Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Collective Memories - Hong Kong Film Archives

Arts and culture guest blogger hkCultureGeek, Gillian Chu, is a Hong Kong raised Canadian who enjoys exploring the secret cultural spots around town. You can contact her at

Audrey , Rebecca, and I slowly wandered towards Hong Kong Film Archives after a lavishing tea buffet at East Hotel last week. We were there to watch the movie How to Get a Wife, starring famous local actors Patrick Tse Yin and Patsy Kar Ling.

Audrey and Rebecca are both old movie rookies, but I have always been a diehard fan for Hong Kong movies from the sixties and the seventies, especially ones produced by Cathay Movies. Although it was disappointing to see that they haven't included the Cathay Movies in their latest screenings The Best from the Archive Collection, we went to watch it mainly because the plot sounded interesting, and because Patrick Tse is also more widely known in our generation as the father of singer cum actor Nicholas Tse.

I came to the Hong Kong Film Archives once before and intended to watch a movie spontaneously, but they are very popular with the local neighbourhood and tickets were sold out. In the end, we just checked out the exhibition of the day, The Psychic Labyrinth of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. This time round when the tickets were up for sale, I rushed to the box office immediately to avoid disappointments.

We were there slightly earlier than the show, so we ventured into the current exhibition, Glamour Everlasting. They had costumes and props on display, as well as snippets of movies, where visitors can sit down in the pseudo Char Chan Tang and enjoy the clips. Audrey was in awe of how elegant the actresses were back in the days.

We also explored the Resource Centre upstairs, which has got everything you would need to know about films. I have met an acquaintance who said he would come to the Resource Centre, borrow an old movie, and sit back in their individual Audiovisual Room to enjoy a relaxing day. Great choice!

They have published many books on Hong Kong Films as well. As a Cathay Movie fanatic, how could I resist buying the Cathay box set?

After much loitering, we finally set off to their cinema for the movie of the night. The movie was basically about how Patrick Tse pursued Patsy Kar Ling, who happens to be his boss' mistress. It was hilarious, but mostly, I love how when watching old movies, they are always set in places that you frequent daily, and it is surreal to see how scenic Hong Kong use to be back then.

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