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HK Film Archive presents tribute to Sylvia Chang

Spanning more than three decades with more than 100 film, television and stage productions, Sylvia Chang is one of Asia's outstanding female filmmakers. She is not only a distinguished actress, but is also a competent producer, writer and director.

The Hong Kong Film Archive's new programme, "A Tribute to Sylvia Chang", will showcase 13 of her works of different periods as a look back over her illustrious career. The works will be screened from July 16 to August 22.

The titles include "Legend of the Mountain", "Aces Go Places", "That Day, on the Beach" and "Full Moon in New York". Her writing, producing and directorial efforts are reflected in "Sisters of the World Unite", "Passion", "Tempting Heart" and her latest film, "20 30 40".

As an actress, Chang tackled many different roles successfully, with a particular flair for melodrama and comedies. From the mid-eighties, she was known for her portrayal of professional women.

After three decades, Chang's acting, writing, and directing strike a balance between her personal sensibilities and the rational, but she always remains an open, independent, visionary with a caring human touch.

Accompanying the screenings is a free exhibition, "Time and Tide - Changes in Hong Kong Cinema of the 70s", held at the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Film Archive from July 16 to August 22. There will be a special corner showcasing Chang's personal collection, including film scripts, work stills, posters and clippings.

Two seminars in Cantonese are scheduled at 4.30pm on July 24 and August 21 at the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive. Chang will attend the first seminar to share her experiences with the audience while on August 21, film critics will focus on women's role in cinema.

The opening film, "20 30 40" (2004), features three independent, yet interweaving stories. Lee Sinje in her twenties is on a quest for stardom; Rene Liu is 30 and juggling three relationships over three mobile phones, while Chang aged 40, is looking for a second romance. A host of stellar guest stars like Richie Ren, Tony Leung Kar-fai and Anthony Wong also lend a helping hand to complement this funny take on love of the 21st century.

One of Chang's earlier roles was that of a good ghost in director King Hu's classic, "Legend of the Mountain" (1979), which won Taiwan's Golden Horse Award.

The action comedy, "Aces Go Places" (1982) catapulted Hong Kong cinema into the era of the eighties blockbusters. Chang's portrayal of the no-nonsense inspector was a forerunner of the screen's tough comic women, two decades before the Korean girls came along!

The first feature film of Edward Yang, "That Day on the Beach" (1983), established Chris Doyle as a renowned cinematographer. Through the lives of two women, it deals with a changing Taiwan society; the disintegration of the traditional family and urban isolation. It is an important piece of the "New Taiwan Cinema", and Chang was instrumental in forging this co-operation between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"Passion" (1986) features two life-long friends, with both husbands dead, suddenly discovering that one of them had been in love with the other's husband. Chang, who co-stars with George Lam and Cora Miao, won the Best Actress Awards in both Hong Kong and Taiwan for her role in this film.

Three screen divas, Maggie Cheung from Hong Kong, Chang from Taiwan and Siqin Gaowa from Mainland China, come together in "Full Moon in New York" (1989). The film won eight Taiwan Golden Horse Awards including Best Picture.

Chang led a team of key creative personnel to produce "Sisters of the World Unite" (1991) on women's careers, romance and men. In "Queen of Temple Street" (1990), Chang plays a tough woman who tries to survive on the streets of Hong Kong while trying to mend a broken relationship with her daughter.

Chang co-produced the anthology drama, "Conjugal Affairs" (1994), with three intertwined, yet independent, stories in which three young people living under the same roof experience three unique love stories.

Directed by Chang, "Tempting Heart" (1999), flits intriguingly between the 1970s the 1980s and present day, offering an interesting twist on the love triangle.

Other films include the perennial tearjerker "All about Ah Long" (1989) pairing Chow Yun-fat and Chang under the direction of Johnnie To, Ann Hui's debut feature "The Secret" (1979) and the first production of Tsui Hark's Film Workshop "Shanghai Blues" (1984).

All films have Chinese and English subtitles with the exception of "Legend of the Mountain", which is in Mandarin.

Tickets priced at $30 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients.

For programme information call 2739 2139, 2734 2900 or visit . Reservations can be made by phone on 2734 9009 or on the Internet at .

Ends/Monday, July 5, 2004
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