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The Intersection of Old-School Hong Kong Style Performance and Contemporary Issues at the Hong Kong Film Awards

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The Intersection of Old-School Hong Kong Style Performance and Contemporary Issues at the Hong Kong Film Awards

The encounter between old-school “Hong Kong style” performance and contemporary issues

By Wenhui Po reporter Liu Qing

On the award night of this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards, there were two major moments that caused a stir among the media and critics. Firstly, David Chiang was awarded the Best Supporting Actor award, and then Tony Leung bagged six Best Actor awards. The reactions to these wins were mixed, with some senior film journalists and critics subtly commenting that it was not surprising for David Chiang to win, considering he was active before the birth of the Academy Awards. On the other hand, Tony Leung’s win for his performance in “Goldfinger” was met with criticism, with director Wong Jing even suggesting that Leung should follow the example of Alan Tam and Leslie Cheung by no longer accepting awards and giving room to the younger generation.

The encounter between old and new

Tony Leung Chiu Wai’s Best Actor win for his performance in “Goldfinger”, which was not considered his best work, highlights the juxtaposition of old-school Hong Kong style performances with contemporary issues. While Leung’s performance may not have been at its peak, it still resonated with the old-school and romantic characters of Hong Kong cinema. On the other hand, David Chiang’s win was well-received, with his performance in “Under the Sun” alongside Lin Baoyi being praised for their old-school charm. Both Chiang and Baoyi, as veterans in the industry, brought a sense of nostalgia and authenticity to their roles, bridging the gap between the past and the present in Hong Kong cinema.

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The performance expanded the thickness of the play

“Under the Sun” delves into the dark reality of abuse in an orphanage in Hong Kong, shedding light on the commercialized environment that has permeated society. While the script may have had its shortcomings, the film benefited from the seasoned performances of actors like Lin Baoyi, Jiang Dawei, Hu Feng, and Bao Qijing. Their experience and depth added a richness to the film, elevating the storyline and characters beyond its flaws.

Using individual survival as a metaphor for Hong Kong’s civilian ecology

David Chiang’s portrayal of the character “Tong Bo” in “Under the Sun” exemplifies the contrast between light and dark in Hong Kong’s urban spaces. Through his nuanced performance, Chiang explores the complexities of survival in a society plagued by moral decay and profit-seeking motives. Similarly, Lin Baoyi’s portrayal of the welfare dean adds layers to the narrative, showcasing the struggles of the marginalized in a harsh and unforgiving system. Their performances serve as a metaphor for the civilian ecology of Hong Kong, reflecting the challenges faced by individuals in a rapidly changing society.

Overall, “Under the Sun” serves as a microcosm of the current landscape of Hong Kong cinema, with a blend of old-school charm and contemporary issues. While young creators may lack the experience to fully address pressing social issues, the presence of veteran actors like Chiang and Baoyi adds depth and authenticity to the storytelling, creating a bridge between the past and the future of Hong Kong cinema.

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