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HK Film Archive's "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies" to screen classics by renowned film directors from February to April (with photos)

     "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies", the flagship series of the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA), will screen six films from the 1970s to the 1990s directed by Patrick Lung Kong, Tong Shu-shuen, Chor Yuen, Lau Kar-leung, John Woo and Johnnie To from February to April. The programme includes visionary works, adaptations of wuxia novels and classic gangster films, enabling young movie-goers to watch these classics on the big screen.

     Among the selected films, the works from the 1970s are "Yesterday Today Tomorrow" (1970), directed and scripted by Patrick Lung Kong; Tong Shu-shuen's directorial debut, "The Arch" (1970); Chor Yuen's "The Magic Blade" (1976); and Lau Kar-leung's martial arts comedy "Dirty Ho" (1979). The other films, made in the 1980s and 1990s, are John Woo's "A Better Tomorrow" (1986) and Johnnie To's "The Mission" (1999).

     The six films will be shown on February 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 respectively at the HKFA Cinema, and from February to April at Broadway Cinematheque (BC). All films screened at the HKFA will have post-screening talks in Cantonese with speakers Eric Tsang, Jack Ng, Matthew Cheng, Po Fung, Honkaz Fung and Cecilia Wong.

     Based on Albert Camus' "The Plague", Patrick Lung Kong's "Yesterday Today Tomorrow" sets the story in Hong Kong, where a fatal plague breaks out, killing hundreds of people and bringing the city to its knees. Lung's films often portray sensitive social issues, and this film is regarded as one of the most riveting and controversial. With a huge cast of Mandarin and Cantonese movie stars and location support from the Government, the film production was truly impressive at the time.

     Tong Shu-shuen is one of the most important independent film makers in Hong Kong cinema. The first film directed and written by her, "The Arch", won four prizes of the Golden Horse Awards. The film depicts a widow falling in love with the man that her daughter has fallen for, and explores the hidden desires and morality of a traditional Chinese woman from a modern perspective. Lisa Lu, who played the virtuous Madame Tung and won a Golden Horse Award for Best Actress, showcases the inner struggle of the character with her restrained performance.

     Chor Yuen's "The Magic Blade" was adapted from a wuxia novel by Ku Lung. Scripted with elements of the detective and gangster genres, the story is filled with twists and mysteries. The weapons in the film were meticulously designed by action choreographer Tong Kai. Striking as fast as a pistol, the brilliant spinning blade serves Ti Lung well in his role as a cape-donning warrior with the style of a western lone ranger.

     "Dirty Ho" features Wang Yu and Gordon Liu Chia-hui as a master and apprentice duo who play a diamond thief and a Manchurian prince respectively. They later join together to sabotage an assassination attempt to usurp the throne. Gracefully blending choreographed martial arts with rhythmic dance-like features, and adding a fair dose of humour in the action scenes, Lau Kar-leung's film offers audiences a fresh style that is different from that of earlier films.

     Starring Chow Yun-fat as Mark and Ti Lung as Ho, John Woo's "A Better Tomorrow" is widely recognised as a pioneer in the Hong Kong heroic bloodshed genre and tells the tragic bromance story of two fallen gangsters. Chow's image in the film has proved appealing to young viewers and has become a local icon of loyalty and brotherhood. To film buffs worldwide, the film has also established itself as an exemplar of Hong Kong cinema.

     Johnnie To put his unique visual sensibility on full display in his acclaimed film "The Mission". Featuring Francis Ng, Anthony Wong and Simon Yam, it tells a story of five gangsters with different seniorities and character who form a bodyguard team to protect their gang boss. The plot is simple yet dynamic with masterfully composed images to raise the atmosphere. The memorable set pieces convey aesthetics as well as character dynamics, among which a shopping mall shootout and a humorous frolic in an office hallway have become the signature scenes of the film.

     "Yesterday Today Tomorrow", "The Arch" and "The Magic Blade" are in Mandarin, while the other films are in Cantonese. All films are with Chinese and English subtitles.

     Tickets for screenings at the HKFA are priced at $40 and available at URBTIX. Half-price concessionary tickets for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities (and one accompanying minder), full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are also available. Credit card telephone bookings can be made on 2111 5999 or on the Internet at Tickets for screenings at BC are priced at $60 and available at BC and via its website. Tickets priced at $44 are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, full-time students and children aged 11 or below. There is a 20 per cent discount for BC VIP members. Phone ticketing can be made on 2388 3188 or on the Internet at

     For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900. Detailed programme information can be found in "ProFolio 75" and leaflets distributed at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, at BC or on the webpage at

Ends/Monday, January 12, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:31


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