Avenue of Stars – A Guide For The HK-Film Ignoramus Part 4
Apologies, I’ve been a bit busy getting the other blog off the ground and haven’t had much time to spend on stuff this month – however, I did feel that the time is right to round off my little educational trip into HK film land and bring the Ignoramuses guide to a close.
It’s been a long time coming (nearly 6 months!) and at the end I feel like an enlightened man. What started off as a bit of a slagging (because let’s face it the AoS deserves to be slagged off a little bit) has turned into a path of greater knowledge – enlightening me on some lesser aspects of the HK film industry that I had no idea about.
Actually, it’s not all about to end just yet because I also managed to pen another article for Hong Kong Time Out. It’s basically a rehash of what I had been doing here but a vastly cut down version – as you can imagine. Still it ran to four pages and had some nice graphics so I will post it on here in the next few days.
Anyway, once again I am strolling back into territory where my knowledge starts to get a bit patchy again so it’s probably just as well that this is the last installment. For a recap please visit parts 1, 2 and 3 to catch up.
Once again, photos are all courtesy of Thomas Podvin’s HKCinemagic website unless otherwise stated.
76. Wong Tin Lam (1928 – 2010)
Sadly Wong only just recently passed away at the end of 2010 and despite having a career that has stretched to around 60 years he is perhaps more famous now because of the successes of his son – Wong Jing. It’s interesting to compare the career paths of HK and US film personalities – Wong’s 60 years in the fray and multitude of films under his belt seems to be a very typical experience in HK but I am sure you could count on one hand the people with a similar experience in Hollywood – I guess I’m trying to compare apples with pears.
Wong actually started out as an assistant director before moving on to his mainstay of directing and then only in later life did he ditch the directing and stick to acting – almost like a Hollywood career in reverse but very typical for HK.
Funnily enough I do actually recognise Wong from a brief scene in Enter The Dragon when he played a big-jowled laughing guest at the pre-tournament banquet. Blink and you’ll miss him, but it just goes to show that many of these actors are still recognisable even to eejits like me, we just need to be given a bit more information before making the connection.
77. Bow Fong (1922 – 2006)
Perhaps more recognised by the name Bao Fong – another difficulty for ignoramuses is the multitude of romanisation used for peoples’ names. You may recognise one person by one version of their name and be totally ignorant to the fact that they usually go by another.
Bow is actually the father of Peter Pau (Pau being another version of Bow/Bao) who was the cinematographer on “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, but was of course a regular in the HK film scene since the late 40′s. His output was a bit low by HK-standards only featuring in about 80 films (though actually pinning down the number of films someone was in is not an easy task), but he also directed, assistant-directed and wrote another 30 or so pictures throughout the 50′s and 80′s.
Bow also had two daughter’s including Pao Hei-Ching (Pao – yes, yet another version of the same name – perhaps you are beginning to see my point?) who can be seen most recently in films such as Reign of Assassins, Fearless and Crossing Hennessey.
78. Lau Kar Leung (1936 – )
Lau is one of the more recognisable faces from HK’s often generic (to me at least) league of film stars. Lau was born into a kung fu family because his dad was a student of the famous Hung Gar sifu – Lam Sai Wing (himself a student of the legendary Wong Fei Hung whose life has been mythologised in copious films in the 20th century). Lau started in the industry in the 1950′s as a stunt player and actor but soon also became established as an action choreographer. He even managed to wangle a spot on the local film crew involved in the Robert Wise production of The Sand Pebbles in 1966.
He is probably most famous in the west (remember, this guide is for ignoramuses) indirectly through the various fight scenes in some classic Shaw Bros films such as The Jade Bow, Men from the Monastery and even The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (a Shaw’s/Hammer co-production starring David Chiang) and many many more.
I first saw Leung when I managed to get hold of an ex-rental Warner Bros release of Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu (aka Legendary Weapons of China) in which he featured alongside his brother Lau Kar Wing and adopted brother Lau Gar Fei (aka Gordon Liu). Such was the life of a kung fu film fan in the UK during the 1980′s – films were very hard to come by.
He recently made inroads into teaching Lau Family Hung Gar. As with all styles of martial arts, Hung Gar has its share of politics and various people in Hung Kuen circles had questioned the ability of Lau because he had spent so much time working on films. He did establish a school in the rural pastures of Fanling with Mark Houghton as the head Sifu, but I have no idea if it is still up and running (the website disappeared a long time ago). If anyone knows the fate of the school it would be nice to know.
