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HKIFF44 showcases the latest of world cinema

HKIFF44 showcases the latest of world cinema

 

The 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) is proud to present a dazzling selection of new works from celebrated filmmakers around the world.

 

Initially scheduled for March, HKIFF44 will now take place from 18 to 31 August for 14 days.  Films already confirmed for this year’s Masters and Auteurs section will include some of the latest and most diversed and original works from all over the world.

 

Loneliness, the driving force of creativity, is elegantly distilled into achingly beautiful poetry in Roy ANDERSSON’s About Endlessness, for which the venerable Swedish master won Best Director at the 76th Venice Film Festival.  As in Berlinale accredited Days, TSAI Ming-Liang’s empathetic camera gently caressed life’s boredom, pain and fragility in poignant contemplation.

 

Profound desolation is also captured in Pedro COSTA’s Golden Leopard-winning Vitalina Varela, in which the eponymous actress takes a painful journey through memories of her estranged husband and wounds of the colonial past.  In The Cordillera of Dreams, Patricio GUZMÁN continues his heartrending exploration into Chile’s troubled history via the testimony of the majestic mountain.  Contemporary Palestinian society finds its apparition in Paris and New York, as we discover mirroring absurdity through Elia SULEIMAN’s delicate mosaic of observations in It Must Be Heaven.      

 

From traditional heroines to modern women, the feminine spirit never fails to inspire great filmmakers.  In Ema, Pablo LARRAÍN offers a visually expressionistic hymn to female liberation in an intense drama about a free-spirited dancer.  Under very different circumstances, Pema TSEDEN’s Balloon shows how the clash between spiritual beliefs and pragmatism can impact Tibetan women.  Through the eyes of a hilariously insolent girl, Mohsen MAKHMALBAF shatters the illusion of love, religion and human dignity in his Italian production Marghe and Her Mother.

 

Masters and Auteurs’ exceptional line-up will also include works from other acclaimed directors, including Bruno DUMONT, Cristi PUIU, Costa-GAVRAS, Lav DIAZ, Brillante MENDOZA, HARA Kazuo and CHANG Tso-Chi.

 

HKIFF44 will announce its full line-up on 28 July.  Tickets will go on sale at all URBTIX outlets and online through www.hkiff.org.hk from 5 August.

 

Selected highlights from HKIFF44’s Masters and Auteurs section

1. About Endlessness (2019) by Roy ANDERSSON
2.
Balloon (2019) by Pema TSEDEN
3.
Days (2020) by TSAI Ming-Liang
4.
Ema (2019) by Pablo LARRAÍN
5.
It Must Be Heaven (2019) by Elia SULEIMAN
6.
Marghe and Her Mother (2019) by Mohsen MAKHMALBAF
7.
The Cordillera of Dreams (2019) by Patricio GUZMÁN
8.
Vitalina Varela (2019) by Pedro COSTA

 

08/07/2020

HKIFF44 to showcase 10 restored classics

HKIFF44 to showcase 10 restored classics

HKIFF44 to showcase 10 restored classics

 

The 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) will present ten restored classics from master filmmakers whose undiminished brilliance continues to inspire and resonate with generations of audience.   

 

In their very different ways, the greatness of Francis Ford COPPOLA and Abbas KIAROSTAMI knows no bounds.  After simmering for 40 years, COPPOLA’s “definitive” version of Apocalypse Now: Final Cut (2019) has confirmed its rightful place in the pantheon of cinematic myths with its phantasmagoria spectacle.  In First Case, Second Case (1979), KIAROSTAMI span a simple case of classroom discipline into an inspiring discourse on the dilemmas of the Iranian revolution.  Those attending this screening will also have a chance to see two other KIAROSTAMI shorts of similar themes, namely Tribute to the Teachers (1977) and Two Solutions for One Problem (1975).

 

Romance transcends time in the hands of master filmmakers.  A fragile relationship is transformed into a dreamy illusion under the hallucinatory light of Paris in Robert BRESSON’s Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971).  The mesmerizing splendor in the sumptuous world of a 19th century Shanghai brothel is re-imagined in HOU Hsiao-Hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai (1998); while past cinematic glory mysteriously echoes contemporary alienation in TSAI Ming-Liang’s Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003).  

