Center Stage (Director's Cut)

Center Stage (Director's Cut)

Dir: Stanley Kwan
Scr: Chiu Kang-chien
Prod Cos: Golden Harvest, Golden Way
Cast: Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Lawrence Ng Kai-wah, Chun Hon, Carina Lau Ka-ling
1992 | Colour | DCP | Cantonese | Chi & Eng subtitles | 155min

©2010 Fortune Star Media Limited All Rights Reserved.

This film was acquired locally in 2011.

The film library of Fortune Star Media Limited (Fortune Star) consists of numerous Hong Kong films made from the 1970s to the 2000s. After much persuasion, success finally came in 2011 in the form of their transferring the film prints in their vaults to the Archive. The Fortune Star vaults are well-equipped, and over the years their staff had taken excellent care of the film prints. The donated artefacts had also been meticulously organised. Thanks to their thoughtful preparation, the weeks-long transportation process was smooth and efficient.

This film is a compilation of conversations between the director and actors, old film footage of Ruan Lingyu, Maggie Cheung playing the role of Ruan Lingyu, footage of interviews between directors and actors in the 1930s, comparisons between old and new, and numerous layers of dialogue. The directing technique is unique and effective. Some people, such as Ruan Lingyu, were born to be in the limelight, to be at center stage. Fate would guide them that way, and they can never escape from it. Maggie Cheung and Ruan Lingyu were both modern women ahead of their time, and both faced bottlenecks in their acting careers and a rocky love life. Around the time Cheung made this film, her love letters were made public, so she intimately understood the phrase ‘rumours are frightening'. In playing an actress from the 1930s, it is unimportant if she physically resembled Ruan. She had already become one with Ruan's spirit, soundlessly but powerfully protesting against the hyper-critical gossip from the masses. Cheung won three Best Actress awards with this film, including the Berlin International Film Festival's Silver Bear.

Date Time Venue
31/10/2021 (Sun) # 4:00pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

# Post-screening talk with Alfred Ng

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