The Middle-Class Story in Hong Kong Cinema : Creativity and Conservatism of D & B Films

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


It takes courage to look back on 1980s Hong Kong cinema in 2020. A series of social incidents and a potentially fatal disease have transformed the values of our society, and the pendulum of life has swung from complexity to simplicity. Things are no longer the same. Under such circumstances, how do we reconfront the Golden 80s? How do we judge heavy makeup and chunky shoulder pads? What about over-the-top movie plots? Car stunts and explosions at the drop of a hat- like a male at the height of his virility. Casting a retrospective eye over the 1980s Hong Kong cinema, it's hard to distinguish between resplendence and excess. For instance, many scenes in A Better Tomorrow (I 986)', a top box-office hit that triggered the hero film craze, feel hyperbolic. Interestingly Patrick Lung Kong's The Story of a Discharged Prisoner (1967), a 1960s production which has the same Chinese t ide as A Better Tomorrow, seems to have more emotional relevance in the current milieu, perhaps due to its subtle yet mournful accusation of social realities. Without a doubt, the 1980s were the heyday of Hong Kong cinema- genre cinema became mainstream; Cantopop was all the rage; and almost every film starred A-list actors. It was when the influence of Hong Kong cinema extended to the rest of the world, a time of abundant production resources that the party is over, perhaps we can cast a cool but understanding eye on the past.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Different Brilliance : The D & B Story
EditorsChing-ling KWOK, Ha-pak WONG
Publisher香港電影資料館 Hong Kong Film Archive
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'The Middle-Class Story in Hong Kong Cinema : Creativity and Conservatism of D & B Films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this