 

To complete the set are three silent masterpieces, all released in the same year of 1928, that are testimonies of Hollywood’s march into the Golden Age of creativity and exploration.  In Charlie CHAPLIN’s The Circus and Buster KEATON’s The Cameraman, the two kings of comedy exemplified their slapstick acrobatics while offering a different vision of the American soul.  In Street Angel, Hollywood romantic Frank BORZAGE reunited with stars Janet GAYNOR and Charles FARRELL to delve into the redemptive power of love.

 

HKIFFS will announce the full HKIFF44 line-up on 28 July.  The flagship 14-day event, initially scheduled for March, will now take place from 18 to 31 August.  Tickets will go on sale at all URBTIX outlets and online through www.hkiff.org.hk from 5 August.

 

HKIFF44’s ten restored classics:

1. The Circus (1928)
2. The Cameraman (1928)
3. Street Angel (1928)
4. Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971)
5. Two Solutions for One Problem (1975) (short film)
6. Tribute to the Teachers (1977) (short film)
7. First Case, Second Case (1979)
8. Flowers of Shanghai (1998)
9. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003) 
10. Apocalypse Now: Final Cut (2019)

 

02/07/2020

HKIFF44 to showcase six restored cinematic gems from Bologna

HKIFF44 to showcase six restored cinematic gems from Bologna

HKIFF44 to showcase six restored

cinematic gems from Bologna

 

The 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) will showcase six restored Italian classics from the world-renowned Cineteca di Bologna.

 

The specially curated programme, including works by ROSSELLINI, BERTOLUCCI, OLMI, and FERRERI, is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) and Cineteca di Bologna to promote film heritage internationally. 

 

With a collection of thousands of films in its archive, Cineteca di Bologna is a world centre of film preservation and conservation.  The films selected for the programme represent some of its most significant restorations of Italian cinema to date.

 

An essential feature of the programme is three classics from Roberto ROSSELLINI, Ermanno OLMI, and Vittorio DE SETA, all pioneers of Italian Neorealism.  Lauded as a watershed in Italian cinema, ROSSELLINI’s Rome, Open City (1945) is a thrilling drama about the brave people who struggled against Nazi occupation in Rome.  Responding more soulfully to the postwar recovery, OLMI anchored Il Posto (1961), a poetic masterpiece about a young man who leaves home to start his first job in Milan.  A vivid observation of daily rituals and traditional customs, the colorful documentaries in 10 Shorts by Vittorio De Seta (1954-59) showcased the maestro’s incomparable craft of immersing time and space.    

 

Marco FERRERI’s satirical matrimonial comedy, The Conjugal Bed (1963), critiques Italian matriarchal complex and religious formalities.  Turning to a tragedy of a young man discovering the truth of his father’s anti-fascism myth, Bernardo BERTOLUCCI’s The Spider’s Stratagem (1970) is a dazzling microcosm of a human society filled with lies and delusion.

 

The audience will also have a rare chance to experience the adventurous spirit of Italian filmmaking in Maciste in Hell (1925), a silent classic by Guido BRIGNONE, whose pioneering special effects of the inferno signified a remarkable niche in cinema history.

 

Initially scheduled for March this year, HKIFF44 will now be held from 18 to 31 August for 14 days.  HKIFFS will announce the full festival line-up on 28 July.  Tickets will go on sale at all URBTIX outlets and online through www.hkiff.org.hk from 5 August.

 

Six classics from Cineteca di Bologna:

1. Maciste in Hell (1925)
2. Rome, Open City (1945)
3. 10 Shorts by Vittorio De Seta (1954-59)
4. Il Posto (1961)
5. The Conjugal Bed (1963)
6. The Spider’s Stratagem (1970)

 

23/06/2020

HAF unveils 22 work-in-progress projects

HAF unveils 22 work-in-progress projects

HAF UNVEILS 22 WORK-IN-PROGRESS PROJECTS

 

The Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) today announces 22 feature projects shortlisted for the Work-in-Progress Programme (WIP), comprising of ten fictions and 12 documentaries from territories including Hong Kong, China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.  

