阮玲玉 | Center Stage

Center Stage

In the 1930s, in China, there was a woman film-actress who was tagged as “the Chinese Garbo.” She was a wildly popular performer who made her first film at age 16 and died by her own hand at age 25. Ironically, she was famous for playing tragic heroines, and her own life mirrored the kinds of situations she portrayed onscreen. In this biopic, Ruan Ling-yu is riding high in her career when the press decides to take her down a notch or two, bitterly criticizing her for an affair with a married man. This situation is unbearable for her, and she kills herself, but not before uttering the words “Gossip is a terrible thing.” In addition to the central drama, scenes from actual films starring the actress are included, and the actors in this biopic occasionally step out of character to address the camera, recounting some significant fact about the individuals whose lives they are playing, and the nature of those times in China.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Han Chin, Carina Lau, Lawrence Ng | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Transilvania Film Festival

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客途秋恨 | Song of the Exile

Song of the Exile

In Song of the Exile, renowned Hong Kong director Ann Hui tells us a sentimental story that is partially based on her own life story. The film, made in 1990, stars acclaimed actress Maggie Cheung, Asia Pacific Film Festival Best Actress Lu Hsiao-fen, and Hong Kong actor Waise Lee. The highly acclaimed film received several nominations in the Hong Kong Film Awards, and won Best Original Screenplay at the 27th Golden Horse Awards for Wu Nien-jen’s script. Shot in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, and the UK, the film is a sweeping tale of love and understanding between a daughter and her mother. After the World War II ended, Japanese girl Aiko married a Chinese military officer against the wish of her family, but her husband soon moved to Hong Kong, leaving her alone in China. Aiko’s relationship with her elder daughter Hueyin had been estranged, until they visited her hometown in Japan together for the first time, when Hueyin finally understood what it felt like to be an exile in a strange land.

Directed by Ann Hui | Starring : Maggie Cheung, Hsiao-fen Lu, Waise Lee, Feng Tien, Kentarô Kaji | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival