Oral History Series (7): When the Wind Was Blowing Wild: Hong Kong Cinema of the 1970s

 Oral History Series (7): When the Wind Was Blowing Wild: Hong Kong Cinema of the 1970s Book Cover


In the late 1960s and early 70s, Cantonese films went into decline as theatregoers turned in droves to television, which was quickly becoming a household necessity. During this age of transition, new genres such as kung fu comedies, social satires, and cop dramas came into the scene, and Hong Kong cinema entered a phrase of rapid changes with bursting new talents. This volume puts together a series of filmmaker interviews and in-depth discourses to depict the fast-evolving landscape of Hong Kong cinema at the time.

The ‘Oral History' section features interviews with some big players from the industry. Famous action comedian Sammo Hung; Lau Kar-wing, longtime collaborator to his elder brother, Hung Fist master Lau Kar-leung; Shaw Brothers' ace actor Ti Lung; kung fu star Chan Koon-tai-their experiences are testament to the heyday of the kung fu and wuxia genre. Celebrated comedian Michael Hui, who successfully transitioned from television to film, and Ng See-yuen who swiftly made a name for himself as an independent producer, recount their road to success.

The 1970s saw active exchange between filmmakers in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Joseph Kuo Nan-hung, Bai Ying and Hsia Tsu-hui recall what brought them from Taiwan to the then British colony. Erotica and potboilers which resorted to sensationalism were the order of the day. Directors Yeung Kuen and Ho Fan recall how they strove for individuality amidst the torrent of the market.

Alongside mainstream productions, the 1970s also ushered in the New Wave. The immensely gifted female auteur Tong Shu-shuen, cinematographer Henry Chan who had worked the cameras for many groundbreaking directors, and Philip Chan who left the Police Force to pursue his movie dream, look back fondly on their careers of that time.

The ‘Discourse' section sees Law Kar, Ng Chun-hung and Sam Ho discussing the relations between the societal changes in Hong Kong and development of its film industry throughout the 1970s. Law Kar, Sek Kei and Po Fung also explore the multifarious trends of Hong Kong cinema, whereas Shu Kei sheds light on the pioneering works of Tong Shu-shuen and examines their historical significance.

286 pages. Published in 2018. Free Download. (Edited by May Ng)

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