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Chan brings fighting spirit to HK film fest

[ 2009-03-23 13:39]     字号 [] [] []  
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Jackie Chan returned to his hometown yesterday to help kick off Hong Kong's annual international film festival, lending his star power to an event that's facing stiff competition in Asia.

Wearing a light blue Mandarin-collared top embroidered with floral patterns, the 54-year-old veteran action star attended the world premiere of his new Chinese-language gangster thriller, Shinjuku Incident.

Chan said he wanted to highlight "Hong Kong's fighting spirit and local-style movies" through the $25 million production that features him, playing a mainland tractor repairman who smuggles himself to Tokyo to search for his girlfriend, only to become a hit man for Japanese mobsters.

The role, which sees the Rush Hour star kill and pay for sex, marks a sharp departure from his typical good-guy roles in the action comedies he is best known for.

"I hope to try different types of roles," Chan said on the sidelines of the premiere.

Organizers of the 33rd Hong Kong International Film Festival chose Shinjuku Incident and another Hong Kong production, the family drama Night and Fog, as opening movies to showcase a local industry that's become overshadowed by blockbusters from the mainland.

Hong Kong filmmakers and actors are also gravitating toward mainland productions, leading to a sharp decrease in movies set in the city known for its mix of Chinese and Western cultures.

Night and Fog director Ann Hui said it has become increasingly difficult to tell local stories because the Hong Kong market is too small.

"Just the Hong Kong market itself isn't enough to recoup the investment," Hui said.

The Hong Kong film festival, which runs until April 13, has also struggled amid fresh competition, especially the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea, which is now regarded by some as Asia's top event.

This year's Hong Kong film festival will feature 19 world premieres and a total of 279 movies. By contrast, the Pusan event last year had 85 world premieres and 315 films in total.

Chan said it was unfair to compare the Hong Kong event with other festivals because the city was too small to host a large one.


1. What is the original job of Jackie Chan’s character in Shinjuku Incident?

2. Why does director Ann Hui say it’s increasingly difficult to tell Hong Kong stories?

3. Which other film festival rivals the Hong Kong International Film Festival?


1. A tractor repairman.

2. She says the Hong Kong market is too small.

3. The Pusan International Film Festival.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Chan brings fighting spirit to HK film fest

About the broadcaster:

Chan brings fighting spirit to HK film festBernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries.