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Upcoming events (2)
THE BELOW IS JUST A SUGGESTED FUTURE MEETUP. Nothing concrete planned yet until we have a more die-hard group of movie fans built up who can withstand 3-hour / 5-hour long WKW fests! ;)
It's been one of my ambitions as a WKW fan to screen a themed film night in his honour. His movies portray a nostalgic ideal of Hong Kong like no other HK filmmaker and it would be a great experience to be able to share and discuss his works with fellow aficionados.
"Chungking Express", "As Tears Go By", "Days of Being Wild" and "In the Mood for Love" are the key contenders. Film criticisms of the Hong Kong that was represented in these movies would be sent to members beforehand and we can have a debate afterwards as to how the image of Hong Kong has changed from the 1960s (DOBW and ITMFL) and 1990s (CE) in WFW films, and what contemporaroy HK filmmakers would be able to capture about the quinessential qualities of Hong Kong in the second decade of the third millenium.
Hi guys, long time no see. Hope you're all having a great summer. This is just an idea for our August / September meetup, with a turn to something a bit more cultured and literary :) I propose our next outing to be our very first Hong Kong Book Club and Calligraphy Session.
It'd be great if we could share some of the books that we love about the city, be they in English or in Chinese. Some of us have kind of done that by swapping books ourselves, but it'd be great to open the discussion to everyone.
It doesn't matter what genre it is that you love -- from memoirs to horror to poetry to comic books, the sky's the limit!
Here's some suggestions I have that would get the ball rolling:
"Gweilo" by Martin Booth -- I came to this book a few years ago and I wished I had read this much earlier as it's one of the most vivid accounts of colonial Hongkong -- seen from the eyes of a child with not-so-well-to-do parents -- I have ever read. Martin's love for the city he grew up in was absolutely infectious and it included wonderful details of the old Hongkong -- including the old Walled Kowloon City that was destroyed by the government in the 80s. (I was young but I remember the news at the time as my grandparents were living in Kowloon).
"Falling Leaves" by Adeline Yen-Mah -- A touching family memoir about how her well-to-do family moved from Shanghai to Hongkong to escape the war in China and what life was like to be a member of the upperclass in a city that was fast establishing itself as one of the new key economies on the Pacific rim. The clash of traditional Chinese values with the "uncouthness" of a brash immigrant city, and her own harrowing childhood growing up in an unloving environment, are beautifully told with some wonderful photographs.
麥嘜微小小說 (McMug's Micro Novella)
I discovered McMug and McDull when I was doing a summer job in Hongkong in 1997, and fell in love with them immediately! This collection of short stories is one of my favourites, and for me it's the start of the "graphic novel" (or in this case, "graphic novella") before the term became a thing in the late 2000's. McMug's creator said he was inspired by Raymond Brigg's Snowman when dreaming up these characters, but those of us who love McMug and McDull love the fact that the stories and the dialogue, and the sensibilities of the characters (especially the streetwise McMug as compared to the naive and innocent McDull), are unmistakably Hong Kong.
Of course, if we talk about HK literature, we cannot neglect to mention these famous Hongkong novellists, many of whose works have been adapted for both the small and silver screens and formed a significant thread of contemporary Hong Kong culture:
金庸 (Louis Cha): https://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-hk/%E9%87%91%E5%BA%B8
李碧華 (Lillian Lee): https://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-hk/%E6%9D%8E%E7%A2%A7%E8%8F%AF_%28%E4%BD%9C%E5%AE%B6%29
But these are such prolific writers that it's impossible to select just the one book for them, and maybe we'll have fun debating which of their works we like best.
Finally, about the Calligraphy Session -- following a fun discussion recently about our Chinese names amongst some of our members, it'd be great to have a workshoppy session whereby we get out calligraphy brushes and do some traditional Chinese writing. I can supply all the materials if we were to do this the traditional way, but of course, all we really need are pen/paper (and patience to learn all the strokes!)
Will update this again once we have some dates/venues sorted.