One of those ones that seems to be a bit of an enigma – perhaps because she is more commonly referred to by the Mandarin pinyin version of her name Shi Hui. Thankfully Chinese wiki has come to my rescue to provide me with some basic details.
She was born in Zhejiang but moved to Hong Kong in 1947 at the age of 13 and joined Great Wall Movie Enterprises after finishing school.
She met and married Fu Chi (see below), a director at Great Wall , and they had children including the former TVB actress Gigi Fu Ming Hin. It seems as though Wai was a bit of a Communist sympathiser (despite clearing out pre- revolution) and seems as though her hubby was arrested during the ’67 riots and taken to the infamous White Building on Victoria Road. Of course that could just be me getting my translation mixed up.
She emigrated to Canada in 1991 but has since been back to China to participate in the annual National People’s Congress as well as singing performances and painting exhibitions.
A native of Ningbo in Zhejiang he studied in Shanghai before moving to Hong Kong and starting his acting career with Great Wall in 1952. It wasn’t long before he moved into related areas such as writing and directing and as mentioned he met his wife (#79 Shek Wai – see above) on set in 1954.
He seems to have been abandoned by various people – perhaps because of his previously mentioned association with the Communists which led to him being detained after the 1967 riots – and made a comeback in 1978 when he joined Great Wall once again on the administrative side. He went on to help make Jet Li’s first film Shaolin Temple in 1982.
Okay, the one thing I really need to note about Patsy is that she is now forever remembered on the AoS as Pasty. Either the AoS management have seriously screwed up (what? no, never…) or ol’ Pasty was obviously at the leading edge of Hong Konger’s usage of a multitude of verbs, nouns and adjectives as first names. Since I’ve been living here I’ve encountered some fantastically named people such as Milk, Empty, Dragon, Passion, Pinky, Piano and many more, I guess Pasty is in the same tradition.
Anyway, I’ll assume it’s just another f*ck up by the AoS management – either no one has noticed before or they have noticed but don’t think anyone else will (let’s face it, it’s a bit of crap tourism aimed almost entirely at the Mainland Chinese crowd – I doubt no one would have noticed, so I feel it my duty to draw attention to it). Poor old Pasty.
Well, what about Patsy? Well it seems she was born in Nanhai in Guangdung and moved with her family to HK in 1949 – yet another product of the upheaval over the border. She went to school at Kowloon True Light Girls School (that one is still around) and applied for an apprenticeship at Leng Kwong Films. Two years later she was cast in her first feature and continued to star in features over the next decade. In 1967 she married a Thai Chinese, retired from the film industry and moved to Bangkok where she has been ever since.
82. Kwan San (1933 – )
aka Guan Shan – a name that wasn’t familiar to me until I found out he is the father of a well-known HK actress: Rosumand Kwan – familiar to me because she was in a couple of Jackie Chan films during the 80′s (Armour of God and Miracles). Her dad though was another product of the Great Wall Film Company which he joined i 1954. Prior to that he was, like most other Hong Konger’s at the time, a migrant from the Mainland who did just about every job under the sun in order to help his younger brother finish school.
He holds the impressive achievement of being the very first HK actor to receive an overseas film award: in 1958 he won the Silver Sail Award for Best Actor in the Locarno International Film Festival (in Switzerland). The film for which he received the award was The True Story of Ah Q.
He joined Shaws in 1961 and made the majority of his films for them. Actually, once again I have seen his work without realising because he too had a small role in Jackie Chan’s Police Story 2 as well as Shanghai Express starring Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung ( a film worth watching for one specific scene when Yuen Biao flips off the top of a burning 3-storey building).
He retired in the 80′s and moved to the US but has since been seen in a few films throughout the 90′s.
A renowned Opera player who like his operatic peers, appeared in an almost unbelievable amount of films over a twenty year period – approximately 270 films under his belt – many of course based on the operas that he was used to performing onstage (actually the official AoS online bios claim he made 310 between 1958 and retirement).
I’ll be honest, I do recognise Mr Lam but I can’t quite place him. I’ve been through his filmography and there is nothing that rings a bell with me in terms of what I have seen (I can count the number of old films I have seen on the fingers of both hands).
Anyway, he has been awarded several honours (I mean in addition to the very dubious honour of being included on the “Avenue”) including the Bronze Bauhinia Star and an Honorary Fellow of the HKAPA.
