Friday, May 28, 2010

late notice: FREE HK double bill May 29th

As some of you Kung Fu Fridays regulars will know, I had amassed a decent collection of 35mm prints of Hong Kong feature films over the years, rescuing them from closed Chinatown cinemas and in some cases, from the garbage. In March I donated a number of those prints to the University of Toronto and this Saturday, they are holding a FREE screening of two of the films to celebrate the donation. In between the two films will be a discussion about the films and their directors, plus a dim sum snack will be served! If you want to beat the heat, what better way to do so than by sharing in laughs and chills from two rarely screened Hong Kong films! And again, it's F-R-E-E!

Hoping to see some of the familiar faces from Kung Fu Fridays out for the evening!


(FREE!) HONG KONG FILM RETROSPECTIVE DOUBLE BILL / ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH Restless Spirits: Ronnie Yu and Ringo Lam's 1980S Ghost Comedies

Saturday May 29
4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Innis Town Hall
Innis College at the University of Toronto
2 Sussex Avenue (south of Bloor at St. George)

FREE ADMISSION - Registration is strongly encouraged!
Please arrive early - First come first seated
Link for Registration:

Colin Geddes will launch his donation of Asian films to U of T with fun and prizes

3:30 Doors open
4:00 - Film Screening - ESPIRT D'AMOUR
6:00-7:30 Panel on Hong Kong Films with Bart Testa (Professor of Cinema Studies) and Colin Geddes (International Programmer, TIFF & Ultra 8 Pictures), and moderated by Peter Kuplowsky [Dim sum snack will be provided]
8:00 - Film Screening - THE OCCUPANT

4:00PM - Film Screening

1983 / 35MM / Hong Kong / English Subtitle / 98 min
Director. Ringo Lam Ling-Tung
Cast: Alan Tam Wing-Lun, Joyce Ngai Suk-Kwan, Cecilia Yip Tung, Bill Tung Biu, Billy Lau Nam-Kwong, Phillip Chan Yan-Kin

Supernatural romance and shenanigans abound in Esprit D'Amour, a funny and even tragic romance directed by master filmmaker Ringo Lam (City On Fire, Full Contact). Alan Tam is Ming, a mousy insurance agent engaged to spitfire fiancee Ivy (Cecilia Yip). When investigating the death of the young and pretty Siu Yu (Joyce Ni), Ming meets and falls in love with Siu Yu's spectral form. Siu Yu wants her life insurance delivered to her beneficiary (a five year-old boy), and the charmed Ming is only too happy to go along. But falling in love with a ghost is sure to arouse some suspicion, and when the scheming Ivy catches on, Ming's ghost-man love affair may be in jeopardy. Mixing romance, comedy, drama, and a touch of supernatural tragedy, Esprit D'Amour is wildly entertaining and compelling example of Hong Kong cinema entertainment.


8:00PM - Film Screening

1984 / Hong Kong / English Subtitle / 96 min
Director. Ronny Yu
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Sally Yeh, Raymond Wong, Lo Lieh

Five years before their now-classic romantic pairing in The Killer, Sally Yeh and Chow Yun-Fat starred in this 1984 horror-comedy hybrid from director Ronny Yu (The Bride with White Hair, Fearless). Yeh stars as a wide-eyed Canadian college student named Angie, who comes to Hong Kong to do some field research for her study of Chinese superstitions. She gets a bit more than she bargained for when she rents an apartment haunted by the spirit of a spurned singer. As if fending off ghosts wasn't bad enough, Angie also has to deal with the unwanted affections of a sleazy con-man (Raymond Wong, All's Well Ends Well), as well as the sweet-talking detective (Chow) who vows to solve her supernatural case. Chow requires a little otherworldly help of his own after Angie's body is taken over by the ghost, who's hell-bent on reenacting the murder-suicide that ended her life. The Occupant's evenhanded mix of Creepy and Crazy foreshadows Yu's later work on American horror flicks like Bride of Chucky, and although Chow is operating largely in comedic mode, his role as a fearless police detective looks forward to his later heroic bloodshed collaborations with John Woo. But this is Sally Yeh's show, and her wonderful split-personality performance as a naive student of the supernatural possessed by the ghost of a sultry singing chanteuse is what ultimately makes the film a success. (synopsis from

Asian Institute

Ultra 8 Pictures


Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Canada)
Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
Richard Charles Lee Canada Hong Kong Library
Cinema Studies Institute

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