Tai Kwun Movie Steps 2023

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (March - April 2023): Arrivals

Tai Kwun Movie Steps- Hong Kong Animation Express (Nov - Dec 2023)

Tai Kwun Movie Steps x Hong Kong Film Archive - A Touch of Youth (Sept - Oct 2023)

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (May - June 2023): “Departures”

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (March - April 2023): Arrivals

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (Jan-Feb 2023) “You Drive Me [Wild/Crazy]”

Date & Time

5 Mar - 9 Apr, 2023 4pm


Laundry Steps


Free of charge


Curated By

Just as some people uproot themselves for the charms and prosperity of Hong Kong, there are others who leave the city, bidding farewell to their native soil for the sake of love, themselves, or the family. Hong Kong, the city that never sleeps, remains a stoic witness to every arrival and departure in its history.

Spanning four months, Tai Kwun Movie Steps will feature ten films from the 1980s to 1990s that shine the spotlight on the previous generation, particularly their complicated emotions when being disconnected from their roots while adjusting to their new lives.

The first part of the programme in March and April is themed around “Arrivals” with four 1980s films forming a multifarious look at people arriving Hong Kong. The lineup includes Mr. Coconut (1989), a Chinese New Year classic by comedy legend Michael Hui; Once Upon a Mirage (1982), a film on the uncommon topic of illegal child immigrants; Hong Kong Graffiti (1985) which encompasses female perspectives across the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan; and Infatuation (1985), a sweet romance about a Hong Kong native who returns to the city.




Mr. Coconut (1989)


Once Upon a Mirage (1982)


Hong Kong Graffiti  (1985)


Infatuation  (1985)

Promotion Video

Mr. Coconut (1989)

Produced by: Hui's Film Production Co., Ltd.
Director: Clifton Ko Chi Sum  
Screenwriter: Michael Hui, Raymond Wong, Clifton Ko Chi-sum
Cast: Michael Hui, Raymond Wong, Ricky Hui, Joey Wong, Oliver Cheng, Simon Yam
Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

Nominated for Best Actor (Michael Hui) at the 9th Hong Kong Film Awards

Hailing from Hainan Island, Ngan Kwai Nam (Michael Hui) comes to Hong Kong and visits his sister Ping (Oliver Cheng) and her husband Wong Ka Fan (Raymond Wong). Hilarity ensues when Ka-Fan’s family finds living with Kwai Nam intolerable. When Kwai Nam wins an air ticket at a television game show, Ka Fan is overjoyed about his brother-in-law’s leaving but the plane is later reported to have been shot down…

Prior to Stephen Chow, Michael Hui was the undisputed King of Comedy with audiences spanning across generations. In a stark contrast from negative characters like the idling Mainlander “Ah Chan” from television in the early 1980s or the violent criminals portrayed in Long Arm of the Law (1984), Ngan Kwai-Nam the Mainlander is lovable. A plot involving the Mainlanders in Hong Kong was relatively uncommon in Lunar New Year films at the time, appearing only in Alfred Cheung's 1984 film Family Light Affair.  By 1989, other than Mr. Coconut, characters from the Mainland also appeared in Aces Go Places 5: The Terracotta Hit. It was apparent that 1997 had already become a topic of concern for Hong Kong people. The film is also memorable for the great performances by child actors Wong Hiu Lam and Chan Cheuk Yan.

© All Rights Reserved by Hui's Film Production Co Ltd.


Once Upon a Mirage (1982)

Produced by: Lap Yan Films Co., Ltd.
Director: Kong Lung 
Screenwriter: Lillian Lee
Cast: Liu Wai Hung, Roy Chiao, Tanny Tien Ni, Dorothy Yu, Wong Yee Ching, Cheung Ka Wai
Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

Nominated for Best Screenplay (Lillian Lee) at the 2nd Hong Kong Film Awards

Sharky (Cheung Ka-Wai) and his sister Chu (Wong Yee-Ching) follow their father in fleeing to Hong Kong by train. When discovered by policeman Ma (Roy Chiao), the father injures his leg and is sent back to the Mainland. Sharky and Chu, separated from their father, arrive in Hong Kong but their only way of surviving is to find their aunt (Tanny Tien Ni), their only relative in the city. The siblings befriend three other children as well as Lu Yik Nien (Liu Wai-hung), an immigrant from the Mainland who settled in Hong Kong for many years. Together with their new friends, the young siblings set out to find their aunt.