Arch villain Lo Wai/Wei was a prolific director and actor during the 60′s but is probably now best known for his directorship of Bruce Lee’s first two kung fu films: The Big Boss and Fist of Fury. Low even had a role in the latter as the Police Inspector, He allegedly had links with Triads (trust me, in the HK film industry this is almost a given) and was hated by Bruce because he claimed to be the man who made Lee famous. Lee even threatened him once at GH Studios with what Lo Wai said was a knife. I have direct confirmation that this incident did take place but it wasn’t a knife Bruce threatened him with, it was a sharp part from his belt buckle. Lo Wai called the cops and Bruce had to sign a statement saying he would leave him alone. Meanwhile, Linda (Bruce’s long-suffering wife) had taken the offensive belt buckle and hidden it in a locker at the studios.
Once Lee was dead, Lo Wei tried again with Jackie Chan launching him some awful films in the mid- to late-70′s as the new Bruce Lee. Suffice to say JC’s style, charisma and looks (it was before he had the eyelid surgery) didn’t cut it.
Tong Kai (or Gai as he is also known) seems to be one of those people who no one has a definitive answer as to where he was born. Some sources say Hong Kong (which although plausible is different from many of his Mainland-born peers on the pavement), the AoS official site says Zhongshan in Guangdung province and somewhere else states it was Macau. All I can safely say is that he was born somewhere but ended up in Hong Kong.
Regardless, he is arguably one of the more influential filmmakers on the floor because it is partly due to him that thin wire work came to be used so much. I hate to break it to you but Jet Li can’t really jump twenty feet in the air whilst spinning at 60 miles an hour and Michelle Yeoh – despite chomping on all that bone density-helping milk product she helps flog on HK TV – cannot defy gravity and walk up walls whilst pursuing an equally gravity-challenged Zhang Zi Yi – it’s all done by wires! (gasp, shock, horror – but actually I really do believe that Jackie Chan CAN jump 100ft into the air, fall down land on his head and still walk away talking rubbish!)
Tong worked closely with Lau Kar Leung (#78) in developing the use of these wires and impressed Run Run Shaw so much with their work on The Jade Bow that he gave them jobs at his studio as action choreographers. This role took up by far the bulk of his work but he also continued his acting (which he started in 1954 with the Hung Wan company) up until he seeming retirement in 1997.
I can’t find any info but I wonder if his retirement from film in 1997 coincided with the Chinese resumption of sovereignty over HK? It wouldn’t surprise me to find he had moved to either Canada, US, UK or Aus. Incidentally, as a nice addition to his bio Tong was also once the student of Yuen Hsiao Tieng aka Simon Yuen. Simon Yuen is the father of Yuen Woo Ping (he of The Matrix et al) and is also the old man who played Beggar So in a few of Jackie Chan’s earlier films (i.e. Drunken Master and Snake in the Eagles Shadow).
A Shanghai native who is responsible for writing more epic martial arts films than any other person. He came to HK in the late 50′s and penned his first novel in 1957 whilst working for a publication called “Truth Daily” (definitely not another name for the China Daily then). He did make a few films as an actor but this really wasn’t his bread and butter and his place here on the floor seems to be from his writing alone. Here are a few of the titles he penned (or co-penned) and I am sure that even ignoramuses may recognise one or two (erm , well maybe):
One Armed Swordsman (1967)
The Deadly Duo (1971)The Water Margin (1972)
Boxer From Shantung (1972)
Five Shaolin Masters (1974)
Men From The Monastery (1974)
The Flying Guillotine (1975)
Marco Polo (1975)
The Brave Archer (1977)
Crippled Avengers (1978)
The Five Venoms (1978)
Enter The Fat Dragon (1978)
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)
Mad Monkey Kung Fu (1979)
Return to the 36th Chamber (1980)
Five Element Ninjas (1982)
The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)
and many many more (classic Shaw Bros fans are simply drooling over their screens right now). Nuff said.
87. James Wong (1940 – 2004)
Aka James Wong Jim – I can’t tell if Wong was born in 1940 or 1941. Online sources quote both. Either way he moved to HK from nearby Canton (aka Guangzhou) in…wait for it…1949 (well, who would’ve guessed?). He attended La Salle in Kowloon Tong before attending HKU and going on to be a prolific composer of tunes for various films and TV series. Of course this being HK he wasn’t able to settle for just that (sometimes I wonder if any of these guys actually wanted to be actors or were forced to by the more nefarious elements of the industry) and also dabbled in acting. I say dabbled but actually ‘dabbling’ in HK usually means at least 50 films under your belt. Wong completed about 70 or so before succumbing to lung cancer in 2004.
