo's famous heroic crime movies decades later.
Adapted from a legendary novel by Jin Yong, "The Romance of Book & Sword" focuses on conflicts between Emperor Qianlong and his rebel leader brother Chen Jia-luo. The visuals in director Ann Hui's film are spectacular as she recreates some of the novel's most memorable battle sequences on location in Mainland China. Yet with her own storytelling touches, she strikes a careful balance between action, drama and emotions, creating a strong epic drama that feels intensely personal.
Also adapted from a classic work by Jin Yong, the audacious "Ashes of Time" unexpectedly transforms a beloved wuxia epic into an avant-garde meditation on memory, loss and unrequited love. The story in director Wong Kar-wai's film deviates entirely from the novel's plot, telling the untold story of swordsmen in a romanticised violent wuxia world with characters being tormented by love above all else. Starring some of Hong Kong's biggest stars, including Tony Leung Ka-fai, Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Carina Lau, the memorable film boasts fine art direction from settings to props and won numerous film awards.
All films screened at the HKFA will have post-screening talks in Cantonese with free admission. The hosts for the talks will be Timmy Chen, Jack Ng, Eric Tsang, Sean Yim, Shu Kei, William Yuen and David Chan.
"Golden Lotus", "The Eternal Love" and "The Romance of Book & Sword" are in Mandarin, while the other films are in Cantonese. All films have Chinese and English subtitles.
Tickets for screenings at the HKFA are priced at $40 and are now available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, 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 .
Tickets for screenings at BC are priced at $55 and are available at BC and its website. Tickets priced at $40 are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, full-time students and children aged 11 or below. There is a 20 per cent discount for BC VIP members. Ticketing can be carried out by phone on 2388 3188 or on the Internet at www.cinema.com.hk . Tickets for Cine-Art House are priced at $50 and are available at Cine-Art House's box office from October 30 ("The Eternal Love") and December 19 ("The Romance of Book & Sword"). Ticketing can be carried out by phone on 2317 6666 or on the Internet at www.cityline.com .
For enquiries, please call 2734 2900 or 2739 2139. Details of ticketing are available in ProFolio, which is distributed at all URBTIX outlets, at BC and at Cine-Art House, or on the webpage at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2011ms100/2011ms100_film.html .
Ends/Friday, November 1, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:30
A film still of "Golden Lotus" (1957).
A film still of "The Eternal Love" (1960).
A film still of "Ungratefulness" (1965).
A film still of "Story of a Discharged Prisoner" (1967).
A film still of "The Romance of Book & Sword" (1987).
A film still of "Ashes of Time" (1994).