"The Immortal Bruce Lee: From the Kid to Kung Fu Dragon" opened at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre tonight (November 20) with Bruce Lee's first breakthrough picture "The Kid". He was only 10 when he played his first starring role in the film.
Speaking at the Opening Reception, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Leung Sai-wah said that to commemorate the late superstar's 60th birthday, the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) had put together 20 films from the 28 films made by Lee for the Retrospective. The films spanned his career from the early child-star years to the later hits that made him an international superstar.
"This is not only a memorable occasion for Bruce Lee fans but also a rare opportunity for film lovers and researchers to share in Lee's cinematic magic," he said.
In addition to screening the precious films made by Lee, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Bruce Lee Union also jointly present a special premiere of "Bruce Lee : A Warrior's Journey" on November 27, Lee's birthday.
Made by Mr John Little who is based in the United States, the 99-minute documentary unveils for the first time 25 minutes excised footage shot by Lee while making his last film "The Game of Death".
Mr Leung pointed out that the Retrospective would not be possible without the support of many friends and he specially thanked Bruce Lee's widow, Mrs Linda Lee Cadwell; the Chairman of Golden Harvest Entertainment (Holdings) Ltd, Mr Raymond Chow and the Chairman of the Bruce Lee Educational Foundation, Mr Ted Wong for their contribution to the programme.
At the opening reception, Mr Ted Wong who act on behalf of Mrs Lee Cadwell, presented to HKFA a poster of "Enter The Dragon" (American version) with signatures of Mrs Lee Cadwell and her daughter Ms Shannon Lee and he was presented a souvenir photo album on Lee's movies from the HKFA .
Except for the opening gala, all other screenings will be held from November 21 to December 17 at the new HKFA cinema (50 Lei King Road, Sai Wan Ho, MTR exit A).
"We sincerely hope that we will continue to receive the enthusiastic support we have been enjoying so that the Archive can fulfil its mission of preserving Hong Kong's film heritage and promoting its cinematic culture," said Mr Leung.
The opening film "The Kid" (1950) is a newly restored print by the HKFA. Lee starred with his father, the noted opera comedian Lee Hoi-chuen and his lively and vivid performances as a street urchin has won him much praise.
Another notable film in the Retrospective is "The Orphan" (1960) in which Lee played a young delinquent but already had gestures that appeared later in his Kung Fu films. The film was Lee's last role in the first phase of his career in the Hong Kong cinema before he departed to the United States for his studies. The HKFA obtained the precious colour print copy from England in 1992.
To his fans, Bruce Lee is a genuine hero. Confidence, playfulness and charisma such qualities of heroism are also evident in his childhood films. The similar facial expressions, gestures and dramatic energy reappear and become more prominent in his adult movies.
Known for his stunning martial arts prowess, Lee's performance from straight roles to heavies, from comedy to tragedy in his early movies proved that he could play well in any roles.
His famous Kung-fu movies : "The Big Boss". "Fist of Fury". "The Way of the Dragon", "Enter the Dragon" and "The Game of Death" are all included in the Retrospective. In addition to the film screenings, a mini exhibition will be held at the HKFA foyer. The exhibits include stills from Lee's movies, original letter written by Lee and his nunchaku. Admission is free.
All films in the Retrospective are in Cantonese except "Bruce Lee : A Warrior's Journey" which has an English voice-over. Screenings of the five kung-fu films, "The Kid"and "The Orphan" have both English and Chinese subtitles while screenings of "A Myriad Homes" on December 17, "In the Face of Demolition" and "Love(Part 2)" on November 25 will have English subtitles.
Tickets for all screenings priced at $30 except for video screening of "An Orphan's Tragedy" at $20 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concession are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities and full-time students. Reservations can be made at 2734 9009 and programme enquiries at 2739 2139.
Souvenirs for the Retrospective include mouse pad and T-shirt at $15 and $50 respectively will be available for sale at the HKFA.
End/Monday, November 20, 2000