(A note about people’s birth dates – I’ve found constant contradiction for many people discussed in these posts and the only reason I can think is because of the lack of proper record keeping on the Mainland. After all, a large portion of these stars originated in the Mainland, much like the rest of the population in HK, and as such exact dates and times seem to go amiss. My own mother-in-law, born in Shenzhen somewhere, also has NO IDEA how old she really is. Her official birthday is sometime in 1939 but due to adoption and lack of paperwork she could actually be several years older or younger!)
Karl Maka has one of those looks that are hard to forget – a completely bare head (a ‘gwong tau lo’ as my kids like to also call me – even though I have a full head of hair…honest!) complete with moustache and goatee. Although born in China and moved to HK in the 50′s, Maka had some of his education in the US and it was his time there that influenced his brand of humour when he returned to HK.
HK comedies at the time didn’t have humour that was readily understood by different (i.e. non-Chinese) audiences (okay, it’s definitely an area of high subjectivity, but I can’t for the life of me find anything funny in “Old Master Q”). Maka achieved some success by introducing a more westernised-style of humour to his films. I guess the main advantage was to make HK-made comedies a bit more internationally appealing and to an extent it worked but perhaps it was done at the expense of the local audience because despite initial success he soon found his films to have fallen out of favour. Cinema City, his own Production house shut down and he moved off into the world of real estate.
The man who has been in just about every film in HK over the past 20 years, and also makes a fortune hosting all those really crap TVB game shows. Eric’s family life is a bit more interesting because his father was a bent copper who did a runner to Taiwan when it looked as though his number was about to come up. You may be interested in this post for some insight into who he was in cahoots with: the famous Lui Lok and the other tiger sergeants (it’s a fair guess this is also who James Clavell based some of his bent coppers on in Noble House)
Anyway, most people, even ignoramuses, will probably recognise Tsang’s diminutive body and bulldog features as the gang boss in Infernal Affairs – one film amongst many hundreds (acting in over 200) as well as one of the directors of JC’s Armour of God (JC being the other one). Tsang actually started out as a stuntman and you will also see him (instantly recognisable) in many of the early kung fu films that were coming out of the territory in the 70′s.
At last, evidence that the powers-that-be (that get to choose who goes on the AoS) aren’t completely biased towards those with 50 million acting credits to their name. Chang is very much a behind-the-scenes personality with a string of art direction, costume designer and editor credits. A native of Wuxi he is very much still at the heart of the industry and has a string of awards to his name – including a Technical Grand Prize from Cannes for In The Mood For Love.
91. Tony Leung Ka Fai (1958 – )
Aha, the other Tony Leung. I’ve mentioned how poor Tony often gets mixed up with his namesake (although I hasten to add that their Chinese names are not the same)by the popular and ignorant English language press the world over, to be fair his more famous and arguably better-known namesake probably benefits less from the mix up, but there you go.
Tony is another product of TVB’s famed actor training course and has also spent some time as a journalist before becoming the respected actor he is today. It seems as though Tony got his first glimpse of the silver screen thanks to his dad who was a cinema projectionist but towards the end of the 90′s he experienced rather a lot of trouble with triads (i.e. work for us or we’ll kill you). He was most recently seen as playing Bruce Lee’s father – Lee Hoi Chuen – in Robert Lee and Phoebe Lee’s semi-biographical film Bruce Lee My Brother.
This still of Tony is taken from, aptly, Jiang Hu – The Triad Zone which my good friend Dan Thomas is currently mapping all the locations for (amongst many others) so please go and have a look, it’s a great blog.
92. Wong Chau Sang (1961 – )
One of a few personalities on the AoS with Eurasian heritage – the fact that he had to fight some industry racism is perhaps testament to his abilities as an actor. A product of the actor training course at RTV (i.e. today’s ATV) Wong has been a regular feature of the industry for the past 30 years. Ignoramuses may know him as the police chief who gets chucked off the building in Infernal Affairs or even as the speccy right hand man of the evil Julian Sands in JC’s The Medallion. Either way he is a well respected actor who spends time on the stage as well. I think I first encountered him in Hard Boiled back in 1994 when I caught it at the Hyde Park Cinema in Leeds (though the film was already a couple of years old by then).