During the 1970s and 1980s, renowned novelist and columnist Lillian Lee (Rouge and Green Snake) worked as a screenwriter for television and films. For director Kong Lung whose works often feature children, Lee wrote Once Upon a Mirage in 1982 which shines the spotlight on child illegal immigrants. The film’s Chinese title (lit. “small circle boys”) refers to the colloquial term “big circle boys” used to describe criminals from the Mainland. The cultural clash between the Mainland and Hong Kong, in this case, is portrayed from the unique perspective of children. A parallel plot also involves an immigrant from the Mainland (Liu Wai Hung) who lived in Hong Kong for 20 years, a character that pays homage to Liu’s iconic character “Ah Chan” (from the television series The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). The scene in which he hides his pregnant and undocumented wife reflects how the Mainlanders aspired to live in Hong Kong at the time.

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Hong Kong Graffiti (1985)

Produced by: Lo Wei Motion Picture Co., Ltd. (Hong Kong)
Director: Terry Tong  
Screenwriter: Lee Mer
Cast: Oliver Cheng, Ni Shu-chun, Chan Yuen Lai, Joh Yin Ling, Peter Yang Chun, Chan Jun Kwok
Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

Winner of Best New Performer (Chan Yuen-Lai), Best Film Editing (Chow Seung-Gang) at the 5th Hong Kong Film Awards

Nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Chan Yuen-Lai), People's Choice Award (Terry Tong) at the 5th Hong Kong Film Awards

Reluctant to let go of her established career and affair with boss Mr. Chan (Peter Yang Chun), Susan (Oliver Cheng) remains in Hong Kong instead of immigrating to Canada with her parents. She later takes in her long-lost sister-in-law Lu Ping Ting (Chan Yuen Lai), a Mainlander granted a one-way permit to Hong Kong. They go on to befriend Singaporean air hostess Belinda (Joh Yin Ling) and Fang (Ni Shu Chun), Chan’s only daughter from Taiwan. Unbeknownst to Susan, Lu comes to Hong Kong with high ambitions…

After the signing of the Sino British Joint Declaration in 1984, the number of illegal immigrants dropped sharply as the Mainlanders could reside in Hong Kong under the one-way permit scheme. Hong Kong Graffiti captured the bustling flow of people at Hung Hom Station railway station. The film also offered a sweeping portrayal of four females from the Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore respectively. Among the four characters, Lu the new immigrant from the Mainland is the most ambitious and determined in upward mobility. During the 1970s and 1980s, it was not uncommon for professional voice actors to dub the characters. The director, however, insisted on using the actresses’ original voices or highly similar ones to add to the film’s authenticity. Highlighting the social status of females in the 1980s, the four leads walk out of Causeway Bay’s Sunning Plaza with confidence at the film’s ending, not unlike an earlier and gender-swapping version of A Better Tomorrow (1986).

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Infatuation (1985)

Produced by: Centro Digital Pictures Ltd (Hong Kong)
Director: Louis Tan
Screenwriter:  Hoh Hong Kiu
Cast:  Lowell Lo, Cecilia Yip, Ricky Hui, Eric Yeung Jan Yiu, Lai On Yi
Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

Nominated for Best Cinematography (Abdul Mohamed Rumjahn), Best Film Editing (Chiang Kwok Kuen, Ng Fung Lam), Best Art Direction (William Chang), Best Original Film Score (Lowell Lo), Best Original Film Song at the 5th Hong Kong Film Awards

After wandering in foreign countries for seven years, Tong Tai Chung (Lowell Lo) returns to Hong Kong and opens a production company with his friend Brainlet (Ricky Hui). While working on a wedding shoot, Tong becomes infatuated with the bride Yiu Yiu (Cecilia Yip). As Tong later discovers the infidelity of Yiu Yiu’s husband (Eric Yeung Jan Yiu), he feels outraged but powerless towards Yiu Yiu being betrayed.

With Hong Kong’s imminent handover in 1997, uncertainties abound in the city as the Mainlanders were eager to come to Hong Kong while locals pondered on whether to leave or to stay. The three leads in Infatuation encompass a broad spectrum of Hong Kong people including Tong (Lo) who just returned to the city, Yiu Yiu (Yip) who was about to immigrate following her husband, and Brainlet (Hui) who stayed in Hong Kong for 12 years. Having lived elsewhere, people like Tong ultimately miss their birthplace. Yiu Yiu, realistically portrayed as a would-be immigrant, prepares herself for departure by learning calligraphy and erhu at Caine Road’s Caritas Community Centre. Commercial director Louis Tan made his feature film directorial debut with a refreshing romance that differentiated itself from conventional commercial films at the time in both editing and art direction. Tan later became married in real life to Cecilia Yip, the lead actress.

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