桃姐 | A Simple Life

A Simple Life

Based on a true story, the film centres on Ah Tao, an amah who has worked for the Leung family for four generations. She lives with and takes care of Roger, a film producer who is the only member of the Leung household still living in Hong Kong. Roger returns home one day and finds Ah Tao unconscious after a stroke. Convinced she has becoming a burden, Tao resigns and moves into a retirement home. But upon her arrival, she continues to be taken care of by Roger, who realizes just how important she is to him. He decides to do his best to watch after the person who has nurtured him all his life. But Ah Tao’s health is fast deteriorating. Hui has always excelled when telling stories of everyday life. In A Simple Life, she delivers a rich and heartwarming drama that not only deals with the many abandoned old people in Hong Kong, but also exquisitely captures the unique relationship between the amah and the family for which she cares. In an age when loyalty between employers and employees is fast disappearing, A Simple Life highlights a culture that has almost ceased to exist in Hong Kong: one in which a person devotes their life to serving a family, and in return is cherished as much as any other relative.

Directed by Ann Hui | Starring : Andy Lau, Deannie Yip, Hailu Qin, Fuli Wang, Paul Chun | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, London Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Okinawa Film Festival, Durban Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Munich Film Festival, Portland Film Festival

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长恨歌 | Everlasting Regret

Everlasting Regret

Adapted from Wang Anyi’s award-winning novel, the film follows the life of a legendary Shanghai beauty, Wang Qiyao, whose fading glamour is mirrored by the prosperous growth of the city of Shanghai. The film co-stars Tony Leung Ka Fai, Hu Jun, Daniel Wu, and Huang Jue as men who fall for Wang Qiyao. Yet those she loves just leave her one after another when she grows old, and eventually she herself has to face what fate has prepared for her. The metropolitan city is perhaps the only thing that can survive all the drastic changes and remain forever young… Everlasting Regret resembles Stanley Kwan’s Center Stage thematically for both detail the rise and fall of a Shanghainese woman, but Everlasting Regret ambitiously covers a longer period from 1940s to 1980s, almost half a century. The nostalgic mood of the film reminds of Kwan’s best-known piece Rouge. Art Director William Chang, famous for creating a nostalgic atmosphere in Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love and 2046, successfully reconstructs the lifestyle of old Shanghai.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Sammi Cheng, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Daniel Wu, Jun Hu, Jue Huang | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival

蓝宇 | Lan Yu

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Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company and plays as hard as he works. His loyal lieutenant Liu Zheng is one of the few who know that Handong¿s tastes run to boys more than girls. Lan Yu is a country boy, newly arrived in Beijing to study architecture. More than most students, he is short of money and willing to try anything to earn some. He has run into Liu Zheng, who pragmatically suggests that he could prostitute himself for one night to a gay pool-hall and bar owner. But Handong happens to be in the pool-hall that evening, and he nixes the deal. He takes Lan Yu home himself, and gives the young man what turns out to be a life-changing sexual initiation.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Ye Liu, Jun Hu, Jin Su, Yongning Zhang, Shuang Li | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Brisbane Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, London Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Febio Film Festival

有时跳舞 | The Island Tales

The Island Tales

A group of disparate characters find themselves trapped overnight on a island somewhere off the coast of mainland China. The circumstances force them to overlook their preconceptions of one another, and they forge a kinship that goes to the heart their identities.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Michelle Reis, Qi Shu, Elaine Jin, Kaori Momoi, Julian Cheung | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival

愈快乐愈堕落 | Hold You Tight

Hold You Tight

Adapted from Wang Anyi’s award-winning novel, the film follows the life of a legendary Shanghai beauty, Wang Qiyao, whose fading glamour is mirrored by the prosperous growth of the city of Shanghai. The film co-stars Tony Leung Ka Fai, Hu Jun, Daniel Wu, and Huang Jue as men who fall for Wang Qiyao. Yet those she loves just leave her one after another when she grows old, and eventually she herself has to face what fate has prepared for her. The metropolitan city is perhaps the only thing that can survive all the drastic changes and remain forever young… Everlasting Regret resembles Stanley Kwan’s Center Stage thematically for both detail the rise and fall of a Shanghainese woman, but Everlasting Regret ambitiously covers a longer period from 1940s to 1980s, almost half a century. The nostalgic mood of the film reminds of Kwan’s best-known piece Rouge. Art Director William Chang, famous for creating a nostalgic atmosphere in Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love and 2046, successfully reconstructs the lifestyle of old Shanghai.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Chingmy Yau, Sunny Chan, Eric Tsang, Lawrence Ko, Sandra Ng Kwan Yue | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, London Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival

红玫瑰白玫瑰 | Red Rose, White Rose

Red Rose White Rose

Internationally-renowned director Stanley Kwan directs Red Rose White Rose, an acclaimed drama set in 1920s China. Zhen Bao is a well-to-do playboy whose relationships with two different women are explored in a fascinating, compelling manner. Mrs. Wang is the “Red Rose”, an extroverted housewife neglected by her husband. Her affair with Zhen Bao is stormy and passionate, and ultimately all-too-brief. Men Yan Li is the “White Rose”, an introverted, seemingly-slow woman whom Zhen Bao marries, then comes to slowly disregard. Told in a romantic, boldly opaque narrative style, Red Rose White Rose presents the passions and personal voices of each character in different, sometimes conflicting ways. The result is a compelling, beautifully-mounted drama that ranks as one of Stanley Kwan’s most assured works.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Winston Chao, Joan Chen, Veronica Yip, Sabine Bail, Hsing-kuo Wu | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival

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