Well, what can I say? Had she not already made it onto the AoS (despite being a relative newcomer compared to her floor-based peers) then I doubt she would ever make it considering the amount of trouble that arose out of the Edison Chen photo scandal.
Poor old Cecilia. Actually, I feel quite sorry for her, I don’t know why – perhaps it’s because she actually has some talent (I mean as an actor…).
I first saw her in Stephen Chow’s King of Comedy and apparently it was her breakthrough role. Anyway, she’s married to HK heart-throb (not my heart though, I hasten to add) Nicholas Tse (yes, son of Patrick) and is probably the youngest and least experienced of the mob of glorified TST pavement slabs. I just can’t figure out how she made it there above a whole host of people that have been around longer and with more significant contributions to the industry. Nothing against her, but it does make you question the selection criteria. Anyway, nice tats.
In what seems to have been an afterthought Lai Pak Hoi – brother of Lai Man Wai (#1 in case you had forgotten) – is included almost at the end of the avenue. Like his brother he was involved in what is thought to be the very first HK made movie – Chuang Tzu Tests His Wife. As you can imagine the limits of an industry in its infancy meant that Lai didn’t really have the opportunity to be involved in hundreds of films like his modern day counterparts but he arguably was there as a pioneer making it possible for the industry to take off in the way it did. He established several production companies including New World Cinema, China-Sun Motion Picture Company and – after his younger brother returned to Shanghai – even set up one with tycoon Hysan Lee called the Hong Kong Film Company (Lee was an infamous local tycoon who was assassinated coming out of a social club – I seem to remember Peter Hui’s anecdotal “KING HUI: The Man Who Owned All The Opium In Hong Kong” has some curious details about the incident – but my memory could be failing).
95. Kenneth Tsang (1938 – )
Actually, I recognise Kenneth Tsang from quite a few of the films I watched as a teenager/twenty something, but like most of these names – by themselves they have very little meaning to me unless accompanied with a picture. The Killer, Police Story 3, A Better Tomorrow 1 and 2, Police Assassins (aka Royal Warriors) and many more were films I managed to watch as a youngster and seems he was in them all. It wasn’t until I started looking at this that the penny dropped. Such is life.
However, these films were really already towards the later part of a career that started in 1955 or thereabouts – a career I hasten to add that seems to still be in full swing. One of his most recent roles is in Eat Drink Man Woman 2 – a followup to Ang Lee’s original that I happened to catch many moons ago in an arthouse cinema in a small town called Ithaca in New York State of all places.
Speaking of Eat Drink Man Woman, as we just were Sylvia – being Taiwanese – also happened to be in this as well. However, she was around for quite sometime before Ang Lee asked her to play a part in his film. She started off at the fledgling Golden Harvest – though post-Bruce Lee success – in The Flying Tiger and also had a role in a film called The Yellow Faced Tiger which was originally supposed to be a Bruce Lee film. In the end it starred Wong Tao and Chuck “hairy back” Norris of all people.
Chang also had a recurring role as a policewoman in the Aces go Places series (starring Karl Maka #88 and produced by his Cinema City company and directed – two of them anyway- by Eric Tsang #89 – talk about a seriously incestuous industry!!).
Actually, come to think of it she was also in All About Ah Long which I featured recently in the blog thanks to it’s use of the Shatin Inn as a filming location.
There’s a story about Jackie Chan and the reason why he spells his name with an ‘ie’ instead of a ‘y’. Apparently, old JC did use to spell his name Jacky until someone told him that was a girly spelling. JC, of course, is a manly man and immediately changed it to Jackie. Is it true? Probably not, but look on many of his early releases in the UK and you’ll find the alternative spelling. Either way no one seems to have told Mr Cheung and he still uses the supposedly ‘girly’ spelling.
Old Jacky was discovered in a HK singing competition and was launched into a lucrative singing career which has seen him release so many albums he needs 21 different Filipino domestic helpers to keep them free of dust.
Well anyway, like many of his glorified karaoke singing Cantopop mates, JC2 (as I shall call him) is also a dab hand at acting and has put in some pretty good turns including the recent Crossing Hennessey. I first saw him in John Woo’s Bullet in the Head, although his film debut was in 1986 opposite Sammo Hung in Where’s Officer Tuba?
Aka Sean Lau. An immediately recognisable face from a multitude of films I have caught snippets of as I flick from English language to the local Chinese language TV stations. Okay, not the greatest looking chap I suppose but that seem to have stopped him from bagging and ex-Miss Hong Kong – Amy Kwok – as his wife (giving hope to ugly people around the globe) – of course he’s loaded with dosh from many years in the industry so I guess that will help a bit (a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down etc).
