Season 5: Made in Hong Kong

Taking its title from a 1997 film by indie director Fruit Chan, this season of Asia and the Pacific Screens presents a selection of films showcasing Hong Kong’s New Wave cinema and its legacies. In the late 1970s, a new generation of filmmakers came to be dubbed Hong Kong’s ‘New Wave’. More eclectic than their French namesakes, the New Wave directors were nevertheless consistent in their push to experiment with technique and subject, developing new forms and renovating established ones. Many early New Wave filmmakers grew up amid the prosperity and tension of colonial Hong Kong, having the chance to travel or study overseas, and were influenced by international youth culture of the 1960s. The 1970s saw the emergence of Cantonese-only TV channels leading to an increased demand for new, locally relevant content. A particular feature of Hong Kong’s new wave, then, is that many filmmakers started out directing for television. Among the experimental works were many genre-defying combinations, mixing martial arts and horror with comedy and romance, for example. However, many films also dealt with economic and political uncertainty as well as pressing local issues—such as official corruption, or the plight of Chinese-Vietnamese refugees. The films in this season reflect on Hong Kong’s youth culture in the 1980–90s, the territory’s shifting sense of identity, and its changing relationship with Mainland China, both politically and culturally. From the dramatic realism of Ann Hui to the suave action of John Woo, the sensitivity of Stanley Kwan and Wong Kar-wai, through to the unapologetic independence of Fruit Chan—many Hong Kong filmmakers remain among the most individual and influential figures in Chinese cinema.
08
Jun
2016

The Big Parade 大阅兵

Less well known than his debut Yellow Earth 黃土地 (1985) and his multi-award winning Farewell My Concubine 霸王別姬 (1993), Chen Kaige’s second feature is a very different, more ambiguous work. Filmed with the assistance of the People’s Liberation Army, it depicts an army unit training for a grand military parade, of the kind that filled Tiananmen Square again in September 2015.

The Big Parade

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09
Jun
2016

July 七月

This observational documentary records the 1 July protest of 2003, showing the preparations, the protest and aftermath. Roughly half a million people gathered that day, the largest protests in Hong Kong since the May 1989 marches in sympathy with the Beijing democracy movement.

July

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13
Jul
2016

Made in Hong Kong 香港製造

Moon is a high school dropout working as a debt collector for the local triads, but is proud of his independent spirit. His father has left the family for his Mainland mistress and their baby. On Moon’s rounds with Sylvester, his mentally handicapped sidekick, he meets and falls for Ping, the teenage daughter of a triad debtor.

Made in Hong Kong

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10
Aug
2016

Days of Being Wild 阿飛正傳

Set in 1960s Hong Kong, Yuddy is a playboy heartbreaker who displays suave control of the women in his life. Yet, he doesn’t remember his birth mother and was raised instead by Rebecca, a well-off socialite who is planning to immigrate to the US, and who promises to divulge his mother’s whereabouts.

Days of Being Wild

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04
Mar
2016

Boat People 投奔怒海

The second film in Ann Hui’s ‘ Vietnam Triology’, this realist drama explores the struggles of Chinese-Vietnamese in ‘post-liberation’ Vietnam. When a Japanese photojournalist travels to the port city of Danang to document the country’s feted reconstruction, he uncovers the sinister aspects of a new political order.

Boat People

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16
Mar
2016

Comrades: Almost a Love Story 甜蜜蜜

Xiaojun is a small town northerner who arrives in Hong Kong dreaming of making enough money to bring his girlfriend from back home. He speaks no Cantonese and struggles to get ahead in the fast paced city, until he befriends Qiao, a streetwise newcomer from Guangzhou, fluent in the local language and familiar with the opportunities the city offers. Their friendship turns to love, but Xiaojun refuses to let go of his original dream.

Comrades: Almost A Love Story

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06
Apr
2016

A Better Tomorrow 英雄本色

Ho is a triad member trying to go clean to make amends with his father and his younger brother, Kit, who is a trainee police officer. Ho’s last ‘job’ in Taiwan turns out to be a trap, landing him in prison and leading to the murder of his father. Ho’s best friend and fellow gang member, Mark, vows to avenge his best friend’s betrayal.

A Better Tomorrow

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03
May
2016

Rouge 胭脂扣

In a 1930s Hong Kong 'flower house', Chan, a stylish playboy, falls in love with Fleur, a sort after courtesan who shares his passion for Chinese opera. When Chan’s family vehemently opposes their feelings, the lovers attempt a suicide pact... Flash forward to 1980s Hong Kong, when Fleur mysteriously appears in a Hong Kong newspaper office, wishing to place an ad to find her lost lover, who didn’t make it to the afterlife.

Rouge

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23
May
2016

Wenchuan earthquake anniversary screening: Disturbing the Peace 老妈蹄花

"A visual record of a Sisyphean trip through the justice system." Evan Osnos, The New Yorker  

Disturbing the Peace

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07
Jun
2016

In the Heat of the Sun 阳光灿烂的日子

Actor Jiang Wen’s directorial debut, In the Heat of the Sun tells the story of a Beijing summer during the Cultural Revolution, adapted from the 1991 novel Wild Beasts 动物凶猛 by Wang Shuo 王朔. Like many teenagers at the time, Ma Xiaojun’s parents are largely absent, so he roams Beijing with his friends, looking for adventure, waging street battles and discovering love.

In the Heat of the Sun

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Updated:  6 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team