A Century of Chinese Cinema: Look Back in Glory


The last century has flied past like a flash of light, unknowingly one hundred years of electric shadow has slipped by. Over these years, a rich anthology of moving images has become part of our heritage; many of which can be called the 'classics'. Of the thousands of films produced by China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan over the century, Hong Kong has seen several hundreds of the better ones among them. At the turn of a new century, the Hong Kong Film Archive systematically selects parts of these 'classics', as a review as well as a conclusion to a century of Chinese Cinema; 25 of which will first be showcased during the Hong Kong International Film Festival. These 25 films may not necessarily be the masterpieces, but most of them have already been screened in the retrospective section during the past 24 editions of the Hong Kong International Film Festival to acclaims and applause. They deserve another round of screenings as classics.

'Chinese Cinema' covers the productions originated in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, created by ethnic Chinese on subject matters that are historically and culturally distinctive of the Chinese race; this would deem a more appropriate term than just 'Chinese language' films.

Maybe we can recognise the cultural differences and similarity among the films of these three territories, the discord and harmony in the spheres of history, society, economy, and politics. In such a case, this 'glorious look back' would hold a more profound significance.

Law Kar
Programmer, Hong Kong Film Archive