Tai Kwun Movie Steps 2022

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (Sep-Oct): Hong Kong flicks in the Multiverse of Madness

Date & Time

4 Sep - 30 Oct, 2022 4pm, Every Sunday

Location

Laundry Steps

Price

Free of charge

Programme

Tai Kwun Movie Steps (Sep-Oct 2022):  Hong Kong Flicks in the Multiverse of Madness

From September to October, Tai Kwun Movie Steps challenges your imagination and explores the mad multiverse of Hong Kong cinema.

In Hollywood's movie Everything Everywhere All At Once released in May this year, we can see Michelle Yeoh transforming from a laundromat owner into an action star, a rock, a human with hot dog fingers...showing infinite possibilities with changing identities.

The Hong Kong film market has always been dominated by commercial films, yet there were still unconventional filmmakers using hectic Hong Kong as the backdrop to stage various kinds of bizarre situations. This time, we present "Hong Kong Flicks in the Multiverse of Madness" with five curious comedies to stimulate your reverse thinking –

All Night Long depicts four girls who want to take away a large sum of loot, revealing the dark side of some Hong Kong people when it comes to money;

Mortuary Blues puts together elements of ghost, action, Cantonese opera and treasure hunting, pushing further the unique wacky comedy style of Jeffrey Lau;

Legend of the Owl combines random crazy jokes and makes fun of local and foreign blockbusters such as Bruce Lee, Alien, Mission: Impossible and Star Wars;

Strange Bedfellow presents three fictional worlds that beyond time and imagination where three couples struggle with each other for their offsprings and desires;

Keep On Dancing is about a pair of twin sisters swapping their identities with each other, causing misunderstandings for those who are in the dark but bringing complex feelings for those who know the fact.

Though not blockbusters, these peculiar movies will make you see Hong Kong cinema in a new light.

Date

Screening

04.09 & 16.10.2022  

All Night Long (1989)

11.09 & 30.10.2022

Mortuary Blues (1990)

18.09 & 09.10.2022

Strange Bedfellow (1986)

25.09 & 23.10.2022

Legend of the Owl  (1981)

02.10.2022   

Keep On Dancing  (1988)

In October, post-screening sharing will take place at Laundry Steps to share the context and behind-the-scene stories of the films selected in “Hong Kong flicks in the Multiverse of Madness”. Stay after the screenings and let us know your thoughts after watching the films.

* All post-screening sharings will be conducted in Cantonese

Post-screening sharing of Strange Bedfellow
Date: 9 October 2022
Time: 5:30pm (after the screening of Strange Bedfellow)
Guest speakers: Mr. Alexander Chan Mong Wah and Mr. Chan Wing Chiu, Assistant Directors of Strange Bedfellow

Post-screening sharing of All Night Long
Date: 16 October 2022
Time: 5:30pm (after the screening of All Night Long)
Guest Speaker: Mr. Ma Chi Ming, Art Director of All Night Long


Promotion Video


All Night Long (1989)

All Night Long (1989)

Produced by: Over Epoch Production Co.

Director: Peter Mak

Screenwriter: Peter Mak, Muk Baak-Ji, Chi Ga-Goh

Cast: Carol Cheng, Elizabeth Lee, Stanley Fung, Elsie Chan, Crystal Kwok, Wu Ma, Manfred Wong

Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

“I won’t take this dough. Don’t take it either. I knew you wouldn’t listen.”

“Right, I’m only taking you for a nut!”

Never take ill-gotten gains? Some Hongkongers are not gonna take that even in the mid-1980s. Making fast money is their ideal.

A primary school teacher (Carol Cheng) is being held hostage in a convenience store by an injured robber (Manfred Wong). The robber tries to call his partners to rescue him but is accidentally killed by the shop attendant (Crystal Kwok) and a customer (Elsie Chan). Together with the shop attendant's cousin (Elizabeth Lee), the four girls find a huge bag of stolen money left by the robber and decide to take the loot for themselves tonight!

Director Peter Mak is a native Hongkonger who studied art in Taiwan. After graduation, he first returned to Hong Kong and worked as an art director for TV commercials, and then back to Taiwan and directed several Taiwanese films. He returned to Hong Kong in 1988 and debuted his Hong Kong-produced film. In contrast to the norm of Hong Kong commercial comedy at that time, he created this unconventional black comedy with an all-female cast.

Licensed by Fortune Star Media Limited. All rights reserved.


Mortuary Blues (1990)

Mortuary Blues (1990)

Produced by: Golden Harvest/Bo Ho Films Co., Ltd.

Director, Screenwriter: Jeffrey Lau

Cast: Corey Yuen, Sandra Ng, Alex To, Sheila Chin, Lowell Lo, David Lo, Amy Yip

Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

“It’s not bad to emigrate to Bangladesh, Is Bangladesh in the U.S.A?”

“Yes!”

Joining hands with six comedians, Director Jeffrey Lau presented this lively and surprising demonstration of entertainment comedy.

On a remote island off Hong Kong, there is a fishing village where people are leading a rich but idle life. A police chief finds it suspicious and brings two of his subordinates to investigate the matter. When a Cantonese opera troop comes to the island, two female performers find a treasure map unexpectedly and go on a treasure hunt with their teacher. Accidentally, they wake up the ancient corpse of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China...