 

The WIP initiative, to run exclusively online this year in parallel with the main HAF programme, will take place from 26 to 28 August in conjunction with FILMART Online, the virtual platform of the 24th Hong Kong International Film & TV Market.  HAF, WIP and FILMART were all postponed from March this year following the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

HAF will announce details of the online arrangement for both HAF and WIP as soon as practicable.

 

Now in its fourth edition, WIP is designed to provide a platform for later-stage projects seeking completion funding, post-production partners, distributors and sales agents, film festival supports, and other industry services.  The production on all shortlisted projects this year are completed, or near completion.

 

Some of the programme highlights are as follow.

 

FICTION FEATURES: PROJECTS FROM CHINA TAKE THE LEAD

 

A quartet of feature films from China looks at contemporary issues with new twists.  ZHOU Ziyang, one of the most promising directors to emerge from China in recent years, describes himself as “grieved” over the immense harm brought onto people through rapid economic development and money-oriented values.  He examines those themes in his second feature, Wuhai, about a married man facing financial difficulties.  Documentary filmmaker QIU Jiongjiong’s first fiction feature, The Neo-New Adventures, is based on his family history, telling the life of the 20th century’s top clown actor of southern Sichuan and his underworld journey to the Ghost City after death.

 

Summer Blur, the first feature of HAN Shuai, is a coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old girl who begins to realise what it is like to be a woman in modern society.  NIU Xiaoyu explores the emotions that bind people together in Virgin Blue, a story about a girl trapped in her grandmother’s memories, which intertwine with fragments of her past.

 

Jun LI, a Best New Director nominee for his debut feature Tracey (2018), brings his new drama, Drifting, which looks at the lives of homeless people in Hong Kong forced to continuous relocation for survival.  Indian-born director Prasun CHATTERJEE’s Two Friends (Dostojee) is the story of friendship between a pair of eight-year-old boys belonging to two warring religious communities.


Adolfo ALIX Jr. draws inspiration from Dante’s Divine Comedy for The Double, a suspense drama in which the Philippine director says he “tries to make sense of my take in the cycle of violence and retribution based on my interviews with a real hitman.”

 

DOCUMENTARIES FOCUS ON CULTURE AND SOCIETY

 

FAN Jian’s Born to Be Second scrutinises the parent-child relationship, arguably the foundation of the Chinese society.  After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, thousands of families lost their only child and were allowed to try to conceive another to fill the void created by the tragic event.  The film follows two families as they arrive at critical junctures in their lives, challenging how they have been living for the past ten years.  Another Brick on the Wall, by director ZHANG Nan, provides an intimate look into the intertwining stories of three characters, along with other co-workers, related to the two-year restoration project of the Panjiakou-Great Wall.

 

In China, people often avoid talking about death because it is a taboo and “inauspicious.”  In Being Mortal, however, LUO Shuai recounts the stories of hospice care volunteers, who ponder life and death while they care for their patients.

 

HA LE Diem’s Children of the Mist, set in North Vietnam, looks at a Hmong girl as she walks the thin line between childhood and becoming an adult.  In Kith and Kin, director Waraluck HIRANSRETTAWAT observes the breakdown of a Chinese-Thai family over the relocation of their ancestral grave in a darkly-comedic documentary set during the recent political turmoil of his native Thailand.

 

Please refer to the Appendix for a complete list of the 22 shortlisted WIP projects.

 

GUEST ACCREDITATION

 

Online guest registration through www.haf.org.hk/guest.php is now open until 17 August.   Once accredited, guests will be able to schedule online meetings with HAF and WIP filmmakers.

 

For more information about HAF and WIP, please visit the official website at www.haf.org.hk and the HAF Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hafhkiffs.

 

23/06/2020

HKIFF celebrates FELLINI 100 with a full retrospective, exhibition and concert

HKIFF celebrates FELLINI 100 with a full retrospective, exhibition and concert

Hong Kong International Film Festival

celebrates FELLINI 100 

with a full retrospective, exhibition and concert

 

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Federico FELLINI with a full retrospective of his cinematic works, an exhibition, and a special concert featuring Nino ROTA’s music from FELLINI’s most iconic films.

