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HK Film Archive exhibition showcases the world of director Zhu Shilin

Sets of partitioned tenement from films "The Dividing Wall" and "Should They Marry?", film notes and scripts of "Thunderstorm" and "Fragrant Princess", the never released original manuscript of "The Imperial Concubine Yang" and other precious archival materials are on display at the "Epic Times, Simple Stories: The World of Zhu Shilin" exhibition at the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA).

The two-month exhibition, a tribute to the outstanding director, and running from tomorrow (March 21) to June 9 at the Exhibition Hall of the HKFA presents reconstructed film sets, oral history interviews, historical documents and photos loaned by Zhu's son Chu Yan and daughter Chu Fung. Admission is free.

Invited guests for tonight's (March 20) opening reception include director Zhu's daughter, Chu Fung; the Assistant Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services (Heritage and Museum), Dr Ng Chi-wa; director Mr Fei Mu's daughter Barbara Fei; Mr Lai Man-wai's son Lai Shek; Mr Lo Ming-yau's granddaughter, Margaret Lo; director Mr Yu Cheng-chun, film veterans Mr Yu Lin, Ms Feng Lin, Ms Leung Shan, Ms Luo Lan, Ms Bonnie Wong and Ms Yu Mo-lin.

Director Zhu Shilin is one of the key filmmakers in the history of Chinese cinema. He led a humble life and made mostly simple films about ordinary people and their daily lives. Yet he lived in epic times and his films took on epic scale. Born into turbulent times, Zhu lived through modern China from monarchy to civil war.

He was a storyteller and a stylist, his work a coalescence of classical Chinese lyricism and modern Western romanticism. Well versed in every aspect of the film industry, he excelled in a diversity of genres, from family melodramas to romantic comedies, from contemporary dramas to historical epics.

A new book, "Zhu Shilin: A Filmmaker of His Times", with essays by renowned writers and interviews with Zhu's children and protégé Cen Fan, is published in English and Chinese editions.

Twenty-nine of Zhu's works from the 1930s to 1960s will be shown from today to May 12. They include seven rare 1930s works provided by the China Film Archive, the acknowledged masterpieces of Chinese cinema: "Two Stars", "Civil Wind", "Song of a Kind Mother", "New Times, Old Times" and "The Lost Pearl"; "Homecoming" and "Vistas of Art: Film City". Other films include film classic "Sorrows of the Forbidden City"; masterful adaptation "Garden of Repose"; the comedies "The Dividing Wall" and "Festival Moon"; the powerful melodrama "A Widow's Tears"; the opera adaptations "The Eternal Love" and "The Eternal Beauty".

"Two Stars", "The Lost Pearl", "Sorrows of the Forbidden City", "The Eternal Beauty", "Garden of Repose", "A Widow's Tears", "The Eternal Love", "The Dividing Wall" and "Festival Moon" have English subtitles.

Tickets for all screenings priced at $30 are available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities 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 41" distributed at all performing venues of the LCSD. For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900 or browse the website: or .

Ends/Thursday, March 20, 2008

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