Before A Chinese Odyssey and Out Of The Dark were hailed masterpieces, the mad genius filmmaker Jeffrey Lau had already made his debut in 1987 with The Haunted Cop Shop, turning the movie craze of "Chinese vampire" at the time into a horror-comedy blockbuster with a modern setting. This time, Jeffrey Lau puts a random group of people who know little about ghost hunting to fight against the evil villain – there are no ghost hunters like Lam Ching-ying or Ng Ma (actors famous for playing vampire slayers), but only a group of talkative but useless small potatoes joining hands. Following the "police meets ghosts" theme of the previous three The Haunted Cop Shop series, the film blends in various elements such as outlying island, Cantonese opera, treasure hunting, Qin Shihuang, the signature kick in old Cantonese movies, martial arts novels and even Amy Yip (the sex symbol in Hong Kong cinema at that time) to create this highly enjoyable Hong Kong-style ghost comedy. One week after the film was released, All for the Winner, a film co-directed by Jeffrey Lau and Corey Yuen, broke the box office record of 40 million Hong Kong dollars in August of the same year, witnessing the immense creative energy of the two at that time.

Licensed by Fortune Star Media Limited. All rights reserved.


Strange Bedfellow (1986)

Strange Bedfellow (1986)

Produced by: Golden Harvest/Bo Ho Films Co., Ltd.

Director: Eric Tsang, Lo Kin, Alfred Cheung

Screenwriter: Keith Wong, Lo Kin, Alfred Cheung

Cast: Eric Tsang, Candice Yu, Anthony Chan, Watanabe Ryoko, Alfred Cheung, Cecilia Yip, Goo Ga-lau

Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

“He has no permit, he’s breaking the law!”

“I am a man!”

With three tales about the future, fantasy and mystery, Strange Bedfellow presents three sets of sci-fi short stories – a rare attempt in the earlier days of Hong Kong cinema.

The first story, Dragon Seeding, depicts a future where women are in power. A couple (Eric Tsang and Candice Yu) want to have children, but childbirth here is decided by computers and the "seed" has to be implanted in a surrogate carrier. Eric wants to carry the baby on his own and he explores with a doctor (Goo Ga-lau) if a man could get pregnant – a pioneering work in human history.

In the second story, Identikit Love, Chan (Anthony Chan) is a science expert in facial restoration who is having difficulties solving a case of an incomplete skull. A woman (Watanabe Ryoko) appears and leads Chan to use her features to reshape the deceased... In the third story, Betwixt Twins, a wife (Cecilia Yip) discovers that her husband (Alfred Cheung) is cheating on her, so she decides to disclose a secret...

Anthony Chan and Alfred Cheung gained their fame with Let's Make Laugh. After joining Sammo Hung's company at the end of 1985, their first collaboration was this unusual set of experimental short stories – taking women as the dominant ones and men as objects of bullying and suffering, this is an extraordinary film in Hong Kong cinema of the early 1980s.

Licensed by Fortune Star Media Limited. All rights reserved.


Legend of the Owl (1981)

Legend of the Owl (1981)

Produced by: Zenith Film Production Co./Film Way Pictures Co.

Director: David Chiang

Screenwriter: Derek Yee, Jamie Luk

Cast: David Chiang, Eric Tsang, Wei Tzu-yun, Paul Chun, Chan Sing, Norman Tsui

Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

The Hong Kong comedy style of "mo lei tau" (“makes no sense”) is not exclusive to Stephen Chow – you can find it in Hong Kong cinema in the early 1980s.

On a mysterious island, the leader nicknamed The Owl regularly holds auctions, and this time the emperor's concubine is captured for sale. The emperor orders Fan (David Chiang), the son of a royal guard, to rescue his beloved woman. Fan then starts his mission with help from two friends (Eric Tsang and Wei Tzu-yun). 

Derek Yee and Jamie Luk were actors in the martial arts movies of Chor Yuen and Gu Long. In 1981, they suddenly had a wild idea of making a film to paradise martial arts movies. Derek Yee's brothers, David Chiang and Paul Chun, were also invited to be the director and actor respectively. Filled with fantastic plots, the film not only satirises popular martial arts movies and TV dramas at that time but also makes fun of local and foreign blockbusters, such as Bruce Lee, Alien, Mission: Impossible and Star Wars. Random crazy jokes are set in almost every scene, which is more close-packed than the Cinema City Company's comedy series that follows. By absorbing the Hollywood comedy essence, the film did bring along some impressive scenes. Such kind of "anything goes" nonsensical comedy style can only be inherited by Eric Tsang's Little Cop (1989) 8 years later.

Licensed by Fortune Star Media Limited. All rights reserved.


Keep On Dancing (1988)

Keep On Dancing (1988)

Produced by: D & B Films Co., Ltd.

Director: Leung Po-chi, Kam Kwok-leung

Screenwriter: Kam Kwok-leung, Winnie Yu

Cast: Cora Miao, Richard Ng, Sun Ma Sze-tsang, Mang Hoi, James Wong, Sandy Lam, Stanley Fung, Rachel Lee, Eric Tsang

Colour | Cantonese | Chinese and English subtitles

“The idea of the seat belt is to protect you.”

“Protect? That won’t be necessary, my life is not too valuable!”

A pair of twin sisters swap their identities, fit themselves in new environments and get along with the people of each other's lives. The bizarre situation leads to specious communication which is sometimes ironic yet sometimes touching the hearts.

The younger sister (Cora Miao) is framed by her ex-husband (James Wong) and wrongly treated as a lunatic in a mental hospital. To revenge, she swaps identities with her elder sister (also played by Cora Miao). The elder sister is supposed to stay in the hospital only for a while, but she falls in love with a doctor (Richard Ng) there.

Hailed as a creative genius, director Kam Kwok-leung adapted his TV drama Between the Twins (1978) into a film to explore the differentiation between the so-called lunatic and the normal – but it is indeed all about people with different mentalities having different perspectives. After swapping their identities, the twins have various new experiences, for example, the younger one makes acquaintance with a lonely millionaire (Sun Ma Sze-tsang) and meets the fiancé (Eric Tsang) of her twin sister – each may find the best solutions for their lives in the midst of those mismatching communications.

Licensed by Fortune Star Media Limited. All rights reserved.