Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Friday, Jul 19, 2024

Happy day for Hong Kong cinemas could have been showcase of local films

Happy day for Hong Kong cinemas could have been showcase of local films

The offer of HK$30 movie tickets will boost the cinema business, but the campaign should have done more for the local film industry. Not only are classic Hong Kong films far from forgotten, recent releases depicting local issues show that the industry is worthy of support.
Today Hongkongers and tourists alike will be able to enjoy films in cinemas at a discounted price of HK$30 per ticket, if one is lucky enough to secure one of the 200,000-plus available tickets. As long as you can get a ticket, there are no restrictions on which movie you can watch, but was this a missed opportunity?

This campaign, which in addition to discounted cinema tickets includes food fairs and a music carnival, comes at a cost of HK$20 million to the government’s coffers, and while it is expected that it will give the cinema business a boost, it leaves a lot to be desired for the local film industry.

Hong Kong’s film industry has shed its reputation of churning out low-budget movies solely to make a quick buck. The decline in popularity of local films is due to a change in market factors.

Some of the criticism has been aimed at the larger budget films which, due to the economic reality, simply cannot cater to Hong Kong’s limited local market of around 7 million and seek to attract a much broader Asian market. These films may employ non-local supporting actors and actresses, with the dialogue being dubbed into Cantonese, and sometimes use Hong Kong simply as a backdrop for an otherwise vanilla plot.

However, we have also seen films depicting local issues, from McRefugees in I’m Livin’ It (2019) starring Aaron Kwok Fu-shing to the lives of the homeless in Drifting (2021) starring Francis Ng Chun-yu. These films showcase the serious yet often neglected reality of our society.

Other genres, such as true crime in The Sparring Partner (2022), which have been lauded by international critics, show that there is still much enthusiasm for local films with narratives that grapple with social dynamics that are uniquely “Hong Kong”.

In the face of stiff competition from foreign filmmakers and online streaming services, Hong Kong’s film industry needs support to flourish once again. Efforts from the local film industry, such as the aforementioned films, demonstrate that support is well deserved.

Take the local production, Over My Dead Body (2023), which raked in HK$18.1 million at the local box office by the week of April 17-23, an impressive showing considering it earned over half of Hollywood blockbuster John Wick: Chapter 4’s HK$33.3 million.

It may take just one film or television series to get the ball rolling for the industry again, similar to the impact of Infernal Affairs (2002). A case in point is Netflix’s recent announcement that it will invest US$2.5 billion on South Korean content, in part due to the worldwide popularity of the television series Squid Game.

In any event, Hong Kong films are far from being forgotten. Tourists continue to flock to our Avenue of Stars, perhaps because they have seen a Hong Kong film before, or would like to see the hand imprint of international icons, such as Oscar-winning Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, who began her acting career here.

Whether you enjoy them or not, these films form and will continue to form an important part of the cultural fabric of Hong Kong. We should seek to embrace new audiences who enjoy our movies – from the classics to modern-day offerings.

From Wong Kar-wai’s art house films to action flicks starring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li or Chow Yun Fat, Hong Kong’s collection of films, all of which have English subtitles, has something for just about everyone.

While by no means are all local films worth a viewing, Hongkongers should, in general, support locally produced media. It doesn’t appear that Hollywood or anywhere else will produce Cantonese-oriented films any time soon. For Cantonese to remain resilient locally, film and other media in the dialect need support.

Coming back to the government’s campaign, this could have been a day when all cinemas would feature Hong Kong films – old and new. Wouldn’t it be happier for Hong Kong if this one day was a celebration not only for our cinemas, but of Hong Kong films as well?
Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×