Film director honored in NYC
Updated: 2014-08-15 07:37
By AMY HE in New York(China Daily USA)
Hong Kong director Patrick Lung Kong—who has inspired other Chinese contemporary directors like John Woo and Tsui Hark—will be honored by the Museum of the Moving Image in New York with a nine-film screening series that will feature some of his rare films imported from Hong Kong.
The series will start screening on Friday with The Story of a Discharged Prisoner, which was remade by Tsui and Woo in 1986 as A Better Tomorrow, starring Chow Yun-fat and Leslie Cheung.
“We’re really excited that the Museum of the Moving Image is doing this. Director Lung Kong should be way better known in the west than he is,” said Grady Hendrix, co-founder of the New York Asian Film Festival, in New York on Thursday. “He is really the seed that Cantonese cinema in the 70s and 80s sprouted from and his films don’t just capture what Hong Kong used to look like and be like; they capture the spirit of Hong Kong which no matter what happens to Hong Kong will endure.
“People can always look and see in Lung Kong’s movies optimism, a cynicism and a spirit of community,” continued Hendrix. “It’s an amazing record of films. They are so humane and compassionate and we really hope that this helps westerners who don’t know who he is, learn more about him and why he’s so important.”
The series is sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office New York with support from the New York Asian Film Festival.
At Friday’s opening the 79-year-old director will be presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by director Tsui, who said that Lung is one of his biggest role models.
“After watching Lung Kong’s films, [director Woo and I] went into making films ourselves. The influence and inspiration provided by Lung Kong’s cinema was really great and I can only thank him for the very difficult path that he opened with his filmmaking,” he said.
Director Woo was unable to make it to New York for the event due to scheduling constraints, but said in a video filmed on the set of his new movie that he is grateful for the inspiration that Lung provided through all the “heart, attention, and generosity” he poured into his filmmaking.
Lung and Tsui will appear for a question-and-answer period after Friday’s award presentation, and the two directors will also appear at a screening of A Better Tomorrow on Saturday.
“Patrick Lung Kong’s fervent personal convictions as a filmmaker and the body of work in which they are actualized deserve a commemoratory re-examination. For many, this series will also serve as an important introduction to a greatly underappreciated auteur,” Aliza Ma, assistant film curator at the Museum of Moving Image who organized the series, said in a statement. The Museum of the Moving Image is a media museum located in Astoria, Queens.
Lung was born in 1935 in Hong Kong before fleeing with his family to Guangzhou, China during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. After moving back to Hong Kong, he accidentally got his start in the entertainment industry through acting. Lung eventually graduated into filmmaking in the 1960s and made his directorial debut with Prince of Broadcasters.
Lung’s most famous directorial works include The Story of a Discharged Prisoner, Teddy Girls, Hiroshima 28, and Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.
The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office of New York (HKETO) hosted a dialogue with Hong Kong director Patrick Lung Kong prior to the premiere of a film series at the Museum of Moving Image. From left: Steve Barclay, director of the HKETO; director Patrick Lung Kong; director Tsui Hark, who will be presenting Lung with a Lifetime Achievement Award; David Schwartz, chief curator of the Museum of Moving Image. AMY HE / CHINA DAILY