Contemporary Hong Kong Cinema

Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the high profile renaissance of both Korean and Japanese cinema in the last decade, Hong Kong has continued to produce a wide range of varied and exciting films. This course will examine a range of new work from filmmakers based in the former British colony, now politically reunited with the Chinese mainland. It will offer the opportunity to explore the cinematic responses to the new status of Hong Kong in the films of, amongst others, Fruit Chan, Stephen Chow and Johnnie To. From small scale dramas to flamboyant kung fu tales to triad gangsters, each offers perspectives on what it means to be from Hong Kong in the 21st century.

Beginners’ Level – no prior knowledge necessary

Led by Andy Willis, Senior Lecturer in Media and Performance at the University of Salford and Sarah Perks, Cornerhouse Education Director.

£60 full / £45 concs

  • Mon 14 May: Introduction
    Overview of course and introduction to the history of Hong Kong cinema, contemporary themes and its contexts.
  • Mon 21 May: The Independents
    This session will look at filmmakers working independently or who are seen to have unique voices such as Wong Kar-wai, Fruit Chan and Ann Hui. It will consider what the term ‘independent’ might mean within a cinema industry such as that of Hong Kong alongside an introduction to the aesthetic strategies often associated with this style of film.
  • Mon 4 June: Screening:
    Happy Together, Wong Kar-Wai, 1997
  • Mon 11 June: Revisiting genres 
    Following a discussion of Happy Together the course will focus on this week’s theme of ‘Revisiting genres’. Here Sarah looks at Rom-coms and stars such as Sammi Cheng and Andy Lau, whilst Andy gets into crime, action and a little martial arts! (on screen not in the flesh) During this session we will also consider the impact of new technology on recent Hong Kong genre filmmaking.
  • Mon 18 June Screening:
    Shaolin Soccer, Stephen Chow, 2001
  • Mon 25 June: Representation of mainland China.
    Following a discussion of Shaolin Soccer this week we will consider the ways in which Hong Kong cinema has represented mainland China and Hong Kong’s relationship with it. This focus brings together some of the most consistent themes of the last ten years which one will find explored by nearly all of the filmmakers discussed in previous weeks, including Fruit Chan, Derek Yee and Johnnie To. Andy will finish this session by looking a little more at on of Hong Kong’s most interesting filmmakers Johnnie To.
  • Mon 2 July: Screening
    Election 2, Johnnie To, 2006
  • Mon 9 July: Conclusion
    Following a discussion of Election 2 we will try and draw some conclusions from the previous weeks’ discussions with regard to the current state of the industry, the place of authorship and what might be next for one of the most arresting film producing industries in the world?

As this course is looking at very contemporary examples of Hong Kong cinema reading is limited but you might find the following helpful:

Morris, Megan (et. al. eds) (2006) Hong Kong Connections: transnational imagination in action cinema. Duke University Press

Marchetti, Gina (2007) Infernal affairs: the trilogy. Hong Kong University Press.

Coming soon…

Cornerhouse does not accept responsibility for any external websites

Hong Kong Movie Database:

Online Asian Film Magazine