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April
Stars share memories of Shaw Brothers this Saturday

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Cheng Pei-pei, dubbed the "queen of martial arts", was famous as the dispassionate swordswoman in the King Hu film Come Drink With Me, yet she was equally brilliant as a song and dance girl in Hong Kong Nocturne. What was the secret of her versatility?

Ku Feng played many roles. How did he manage to satisfy directors as diverse as Li Hanxiang, Chor Yuen and Tao Qin? And how did kung fu actor Wang Yu hit it off with director Lau Kar-leung when he starred in the latter's martial arts films?

Cheng, Ku, Wang and other former movie stars will share their memories of life at the celebrated Shaw Brothers studios in a seminar this Saturday (April 12).

The seminar -- Melodrama & Martial Arts - The Shaw Style -- takes place in the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) Exhibition Hall at 4pm. Abridged English translation will be provided. Admission is free.

Two other seminars are planned as part of the Shaws on Screen programme. On May 10 and May 24, film critics will discuss the melodramas of directors Li Hanxiang and Tao Qin and other early Shaw movies, as well as the image and performances of Patricia Lam Fung. Both seminars will be conducted in Cantonese.

From now until April 23, the Hong Kong International Film Festival will showcase 23 Shaw films produced from the 1950s to the 1970s, including some new prints and restored versions. Screenings take place at the HKFA Cinema and the Hong Kong Science Museum Lecture Hall.

Films include Lau Kar Leung's The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Chor Yuen's Killer Clans and Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, Li Hanxiang's prestigious The Empress Dowager and Linda Lin Dai's classical romance Love Without End, as well as classics directed by Chang Cheh and King Hu.

The second part of the retrospective will be held from April 25 to June 1 at the HKFA Cinema. It will feature Shaw titles from the '50s and '60s, including many that have not been shown in public for years.

And don't forget to visit the exhibition Shaws Galaxy of Stars, taking place until June 1 in the HKFA Exhibition Hall. While there you can purchase a copy of the HKFA publication The Shaw Screen: A Preliminary Study; available in Chinese and English editions, it explores the film genres for which Shaw Brothers was famous, as well as its studio and star systems.

The retrospective is organised by the HKFA of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, with the generous support of Celestial Pictures Ltd. and Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd.

Programme information and details of various discounts can be obtained from the Hong Kong International Film Festival booking folder available at all URBTIX outlets or the Shaws on Screen promotional booklet.

For information call 2734 2900 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/fp. Bookings can be made on the internet at www.urbtix.gov.hk and by phone at 2734 9009.

End/Tuesday, April 8, 2003

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