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Recent Mainland films offer rare insights into Chinese city life


"Chinese Film Panorama 2003" presents 11 recent Mainland films, including three by acclaimed directors Huo Jianqi, Feng Xiaogang and Zhang Yuan, which offer rare insights into Chinese city life.

The series takes place from October 20 to 31. There will be a total of 31 screenings at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Lecture Hall of the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive.

The programme also includes a seminar, "Interaction between Mainland and Hong Kong Cinema", at 7pm on October 21 at the Film Archive Cinema. The seminar will be conducted in Putonghua. Admission is free.

"Chinese Film Panorama 2003" is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Sil-Metropole Organisation Ltd and Southern Film Co. Ltd.

The series will open with Huo Jianqi's latest film "Life Show"(2002), starring Tao Hong and Pan Yueming, which comes on the heels of the director's hugely successful "Postmen in the Mountains".

"Life Show" is the tale of a businesswoman who is busy juggling difficult family relationships, friendships and a love affair. It won the Best Director, Best Actress and Best Cinematography awards at the Shanghai International Film Festival 2002. It was also shown at the Montreal World Film Festival 2002 and the Sundance Festival 2003.

Can the twirl and whirl in a cup of tea predict marriage prospects? Zhang Yuan's new release, "Green Tea" (2002), is a mysterious and refreshing love story set in the city. It features top stars Jiang Wen and Zhao Wei and the camera work of Christopher Doyle.

Feng Xiaogang's "A Sigh"(2000) is a realistic portrayal of contemporary romance and marriage, focusing on a love triangle involving the movie's hero, his caring wife and his passionate lover. The film won several awards including the Golden Pyramid, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Special Mention honours at the Cairo International Film Festival 2002.

Actor Liu Ye, familiar as the violinist in the film "The Little Chinese Seamstress", plays a young deaf man who falls in love with a pretty mute in the romantic "Sky Lovers" (2003). Adapted from "Life without language", the Dong Xi novelette which won the First Lu Xun Literature Award, "Sky Lovers" is a love story without fire and a drama without conflict, but it is beautifully shot. It won the Best Artistic Contribution Award at the 15th Tokyo International Film Festival.

The Chinese-Austrian co-production "On the Other Side of the Bridge"(2002) is based on the true story of the 60-year romance between an Austrian woman and a Chinese man. It participated at the Berlin Film Festival 2003, the Montreal World Film Festival 2002 and the Hawaii International Film Festival 2002.

"The Story of Lotus"(2002) tells the bittersweet tale of a pretty Chinese widow in the Wuyi mountains. Lotus must face not only the sadness of losing her husband, but also her father-in-law's lack of understanding and a family property dispute. Can she find true love again? The film was shown at this year's Montreal World Film Festival.

"Fighting the Torrent"(2002) is a gripping tale of a war without gunshots or explosions. The combatants are the army and the people, who work hand in hand to battle the floods. The film won the Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best New Actor, Best Movie Technique and Best Film Song honours at this year's China Film Hua Biao Awards.

An action film revolving around commercial crime in contemporary China, "A Fatal Attack"(2001) depicts an uphill battle against dark forces and the grim war between good and evil.

"CEO"(2002) tells how the electronics company Haier pulled back from the brink of bankruptcy to become an international success, thanks to a combination of scientific management and Eastern philosophy.

"Pretty Big Feet"(2002) sketches the different lives of a rural woman teacher and a city lady and their influence on each other. It was cited for Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress at the China Golden Rooster Awards 2002.

Hailed as "One of the Best Films' by the Shanghai film critics, "Heavenly Grassland"(2002) follows the traditional and nomadic lives of a Mongolian man and a Han Chinese boy, revealing the unique culture of Mongolia.

All films are in Putonghua. "A Sigh" has English subtitles while all other films carry both Chinese and English subtitles.

Tickets priced at $40 per screening are available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. There will be a 10% discount for each purchase of six to 10 tickets and a 20% discount for each purchase of 11 or more tickets.

For programme information call 2734 2900/ 2527 7284/ 2780 5355 or visit Reservations can be made by phone at 2734 9009 or on the internet at

End/Friday, September 26, 2003

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