 

Organized in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong, and fully supported by the Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong, HKIFFS will showcase all 24 films that the maestro had directed – most of them newly and digitally restored by Luce Cinecittà, Cineteca di Bologna and Cineteca Nazionale – in the FELLINI 100 Programme.  To mark the occasion, HKIFFS has also created a unique programme key-art inspired by the iconic look from La Strada of FELLINI’S wife and muse, Giulietta MASINA.

 

To kick-off, six of FELLINI’s most celebrated masterpieces will take center stage at the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44), now scheduled from 18 to 31 August.  They include his four Oscar winners for best foreign-language film, namely: La Strada (1954), the folktale-like odyssey that marked his career breakthrough; Nights of Cabiria (1957), which won Giulietta MASINA the best actress award at Cannes; 8 1⁄2 (1963), widely acclaimed as one of cinema’s most recognized touchstones with his spiritual and artistic musings; and Amarcord (1973), when he was at his most autobiographical. 

 

To complete the line-up are La Dolce Vita (1960), the Palme d’Or winner that rocketed FELLINI to international fame and began his life-long creative collaboration with the legendary Marcello MASTROIANN; and Roma (1972), his colorful tribute to the Eternal City that stands as an extravagant cinematic spectacle.

 

Also to take place during HKIFF44 is an exhibition of rarely seen behind-the-scenes photos, film stills and posters, as well as FELLINI’s hand-drawn sketches on loan from the Cineteca di Bologna, and a special concert of Nino ROTA’s memorable film scores for FELLINI, under the baton of acclaimed Italian musician and conductor Lorenzo Antonio IOSCO.

 

HKIFFS Director of Programming Geoffrey WONG said the FELLINI 100 Programme would continue beyond HKIFF44 and last until the end of the year.  “Our Cine Fan repertory programme will screen FELLINI’s remaining 18 films over two bi-monthly editions from September to December,” said Mr WONG.  They include Variety Lights (1950); I Vitelloni (1953); Juliet of the Spirits (1965); Fellini Satyricon (1969); Fellini’s Casanova (1976); City of Women (1980); Ginger and Fred (1986); his final work The Voice of the Moon (1990); and three distinctive short films in Love in the City (1953), Boccaccio 70 (1962), and Spirits of the Dead (1968).

 

Recognized as one of the most gifted filmmakers the world has ever seen, FELLINI (1920-1993) began his career as a screenwriter for Roberto ROSSELLINI on Rome, Open City (1945).   He soon transitioned from post-war Neorealism to his distinctive style, inventing a fantastical world constructed by the carnivalesque spectacle, dreamlike imagery and bizarre scenarios to explore themes of memory, desire and artistic expression.  His phantasmagorical works, which were at once humorous, imaginative and bewildering, leave behind a legacy that continues to awe and inspire generations of filmmakers.

 

HKIFFS will announce the full HKIFF44 line-up, including details of the FELLINI 100 exhibition and concert, on 28 July.  Tickets will be available at www.hkiff.org.hk and all URBTIX outlets from 5 August.

 

The six FELLINI masterpieces to feature during HKIFF44:

1. La Strada (1954)
2. Nights of Cabiria (1957)
3. La Dolce Vita (1960)
4. 8 1⁄2 (1963)
5. Roma (1972)
6. Amarcord (1973)

 

Federico Fellini 100 is part of the Federico Fellini 100 Tour, a series of centennial tributes to Federico Fellini (1920–1993), which will travel to major museums and film institutions worldwide, coordinated by Paola Ruggiero and Camilla Cormanni from Luce Cinecittà.  All films (unless noted) have been digitally restored by Luce Cinecittà, Cineteca di Bologna and Cineteca Nazionale.

 

18/06/2020

HAF goes virtual with new dates

HAF goes virtual with new dates

 

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society announces today that the 18th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) will go virtual and to take place from 26 to 28 August this year.

 

The revamped HAF will run concurrently with FILMART Online, the virtual edition of the 24th Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) launched today by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.  Both HAF and FILMART were postponed from March this year following the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.    

 

HAF Director Jacob WONG said the Society had considered all options before deciding to take HAF online.

