The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society will pay homage to two giants of world cinema – the legendary Indian filmmaker Satyajit RAY and Sarajevo-born Emir KUSTURICA – in its September/October edition of the repertory Cine Fan Programme.
The ten-film tribute commemorating the birth centenary of Satyajit RAY will highlight how the only Indian filmmaker to have received an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Academy Award had transcended cultural barriers in expressing shared human experience.
For the first time, the Hong Kong audience will be able to watch the 4K digitally restored version of The Apu Trilogy on the big screen, the original prints of which were painstakingly and miraculously rescued after a fire almost destroyed them in 1993. The three films that made up RAY's celebrated trilogy – Song of the Little Road (1955), The Unvanquished (1956), and The World of Apu (1959) – portray an eloquent humanism premised upon his faith in the individual in a changing society. The Lonely Wife (1964) and The Home and the World (1984), RAY's two exquisite period adaptations of Rabindranath TAGORE, exemplify his auteurist vision that elevates literature through cinematic translation. The unparalleled beauty of The Music Room (1958) and the poetry on celluloid of The Goddess (1960) earned admiration from fellow master filmmakers, including Werner HERZOG and Elia KAZAN.
Contrasting with RAY's subtlety, Emir KUSTURICA approaches and conceives magical surrealism differently, and his artistic genius in black satirical comedy is also recognised worldwide. In this Cine Fan edition, the audience can experience a selection of seven of his award-winning films, including When Father was Away on Business (1985) and Underground (1995), with which KUSTURICA became one of the few two-time winners of the Palme d'Or in Cannes. Acclaimed for their Balkanist farce marked by slapstick and subversive cynicism, Time of the Gypsies (1988) and Black Cat, White Cat (1998) further cemented his status as an auteur par excellence, earning best director kudos in Cannes and Venice.
Expanding on this edition's India theme, Cine Fan will showcase The River (1951), Jean RENOIR's entrancing first Technicolor film shot in India, which also kickstarted the career of RAY who served as an assistant director. Half a century on, this masterpiece inspired Wes ANDERSON in creating The Darjeeling Limited (2007), extending the spiritual voyage in India. Native Indian filmmaker Mira NAIR, inheriting RAY's humanistic spirit, came up with Salaam Bombay! (1988) that takes an unsentimental yet striking look at the hard-knock lives of street children.
The two films under The Golden Age section – neorealist classic Stromboli (1950) and the off-beat romantic comedy Never on Sunday (1960) – coincidentally witnessed passionate affairs both on and off-screen between their directors and the leading actresses. After their collaboration, Roberto ROSSELLINI married Ingrid BERGMAN, as did Jules DASSIN with Cannes Best Actress Melina MERCOURI.
Approaching the month of Halloween, The Taste of Cult section returns with two thrillers by Dario ARGENTO, who has just received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 74th Locarno Film Festival. Hailed as the Italian HITCHCOCK, many credited ARGENTO's directorial debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) and the acclaimed Deep Red (1975) for popularising the Italian giallo genre with gripping horror in compelling narrative and striking visual style.
Those who prefer the convenience of online viewing can choose to watch three films from this edition through the CINE FAN ONLINE platform, including Salaam Bombay! and KUSTURICA's award-winning debut Do You Remember Dolly Bell? (1981) and Time of the Gypsies.
The complete programme and schedule of Cine Fan's September/October edition are available at https://cinefan.com.hk. The public can purchase tickets to all in-cinema screenings from URBTIX outlets from 18 August. Those interested in viewing the three films on CINE FAN ONLINE can book their passes from 17 September.
The above contents are provided by Hong Kong International Film Festival Society