Hidden Treasures － The Fixer from Guangzhou
Movies are the result of many people working together. ‘Hidden Treasures' is a series devoted to highlighting the work of filmmakers whose contributions had been largely neglected, often during their times and especially in history. The latest installment of ‘Hidden Treasures', after the 2018 programme ‘One-Man Entertainment Machine: Chan Cheuk-sang and His United Film', is a focus on Luk Wan-fung (1912-2011), producer, scriptwriter and owner of the companies Wan Fung, Seven Happiness and Kam Kwong Movie Company.
Luk Wan-fung was born into a family actively involved in the Republican Revolutionary, instilling in him a dedication to principle and discipline. He later joined the army and stationed in Guangzhou. Well-connected, adroit at cultivating relationships while unafraid of standing up to the powerful underworld, he earned a reputation as a fixer, having helped a number of filmmakers and opera stars such as Sit Kok-sin, Sun Ma Si-tsang and Chan Kam-tong during their times of trouble. It was then in Guangzhou that Luk established a close lifelong friendship with Sun Ma, leading to their collaboration in film and opera after Luk moved to Hong Kong.
Luk came to Hong Kong in the early 1950s to flee political turmoil and was encouraged by his showbiz friends to venture into filmmaking. He first established Wan Fung Film Company in 1954, later banding with six friends to form Seven Happiness Film Company in 1958 and Kam Kwong Movie Company in 1964. His ability to find balance in complicated and difficult situations allowed him to maintain good relationships from all walks of entertainment and even political life, making him a rare filmmaker who managed to get stars and behind-the-scene personnel from the different factions to work in the same film. As producer and sometimes scriptwriter (under the pseudonym Luk Chung), he had made about a hundred films, including the cherished ‘Two Fools' series of comedies starring Sun Ma Si-tsang and Tang Kei-chen. He was also concerned with the artistic qualities of commercial films, such as hiring Lee Tit, one of Hong Kong cinema's most respected directors, to make such Cantonese classics as The Three Murderers (1959) and Blood Terror (1960).
Many of his films had been lost but enough had survived, giving us the opportunity to present four significant films from his diversified body of works in this programme. He and his wife, actress Lam Dan, had graciously conducted Oral History Interviews with the Hong Kong Film Archive in 2004 and generously donated related materials from their long careers, providing important and often unknown leads into understanding the complicated and fascinating history of Hong Kong cinema.
The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.