 

“Travel restrictions and quarantine requirements imposed by many countries have made it impossible for HAF to provide a physical platform for participants to meet and discuss their projects this year,” said Mr WONG.  “Under such circumstances, going virtual is an appropriate way forward as the safety and well-being of our guests and filmmakers are of utmost importance.”

 

WONG said HAF would partner with FILMART Online to facilitate virtual meetings for filmmakers of the selected projects and will announce details of the arrangement as soon as practicable.

 

The Society has previously shortlisted 32 projects for this year’s HAF, including projects from 11 first-time directors, and will announce an additional 22 work-in-progress projects (WIP) shortly. 

 

Online guest registration through www.haf.org.hk/guest.php is now open until 17 August.   Once accredited, guests will be able to schedule online meetings with filmmakers.

 

For more information about HAF, please visit the official website at www.haf.org.hk and the HAF Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hafhkiffs.

 

18/06/2020

Hong Kong International Film Festival announces new August dates

Hong Kong International Film Festival announces new August dates

Hong Kong International Film Festival
announces new August dates

 

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) announces plans today to hold the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) from 18-31 August 2020.

 

The flagship 14-day event is financially supported by Create Hong Kong, with FWD as its main sponsor.    

 

Executive Director Albert LEE said HKIFFS had decided to re-launch HKIFF44 after the Hong Kong government began easing restrictive measures, including allowing local cinemas to re-open, in its battle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“We are cautiously optimistic that Hong Kong is gradually returning to normal from the health crisis,” said Mr LEE.  “I am pleased that we have not stopped our preparation since the postponement.  The prospects of being able to bring back HKIFF44 to our audience are exciting.  Nothing beats the big-screen experience of watching a diverse selection of films from around the world.”

 

Mr LEE said HKIFFS would continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and comply with all recommended measures to ensure public safety and the well-being of festival patrons.      

 

HKIFFS will announce the full HKIFF44 line-up on 28 July.  Tickets will go on sale at all URBTIX outlets and online through www.hkiff.org.hk from 5 August.

 

10/06/2020

HKIFFS postpones HKIFF44 and HAF18, cancels Cine Fan April/May edition

HKIFFS postpones HKIFF44 and HAF18, cancels Cine Fan April/May edition

HKIFFS postpones HKIFF44 and HAF18,

cancels Cine Fan April/May edition

 

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society today announces the postponement of the 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) and the 18th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF18) in response to the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

 

In making the announcement, HKIFFS Executive Director Albert LEE confirms that the Society’s two flagship events, both scheduled to start in less than six weeks, will be postponed to the summer of 2020.  However, the April/May edition of the year-round Cine Fan repertory programme has been cancelled.

 

“We hope to be able to share more information regarding a postponed HKIFF44 following discussions with screenings venues, as well as our many stakeholders, partners and sponsors,” said LEE.

 

HAF director Jacob WONG said plans are on track to hold HAF18 during the 24th Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), which the Hong Kong Trade Development Council has just postponed to 27-29 August.

 

“Besides, we are still going ahead with HAF Goes to Cannes which takes place during Cannes Film Festival in May,” said WONG.  “We will announce the selected projects for this initiative in late March.”

 

LEE added that the postponement of HKIFF44 and HAF18 was not an easy decision to make.  “We see the need to make a socially-responsible decision and not to put the public’s safety and well-being at risk,” he said.  “Our prayers are for those who are affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak and to wish them a full and speedy recovery.”

 

For latest updates of HKIFF44 and Cine Fan programmes, please visit the official websites www.hkiff.org.hk and www.cinefan.com.hk.  For information about HAF18, please visit the official website www.haf.org.hk.

 

13/02/2020

HKIFF to celebrate The Film Foundation’s 30th anniversary with six rare cinematic gems

HKIFF to celebrate The Film Foundation’s 30th anniversary with six rare cinematic gems

HKIFF to celebrate The Film Foundation’s

30th anniversary with six rare cinematic gems

 

The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society will celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Film Foundation by showcasing new restorations of six rarely-seen film classics in this year’s festival. 

 

Established in 1990 by Martin SCORSESE and other leading filmmakers, The Film Foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history.  By working in partnership with archives and studios, the foundation has helped to restore over 850 films – including 40 films from 24 different countries through its renowned World Cinema Project – which are made accessible to the public through festivals, museums, and educational institutions around the world.  The foundation's free educational curriculum, The Story of Movies, teaches young people - over 10 million to date - about film language and history.

