The Hong Kong Film Archive's (HKFA) flagship series, "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies" has received an enthusiastic response since it was launched in 2011. To further promote the series to younger audiences, a "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies: Must-see, the First Kind" activity was held tonight (April 30). Emerging film director and singer-songwriter Juno Mak, whose debut "Rigor Mortis" (2013) was well received by critics, accepted an invitation to be the programme's ambassador and also shared his views on the timeless and classic Hong Kong movies, which continue to give rise to creative inspirations.
Speaking as a director of the new generation, Juno Mak said that he loved to watch movies from a young age. He added that he was greatly influenced by the vitality and diversity of Hong Kong films in the 1980s and 1990s, which represent the period when he was growing up.
"I am honoured to be the ambassador of the '100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies' series. Whether they are old or new films, outstanding movies are timeless and transcend the generations. They always give me new inspiration and directions when I watch them again," he said.
He said that "Rigor Mortis" (2013) was actually inspired by "Mr Vampire" (1985), and encouraged young viewers to watch the great Hong Kong movies and to re-discover new and interesting elements in these old classics.
The "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies: Must-see, the First Kind" event was held at Broadway Cinematheque (BC). A re-edited version of the classic Cantonese movies, "Family", "Spring" and "Autumn", with experimental music produced by multimedia artists Kung Chi-shing and Nerve (aka Steve Hui) was also shown. (The multimedia version was first shown in 2012 at the multi-media theatre of the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity.) The screening of the re-edited version tonight gave the audience a new viewing experience of the old Hong Kong classics. The two artists also shared their concept of appreciating old Cantonese movies from new angles.
The HKFA's "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies" was launched in 2011. Following the concept of canonical films, the panellists selected, mostly on artistic grounds, 100 films representing Hong Kong cinema from its early years to the end of the 1990s. It was hoped that this selection would encourage more discussion and research of Hong Kong cinema. Currently, in addition to being shown at the HKFA, the films are also being screened at BC, which is patronised by many young film buffs, with a view to reaching and promote these outstanding movies to the young generation.
From May to July, six classic melodramas will be screened, namely Ng Wui, Lee Sun-fung and Chun Kim's adaptations of Ba Jin's renowned novel into the film classics "Family" (1953) , "Spring" (1953) and "Autumn" (1954), Chun Kim's "Mutual Understanding" (1954), Lee Tit's "Eternal Love" (1955) and Lee Sun-fung's "Anna" (1955). The six films will be shown on May 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at the HKFA, and from May to July at BC. In addition, "Mutual Understanding" will also be screened on June 29 at Cine-Art House.
United Film Enterprise's debut, "Family" is based on Ba Jin's renowned novel "The Torrents Trilogy Volume One". The film includes an all-star cast and delivers an educational as well as entertaining performance. The story focuses on three brothers trying to survive the oppressions of a feudalistic family. The eldest brother is indecisive while the two younger brothers try to break away from the family. Director Ng Wui skillfully condenses the intersecting relationships into a well-established labyrinthine tragedy.
In "Spring", director Lee Sun-fung reworks the adaptation focusing on human sentiments, vividly portraying the lingering relationship between the eldest brother (Ng Cho-fan) and his cousin (Pak Yin). The film received the award of Honorable Film from the Chinese Ministry of Culture. In "Autumn", which is adapted from the last volume of Ba Jin's novel, the Ko family is tragically shattered by feudalism. Director Chun Kim demonstrates the sadness and triumphs of a generation grappling with a stifling social order.
Based on a well-known production by Sun Luen, the family drama "Mutual Understanding" is a joint effort from Hung Sin Nui, Cheung Ying and Wong Man-lei. Director Chun Kim skillfully captures the conflict between the wife and the mother-in-law, and the husband's difficulty in the three-way relationship. The result is a timeless classic on profound social issues.
Adapted from Dreiser's literary work "Sister Carrie", director Lee Tit's "Eternal Love" contemplates the consequence of a man's wrong decision. Despite humble origins the protagonist Ka-lai, who is played by Hung Sin Nui, faces her fate with her head held high, in what is perhaps a reflection on Hung's real-life personality.
Also a literary adaptation, "Anna" is based on Tolstoy's voluminous "Anna Karenina" which mocks hypocritical aristocrats. Part of a love triangle, Anna chooses to remain loyal to her unloving husband. Director Lee Sun-fung masterfully mixes Western and Eastern ethics through a framework of Cantonese drama. Visually attractive, the scenes use thoughtful design to reflect on the characters' mentalities.
All films screened at the HKFA will have post-screening talks in Cantonese with free admission. The hosts for the talks will be Matthew Cheng, Yuki Shum, May Ng, Siu Yan-ho, Mary Wong and Grace Ng. All screenings are in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles.
Tickets for screenings at the HKFA are available via URBTIX. Tickets for screenings at BC are available at BC and via its website. Tickets for screenings at the Cine-Art House are available at Cine-Art House's box office from May 29.
Tickets for the HKFA's screenings are priced at $40, with half-price concessionary tickets for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities (and one accompanying minder), full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card telephone bookings can be made on 2111 5999 or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk . Tickets for the BC's screenings are priced at $60, tickets priced at $44 are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, full-time students and children aged 11 or below. There is a 20 per cent discount for BC VIP members. Phone ticketing can be made on 2388 3188 or on the Internet at www.cinema.com.hk . Tickets for the Cine-Art House's screening are priced at $50. Phone ticketing can be made on 2317 6666 or on the Internet at www.cityline.com .
For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900. Detailed programme information can be found in leaflets distributed at all performing arts venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, at BC or on the webpage at www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2011ms100/2011ms100_index.html .
Ends/Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Issued at HKT 23:00
The "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies: Must-see, the First Kind" activity was held today (April 30) at the Broadway Cinematheque. Photo shows the "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies" programme ambassador, Mr Juno Mak.
Attending the "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies: Must-see, the First Kind" activity are (from left to right) the Programmer (Film Programme) of the Hong Kong Film Archive, Miss Winnie Fu; the Head of the Hong Kong Film Archive, Ms Janet Young; the multimedia artist, Nerve (aka Mr Steve Hui); the programme ambassador, Mr Juno Mak; the multimedia artist, Mr Kung Chi-shing; the Chief Manager (Film and Cultural Exchange) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Ms Maggie Pang; and the Managing Director of the Broadway Cinematheque, Mr Gary Mak.
A film still from "Family" (1953), one of the films in the "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies".
A film still from "Mutual Understanding" (1954) , one of the films in the "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies".
A film still from "Anna" (1955) , one of the films in the "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies".