Home | Links | Film - "Made In Hong Kong" series, 2012

Film - "Made in Hong Kong" series - 2012

(adapted from the Freer Gallery's website)

Seventeenth Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival

The 2012 edition of the Freer’s popular annual festival is cosponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

A Simple Life
Friday, June 29, 2012, 7 pm
Sunday, July 1, 2 pm
Suffused with the gentle, unforced humanity viewers have come to expect from Hong Kong helmer Ann Hui,” writes Variety’s Justin Chang, “A Simple Life is a tender ode to the elderly, their caregivers and the mutual generosity of spirit that makes their limited time together worthwhile.” Deanie Yip won the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival for her performance as a lifelong maid to a wealthy family. When she suffers a stroke, it’s up to the only family member in the city, a busy movie producer (Andy Lau), to take care of her. Don’t miss cameos from such Hong Kong luminaries as Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung, Anthony Wong, and Chapman To. (Dir.: Ann Hui, Hong Kong, 2011, 118 min.)

Life without Principle
Friday, July 13, 7 p
Sunday, July 15, 2 pm
Like the famous Henry David Thoreau essay with which it shares a title, Life without Principle is a warning about the dangers of greed. This tense drama from veteran director Johnnie To (Vengeance, Mad Detective) taps into the zeitgeist by telling three linked stories of Hong Kong’s money-obsessed culture. A financial analyst (Denise Ho) pushes high-risk investments on her unsuspecting clients, a smalltime gangster (Lau Ching Wan) plays the Chinese stock market to raise quick bail money for a friend, and a humble cop (Richie Jen) finds himself in need of dough when his wife puts a down payment on an expensive pad. Their fates intertwine thanks to a bag containing $5 million in stolen money and a stock market crash. (Dir.: Johnnie To, 2011, 107 min., Cantonese with English subtitles)

Once a Gangster
Friday, July 20, 7 pm
Sunday, July 22, 2 pm
Hong Kong movie fans will get a kick out of this parody of the ubiquitous triad gangster genre. Jordan Chan and Ekin Cheng—-themselves veterans of numerous triad films—-poke fun at themselves, playing rivals doing everything they can not to get elected to the post of top gangster. They would much rather continue their lives as, respectively, a restaurateur and a college student. Referencing such well-known films as Infernal Affairs and Election, director Felix Chong (Overheard) “jubilantly takes on a fading tradition and spins out every last ounce of laughter from its genre clichés” (Edmund Lee, Time Out Hong Kong). (Dir.: Felix Chong, 2010, 95 min.)

Lover's Discourse
Friday, July 27, 7 pm
Sunday, July 29, 2 pm
Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan’s directorial debut presents a series of seemingly unconnected vignettes to create a poignant portrait of modern love, Hong Kong-style. A pair of ex-lovers (Eason Chan and Karena Lam), now in new committed relationships, drift back into each other’s arms during a long night out on the town. A quirky dry-cleaning clerk (Cantopop singer Kay Tse) develops an obsessive and imaginative crush on a customer. A young man receives an anonymous instant message from a woman claiming his girlfriend is cheating with her boyfriend. These and other stories of desire and infidelity are cleverly linked in a finale that reveals the connections among all of them. (Dirs.: Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan, 2010, 117 min.)

Friday, August 3, 7 pm
Sunday, August 5, 2 pm
One of the most acclaimed films by iconic Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan (Center Stage, Lan Yu), Rouge is a combination of ghost story and melodrama. It stars Anita Mui as a prostitute in 1930s Hong Kong and Leslie Cheung as her lover, the scion of a wealthy family who forbids their relationship. When he chickens out of their suicide pact, she returns from the afterlife to look for him—and finds herself in a completely changed 1980s Hong Kong. Two journalists repair their own relationship by helping her solve her supernatural problems. (Dir.: Stanley Kwan, 1988, 96 min., video)

An Autumn's Tale
Friday, August 10, 7 pm
Sunday, August 12, 2 pm
This wildly popular romantic drama from Mabel Cheung proves that there’s more to ’80s Hong Kong cinema than fast-paced action and gunplay. Cherie Chung stars as a student who moves to New York to pursue her studies. When her boyfriend abruptly leaves, her downstairs neighbor and distant cousin (Chow Yun-Fat) resolves to cheer her up—and they develop feelings for one another as a result. Departing from his usual action hero persona, Chow excels as a working-class immigrant, and Cheung’s subtle direction makes this tale of heartbreak and desire a classic date movie. (Dir.: Mabel Cheung, 1987, 98 min., video)

Killer Clans
Friday, August 17, 2012, 7 pm
Sunday, August 19, 2 pm
This year’s festival closes with a classic Shaw Brothers martial arts extravaganza. Adapted from the popular novel Meteor, Butterfly, Sword by Ku Lung, this film is a breathtaking mix of swordplay, treachery, and titillation, as rival assassins fall for the beautiful daughter of the man they’ve been hired to kill. “[Chor] gave full reign to his artistic sensibilities—vicious fight scenes are set incongruously against his whimsical poetic scenery; such contrast brings an unprecedented sense of modernity to this ancient genre” (Chinlin Hsieh, International Film Festival Rotterdam). (Dir.: Chor Yuen, 1976, 103 min., video)

This page created February 2013 - Last modified February 23, 2013

Home | Links | Film - "Made In Hong Kong" series, 2012