 

“It is an honor to partner with The Film Foundation on the occasion of its 30th anniversary in bringing some of its most important works to the Hong Kong audiences,” enthused HKIFF Director of Programming Geoffrey WONG. 

 

“The six hidden gems in this special tribute, ranging from silent classics, Hollywood Western comedy, to Mexican and Brazilian neo-social realism, have all been restored to their full glory with The Film Foundation’s support.  They also highlight the foundation’s mission in championing film heritage and rich diversity in world cinema.”

 

“I’m thrilled that such an exciting selection of restorations supported by The Film Foundation are screening at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. These six titles represent the diverse range of films the foundation has helped restore over the past three decades. Spanning every era, genre, and region, the hundreds of films restored show the rich history of cinema and the universality of the art of film. From Pixote and Los Olvidados to Rosita and The Broken Butterfly, all are rare works created by master filmmakers. This year in particular, during our 30th anniversary, we’re thrilled to partner with the Hong Kong International Film Festival and thank them for their devotion to film culture and commitment to the foundation’s work,” said Martin SCORSESE, the founder and chair of The Film Foundation. 

 

The most-anticipated work in the programme is The Broken Butterfly (1919), pioneering French director Maurice TOURNEUR’s silent American classic, which the public has not seen for a century.  This poignant romance amply demonstrates why TOURNEUR’s mastery of stylized lighting, set design and atmosphere had left such a lasting influence on the Hollywood screen.

 

Invited to work in Hollywood by the legendary Mary PICKFORD, German maestro Ernst LUBITSCH created a signature cinematic style – known as the Lubitsch Touch, and his first American production, Rosita (1923), is often hailed as one of the most beautifully made silent films.  Priming his iconic western with slapstick, wisecracks, and action in Destry Rides Again (1939), Hollywood veteran George MARSHALL subverted the genre in an amusing gender role reversal, anchored by flawless performances by James STEWART and Marlene DIETRICH.               

 

Regarded as a masterpiece of Latin American cinema, Los Olvidados (1950) earned Spanish master Luis BUÑUEL a Best Director kudo at Cannes for his raw and ruthless vision of juvenile crime in a Mexico City slum, steadfast in its realism, yet operatic in its tragedy with flourishes of surreal, transcendental insight in a stunning dream sequence.   The film inspired Hector BABENCO whose Pixote (1980) similarly shows the unbearably harsh lives of abandoned children in Sao Paulo in realistic yet shockingly lyrical images that express the texture of everyday brutality.   

 

American director Nietzchka KEENE drew her inspiration from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale and transformed it into The Juniper Tree (1990), an ethereal psychological horror film shot against the backdrop of Iceland’s stunning landscape and starring Björk in her enchanting film debut. 

 

WONG said the collaboration between HKIFFS and The Film Foundation would continue beyond this year’s festival.  “In addition to this special anniversary tribute, classics from The Film Foundation will regularly feature in our upcoming Cine Fan programmes,” he said. 

 

The Hong Kong International Film Festival, now in its 44th edition, will be held from 24 March to 6 April.  The public can purchase tickets online (www.hkiff.org.hk) and through all URBTIX and HK Ticketing outlets starting from 13 March 2020.

 

Six classics from The Film Foundation:

1. The Broken Butterfly (1919)
Restored in 2019 by The Film Foundation at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with La Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé. Restoration funding provided by Louis XIII Cognac.

 

2. Rosita (1923)
Restored by The Museum of Modern Art. Restoration funding provided by the Louis B. Mayer Foundation, RT Features, The Film Foundation and the Celeste Bartos Preservation Fund.

 

3. Destry Rides Again (1939)
Restored by Universal Pictures in collaboration with The Film Foundation. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg for their consultation on this restoration.

 

4. Los Olvidados (1950)
Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at L’Immagine Ritrovata in collaboration with Fundación Televisa, Televisa, Cineteca Nacional Mexico, and Filmoteca de la UNAM. Restoration funding provided by The Material World Foundation.

