HKMDB Daily News

July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009

Aaron Kwok, Shu Qi
Aaron cools down
Aaron Kwok, Shu Qi film City Under Siege

Louis Koo gains 14kg for ‘uncle’ role in Overheard

Remind you of anyone?
Li Bingbing back to Tang Dynasty in Detective Dee

Looking for Kung Fu Girls for Andy Lau’s New Film ‘Unshakeable Military Orders’
Based on Yang Family saga

Stanley Kwan, Christopher Doyle Chase Solar Eclipse for New Film “Energy Behind the Heart”

My Interview with Francoise Yip

One of our readers, scores an interview with Francoise Yip.
She speaks to Glenn on a range of topics: working with Anthony Wong, her impressions of Anita Mui and her new film Motherland.
Motherland is directed by Doris Yeung starring Francoise Yip, Kenneth Tsang and Byron Mann.

Jeff Yang: The rise and fall — and rise? — of Hong Kong cinema

Bruce Lee Legend Remains Strong in H.K. 36 Yrs after His Death
Bruce Lee’s family OKs biopics
J.A. Media plans at least three films

Singapore’s Boku Films to co-produce The Host sequel

Chengtian reaps Golden Harvest
Name change completes takeover

Photos from opening ceremony of Lydia Shum exhibition

Vivian Chow arrived in Shanghai to view the solar eclipse - more photos

Where’s Joe?

Leon Didn’t Announce Wedding at ‘Dream Wedding” Concert

Unsuccessful Graduate Zhao Wei to Halt Career for School
Vicki Zhao delays graduation for ‘Mulan’

Denise Ho out of the Closet?
HK singer Denise Ho comes out of the closet


  1. Hey, thanks for the link!!!

    (And for always having great Shu Qi links to keep me entertained! LOL!)

    Comment by glenn — July 22, 2009 @ 10:36 am

  2. Thoughts on Jeff Yang’s rather narrow-minded, “either/or” take on the Hong Kong film industry.

    I’m now convinced that the majority of Hong Kong “film fans” were/are at best casual viewers, content to view ONLY the 300 or 400 films recommended over and over and over again by the likes of Bey Logan, Thomas Weisser, Jeff Yang, anyone else who ever wrote a Hong Kong film book, or their own “peers” in the early days of the internet.

    Hong Kong was cranking out 100-200 movies a year LONG BEFORE THE 90’s and do you really think that they were ALL superior cinema? Come ON. The “must see” movies will always remain that way, AND HONG KONG IS STILL MAKING SUCH FILMS, but there’s was just as high a percentage of crap being made in the 70’s, the 80’s and 90’s as there was in the late 90’s, the era by which there were simply more WESTERN Hong Kong film “fans” in existence to proclaim a mighty downfall from their precious “glory days”.

    If one truly does their research (viewing)–and that means sourcing and watching HK film and video productions from ALL strata (A-list to Z-list)–one gets a considerably different picture than the one put forth by folks like Yang, not to mention many internet commentators, who, as I’ve said, seem to have rarely experienced the TRUE range of Hong Kong cinema, from it’s top-shelf product to the direct-to-video and shot-on-video grab-bag that helped it struggle through the lean years post-handover. This is understandable as to do so AT THE TIME would have broken even the wealthiest among us, but in my particular case, the eventual availability of ulta-cheap VCDs, featuring films from the 70’s to the 00’s ranging from classic to piss-pauvre, has helped change my perspective on the so called demise of Hong Kong cinema, claims of which have always rung a little hollow to me, and which I now believe were greatly exaggerated by too many people who couldn’t have known better without strangling their wallets.

    Sure, it ain’t was it used to be, and the factors that hurt it and continue to hurt it (such as piracy) are legitimate, but in my admittedly amateur estimation, Hong Kong cinema in general only “declined” in sheer numbers. The good film/average film/bad film ratios remained largely unchanged; they were just calculated using a much smaller slate of releases.

    If one looks at this “issue”, as Yang seems to, from ONLY the perspective of “mainstream” Hong Kong cinema–i.e. the catalogue which is most known in the west–then Yang’s case seems airtight. But come down the ladder a few rungs–indeed, right into the sewerhole in some cases–and Hong Kong’s “fall” takes on an entirely different, and far less catastrophic, dimension.

    Just sayin’ is all.

    P.S. I’ll take Wai Ka-fai’s ideology over Bill Kong’s any day, though both are not without obvious merits. I just love Hong Kong cinema too much to see it “diluted” by outside influences.

    Comment by Brian T — July 23, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

  3. Hong Kong cinema in general only “declined” in sheer numbers. The good film/average film/bad film ratios remained largely unchanged; they were just calculated using a much smaller slate of releases.

    Couldn’t agree with you more. The problem that the HK film industry has to address is how to produce more films, films that audiences want to see. Unfortunately, the market itself has shrunk and the winning formula/genres eventually kills itself(e.g.,Cantonese opera, costume epics, triads, etc) So, it’s a hard nut to crack. Regrettably, Edko’s fusion strategy probably makes more business sense, if not artistic sense, in this day age. Still, there’s room for the likes of Ann Hui’s The Way We Are and the upcoming Night and Fog.

    Comment by dleedlee — July 23, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

  4. Definintely a hard nut to crack, but I think they’re cracking it nonetheless. Little cracks, maybe, but maybe that’s the best we can hope for. As long as they keep trying, I’ll be happy. I’ve seen many recent productions, even quite a few shot on high-end digital video, that give me the same giddy sense of discovery that I’ve felt since first getting into Hong Kong cinema–the digital format has certainly come a long way since the late 90’s/early 00’s when it was simply a cheap method of keeping people employed (although even some of those old shelf-fillers I’ve been uncovering were surprisingly competent in their production values). Of course, that giddy feeling could be based on my position as an “outsider” who simply finds the city and its culture (and its film culture) fascinating, a position most folks in Hong Kong may not share to a degree that would motivate them to go see local movies in a theatre. :( The big money may indeed be in Bill Kong’s epic genre productions with their eyes on the international market, but I think there will always be a need for “local” Hong Kong specialties for decades to come, and even if we don’t get the 100+ movies a year that we used to, I think overall, we get BETTER quality movies out of the city because a quick buck isn’t the motivating factor it used to be (nor is funding from suspect sources who favoured quantity over quality). I often wonder if Hong Kong’s cinema may already be undergoing a minor artistic renaissance but because it’s such a small industry these days, no one’s noticing the overall shift, or the broader efforts of those who are maintaining the city’s cinematic voice (i.e. not just the high profile productions). Don’t know; maybe, maybe not. ;)

    Comment by Brian T — July 25, 2009 @ 11:25 am

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