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Film Screenings

Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire

Dir: Hugh Hudson
Scr: Colin Welland
Pho: David Watkin
Ed: Terry Rawlings
Prod: David Puttnam
Prod Mgr: Joyce Herlihy
Prod Co: Twentieth Century Fox
Cast: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel Havers, Cheryl Campbell
UK 1981 Colour DCP English 124min

"The British are coming" proclaimed writer Colin Welland as he clutched the 1981 Best Picture Oscar for Chariots of Fire. But if the much needed renaissance of the national film industry never really happened, the film itself remains a superlative piece of solid, thought-provoking, intelligent and enjoyable moviemaking. The real-life story of a God-fearing Scot who refuses to run on the Sabbath and a Jewish sprinter both competing in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, provides the still relevant opportunity to examine a society ingrained with class, religious and racial prejudice. The coming together of Northern working class, ex-teacher and actor Welland and the well-born, Eton College educated director Hugh Hudson was possibly the perfect combination for the subject, and for both, this was the pinnacle of their careers. Hudson, like his peers Ridley Scott and Alan Parker, was a graduate from the commercial world of sponsored documentary and advertising films, for which he had won numerous awards throughout the 1960s and 70s. The sequences in which the athletes run in slowmotion alongside Vangelis' electronic score is a tribute to his talents and have come to epitomise the film. Although it does indeed stand as a perfect piece of heritage cinema, and its story of guts, determination and belief is still a moving and inspirational one, Chariots of Fire above all sends out, to any society at any time, a powerful, passionate and heartfelt plea for tolerance and understanding.

Date Time Location
23/7/2016 (Sat) 3:30pm UA iSQUARE
6/8/2016 (Sat) 3:30pm UA Cine Moko
6/11/2016 (Sun) * 2:00pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

 

* Post-screening talk with MA Man-yin, Stephen


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