 

5. Pixote (1980)
Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata in association with HB Filmes, Cinemateca Brasileira, and JLS Facilitações Sonoras. Restoration funded by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

 

6. The Juniper Tree (1990)
Restored by the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

 

07/02/2020

HKIFF44 honors Michael Hui

HKIFF44 honors Michael Hui

Hong Kong International Film Festival

honors Michael Hui

 

The 44th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF44) today unveiled Hong Kong’s very own King of Comedy Michael HUI as its Filmmaker-in-Focus.

 

In a career spanning half a century as producer, writer, director and actor, HUI has dazzled and entertained generations of Hong Kong audiences with his character-driven satires combined with a splash of slapstick alongside a unique Cantonese sensibility.

 

“Michael is a living legend,” enthused HKIFF Executive Director Albert LEE.  “Just as the works of screen legends the ilk of CHAPLIN, KEATON and TATI, HUI’s mastery of his craft makes him a true icon of Hong Kong cinema, with an enduring influence on generations of aspiring filmmakers and comedians.  We are thrilled and honored to be recognising his massive contribution which re-defined Hong Kong’s comedy cinema.” 

     

To be held from 24 March to 6 April, HKIFF44 will celebrate HUI’s remarkable career with a retrospective of 10 of his seminal works together with the release of a commemorative book, featuring new interviews with HUI and some of his collaborators, as well as critiques and rarely-seen production sketches of his classic comedies.  As with the previous filmmakers-in-focus, HUI will also attend a Face to Face session at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on 28 March to share his creative insights and anecdotes with the public in person.

 

HUI made his breakthrough on television with the popular Hui Brothers Show in 1971-1972, where his unique brand of humor and deadpan comic timing caught the eyes of famed director LI Han-Hsiang.  LI cast him as a farcical general in The Warlord (1972), a debut that set the path for HUI’s distinguished tapestry of inventing jokes and performing art.       

 

A combination of episodic gags and wits becomes the canon of the early HUI comedies, all co-starring his brothers Sam and Ricky.  Games Gamblers Play (1974), in which HUI combined directing, writing and acting roles for the first time, broke all box-office records.  His phenomenal success continued with The Last Message (1975) and The Private Eyes (1976).

 

HUI received international acclaim in the 1980s with some of his most renowned works as he became known as Mr. Boo! in Japan and across Europe.  He and his three brothers – with Stanley also helping out behind the scene – combined their wits and produced Security Unlimited (1981), one of the most iconic comedies in the history of Hong Kong cinema, winning HUI the first Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor in the process.        

 

In Chicken and Duck Talk (1988), the first film released by his own company, HUI starred in a roaring comedy about a penny-pinching restauranteur which he co-wrote with director Clifton KO, providing his trademark laughs with an acerbic look at the changing society and integrated local culture.  The Philip CHAN-directed Front Page (1990) reunited HUI with his brothers and affirmed his social conscience with a sarcastic take on the showbiz tabloid paparazzi scene. 

 

The Magic Touch (1992) is simultaneously a satire of the Chinese obsession with wealth and fortune-telling, and a timely reflection of the pre-1997 handover anxiety.  Continued in Always on My Mind (1993) directed by Jacob CHEUNG, HUI delivered one of his most poignant and accomplished screen performances, offering a mischievous nudge at media impact, yet a sympathetic take on family value.   

 

Forever a perfectionist, HUI never ceases his pursuit of excellence in films.   A recent prime example being Godspeed (2016), which won him a Golden Horse Best Actor Award nomination. 

 

HKIFF44 will announce this year’s full programme on 10 March.  The public can purchase tickets online (www.hkiff.org.hk) and through all URBTIX outlets from 13 March.

 

 

Face to Face with Michael HUI

Date: 28 March 2020 (Saturday)

Venue: Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Online pre-registration for FREE admission, with details available through the HKIFFS’s official website and Facebook page on a later date.

 

Retrospective film list

1974  Games Gamblers Play

1975  The Last Message

1976  The Private Eyes

1981  Security Unlimited

1988  Chicken and Duck Talk

1990  Front Page

1992  The Magic Touch

1993  Always on My Mind

2016  Godspeed

 

23/01/2020

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