Lau is another product of the TVB actor treadmill and is another person whose birth place seems to be either Hong Kong or elsewhere in Guangdung depending on what you read. I have to say though that other than Police Story 2, Lau hasn’t really featured in any of the films that made up the bulk of my HK cinematic experience – mainly because he seems to be quite a talented and serious actor. I guess I need to expand my horizons a little.
99. Aaron Kwok Fu Shing (1965 – )
Another Cantopop sensation that made the transition to film. In Kwok’s case he started at TVB as an actor and went into singing later. Either way, being a singer and actor seems to be the way to go if you want to milk the public for as much of their hard-earned cash as possible. Perhaps it’s some cultural leftover from the proliferation of Cantonese opera stars into the film arena when the industry was in its infancy? Who knows? (Who cares?).
100. Gong Li (1965 – )
I don’t think she needs too much of an introduction, she’s probably one of the most famous Chinese actresses on the planet and has done her fair share of Hollywood movies to make her world famous.
Her appearance on the AoS (or should I say lack of appearance) seems to be a bit strange though. I also raised this point in my Time Out article and hinted that perhaps Mainlanders didn’t like to see an unpatriotic former comrade (she took Singaporean citizenship a couple of years ago) on the floor and may well have subjected the plaque to some less than loving attention. Well, coincidentally a few weeks after that the SCMP ran a small article that seemed to be an attempt by the AoS to quash rumours and stated that actually, her plaque has NEVER been there. WTF!!??
The official blurb states quite clearly she (or perhaps her plaque) is there, but apparently it never has been there because they have been waiting for 4 years to get her hand prints!! Come on AoS, you can do better than that (well, actually, perhaps you can’t because you’re feckin’ useless).
I’m astonished on two counts. First, that they have been advertising her for 4 years and still haven’t even put down a plaque (minus the hand prints) with her name on it and, second, that they are so piss poor at sorting stuff out that they still haven’t managed to pin her down and get her hand prints. What a joke. Anyway, as promised I’ll stick up the Time Out article in a future blog post and will also include the article from the SCMP. In the meantime, here’s the lady herself.
Leon Lai has the great honour of being the ONLY Cantopop singer that my wife has ever actually made the effort to see in concert (and she hates it even more than I do) so I think this in itself is praise enough. Apparently he has the nickname Neon Leon because his shows (like every other Cantopop star’s shows) tend to be a bit OTT in terms of flashing lights, ridiculous costumes, dodgy hairdos and caked on makeup. It’s all smoke and mirrors to cover up the fact that watching people perform Karaoke (albeit on a massive scale) is pretty boring unless either you, or they, are totally pissed.
I didn’t realise Leon is a native Beijinger, I always assumed he was from HK. He won a singing competition on in 1985 and was signed to TVB the following year, and so his star began to ascend. Since then he’s release copious amounts of music and starred in over 50 films (although I think I have only managed to see one of them: Cityhunter). In case you didn’t know it he along with the other singing sensations: Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, are collectively known as the 4 Heavenly Kings…
All in all it just goes to show that your contribution to the HK film industry doesn’t have to be great as long as you have a solid singing career behind you and can get on the AoS by the mere fact that you are guaranteed to attract swarms of fawning Chinese tourists to the area (what? me, a cynic? never).
Well, that’s it. That’s all of them and I have to say it’s been an education, not just on who many of these people are but also how the AoS obviously picks its stars…talent and contribution to the film industry not necessarily being pre-requisites.
I was going to do a list of who I think should also be on there but will leave this for the posting of the Time Out article simply because I put forward quite a few suggestions on my main copy (although only 5 were eventually used).
As always I welcome additional information from the true aficionados out there who can fill in some of the blanks or perhaps give the people here a less-biased outing (gotta tell you, I was getting pretty bored with some of these stars after a while).
What it is interesting to notice though is how the HK industry, like HK as a whole, was really kick-started by migrants who came here when things got too hairy on the mainland (no I don’t mean Chuck Norris’ back paid them a visit) in 1949. China’s loss was Hong Kong’s gain in so many ways, but the problem seems to be reversed now with most films being made over the border in the various film studios scattered all over, and of course that fact that films are being made with the Mainland market in mind.
HK is way past its halcyon film making days I’m afraid and I doubt we will ever see a return to anything quite how it was before the handover. Big shame.