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Retrospective looks at the art of Wong Tin-lam

Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s latest programme "Entertainer: the Art of Wong Tin-lam", showcasing veteran film director Wong Tin-lam's talents both as a trendsetter and an entertainer, began tonight (November 2) and will run to January 6, 2008, at the Cinema of HKFA.

Guests at the opening ceremony included director Wong, his son Wong Jing, directors Joe Cheung, Johnnie To, Ringo Lam, writer Lau Tin-chi and a number of veterans from the film industry. Director Wong and guests took part in a chit-chat with the audience after the opening reception, reminiscing about yesteryears at the seminar "Opening Chat with Wong Tin-lam on Wong Tin-lam".

Working his way up from workman, scriptwriter to director, and became one of the most renowned director of the 1960s, Wong Tin-lam's films cover almost every genre: wuxia, family melodrama, romantic comedy, musical and Chinese opera. As the director celebrates his 80th birthday this year, the retrospective aptly pays homage to this Great Entertainer.

Born in Shanghai in 1928, Wong made his directorial debut at the age of 22. In the mid-50s, he first established himself as an up-and-coming director in Hsin Hwa Film Company when studios were blooming. He then joined Cathy, one of the major studios which made him a better offer. Equipped with hard-won skills he directed a number of successful films, which made him one of the most popular directors of that time.

Wong started a new career in television when Cathy closed in the early 1970s. He virtually revolutionised the production flow of TV drama serials by combining film shooting techniques with the flexibility of television production, and became a trendsetter in melodrama and wuxia serials. He remained a major figure in TV production until his retirement. He is still active in the film and television industry and takes up roles of production co-ordinator and producer and making guest appearances in films of his son Wong Jing and protégé Johnnie To.

A total of 23 titles of different genres include family melodrama and light comedy "All in the Family" (1959), Grace Chang's most memorable film "The Wild, Wild Rose" (1960) and her other musical "Because of Her" (1963); scripts written by Eileen Chang: "Father Takes a Bride" (1963), "The Greatest Wedding on Earth" (1962) and "The Greatest Love Affair on Earth" (1964); mandarin musical "Songs of the Peach Blossom River" (1956) and the romantic comedy "Darling Stay at Home" (1968).

In addition to screening of director Wong's works, seminars and talks are also organised. Well-known author and scriptwriter Eileen Chang worked with director Wong in many of his films. The Research Officer of HKFA, Ms Wong Ain-ling and the Assistant Professor of Lingnan University, Ms Mary Wong will share their views on "Wong Tin-lam and Literature" at 2.30pm on November 10 at the Commercial Press Tsim Sha Tsui Book Centre.

Two other seminars will be held in the Cinema of HKFA. At 4.30pm on November 24 HKFA Guest Programmer Mr Law Kar will talk about "Wong Tin-lam: Six Decades in Film & Television", while the former Production Controller of TVB, Mr Lau Tin-chi and Film/TV Professor of Baptist University, Mr Ng Ho will share their experiences of "Wong Tin-lam and the Golden Era of Television" at 4.30 pm on December 22. All seminars and talks are conducted in Cantonese and are free.

A new publication in Chinese: "Oral History Series 4: Director Wong Tin-lam" on the director, his colleagues and protégés is now available for sale at the HKFA. A small-scale photo exhibition is also held on the 1st floor of the Film Archive.

Tickets priced at $30 for the screenings are available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, 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 .

Detailed programme information and various discounts can be obtained in the "Profolio 39" distributed at all performing venues of the LCSD. For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900 or browse the websites: .

Ends/Friday, November 2, 2007
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