Online Edition

From the editor
Letters to the editor
Campus Life
Social Issues
Photo Features
Culture & Leisure

Last Issue
About Varsity
Media Links
CUHK homepage
JLM homepage

Also in Channel
Production houses

Related Links
Christmas in August

Hong Kong International Film Festival

Hong Kong Arts Centre

The Iron Ladies

Golden Scene Company

Hong Kong Film Critics Society


Write to us
Back to main

Asian cinematic styles gaining in local popularity

By Ng Siu Tung

While Hong Kong is acclaimed as the "Hollywood of the Orient", Korean and Thai movie industries are emerging as possible contenders for this title.

The Korean film Christmas in August, which was screened during the 23rd Hong Kong International Film Festival in 1999, was so successful that it has been shown again in the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

Mr. Jimmy Choi, director of the Film and Video Department of the Hong Kong Arts Centre, bought the film and said it was significant in the sense that it broadened Hong Kong people's vision.

"The film depicts a simple, but tragic, touching love story," said Mr. Choi. "Hong Kong people love the film very much."

Shiri, another Korean film shown in Hong Kong, also drew praise from viewers.

Miss Audrey Lee, general manager for sales and acquisitions at Edko Film, is responsible for bringing movies to Hong Kong.

Said Miss Lee: "We bought Shiri because it was well produced and the story is touching."

Aside from Korean films, Thai films also are gaining in popularity.

Golden Scene Company bought Thai films Nang-Nak and The Iron Ladies.

Nang-Nak is a traditional Thai story. Its theme concerns love and a ghost.

Miss Winnie Tsang, managing director of the Golden Scene Company, explained why she thinks Nang-Nak is a good film.

"The production skills employed are sophisticated," said Miss Tsang. "Many good Thai directors used to work in the advertising field. So they are creative enough to make good films," explained Miss Tsang.

In the end, Nang-Nak was so popular that it earned $1.6 million at the box office.

The interest in Thai films does not stop with Nang-Nak, however.

Another film, The Iron Ladies, earned as much as $15.2 million at the box office.

The Iron Ladies is a comedy about a volleyball team whose members are mostly gay or transsexual. The story is about the team's struggles in a volleyball competition. The distributor employed local artists to do the dubbing.

In spite of the popularity of such films, Mr. Thomas Shin, vice-president of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society, is not optimistic about future of Asian films.

Said Mr. Shin: "The box office for these films was actually not very good, except for The Iron Ladies. It was successful marketing stategies that made it so popular."

Mr. Shin, who is known also as Dun To, said Hong Kong people are still not open enough to accept other Asian films.

That's why film companies use Cantonese dubbing to localise their films, said he.

"It's too early to say they will have great influence on Hong Kong market."

Both Miss Lee and Miss Tsang said they would buy more Asian films if they are good.

<<previous page     
next page>>



Courtesy of Hong Kong Arts Centre

Christmas in August, a tragic romance, sold out when shown at the Hong Kong Arts Centre.









Courtesy of Hong Kong Arts Centre

Local film critic Dun To attributes the success of The Iron Ladies to its marketing strategies.