As some of my friends among this blog's readers know, I've spent more time at institutions of higher learning than is good for me. So much so that in recent years, I've tried to steer clear of such places for the most part. The past three weeks, however, have seen me thrice on the University of Hong Kong's main campus; once for work purposes but twice voluntarily.
On my most recent visit, it was to attend a classical music concert by violinist Yao Jue, pianist Cheng Wai and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong at Loke Yew Hall inside the university's main building. While I enjoyed the performances on offer that evening, I have to admit that what has lingered with me from that night more than the music is the fact that the occasion provided me with yet more connections and associations of the kind that makes me continue to feel -- the latest cries and laments of the death of Hong Kong cinema notwithstanding -- that I am living in a cinematically rich space.
For one thing, Loke Yew Hall just happens to be named after the husband of Loke Cheng Kim and father of Loke Wan Tho, the co-founders of what would come to be known as Cathay Organisation, the film company that -- for a time -- was the main rival of the Shaw Brothers and produced cinematic gems aplenty, especially in late 1950s to early 1960s heyday.
For another, as a quick glance around the place will easily confirm, atmospheric Loke Yew Hall also happens to be where scenes of Ang Lee's Lust, Caution was filmed! (Remember, after all, that Tang Wei, Wang Leehom and co's Lust, Caution characters were University of Hong Kong students for a time; this in addition to such as Leon Lai and Hsu Chi's characters in HKU alumnus Mabel Cheung's City of Glass...)
And as if to truly make me feel like I'm living in a giant movie set, on the bus back to my apartment that evening, as we passed by the street that I lived until just a few months, I saw a film crew filming at the convenience store at the corner. Yes, really, just like that... and as such, gives this movie geek still more occasions and reasons to feel that she ought to pinch herself in order to believe that she really is living over here in Hong Kong. ;b