Tai Kwun Movie Steps 2023

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (May - June 2023): “Departures”

Tai Kwun Movie Steps x Hong Kong Film Archive - A Touch of Youth (Sept - Oct 2023)

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (May - June 2023): “Departures”

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (March - April 2023): Arrivals

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (Jan-Feb 2023) “You Drive Me [Wild/Crazy]”

Date & Time

14 May - 25 Jun, 2023 4pm

Location

Laundry Steps & JC Cube

Price

Free of charge

General

Curated By

Segueing from the film programme on “Arrivals” in March and April, six Hong Kong films rooted in the theme of “Departures” will be featured in May and June. The visual voyage travels through the Mainland, Africa, Canada, Italy, the United States, to Vietnam, addressing the issues of adjusting to foreign countries and cultural conflicts with the unique diasporic sensibility of Hong Kong people.

The six films in the programme encompass a variety of dramatic elements including action, comedy, realism and tragedy. Recalling crucial moments for Hong Kong people under diverse geographical settings, the films remain as relevant as ever while offering new insight into the past.

Date

Screening

Location

14.05.2023

Crazy Safari (1991)

Laundry Steps

21.05.2023

The Way of the Dragon (1972)

Laundry Steps

04.06.2023

Just Like Weather (1986)

Laundry Steps

11.06.2023

Treasure Hunt (1994)

Laundry Steps

18.06.2023

Never Ending Summer (1992)

JC Cube

25.06.2023

A Better Tomorrow III: Love and Death in Saigon (1989)

JC Cube

Post-screening Sharing

Post-screening sharing will take place at the JC Cube in June to share the context and stories of the films selected in “Departures”. Stay after the screening and let us know your thoughts after watching the films.

Post-screening sharing of Never Ending Summer

Date: 18 June 2023
Time: 5:30pm (after the screening of Never Ending Summer)
Guests: William Yuen, curator of “Departures” and David Chan, film critic
* Post-screening sharing will be conducted in Cantonese


Promotion Video


 


Crazy Safari (1991)

Date:  May 14 
Production Company: Win's Movie Production, Samico 
Director:  Billy Chan    
Screenwriter: Barry Wong 
Cast: Nǃxau, Lam Ching-ying, Sam Christopher Chan, Peter Chan, Stephen Chow (narrator), Ng Man-tat (narrator)  
Colour | Cantonese/English | Chinese and English subtitles 

At an auction in the United Kingdom, Sam (Sam Christopher Chan) buys the corpse of his ancestor, now a zombie-like vampire. He enlists the help of Taoist priest Lam (Lam Ching-ying) to control the corpse on their journey to Hong Kong before giving it a proper burial. As the plane malfunctions and lands in Africa instead, Sam and Lam become separated from the corpse. Local bushman Nǃxau and his tribe bring the corpse back to their village while Lam and Sam fight off wildlife animals for their survival. 

Having earned worldwide recognition for starring in The Gods Must Be Crazy and its sequel (1980/1989), African bush farmer-turned-actor Nǃxau was invited by Hong Kong film companies to appear in three local productions during the 1990s with Crazy Safari being the first. The film is helmed by famous Hong Kong screenwriter Barry Wong (the iconic character “Scissor Legs” in Fight Back to School (1991)). The film, transcending and defying genres, is a testament to the boundless imagination of Hong Kong filmmakers. Lam Ching-ying, notable for his works in the Mr. Vampire (1985) film series, becomes a Taoist master displaced in the African wilderness like a fish out of water. The ingenuity does not end here as action superstar Bruce Lee “makes a cameo” towards the ending. Another quirky highlight is the narration by the two comedy masters Stephen Chow and Ng Man-tat, making Crazy Safari a madcap comedy with non-stop escapades and fun. 

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The Way of the Dragon (1972)

Date:  May 21 
Production Company: Golden Harvest, Concord 
Director:  Bruce Lee     
Screenwriter: Bruce Lee    
Cast: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, Chuck Norris, Wei Pin-ao, Huang Chung-hsin 
Colour | Cantonese/English | Chinese and English subtitles 

Young martial artist Tang Lung (Bruce Lee) from Hong Kong is invited to Rome, Italy, to help restaurateur Chan Ching-wah (Nora Miao) who initially finds Tang unsophisticated and rustic. When a local crime boss wants Chan to sell the restaurant property, he sends his thugs to harass the customers. After Tang defeats all the goons with his bare hands, Chan and her staff begin to look up to him. Determined to kill Tang, the crime boss recruits karate experts from Japan and the United States to defeat Tang.  

International icon and martial arts superstar Bruce Lee plays the lead role of this film which he also wrote and directed. Set in Italy, the film shows Lee’s humorous personality and is less gritty and solemn than The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972), his earlier works. Tang Lung initially appears to be no more than an uneducated hick from the New Territories, and there are plenty of jokes on cultural differences due to the language barrier. As his extraordinary fighting skills save the day, he is not just a country bumpkin but a hero and the crime boss’s nemesis. This quick ascent may have also mirrored Lee’s real-life ambitions in presenting Kung Fu to an audience beyond the Asian market. 

© All Rights Reserved by Fortune Star Media Limited 
 


Just Like Weather (1986)

Date:  June 4 
Production Company: Sil-Metropole 
Director:  Allen Fong Yuk-ping    
Screenwriter: Ng Chong-chau 
Cast: Christine Lee Yuk-kuen, Chan Hung-nin, Allen Fong Yuk-ping, Chan Ting-Gwong, Kirk Wong 
Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles 

Young couple Chan (Chan Hung-Nin) and Christine (Christine Lee Yuk-Kuen) were wed in their teens. Christine holds a stable job and provides economic stability for the family while Chan moves between jobs. He is also made a scapegoat and is arrested when working for a shady car dealer. Hoping for a better life, Chan is wavering between finding another job and starting anew in the United States where his mother lives. 

