Hong Kong celebrates 100 films the world “must see”

To tourists it might remain one of the city's best-kept secrets, but the locals know all about the treasures to be found at the Hong Kong Film Archive. And that's a situation the HKFA is hoping its 10th anniversary celebrations will help to rectify.

To mark its decade of operations, the HKFA has programmed "100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies" it will be rolling out over the next 12 months, and they include some almost-ancient hidden gems as well as works that celebrate the life and times of a collection of Hong Kong's greatest cinematic stars.

Leading the way, of course, is the man who is arguably Hong Kong's biggest-ever star - the martial arts legend Bruce Lee. And programmers have selected two films that bookend the man's career - 1950's The Kid, in which the young Lee plays a charming orphan, and 1972's The Way of the Dragon, which was completed shortly before his death at age 32.

An HKFA panel of six film scholars has selected the 100 films to be offered up - all taken from the organization's remarkable collection, gathered together over the past 10 years thanks to donations from both private collections and from Hong Kong's largest studios. A team of restorers has painstakingly repaired damaged prints, and now the HKFA's complex houses hundreds of films.

The films selected for the 10th anniversary program date from 1916 to 1999 and were, according to the HKFA, "selected mostly on artistic grounds, with some chosen based on their historical significance ... It is hoped that the selection will encourage more discussion and research on Hong Kong cinema."

The HKFA will start screening the program from October 8, with two films being screened on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, followed by post-screening talks with local filmmakers and academics.

The HKFA offers both the public and visitors to Hong Kong extensive reference and film libraries, with individual screening booths as well as regular screenings in its own cinema.

For more on the 100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies program, visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/HKFA/en/1-1.php.