Help Search Campus Map Directories Webmail Home Alumnae Academics Admission Athletics Student Life Offices & Services Library & Technology News & Events About the College Navigation Bar
MHC Home Office of Communications

Vista College Street Journal Articles from the MHC Community

The New SAT Policy The Plan for Mount Holyoke 2010

Musicorda Odyssey Bookshop (MHC's textbook seller) Facts About MHC MHC Events and Calendar Five College Events Arts Calendar Academic Calendar This Week at MHC Faculty Bios Contact Information Press Releases

Re-imagining Hong Kong:
Film and Identity Discourse in Post-1997 Hong Kong

On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was reverted back to China after 150 years of British rule. As Hong Kong becomes once again part of Mainland China, Hong Kong identity finds itself in another stage of mutation. Nowhere is the negotiation of Hong Kong identity at present as hotly contested as it is through films. While director Wong Kar-wai (Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love) chose to depict Hong Kong through a filter of nostalgia, indie film maker Fruit Chan went the anarchic route, centering his highly politicized narratives in the crowded housing projects and pulsing streets of immigrants and the working classes rather than in the gleaming high-rises of the rich and powerful. This film series, sponsored by Mount Holyoke College’s Asian Studies Department and the Hong Kong students on campus, seeks to put in juxtaposition the works of these two new wave Hong Kong directors, focusing on the different way in which Hong Kong history and identity are being imagined, constructed, and contested by the film industry.

Film program schedule:

Thursday, February 28, 9:00pm, Dwight 101
DAYS OF BEING WILD (Directed by Wong Kar-wai)

Set in 1960 Hong Kong, the film chronicles Yuddy’s search for his true identity. Self obsessed, Yuddy plays carelessly with his lovers, a lonely submissive bar girl and a beautiful club hostess/dancer and his friends, before leaving them all for the Philippines in search of the truth that he has been denied.
(In Cantonese with English subtitles, 98 min. Hong Kong, 1990)

Friday, March 1, 9:00pm, Dwight 101
CHUNGKING EXPRESS (Directed by Wong Kar-wai)

A Hong Kong fast food restaurant acts as the link between two unusual stories of police officers in love in this eccentric, stylish comedy-drama. Director Wong Kar-Wai plays freely with traditional narrative structure, dividing his film into two loosely connected segments. The first centers on a depressed cop struggling to come to terms with a recent break-up. His sad isolation is transformed when he encounters a beautiful, mysterious femme fatale, whose involvement with the criminal underworld proves troublesome for both. The second story explores the odd relationship between a female restaurant worker and another recently jilted police officer. The strange woman decides to regularly clean and redecorate the man's apartment in his absence, allowing the two to form a close intimacy without meeting face to face.
(In Cantonese with English subtitles,102 min. Hong Kong, 1994)

Saturday, March 2, 9:00pm, Dwight 101
HAPPY TOGETHER (Directed by Wong Kar-wai)

Wong Kar-Wai's chronicle of a stormy affair of a gay couple living as expatriates in Buenos Aires. At the film's center is the strained romantic relationship between two men from Hong Kong, Lai Yiu-Fai and Ho Po-Wing. The couple travels to South America in hopes of a reconciliation, but instead the stressful journey leads to their angry parting. Both men choose to remain in Argentina, with the more responsible but depressive Yiu-Fai finding work at a tango club, while the more reckless, adventurous Po-Wing turns to a life of prostitution. Though they each begin separate lives, the couple retains a powerful, if reluctant, connection, and when Po-Wing falls victim to a harsh beating, the couple reunites, though only briefly. The film focuses almost exclusively upon the dance of alienation and togetherness behind this tumultuous relationship.
Winner: Best Director - Cannes Film Festival 1997.
(In Cantonese with English subtitles, 98 min. Hong Kong, 1997)

Thursday, March 7, 9:00pm, Skinner 202
MADE IN HONG KONG (Directed by Fruit Chan)

A pre-handover reflection of working-class youth who see no future. Autumn Moon is a petty thug grown up in the projects whose nihilistic menace dissolves in the company of his hulking but harmless sidekick and his hard-nosed but terminally ill girlfriend. A brush with a schoolgirl's suicide triggers the three teenagers' own fatal crosscurrents of insecurity, rage and desire.
Winner : Prix d’or - Festival de 3 Continent de Nantes 1997.

(In Cantonese with English subtitles, 108 min. Hong Kong, 1997)

Friday, March 8, 9pm, Dwight 101
LITTLE CHEUNG (Directed by Fruit Chan)

"Little Cheung" refers both to the rambunctious boy who guides this multi-layered tale about the ties of family and community in the inner city, and to Hong Kong's cinematic lineage‹namely opera star Tang Wing Cheung who died in 1997. In a restless summer of delivering takeout food, emotional trials and memorable pranks, Little Cheung cements a bond with Ah Fan, a 9 year old illegal immigrant from the Mainland. Director Chan elicits effortless performances from a cast of non-professionals in an earthy, exquisitely observed slice of contemporary Hong Kong.
(In Cantonese with English subtitles, 118 min. Hong Kong/Japan, 2000)

Saturday, March 9, 9pm, Dwight 101
DURIAN DURIAN (Directed by Fruit Chan)

Chan suggests the durian, the Southeast Asian "King of Fruits" renowned for its inimitable spiked shell, creamy inside pulp and supremely pungent odor, as a metaphor for Hong Kong's own insinuating charm. Like its namesake's dual nature, DURIAN DURIAN is divided into two parts. The briskly-paced first section takes place in Hong Kong and unfolds a chance friendship forged in a Mongkok alley between two Mainlanders: Yan, a prostitute with a relentless zeal for making money, and Ah Fan, a young Cantonese girl and illegal immigrant working as a dishwasher. The second, more leisurely section follows Yan upon her return home to wintry northern China. Here, her secretly hard-earned cash buys her status and freedom, yet she feels estranged from her family and strangely nostalgic for the south. An off-beat riff on the adage of "one country, two systems."
(In Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles, 116 min. Hong Kong/France, 2000)

Home | Directories | Web Email | Calendar | Campus Map | Search | Help

About the College | Admission | Academics | Student Life | Athletics
Offices & Services | Giving | News & Events | Alumnae | Library & Technology

Copyright © 2005 Mount Holyoke College. This page created and maintained by Office of Communications. Last modified on March 17, 2005.

History of Mount Holyoke College Facts About Mount Holyoke College Contact Information Visit Mount Holyoke College Viritual Tour of MHC About Mount Holyoke College