Experience the entire kun opera classic The Peony Pavilion the way author Tang Xianzu originally intended. After years of planning, the Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe is presenting the Hong Kong debut of the faithfully restored, complete 55-scene saga at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Structured into three parts and performed over two days, this jewel of the kun opera genre reveals renewed perspectives into the wider social landscape of the Song dynasty, transforming the familiar love story into an unforgettable tale of oppression and emancipation.
A Rotating Poetic World
Explore the ethereal world of The Peony Pavilion through a rotating set design that seamlessly transports the audience from one scene to the next. This unique design also heightens the dreamy landscape of the production, filled with innovative visual effects.
MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of “Happy Together 春光乍洩 Script: Cantonese Transcription with English Translation,” by Sabrina Yu, Nicholas Kaldis, Kin Wing Kevin Chan, and Cecilia Liao. A teaser appears below. Click here for the full transcription/translation. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis for sharing this work with the MCLC community. Thomas Moran offered important editorial suggestions.
Kirk Denton, MCLC
Happy Together 春光乍洩 Script: Cantonese Transcription with English Translation
Directed by Wong Kar-wai 王家衛
Translated by: Sabrina Yu, Nicholas Kaldis, Kin Wing Kevin Chan, and Cecilia Liao
With assistance from: Ashley Yingxue Liu, Ana Ros Matturo, Gerardo Pignatiello
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February 2024)
Lai Yiu-fai Passport.
Ho Po-wing stares at Iguazú Falls lamp.
Ho Po Wing: Lai Yiu Fai, let’s start over.
何寶榮: 黎耀輝, 不如我哋由頭再嚟過。
Lai and Ho making love.
Lai Yiu Fai: “Let’s start over,” this phrase is Ho Po Wing’s mantra. I admit that these lines are very lethal. We’ve been together a long time, with the occasional break up, but I don’t know why, whenever that phrase is uttered it’s always brought us back together. Because we wanted to start over, we left Hong Kong. Two people with no destination ended up in Argentina.
黎耀輝: “不如由頭嚟過，” 呢句說話係何寶榮嘅口頭禪。我𠄘認呢句說話對我來講好有殺傷力。我哋喺埋一齊已經好耐。中間亦都有分開過，但係唔知點解次次講呢句說話我都同佢喺返埋一齊。因為想由頭嚟過，離開香港。兩個人行下行下咁就嚟到阿根廷。
Lai Yiu Fai: Where is Iguazú?
黎耀輝：Dónde es Iguazú?
Lai Yiu Fai: You said you knew how to read maps, we went in the wrong direction!
黎耀輝: 你又話識睇地圖，行錯路呀！[READ THE FULL TEXT HERE]
Hong Kong Crime Films is the first book detailing the post-war history of the genre before the release of John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow (1986), the film that put Hong Kong action-crime on the global map. Focusing on what it calls the mode of ‘criminal realism’ in the crime film, the book shows how depictions of Hong Kong’s social reality (including crime) were for decades anxiously policed by colonial censors, and how crime films tended (and still tend) to confound and transgress critical definitions of realism.
Drawing on extensive archival research, Hong Kong Crime Films covers several neglected topics in the study of Hong Kong cinema, such as the evolving generic landscape of the crime film prior to the 1980s, the influence of colonial film censorship on the genre, and the prominence and contestation of “realism” in the local history of the crime film.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: Criminal Realism
Part I: The Generic Landscape of the Post-War Hong Kong Crime Film, 1947-1969
Gangsters and Unofficial Justice Fighters: Realist Lunlipian versus Action-Adventure Films
Detectives and Suspense Thrillers: Remaking Hitchcock in Hong Kong
Intermezzo: Censorship of Cinematic Crime and Violence in Colonial Hong Kong
Part II: The Modern Hong Kong Crime Film, Criminal Realism and Hong Kong Identity, 1969-1986
A New Form of Criminal Realism
Crime Films and Hong Kong Identity
The New Wave, Critical Discourse and Deepening Localisation
Afterword: The Uncertain Present and Future of Criminal Realism in Hong Kong
An amusing coincidence last week. A kind friend sent me an interesting op ed piece from the China Daily about recent events at Harvard University, where the president recently resigned under pressure from major donors.
Students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. File photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.
The writer of this piece mentioned, in passing, how lucky we were that such a thing could not happen in Hong Kong, because our universities enjoyed autonomy and were immune to interference from the government.
The resigning V.C., Rocky Tuan, made all the usual polite noises: honour to serve… time is ripe… grateful to all concerned for their support. The chairman of the university council also made the usual polite noises: university is grateful … outstanding leadership, etc, etc, etc.
