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Extra screenings and workshops for "From Novel to Film - Critics' Choice"

     Tickets for the workshops and most of the screenings in the film programme "From Novel to Film - Critics' Choice" have been sold out. In response to the enthusiastic response, six additional screenings will be held from June 27 to October 29 at the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) and the Lecture Halls of the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Hong Kong Science Museum, and the additional workshops will be scheduled in September.

     Presented by the Film Programmes Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and organised by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society, "From Novel to Film - Critics' Choice" presents six films selected by critics Thomas Shin, Longtin, Matthew Cheng, Ka Ming, Cheng Chuen-wai and Lau Yam. The films are: director Morita Yoshimitsu's
"And Then..." on love and friendship; film master Alain Resnais' famed "Last Year at Marienbad"; Luchino Visconti's masterpiece "Death in Venice"; German director Volker Schl?ndorff's unflinching satire "The Tin Drum"; the extraordinary work "The Saragossa Manuscript" from the Polish director Wojciech Has; and Martin Scorsese's feminine film "The Age of Innocence".

     The additional Workshops on Film Criticism will be held at 2.30pm every Saturday in September. Film critics Matthew Cheng, Cheng Chuen-wai, Thomas Shin and Ka Ming will share their views on films from various perspectives and the relationship between literature and film. The workshops will be conducted in Cantonese and held at the HKFA's Resource Centre.

     To encourage the workshop participants to write about their views on films, the Hong Kong Film Critics Society will publish selected articles in the house programme and on the websites of the Film Programmes Office and the Hong Kong Film Critics Society.

     One characteristic common to films and novels is the narration of a complete world, encouraging the audience/reader to delve into it and feel it. The comparison and interaction between original literature and film fully demonstrates the importance of text. Exploring the proto-structure of text in cinematic art and the "original" will be an interesting journey.

     Japanese director Morita Yoshimitsu's "And Then..." (1985) is regarded as one of the best adaptations of the novel by Natsume Soseki, one of the foremost novelists in the Meiji era. It is a probing tale of a complex relationship of love and friendship among three people in 19th century Japan, revealing conflicts between responsibility and desire, loyalty and group mentality versus freedom and individuality, personal isolation and estrangement. The film won for Best Director at the Kinema Junpo Awards, Japan, 1985; Best Supporting Actor and Best Cinematography at the Japan Academy Prize 1986, and Best Director and Best Supporting Actor at the Blue Ribbon Awards, Japan, 1986. The additional screening will be held on June 27.

     What happened last year at Marienbad? A stranger tries to tell a married woman that they met last year at Marienbad and had an affair, which she hardly remembers. A love story has no story. A dream has no beginning and end. Audiences are introduced into the real-time experience of dmjj vu in "Last Year at Marienbad" (1961). Alain Robbe-Grillet's novel could be treated as the detailed shooting script for French film master Alain Resnais, who followed it faithfully. The film proves to be the perfect marriage of "le nouveau roman" and cinema as modern art and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival 1961. The additional screening will be held on July 16.

     Based on the novel by Nobel prize-winner Thomas Mann, combining the brilliant cinematography of De Santis and a fascinating city called Venice with Mahler's Symphony no.5 (Adagietto), under Luchino Visconti's aristocratic direction, "Death in Venice" (1971) became an all-time art-house classic. It is truly a masterpiece of intrinsic beauty. The film won the 25th Anniversary Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 1971. The additional screening will be held on August 6.

     Honoured with the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival 1979 and the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards 1980, German director Volker Schl?ndorff's "The Tin Drum" (1979) is a visionary adaptation of Nobel laureate Gnter Grass' acclaimed novel, an unforgettable fantasia of surreal imagery and striking eroticism. A boy who is born with an intellect beyond his infancy witnesses the hypocrisy of adulthood and the irresponsibility of society. On his third birthday, he refuses to grow older and starts to show his discontent via his drum and scream. The additional screening will be held on September 24.

     A beauty, a villain, a gypsy, a Muslim, a Jew and a cabalist come out one by one with weird, interwoven stories. "The Saragossa Manuscript" (1965) was adapted from the novel by Jan Potocki, a legendary figure in 18th century Poland. The secretive, surrealistic landscape created with ultra-wide shots by Polish director Wojciech Has became a cinematic cult classic for Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola and many of today's film masters. The additional screening will be held on October 2.

     American film master Martin Scorsese is known for his macho cinematic style, yet he has loved Edith Wharton's feminine novel "The Age of Innocence" for many years. Turning the novel into a film in 1993, he endeavours to create a rich classical atmosphere. The camera captures gorgeously forbidden love in a 19th century world - its flow, its imprecision, its breath, and its burial in the depth of soul. The additional screening will be held on October 29.

     All the films have English and Chinese subtitles. "The Tin Drum" has been classified as Category III and only ticket holders aged 18 and above will be admitted.

     Tickets for screenings priced at $50 and workshops priced at $80 per session are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients.

     Programme and discount details can be found in the leaflet at all LCSD performing venues. Reservations can be made by phone on 2734 9009 or via the Internet at For enquiries, please call 2734 2900 or browse the website at

Ends/Monday, June 14, 2010
Issued at HKT 17:11


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