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Sylvia Chang shares her shining days with audiences at Film Archive

In the company of friends from the film industry, film star and producer Sylvia Chang will host a seminar on "Sylvia Chang's Shining Days", at 4.30pm on Saturday (July 24) at the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) to share her experience with the audience.

The seminar will be conducted in Cantonese and admission is free.

Film critics will focus on women in cinema in another seminar scheduled for 4.30pm on August 21 at the Cinema of the HKFA.

As a retrospective of Chang's illustrious career, the HKFA is organising "A Tribute to Sylvia Chang", which runs from now until August 22 at the Cinema of the HKFA to showcase 13 of Chang's works from different periods.

The titles include "Aces Go Places", "That Day, on the Beach" and "All About Ah Long". Her efforts in writing, film production and direction are reflected in "Sisters of the World Unite", "Passion" and "Tempting Heart".

To coincide with the event is the exhibition, "Time and Tide - Changes in Hong Kong Cinema of the 70s" which has a special corner showcasing Chang's personal collections of film scripts, work stills, posters and clippings.

Spanning more than three decades with more than 100 film, television and stage productions, Chang is not only a distinguished actress, but is also a competent producer, writer and director.

She is one of the most outstanding pioneers to have established her influence in Chinese films overseas in the past two decades. In 1992, the Toronto Film Festival also did a special on her and in the same year, she was invited by both Toronto and Berlin to serve as a member of the jury for their film festivals.

Born in Taiwan, she was active in film and television in Hong Kong and Taiwan in the '70s and '80s. Based in Hong Kong in the '90s, she played the leading role in Mike Newell's "Soursweet" and starred in the Canadian film, "The Red Violin".

She was already a rising star in the '70s. Her role as a student abused by her stepmother in "Posterity and Perplexity" (1976) won her the first film award - the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 13th Golden Horse Awards and also the Golden Crown Award at the 22nd Asian Pacific Film Festival. In 1981, she won the 18th Golden Horse Best Actress Award with "My Grandfather".

In all her acting roles, one of the biggest challenges was perhaps playing the dainty Lin Daiyu in director Li Han-hsiang's "Dream of the Red Chamber" as her own character was in direct contrast to that of Lin Daiyu. Her participation in King Hu's "Legend of the Mountain" helped her learn the techniques of writing, directing, cinematography and editing, which laid the foundation of her later career.

Of the films she wrote, directed and produced, her second directorate feature "Passion" proved her talent. Co-starred with George Lam and Cora Miao, the film was one of her favourite works and also won her the Best Actress Awards in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. "Siao Yu" was another of Chang's successful attempt in directorship. The leading actress Rene Liu rose to fame in this film.

The women characters in Chang's films often show a strong self-respect and courage despite suffering disappointment in love. Typical examples are "Sisters of the World Unite" and Chang's recent production "20 30 40" which speak to women of different ages.

As well as featuring Chang, the exhibition "Time and Tide - Changes in Hong Kong Cinema of the '70s" also features prominent genres that gained importance then. They include the aesthetics of Hui Brothers' comedies, the neo-martial arts interpretations by Chor Yuen and erotic films emerging in the seventies.

Michael Hui's films are legendary in the world of comedy from the '70s to the '90s. His films witnessed the joys and sorrows of Hong Kong people and the birth of Canto pop culture. Sam Hui's lyrics of the theme songs of several movies spoke for the ordinary people and became part of the pop culture of that generation.

In order to address people's grievances after the 1967 riots and the economic ups and downs of the '70s, the Hong Kong Government was more lenient towards the media. Erotica, a new genre which gave the audiences physical excitement and satisfied their desires for novelty, grew popular and became one of the dominating film genres in the 1970s.

At the same time, the Hong Kong film industry also entered another phase of the martial arts era. Chor Yuen, a director renowned for his melodrama works, constructed novelist Gu Long's virtual world with sword fights, conspiracies, wine and beauties, which are all essential elements in the adventurous playground and utopia for men.

The exhibition runs until August 22 at the Exhibition Hall of the HKFA and admission is free. In addition, 12 titles of the related genres will be showcased at the Cinema of the Archive until August 27.

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/Thursday, July 22, 2004
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