Morning Matinee – Cinematic Silhouettes of Song and Dance


Following 'Movies to Go – A Cinematic Portrait of Song & Dance' at the Laundry Steps of Tai Kwun in July and August 2022, the Hong Kong Film Archive will again present films with splendid dancing scenes and ubiquitous popular songs, but this time on the screen of our own cinema.

Musical films of Hong Kong are a magnificent confluence of many elements. Essential among them are various forms of popular culture, such as Cantonese opera, Huangmei diao, Mandarin pop, Cantonese pop and western popular music, culminating into a glorious manifestation of cinematic art. This series, titled 'Morning Matinee – Cinematic Silhouettes of Song and Dance', selects 15 Hong Kong musical films from an even wider time span. There are of course songstresses in these films, the first one being Zhou Xuan who appears in her semi-autobiographical film Song of a Songstress (1948), followed by 'Mambo Girl' Grace Chang. In the 1950s and 60s, filmmakers from the mainland of China brought with them memories of Shanghai's cabaret and fantasies about Hollywood musicals, and together with filmmakers from Japan, as well as musicians and choreographers, they created films including Calendar Girl (1959), Les Belles (1961) and Hong Kong Nocturne (1967), which all illustrated the vision and capability of Cathay and Shaw Brothers. In the mid-1960s, Colourful Youth (1966) and Summer and Spring (1967) opened up a new sub-genre of 'youth musical'. At the turn of the new millennium, there were far less musical films in Hong Kong cinema, yet I Have a Date with Spring (1994) and The Way We Dance (2013) still bring hope to the revival of the genre.

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.

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