All of his 12 films explore the social taboos of the time. He explains to Winnie Yeung why he made controversial films, and why Cantonese films are here to stay.
I was born in Hong Kong in 1935. My grandmother hired a teacher to come to our home in Shek Tong Tsui to teach me how to write my birth name, Lung Kin-yiu. Just before I wrote the character “yiu,” a bomb went off near us. The Japanese army dropped their first bombs on Hong Kong that day.
He has one of the most recognizable faces in 1960s Hong Kong cinema, but actor-director Lung Kong, 75, is mostly praised as an innovative and provocative filmmaker.
The British director speaks to Doretta Lau about his stage production of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” which starts its run on March 25 as part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
HK Magazine: Though most people know you best as a film director, you began your career in the theater. What made you decide to pursue film directing?
Sam Mendes: I had always loved film, and wanted to direct movies... and I was lucky enough to be offered movies when I achieved success in the theater.
Sam Mendes has directed numerous hit films, including “American Beauty” and “Revolutionary Road,” and is slated to helm the next James Bond film.
Recently, the silver screen has been home to images of Hong Kong that we haven’t seen in some time. In “Bodyguards and Assassins,” we saw the city as it was in 1905: streets lined with tong laus and colonial buildings. Young men pulled rickshaws past shops with wooden signs. Meanwhile, the setting for “Echoes of the Rainbow” is Wing Lee Street in Sheung Wan, where we get a glimpse of neighborhood life in the 60s, where families dined on the street in front of their homes.
While co-productions with the mainland continue to keep Hong Kong’s film industry in business, some local moviemakers are taking a more intimate approach to shooting in our city.
Her new film “Crossing Hennessy” has been chosen to open this year’s International Film Festival. She shares with Johannes Pong why she wants to be Dr. Doom.
I grew up in Macau. I came to Hong Kong when I was studying in Form 3.
It was so different back then. People were scared of government officials. Now the government officials are scared of the people.
There was no MTR yet. Buses were so cramped.
Screenwriter-director Ivy Ho has been in the film business since the 1970s. Her breakthrough came in 1996, after she wrote Peter Chan’s “Comrades, Almost a Love Story,” starring Maggie Cheung and Leon Lai, which has become a cult classic.
I was an introvert when I was young. I still am.
Growing up, I was scared of being in a group—I didn’t like talking to anyone, I locked myself in my room a lot. My family thought there was something wrong with me.
At seven years old I started to draw a lot. I drew everything and I started to design stuff. I challenged myself to design something.
Art director William Chang Suk-ping is legendary in the local film industry. He’s won multiple awards and earned international recognition for his inspired collaborations with director Wong Kar-wai, which began with “As Tears Go By” and continued with classics such as “Chungking Express” and “In the Mood for Love.” He talks to Winnie Yeung about making a career out of being introverted.
"After the sex photos incident, I realized that there are many girls out there doing similar things. This incident is a warning to them." Gillian Chung, half of Cantopop group Twins
"Hongkongers have inertia. Once they think something won’t work, they don’t even bother trying. It seems we can only be comfortable when we’re all doing the same thing." Stanley Wong aka “anothermountainman,” artist
My career began at a TV station as a scriptwriter. It was nothing more than a job to me but writing is obviously my strength.
I studied Chinese at university simply because I’m an opportunist. It’s so hard to get into higher education and I got an A in Chinese in all my public exams but I’m not particularly passionate about the language.
On the eve of the opening of his new movie “To Live and Die in Mongkok,” renowned director Wong Jing talks to June Ng about marriage, communism and those infamous “dirty jokes.”
I came from a really poor background. After school in Aberdeen, I’d go to Lockhart Road in Wan Chai and sell souvenirs to the American sailors there.
“Hawker girl” is a euphemism. In reality, I was a little beggar girl.
Those navy boys were barely in their 20s. They knew they might lose their lives in Vietnam, so they didn’t care about their cash, and were really good to us street kids. They’d buy us snacks and tell us stories.
Kara Hui (Wai Ying-hung), Shaw Studios’ martial arts goddess during the 80s and the first-ever recipient of the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress, is making a comeback with a new indie film called “At the End of Daybreak.” She talks to Johannes Pong.
I was born in Wuhan in 1947. Then in 1951 we relocated to Taiwan because my father got a job to teach in a university. I am the youngest kid.
I hung out with college kids even when I was around 8 years old. I grew up on a college campus so I didn’t really have a choice.
They liked having me around because I was their love messenger—a crying college girl asked me to pass a note to her boyfriend one day. I did it and they got back together. Aw. In return, they taught me photography.
Veteran film director Yonfan has seen his share of controversy —he directed Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung in the gay scenes in “Bishonen” (1998) and cast attention-seeking socialite Teresa Chang as a S&M queen in “Color Blossoms” (2004). This month he is releasing “Prince of Tears,” a film based on his childhood memories of Taiwan.
With several film festivals coming up this October and November in Hong Kong, it is easy to have overlooked a small-scale film festival called Hong Kong Social Movement Film Festival. Currently in its seventh year, this festival is well known among activists and students, presenting documentaries that tell us the whole truth, and nothing but, about our society.
The Hong Kong Social Movement Film Festival is back with local documentaries on topics close to our hearts, writes Winnie Yeung