Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hong Kong Films Nolstalgia (1)....香港電影回顧(一)

I grew up, like many mainland Chinese, HK people, Taiwanese, and overseas Chinese, watching HK films. I spent much of my childhood and adolescents watching these films and fell in love with them. Of cos, that was during the 'Golden Era' of HK films, what i would categorise as from the early 1980s all the way thru to 1997 after which the quality and production of HK films has dropped so significantly that i would recommend NO ONE to watch the vast majority of HK films now, which to me are either total crap or such no-brainers that its a complete waste of time...

It is truly sad that HK films, which accompanied me thru my childhood, has fallen into such a state. I now hardly watch HK films anymore, preferring Korean ones...however, given that i am only 22, when i came of age, the golden era had also just slipped by....most of the films from that golden era i watched thru video and laser discs rental shops still popular at the time (VCDS were not that fashionable then, not to mention DVDs which simply didn't exist then!!)
Below are some HK films which gave me a lasting impression and to me are classics and not-to-be-missed OR just plain fun HK films, though thin on plot, were extremely entertaining in their low-brow way, unlike present ones which TRY to entertain but fail miserably.

天涯海角 Lost and Found (1996) Cast: Kelly Chan, Takeshi Kaneshiro

Thought provoking film about a wealthy woman who only has 3 months to live and a man who makes a living thru finding stuff for people. She wants to find a sailor who can show her 'the end of the world' (thus the Chinese title) and hires the man to find the sailor for her. I simply LOVE the tagline of the film: I have lost hope, can u find hope for me?

虎度門 Hu Du Men (1996) Cast: Josephine Xiao, Anita Yuen, Daniel Chan

Heart-warming tale about a Cantonese opera singer and the son she gave away....by the veteran Josephine Xiao........

金枝玉葉 He's a Woman, She's a Man (1994+1996) Cast: Leslie Cheung, Anita Yuen

A tale of gender confusion whereby a woman pretends to be a guy and makes it big in the entertainment industry and how she has to hide her gender identity...Leslie Cheung starts to fall for her, thinking its a 'him' and cannot reconcile that, thinking he has 'turned' gay...there are 2 parts to this film, one 1994 and the sequel 1996....it is a fantastic film and a classic, closely mirroring Leslie Cheung's real life whereby he actually tried to hide his homosexuality in the beginning...

地久天長 Forever and Ever (2001) Cast: Sylvia Chang

Based on a true life story about a mother dealing with her HIV+ positive son...a good informative film about AIDS....won Sylvia Chang (one of my favourite female HK actresses!!) an award at the HK film Awards for this role..

半生緣 Eighteen Springs (1997) Cast: Jacqueline Wu Chien Lien, Leon Lai Ming, Anita Mui Yim Fong

Set in the 1930s in Shanghai about 2 sisters, one, an educated teacher, the other, an uneducated nightclub girl and based on China's most well-known female novelist Eileen Chang Ai Ling's novel. Highly recommended.

新不了情 Cest La Vie, Mon Cheri Cast: Anita Yuen, Lau Ching Wan, Petrina Fung Bo Bo, Carina Ng

This tear-jearker and highly touching film broke box-office records in 1993 when it was released, to the surprise of many analyst, given that it was unlike the big budgeted box-office movies at the time....when i first watched it, i was sooo bored with the entire film and simply couldn't understand how it could have touched so many HK audiences at the time...however, i finally realised in the last 15 mins and felt extremely depressed and sad at the ending...the film's success is precisely in its slow paced style and the ending hits u hard as u didn't really expect it..it also makes u ponder about life...and i absolutely love the title song (same name as the movie title) which i have sung in karaoke for like 4 times in the past 3 weeks already....the very last scene where Anita Yuen leaves a paper written with something to Lau Ching Wan is really thought-provoking: 'If the most scary thing on earth is death, then there is no other problem on earth which cannot be resolved.'Continued in 2nd post.....

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