A Chinese Ghost Story
Orig Story: Pu Songling's Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio
Scr: Yuen Kai-chi
Prod Co: Cinema City
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Joey Wang, Wu Ma, Lau Siu-ming, Lam Wai
1987 | Colour | DCP | Cantonese | Chi & Eng Subtitles | 95min
With an empty wallet in his hands, young scholar Ning Choi-san (Leslie Cheung) takes shelter in a haunted temple for the night, where he meets and falls for an alluring lady called Nip Siu-sin (Joey Wang). When he later realises that Siu-sin is a ghost enslaved by the Tree Demon (Lau Siu-ming) who feeds on men for eternal life, he battles to free her soul with the help of a Taoist monk (Wu Ma).
Loosely based on Li Han-hsiang's The Enchanting Shadow (1960), the film is a genre-defying romantic-horror-comedy reinvented by director Ching Siu-tung and producer Tsui Hark, which finds a fine balance between action, fantasy, horror, romance, and slapstick humour. The great acting, directing, writing, cinematography, special effects and overall production value all come together to tell one cohesive, entertaining and poignant story. With his innate bookish charm, Cheung stretches his acting chops as he nails this role of a relatable everyman, in contrast to the lover-boy type he's known for. Wang's ethereal beauty and delicate demeanour make her version of Nip Siu-sin incomparable. Wu's unforgettable performance as a ghost-fighting swordsman, not to mention his insanely catchy Taoist rap, won him the Best Supporting Actor award at the Golden Horse Awards. The equally memorable titular song sung by Cheung himself is also an all-time classic.
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|27/8/2023 (Sun) # [Full House]||2:00pm||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive|
# Post-screening talk with Dr Ng Chun-hung
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