Lecture on Transculturality: Tracing Hong Kong Urban Space in the 1950s through the Cinema


Thursday, October 15 – 7pm

Lecturer: Kenneth Ip Shu Kei, Chair School of Film and Television HKAPA
Venue: Connecting Space Hong Kong

There were two kinds of cinema in Hong Kong in the 1950s, the Cantonese cinema which catered more to the grass-root population, and the Mandarin cinema which found its audience mostly among the middle class. Both cinemas serve as a mirror to the many social problems facing the colony after WWII. The lecture attempts to look at the division of urban space, particularly the housing problem, in that decade via a few outstanding and representative cinematic works.


Shu Kei began writing scripts for television when he was still studying in the University of Hong Kong. Among the directors he worked with during this period were Ann HUI, Partrick TAM, YIM Ho , Allen FONG and TSUI Hark. He entered Golden Harvest Film Company after graduation as scriptwriter and assistant director. In 1980, he wrote the script for John WOO’s TO HELL WITH THE DEVIL. In 1981, he made his directorial debut, SEALED WITH A KISS. Since then, he has directed six drama features, including HU-DU-MEN (1996) and A QUEER STORY (1997) and a documentary, SUNLESS DAYS which won a Jury Award at the Rimini Film Festival and a Special Award at the Berlin Film Festival. He’s also a distributor specialising in art-house films. Up to date, the library of his distribution company has over 200 titles. Besides these, he is responsible for the world marketing and distribution of such important Chinese films as TIAN Zhuangzhuang’s THE BLUE KITE, CHEN Kaige’s FAREWELL TO MY CONCUBINE, WONG Kar-wai’s ASHES OF TIME and CHUNGKING EXPRESS. He is the producer of ZHANG Yuan’s BEIJING BASTARDS and Fruit CHAN’s MADE IN HONG KONG, among others.

He has edited and published several anthologies of yearly film reviews for the Hong Kong Film Critics Society, two books on the Hong Kong Cinema in the Fifties and Sixties for the Hong Kong International Film Festival and is the author of two novels.