To celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Horse, the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s Chinese New Year programme "Double Happiness Comes Galloping In" will mark the festive occasion with four comedies starring Leung Sing-po, Law Kim-long, Chan Ho-kau, Kwan Shan, Richard Ng, Fung Bo-bo, Lau Nam-kwong and others to let audiences share a good laugh.
The four films with lucky greetings produced in different periods from the 1950s to the 1980s, which also reflect the changes in the city, will be shown on January 25 and 26 and February 2, 7 and 14 at the Cinema of the HKFA. The films are "Lovingly Yours" (1959), made with a youthful touch and including ballet dance; the boisterous comedy "A House of Happiness" (1964), with Leung Sing-po playing dual roles; director Chun Kim's comedy "Double Bliss" (1970); and "My Family" (1986), starring Richard Ng, Fung Bo-bo and David Lui.
Directed by Yuen Yang-an, the family comedy "Lovingly Yours" features a couple, played by Mao Mei and Kwan Shan, who intend to get married after studying abroad but can't be together due to the girl's family obsession with family traditions. The film features the influences of Western culture, infusing elements of theatre and ballet in dream sequences that give the film a modern and youthful feel.
"Double Bliss" shares the same Chinese title and basic concept of generation conflict with the 1950s film "Lovingly Yours". Director Chun Kim's 1970 comedy tells a well-worn story in a fresh way, using clear contrasts such as those in height or social class to emphasise conflict between characters. In the film, lifelong nemeses played by Leung Sing-po and Wei Pin-ao stop at nothing to prevent a marriage when they discover that their children (Chin Feng and Ching Li) are a soon-to-be-wed couple. The film also features a brilliantly cartoonish finale in which the battling fathers transform into samurais, boxers, cowboys and even James Bond.
In the comedy "A House of Happiness", the comedy master Leung Sing-po plays the dual role of a rich merchant with a short-term memory problem and a troublemaking thief. The resemblance of the two characters leads to a series of misunderstandings and mistaken identities. Leung's performance in the double role and the onscreen feud of co-stars Kwan Hoi-shan and Law Kim-long are more than worth the price of admission.
With a script written by Clifton Ko, the Lunar New Year comedy "My Family" focuses on a happy middle-class family and the problems they encounter. The film sees Richard Ng star as a frugal and petty doctor whose wife, played by Fung Bo-bo, decides to break out of the housewife cliché and take up stage acting - a decision that unfortunately leads to a marriage problem. Fung creates a new modern image for women and the film reflects the modernisation of Hong Kong society as it shifts from a city of hardworking labourers to a glamorous metropolis with an emerging middle class.
"A House of Happiness" and "My Family" are in Cantonese, and the other films are in Mandarin. "Double Bliss" and "My Family" have Chinese and English subtitles while the rest are without subtitles.
Tickets priced at $40 are available at all URBTIX outlets. 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 on 2111 5999, or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk .
Detailed programme information can be found in "ProFolio 70", distributed at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900, or browse the webpage at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2013ny/2013ny_film.html .
Ends/Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:35
A film still of "Lovingly Yours" (1959).
A film still of "A House of Happiness" (1964).
A film still of "Double Bliss" (1970).
A film still of "My Family" (1986).