Hong Kong’s Hidden Cinematic Treasures: Chan Cheuk-sang’s Films
Why We Recommend it
The neglected forerunners of Hong Kong cinema get the spotlight they deserve in Hidden Treasures, the Hong Kong Film Archive‘s newly launched film screening programme.
The first forgotten filmmaker to be featured is the late Chan Cheuk-sang, who ventured into the world of Cantonese movies by accident in the early 1950s.
Chan first landed a job at the World Theatre through his elder brother, and then later, by starting a restaurant business, he met the Kwan Family, who owned several important theatre chains in Hong Kong at the time.
Chan then began distributing films for second runs. He set up his own film companies, United Film and Ngai Sing, where he took up numerous roles himself, including producing, directing, scriptwriting, animation and shooting film stills, to save on expenses.
Chan and his wife Wong May-yee worked closely to operate their film business, which produced and distributed over 200 titles across different film genres. The couple decided to retire from the film industry in 1974 and immigrated to the United States in 1974. Chan died in 2017 at the age of 95.
This programme, entitled Hidden Treasures – One-Man Entertainment Machine: Chan Cheuk-sang and His United Film, will screen six films that are significant in Chan’s career, followed by talks.
Highlights includes the Chinese New Year film As You Desire (1952), Chan’s first foray into filmmaking, which was a blockbuster in Hong Kong and Macao at the time; and the contemporary sing-song comedy Sing Her a Love Song (1955) features three operatic giants – Sun Ma Si-tsang, Yam Kim-fai and Pak Suet-sin – who sing about the struggles in living and love of ordinary folks.
Please note that all films are in Cantonese and will be screened without subtitles.