One shot that should not be… A horrifying scene from a Hong Kong New Wave film features a cat being thrown from a building and impaled by a metal spike below. A friend who worked in the props department later told me that he was the one responsible for executing this scene. Because the director wanted to shoot the scene without cuts, my friend had to throw one cat after another to its death until one hit the right spot, and my friend felt very ashamed and remorseful afterwards. In another Taiwan film, a dog was run over by a car on set at the command of the director. Yet during the production of War Horse, Steven Spielberg had American Humane Association (AHA) Certified Animal Safety Representative Barbara Carr on set to make sure that animals were treated humanely.
I believe the new generation of Hong Kong filmmakers and audiences will be more civilized and open-minded.
Houwood Hou Man-wan (aka Hou Sze-kit) was born in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in 1947 and came to Hong Kong to study in 1964. After graduation, Hou worked for a time as factory worker and joined The 70’s Biweekly as chief editor in 1970, during which he became involved in social movements such as the campaign to make Chinese the official language in Hong Kong, efforts to protect the Diaoyu Islands and the anticorruption crusade. While taking part in a hunger strike against inflation in San Po Kong in 1974, he made the 8mm documentary short 912 Movement, which had been preserved at the Hong Kong Film Archive. In 1980 Hou took on the position of deputy editor at City Magazine.
At the referral of actor-producer John Shum, Hou started working in films, taking on various positions including producer, assistant director, line producer and executive producer. But it was not until the 1990s, when the film industry was in decline, that he got the chance to direct, making the feature The Complicated Raping Case (1993), which he made under the pseudonym Lok Dai Yue.
Much of Hou’s work was devoted to words. He served as editor at Ming Pao Weekly, writing the occasional screenplay, like that of Empress Wu (1999), starring Aicardi Jiang. He also acted in the film Port Unknown (2008), directed by the Bangladeshi director Mamunur Rashid. In 1998, during the Asian financial crisis, he published a novel about the situation, At the Forefront of the Storm. In 2008, he wrote and performed in a play about the history of social activism in Hong Kong, later turning it into a book. Forever engaged creatively, he posted his fictional work on his personal blog, http://www.imaginationworkout.org. In 2012, at the height of the anti-national education movement, he banded with former The 70’s Biweekly colleagues like John Shum to stage a hunger strike at government head-quarters.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||The Complicated Raping Case|