And behind all this, as the local media reported with varying degrees of candour, was a four-year campaign by the pro-government camp to get rid of Prof Tuan, who had, in 2019, not found the safe course for university leaders in a time of crisis, which was to hide in the office and say nothing. Continue reading →
CALL FOR ENTRIES The 26th Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2023–2024)
Stephen C. Soong (1919–1996) was a prolific writer and translator as well as an active figure in the promotion of translation education and research. To commemorate his contributions in this field, the Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards were set up in 1997 by the Research Centre for Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, with a donation from the Soong family. They give recognition to academics who have made contributions to original research in Chinese Translation Studies, particularly in the use of first-hand materials for historical and cultural investigations.
Entry and Nomination
RCT invites Chinese scholars or research students in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan or overseas regions to participate in the 26th Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2023–2024). General regulations are as follows:
All Chinese scholars or research students affiliated to higher education/research institutes in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan or overseas regions are eligible to apply.
Submitted articles must be written in either Chinese or English and published in a refereed journal within the calendar year 2023. Each candidate can enter up to two articles for the Awards. The publication date, title and volume/number of the journal in which the article(s) appeared must be provided.
Up to three articles are selected as winners each year. A certificate and a cheque of HK$3,000 will be awarded to each winning entry.
The adjudication committee, which consists of renowned scholars in Translation Studies from Greater China, will meet in June 2024. The results will be announced in July 2024 and winners will be notified individually.
Articles submitted will not be returned to the candidates.
2024 Hong Kong Studies Research School (Targets: Current PhD Students)
Established in July 2015, The Academy of Hong Kong Studies (AHKS) of The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) is the first academy dedicated to fostering Hong Kong studies within local tertiary institutions.
Hong Kong is now a “place full of fear” for pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, who says she has no plans to go home. Getty Images.
Hong Kong is now a “place full of fear”, pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, who recently jumped bail, said. Ms Chow was under investigation for “collusion with foreign forces”, but had been allowed to study in Canada.
The 27-year-old is now a fugitive in Toronto. She told the BBC that she does not intend to return home.
Hong Kong authorities say that they will “spare no effort” in pursuing her for the rest of her life if she does not turn herself in.
A controversial national security law, which gives Chinese authorities expansive powers over political and civic activity in Hong Kong, has been widely used against activists like Ms Chow.
Ms Chow ran Hong Kong pro-democracy group Demosisto with fellow activists Nathan Law and Joshua Wong and was one of the leaders of large-scale anti-government protests held in 2012, 2014 and 2019. Continue reading →
Agnes Chow, a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, being arrested by police at her home in Tai Po, Hong Kong, in August 2020. Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
Agnes Chow, a prominent pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong who was arrested as part of a sweeping crackdown, said over the weekend that she had fled to Canada and planned to skip bail, in a bold challenge to the authorities.
Ms. Chow had been arrested in 2020, along with several other dissidents, including the newspaper mogul Jimmy Lai, after Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong to curb dissent. The authorities were investigating Ms. Chow on suspicion of collusion with external elements, a vaguely defined political crime that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. She was later released on bail.
Ms. Chow wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday that she had traveled to Canada in September to study at a university. She said she had decided not to return to Hong Kong in December to report to the police, as the authorities had requested. “Perhaps I will never go back again in my lifetime,” she wrote.
Hong Kong’s national security police condemned her expressed intention to “jump bail” and urged her to “immediately turn back.” In a statement on Monday, the Hong Kong government said that it would “spare no effort” in bringing Ms. Chow to justice and warned that she could not “evade legal liabilities by absconding.”
In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman who was asked about Ms. Chow’s statement said that no one was above the law and that illegal acts would be punished. Continue reading →
Call for Papers: Hong Kong Inside Out – Hong Kong Studies Postgraduate Conference 2024
*All dates and times are in Hong Kong Standard Time if not specifically mentioned (GMT+8) Conference dates: 26-27 April 2024 (Friday–Saturday) Format: Online Languages: English, Cantonese, and Mandarin Eligibility: Students who are currently enrolled in master’s or doctoral programmes at the time of conference Deadline for abstracts: 15 December 2023 (Friday) Paper due: 1 April 2024 (Monday) Keynote speaker: Dr John D. Wong (Associate Professor, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences & School of Modern Languages and Cultures, HKU)
Hong Kong Studies has emerged from being a fledgling field primarily centred in the city of Hong Kong itself into a sprawling network of researchers, centres, postgraduates, and programmes across continents. At the same time, growing interest in Hong Kong and its historical and contemporary dilemmas has proliferated across a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. While the rapid growth of the field has brought considerable resources, vitality, and urgency to scholarly research and discussions about Hong Kong, it has also come at the cost of fundamental conversations about how to define the field itself. What is gained and what is lost when we study Hong Kong while situated within the city itself, or while working from far away? Who has belonged in the study of Hong Kong, and who has been excluded? How do the key terms and concepts by which various disciplines approach Hong Kong past and present differ from each other, and how might these be reconciled? In short, how might we understand or even reconceptualise the subject of our collective inquiry—Hong Kong—inside out? Continue reading →
The University of Hong Kong wants to introduce a new statute to penalise those who bring the institution into disrepute. Photo: Nora Tam
The University of Hong Kong (HKU) said it wanted to clamp down on behaviour that brings it into “disrepute”, but failed to give a definition of the sort of conduct that could land students in hot water.
