Film Archive’s “Integrating Traditional Morality with Modern Reality: Sil-Metropole Retrospective” screening programme opens tonight (with photos)

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     The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) presented the screening of “Father and Son” (1981) (4K Digitally Restored Version) at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre tonight (June 23), marking the opening of the “Integrating Traditional Morality with Modern Reality: Sil-Metropole Retrospective” screening programme, which is one of the programmes of the inaugural Chinese Culture Festival (CCF).

     Speaking before the screening, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Vincent Liu, said that the Sil-Metropole Organisation and its predecessors, Great Wall, Feng Huang and Sun Luen, had produced over 500 films, which portrayed people’s livelihoods as well as social conditions in different eras. Audiences could also have a glimpse of the ways in which traditional Chinese culture evolved with the times, he said.
 
     Mr Liu also expressed gratitude to Sil-Metropole for making the generous donation of its entire film library to the HKFA, which was a significant contribution to the overall preservation of Hong Kong’s film culture.
 
     Sixteen classic films by Sil-Metropole have been selected for this screening programme. The opening film, “Father and Son”, realistically and delicately depicts the relationship of a father and son in a grassroots family, continuing the humanistic realism of Cantonese cinema. The film won the Best Film and Best Director awards at the first Hong Kong Film Awards, and was selected for the 31st Berlin International Film Festival. The closing film, “Butterfly Beauty” (1959) (Original Theatrical Version), will be screened at the HKFA Cinema on September 22. It features a cast of great Cantonese opera artists including Hung Sin Nui and Ma Si-tsang in four opera excerpts. One of the excerpts is the sole visual record of Cantonese opera virtuoso Pak Suet-sin’s father Pak Kui-wing, from the HKFA collection. Many of the other 14 selected films depict various aspects of everyday life and social conditions. There are also films infused with elements of traditional art forms and various local customs. For details, please visit the HKFA website (www.filmarchive.gov.hk/en/web/hkfa/2024/silver/pe-event-2024-silver.html) or call 2739 2139.
 
     All screenings, except “Father and Son”, will be accompanied by post-screening talks hosted by Cantonese opera scholars Professor Yuen Siu-fai, Professor Chan Sau-yan, and Leonard Wong; filmmakers Teddy Robin and Chu Kar-ning; and film researchers Dr Kenny Ng, Sam Ho, Eric Tsang, Matthew Cheng, Joyce Yang and Thomas Shin.
 
     Tickets priced at $45 are available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk). For telephone bookings, please call 3166 1288. Those who purchase tickets for six different screenings are eligible to enrol in one of the guided tours on September 28 and 29 to visit the Clear Water Bay Film Studio in Hang Hau, Sai Kung, with limited space available on a first-come, first-served basis. For the enrolment method and details, please visit the above HKFA website.
 
     The CCF, presented by the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau and organised by the LCSD’s Chinese Culture Promotion Office, aims to enhance the public’s appreciation of Chinese culture and cultivate citizens’ national identity and cultural confidence. The inaugural CCF is held from June to September. Through different performing arts programmes in various forms and related extension activities, including selected programmes of the Chinese Opera Festival, exemplary local arts projects recognised by the China National Arts Fund, performing arts programmes from arts and cultural organisations, film screenings, exhibitions, talks and more, the festival allows members of the public and visitors to experience the broad and profound Chinese culture with a view to promoting Chinese culture and patriotic education as well as enhancing national identity amongst the people of Hong Kong, contributing to the steadfast and successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” arrangement. For details, please visit the CCF website www.ccf.gov.hk.
 
     The LCSD has long been promoting Chinese history and culture through organising an array of programmes and activities to enable the public to learn more about the broad and profound Chinese culture. For more information, please visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/ccpo/index.html.