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100 years of Hong Kong cinema
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  • http://english.dbw.cn  2017-06-01 10:10:35
     

    For decades, Hong Kong was home to the third largest motion picture industry in the world, after Hollywood and Bollywood. From Hong Kong's first production "Zhuangzi Tests his Wife" back in 1913, the city's film industry has went through a century of ups and downs. In 1913, the silent film "Zhuang Zi Tests His Wife" marked the beginning of Hong Kong cinema. After the city's first sound film "The White-golden Dragon" was released, the industry went through almost two decades of turmoil. It wasn't until the 1950s that Hong Kong cinema was able to break away from Old Shanghai Film and begin its own path towards a booming film industry. "The Love Eternal" from the Huangmei Opera stage was released in 1963 and became a hit not just in Hong Kong but in other parts of Asia. "Han Hsiang Li's 'Butterfly Lovers' was a huge success when it was screened in Taiwan. And the actors soon rise to fame," said Prof. Zhang Yan from Art and Media Dept. at Beijing Normal University. In 1966, two martial arts films "Come Drink With Me" and "The One-Armed Swordsman" opened a new genre, which would give rise to the industry's golden era in the 80s. During that ten-year period, Hong Kong produced more than 200 films every year. Many of the films would not just be big hits in Hong Kong but also throughout Asia. Veteran actors and actresses like Andy Lau and Carol Cheng all owe their fame to that era. During the 1980s , Hong Kong cinema found itself producing "gun toting" action films helmed by John Woo and comedic marital arts work starring Jackie Chan. By 1990, Hong Kong was one of the world's greatest exporters and producers of film. "Chow Yun-Fat used to be a box-office flop, after this film, he soon joined the A-listers," said director John Woo. Another strong point of Hong Kong cinema was comedy. When it came to Hong Kong's comedic stars, a few names stood out, including actor/director Stephen Chow with his unique brand of "moleitau" in Cantonese, or Hong Kong nonsensical comedy. "Hong Kong cinema deals with a wide range of subjects, from socially aware dramas to martial arts and crime thrillers," actress Gong Li said. In the 90s, Hong Kong cinema had to make way for Hollywood's blockbusters and other rising film production companies in Asia. Whether or not it will reclaim its once dominating position, only time will tell.

    Author:    Source:xinhua    Editor:Yang Fan

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