But representatives of students, staff and graduates said on Wednesday the proposed statute, to come into force on October 20 if approved by lawmakers, would damage what should be an open and inquiring environment.
Casey Chik Yau-hong, an undergraduate representative, said the amendment was vague and there was no need for it.
He said: “There are different mechanisms to manage similar incidents. I don’t see any circumstances this amendment can be applied to. Students may have concerns over how the school will use the new power. It is not what an open, pluralistic environment should be.” Continue reading →
Hong Kong’s chief executive, John Lee, has called on eight overseas activists to turn themselves in a day after police put out bounties on them. Credit…Peter Parks/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Hong Kong’s top leader said Tuesday that eight dissidents who had fled overseas would be “pursued for life” with large rewards being offered in exchange for information leading to their prosecution.
The rewards of 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($128,000) reflect a stepped-up effort to pressure and intimidate influential activists who left Hong Kong after a stringent new law was imposed in 2020. The so-called national security law has resulted in the arrests of 260 people, the majority of them accused for activities that took place in Hong Kong.
On Monday, the police emphasized the extraterritorial reach of the regulations, which criminalize activities endangering China, even if they had taken place outside Hong Kong and mainland China. They said the accused had violated provisions on foreign collusion and inciting secession.
The eight who were charged by the police are the activists Nathan Law, Anna Kwok and Finn Lau; two former lawmakers, Dennis Kwok and Ted Hui; a lawyer, Kevin Yam; a union leader, Mung Siu-tat, and the businessman and YouTuber Elmer Yuen. Continue reading →
Young Scholars Visiting Scheme 2024 – CUHK-CCK Foundation Asia-Pacific Centre for Chinese Studies
The Young Scholars Visiting Scheme aims to support young scholars visiting The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on research in Chinese Studies. They are expected to spend one term in residence at CUHK to actively participate in academic activities related to Chinese Studies and interact with CUHK scholars and students in 2024.
Ph.D. graduates from a recognized academic institution who currently have a full-time position with less than ten years of work experience after graduation
Call for Abstracts
What: Backreading Hong Kong: Translating Hong Kong (2)
When: Monday 6 November 2023 – Tuesday 7 November 2023
Where: The Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, The University of Toronto
The theme of the 2023 edition of Backreading Hong Kong Symposium will be “Translating Hong Kong,” continuing the discussion on the same topic in 2021, aiming to complement a volume proposal. Co-organised by the Department of Language Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library of the University of Toronto, and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, the symposium will be held in person in Toronto on 6-7 November 2023.
We are interested in the research that considers translation as a metaphor that attempts to freshen the studies of Hong Kong literature and culture. We invite presentations that ask inspiring and contentious questions about translation in and among various forms of cultural expression about Hong Kong. We also welcome discussions of discoveries and new developments in any facets of translation and Hong Kong, both literary and non-literary.
How does translation, broadly defined, better or limit a transnational understanding of Hong Kong culture?
Does translating Hong Kong imply an open or closed circulation of her culture?
Does translating Hong Kong serve to reiterate or decolonise the dominance of English?
What can we say about the heteroglossic phenomena in Hong Kong literature and culture?
What is the role that Cantonese plays in the translation of Hong Kong literature and culture?
How does the Hong Kong diaspora redefine the movement of her people, literature, and culture?
In this essay I hope to provoke scholars of animation into considering the role of time, both cinematic time and historical time. Like other genres of the moving image, animation often has at its core the disappearance of the image — an anticipated, even planned obsolescence. I examine here works exhibited as lightshows on the Hong Kong’s International Commerce Centre (ICC) façade between 2014–2016; these animations point explicitly toward the moment when the medium degrades and even vanishes.
Film relies on the ephemerality of perception, as images succeed each other, 24 times per second or even faster. The transition from one frame to the next is what allows for animation — designing one frame at a time, and animating the image by showing the frames in sequence. In this sense, animation is bound to the scale of the frame. However, we may also think at other magnitudes. At the size of an entire work, what matters is the speed with which the film hurtles toward its inevitable end — and possibly toward an afterlife in remediated and redistributed forms. In blown-up displays, in which the single pixel is visible to the viewer, the image expires also at the resolution of the pixel, many times within each frame. More than we have acknowledged, animation works pay attention to the possibilities opened up by calibrating these proportions up and down. Continue reading →