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Introduction

Archival Gems - One Tale, Two Cinemas          [ Some screenings cancelled ]

The HKSAR government will be launching "Festival Hong Kong 2019 – a Cultural Extravaganza@Shanghai" in November 2019 with the purpose of introducing HK art and culture to Mainland China. Part of the event is the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) programme "One Tale, Two Cinemas", complete with an exhibition and the screening of films at the Shanghai Film Museum and Shanghai Film Archive.

Chinese cinema enjoyed tremendous development during the 1920s and 30s, helping put Shanghai on the map as a modern, prosperous city. Marked by an abundance of entertainment and cultural enterprises, it was bestowed with such glamorous nicknames as Paris of the East and Never-night City. Yet it was also plagued by political and social upheavals, especially in the 1930s and 40s, resulting in waves of migration by its people to Hong Kong. Among them were filmmakers, bringing with them not only capital, resources and talents but also a more developed cinematic culture, established production modes and proven distribution systems, occasioning a great boon to the Hong Kong film industry. Some of the filmmakers later returned to Shanghai but the relationship between the two cities never stopped, with different degrees of exchanges throughout the years. During Hong Kong's 1980s Golden Age, a wave of nostalgia for the original Pearl of the Orient swept over the generation of directors born after World War II. Many films set in pre-war Shanghai were made, often using it was a reference to the future of Hong Kong.

"One Tale, Two Cinemas" opens with Struggle (1933), believed to the only surviving film of the important company Unique (Shanghai). HKFA was blessed by the discovery of a print of the film in 2012, from the collection of Palace Theatre, a Chinatown theater in San Francisco. Mr. Jack Lee Fong, owner of Palace Theatre, generously donated the nitrate print of the long-lost film to us, allowing us to share this precious gem with today's audience.

The Hong Kong audience will get a chance to watch Struggle before it opened in Shanghai. It will be shown in October as part of the programme "Archival Gems – One Tale, Two Cinemas", a package of eight films exploring the artistic, cultural and historical connections between two great cities.

 

The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.