Many new talents emerged during the "New Wave of Television" era in the 1970s. While director Patrick Tam used progressive film language in his television productions to express his experiences and ideas, directors Ann Hui and Yim Ho were blending dramatic and documentary styles in their TV works such as "CID", "Social Worker", "ICAC" and "Below the Lion Rock", viewing society with critical eyes.
To demonstrate their creativity and search for new ideals, 13 television films directed by Ann Hui and five by Yim Ho made in collaboration with rising script writers like Joyce Chan, Shu Kei and Kam Kwok-leung will be shown at the Hong Kong Film Archive's (HKFA) "e-wave: The TV films of Ann Hui & Yim Ho" from Saturday (February 14) to March 8 at the Cinema of the HKFA.
Aiming to showcase different film directors' creative TV work, "e-wave: The TV films of Ann Hui & Yim Ho" is the sequel to last year's successful screening of "e-wave: The TV Films of Patrick Tam".
To supplement the screenings, three seminars -- "A Dialogue with Ann Hui & Yim Ho", "Creativity Based on Reality" and "Critics on Ann Hui and Yim Ho" -- will be held at the Cinema of the HKFA at 4.30pm on February 14, February 21 and March 7 respectively. The "Creativity Based on Reality" seminar is co-organised by the HKFA and ICAC. All three seminars will be conducted in Cantonese. Admission is free.
Both Hui and Yim went through the fiery 1960s and 1970s. They shared a wish to understand society through film. Like their contemporaries, the more they searched the more societal problems they found. Such frustrations can be seen in their early works, which express discontent with society, concern for the grassroots and compassion for the less fortunate.
The shared vision led to Hui and Yim's collaborations in television work. Their work stirred people's conscience about unfortunate events that happened to the lowest social strata as reported in the news. Their television series, whether about murder, prostitution, corruption, refugees or juvenile delinquency, all showed a sincere concern for the underclass and the life of the new generation.
It may not have been their intention then, but watching the television series today reveals that their works testify to that fiery era. The series also show the early performance of many actors and filmmakers including Lee Si-kei, Kenneth Tsang Kong, Daiman Lau, Cora Miao, Carol Cheng, Idy Chan Yuk-lin, Clifton Ko and others.
Screening of Ann Hui's works are selected from five series of her TV films: "Dragon, Tiger, Panther (#6)" (1976), which was made in film stock while other TV films were shot on video; the "ICAC" series; "Below the Lion Rock" series; the plot driven "CID: Murder" (1976); as well as two episodes of Social Worker: "Boy" (1976), and "Ah Sze" (1976).
Hui joined the Community Relations Department of the ICAC in 1977 to make the TV series "ICAC". She recruited Yim Ho and Joyce Chan to contribute scripts as well as other outstanding writers like Ni Kuang, Lau Tin-chi and Kam Kwok-leung as both writers and actors. In the six episodes -- "ICAC: Homeward Bound" (1977), "ICAC: Steak Fee" (1978), "ICAC: Section 9" (1977), "ICAC: Black and White" (1978), "ICAC: A Man" (1977) and "ICAC: Investigation" (1977) -- which are stories with thrills and suspense, Hui's talent could be seen in her outstanding use of settings to evoke emotion and atmosphere.
She worked for the television section of Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) in 1978 and produced three episodes of "Below the Lion Rock". The stories were based on news reports or important social issues, yet were told from a human angle, exuding touches of humanistic concern. Multiple narratives were used, blending documentary and fiction styles yet never abandoning personal view. The three episodes to be shown at the screening are: "Below the Lion Rock: The Boy from Vietnam", "Below the Lion Rock: The Bridge" and "Below the Lion Rock: The Road".
Yim Ho studied film in England, joining TVB later than Hui. He started as scriptwriter and joined the film unit in 1977. Yim did not have a lot of directorial works, but his work was marked by a concern for the underprivileged and the new generation of youths, taking a forceful look at society through their failure and revealing the dire situations thrust on them by an unforgiving fate.
The TV films by Yim Ho selected for screening are: "CID: Wrongly Accused" (1977) which won an award in an international television competition; "CID (#6, series 2)" (1977); "Seventeen: 1977" (1977); "Social Worker (#3)" (1977) and "ICAC: Two Stories" (1979).
"Below the Lion Rock: The Boy from Vietnam" has English subtitles. Tickets priced at $30 for all screenings are available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-priced tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Reservations can be made by phone on 2734 9009, or on the internet at www.urbtix.hk.
Detailed programme information can be obtained in "ProFolio 45" distributed at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900 or browse the website: www.filmarchive.gov.hk or www.lcsd.gov.hk/fp.
Ends/Monday, February 9, 2009
A film still from "CID: Murder" (1976).
A film still from "Social Worker: Ah Sze" (1976).
A film still from "CID: Wrongly Accused" (1977).