Continuing his neo-realist style from Father and Son (1981) and Ah Ying (1983), director Allen Fong Yuk-ping depicts the couple’s uncertainty about the future in this faux documentary. Unprecedented in directorial approach among Hong Kong films, Fong also appears onscreen to interview the two characters and even accompanies them on their trip to the United States. The screenplay draws on real-life characters in a quasi-fictional setting while depicting their very real anxiety and frustration about the future, highlighted by both Christine’s humming the theme song of another Hong Kong film set in foreign lands as well as the film’s ending. 

© All Rights Reserved by Sil-Metropole Organization Ltd. 
 


Treasure Hunt (1994)

Date: June 11 
Production Company: Eastern Renaissance Pictures, Golden Princess  
Director: Jeff Lau 
Screenwriter: Jeff Lau 
Cast: Chow Yun-fat, Jacklyn Wu, Gordon Liu Chia-hui, Chun Hon, Choi Yue, Philip Kwok  
Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles 

After Chinese American CIA agent Chang Ching (Chow Yun-fat) demonstrated his ability in a rescue operation, he is dispatched to the Mainland to bring back a treasure to the United States. As he waits at the Shaolin Temple for further order, he encounters the young and charming Siu-ching (Jacklyn Wu). While Ching is intrigued by the mysterious Siu-ching, his mission becomes more dangerous upon realising that she is in fact the treasure coveted by many parties… 

Director Jeff Lau, famous for the slapstick and absurd humour in his films, created an iconic romance comedy starring Chow Yun-fat and Jacklyn Wu who were famously paired earlier in an iconic watch commercial. In a humourous twist, the actors are cast in roles of different hometowns. Jacklyn Wu becomes a treasure in the Mainland with supernatural powers while Chow Yun-fat is an American CIA agent. Even director Lau appears on screen as a Japanese informant. For those living in the Shaolin Temple, Chang becomes a link to the secular world. He gives the little monk the then-popular Gameboy console and shares Japanese sushi and American fries with the monks. The little monk, supposedly isolated from the outside world, is in fact knowledgeable about what is trendy, perhaps an indication of how the secluded Shaolin Temple also has to keep pace with the times.  

© All Rights Reserved by Mei Ah Entertainment Group Limited 

 


Never Ending Summer (1992)

Date: June 18 
Production Company: Joe Siu International Film, People's Productions 
Director: Lawrence Cheng  
Screenwriter: Chan Hing-kai, John Chan Kin-chung, Lawrence Cheng  
Cast: Lawrence Cheng, Dodo Cheng, Strawberry Yeung Yuk-mui, Vindy Chan Wai-yee, Chan Dik-man, Lau Wing-foo  
Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles 

Chan Tai Yuen (Lawrence Cheng) is ready to enjoy his new life in Canada. However, the new immigrant finds his wife already shacked up with someone else and his house has been sold. Left with nothing and trying to find a roof over his head, he happens to find Ng Kwai Fong (Dodo Cheng), the well-known “Sister Kwai of Chinatown”, who takes him in. Initially at odds with each other because of their different personalities, Chan and Kwai gradually fall for each other.  

Making his directorial debut, Lawrence Cheng cast Dodo Cheng, who had just immigrated to Canada, in the role of the brash grand dame of Chinatown. This Canadian and gender-swapped version of An Autumn's Tale (1987) is the brainchild of the creative team behind The Yuppie Fantasia (1989). The plot calls for the dream of a Hong Kong immigrant being destroyed in mere hours with his wife and property gone. But an exciting journey awaits him when he has to choose between the seductive Hong Kong woman (Strawberry Yeung Yuk-mui) and a Chinese Canadian (Dodo Cheng). The light comedy also depicts the lives of local Chinese as they spend their days playing mahjong and gossiping in Chinese restaurants and laundry shops.  

© All Rights Reserved by Media Asia Film Distribution (HK) Limited 

 


A Better Tomorrow III: Love and Death in Saigon (1989)

Date: June 25 
Production Company: Film Workshop, Golden Princess  
Director: Tsui Hark  
Screenwriter: Tai Foo-ho, Leung Yiu-ming 
Cast: Chow Yun-fat , Anita Mui , Tony Leung Ka-fai, Tokitō Saburō, Sek Kin, Nam Yin, Maggie Cheung Ho-yee 
Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles 

On the brink of the Sino-Vietnamese War, cousins Mark (Chow Yun-fat) and Chi Mun (Tony Leung Ka-fai) are worried about the safety of Chi Mun’s father (Sek Kin). To find enough money to bring Chi Mun’s father back to Hong Kong, they help the local gang smuggle arms into Vietnam where they meet Chow Ying Kit (Anita Mui), the love of Mark’s life.    

The third instalment of A Better Tomorrow is a prequel about Mark’s earlier years with the twist of Chow Ying Kit (Anita Mui) being Mark’s mentor. Even Mark’s trademark black sunglasses, dual guns and boldness can be traced back to this gun-toting heroine. The film is set against the backdrop of Vietnam circa the 1970s and features the veteran actor Sek Kin in a touching role as an overseas Chinese in Vietnam. He does not speak the local language but has lived there for most of his life. Even with the language barrier, he forms a deep relationship with Pat the local orphan. 

© All Rights Reserved by Fortune Star Media Limited