Philip Chan to share his experience in Film Archive's latest "Movie Talk" series (with photos)

     The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) will launch its latest "Movie Talk" series in end-January, inviting Philip Chan - a director, actor and producer all rolled into one - to select four films that were scripted and/or directed by him for screening at the HKFA Cinema. Each screening will be followed by a dialogue between Chan and another noted figure, promising one anecdote after another based on their extensive experience in the industry.
     In 1975, while still a member of the Hong Kong Police Force, Chan was invited by Josephine Siao and Leong Po-chih to write the screenplay for "Jumping Ash" (1976), which grossed over $1 million in three days. Investor Jimmy Yip then persuaded Chan to turn to filmmaking, officially launching his career in the entertainment business.
     In his first indie romance as director, "Charlie's Bubble" (1981), Chan handed over the writing chores based on his own adolescent fantasy to Alfred Cheung, who turned a potentially controversial story - a secondary school student who falls in love with his teacher - into a script of nuanced emotions and morality while managing to avoid the sensational. The film deserves a second look though it escaped critical attention on its initial release.
     "Long Arm of the Law" (1984), a crime thriller about Mainlanders who come to Hong Kong to score big in crime, is a key work in the history of Hong Kong cinema - and Philip Chan's contribution was instrumental. The former superintendent not only channelled his law-and-order experience into penning the script but also gave it a compelling human touch, turning what could just have been a spirited action film into a drama of social, psychological and political complexity.
     Philip Chan and Michael Hui's kindred spirits continue in "Mr Boo VIII Chocolate Inspector" (1986) following their earlier co-operation in "Mr Boo Meets Pom Pom" (1985). More than a director, Chan also undertook scriptwriting duties with Hui. The film captures Hui's iconic wit, with elements like action and family bonding added to enrich the film.
     Chan puts his multitude of talents on display in "The Night Caller" (1985) with a triple play as director, scriptwriter and actor. He did so partly to reduce costs, as the film was produced by a small company, Pyramid, in which he partnered with John Shum and Melvin Wong. The thriller, inspired by Brian De Palma's "Dressed to Kill" (1980), is at once suspenseful, engrossing and horrific, and executed with stylised visual and rhythmic touches.
     The four films are in Cantonese, with Chinese and English subtitles.
     Tickets priced at $45 are now available at URBTIX ( For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For programme details, please visit or call 2739 2139.
     The HKFA has organised the "Movie Talk" series since 2013. Each instalment of the series focuses on a filmmaker who selects films for screening and discussion with audiences, who can learn about the inspirations and processes behind the featured guest's work.

Ends/Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:35