Thursday, July 3, 2014

A haunting movie premiere at the Sunbeam Theatre

The director-star of Hungry Ghost Ritual and four co-stars 
on stage at the Hong Kong premiere of the film

Meanwhile in the theater, could be found
sights like this! :O

...and yes, they do move (i.e., they were not mannequins)!! :b

It may sound like I'm boasting -- but it really is true that my life in Hong Kong involves attending film premieres from time to time.  This may sound glamorous, I know, but it actually frequently feels routine, and comes with the knowledge that delays tend to be the order of the day with regards to when the screening of the movie actually gets going at these events.
If a film stars or is directed by someone you like though, some degree of compensation comes from getting to see the personality in question in the flesh rather than just on a screen, and it can be quite interesting to see whether that person conforms to the image you're formed of him or her from your having seen them on screen and/or read of them.  In addition, there are times when recognizable faces can be found in the audience as well as among those who show up to help publicize their work.

These two things aside, there usually isn't much "entertainment" to be had from attending a film premiere here in Hong Kong.  So last night's premiere of policeman turned movie personality Nick Cheung Ka Fai's directorial debut at the Sunbeam Theatre was a real major exception.
Upon finding out that the Hong Kong premiere of his Hungry Ghost Ritual was scheduled to take place at 11.30pm at the atmospheric venue better known as a Cantonese opera than movie theatre (and which was where the Cantonese opera scenes in Hu-Du-Men were shot), one couldn't help but figure that there'd be certain gimmickry in store at the event.  Still, I really wasn't expecting to be treated to the sight of 'ghostly figures' hanging about inside the theatre when I went in to take my seat for the screening of the supernatural horror film which has a Cantonese opera troupe getting haunted by vengeful ghosts!  
Watching the antics of those 'ghostly figures' helped time pass by in quite a fun way before Nick Cheung, Annie Liu, newcomer Cathryn Lee, the still magnificent Carrie Ng, and veteran actor Lam Wai took the stage to  say a few words to the audience (which, incidentally, included the likes of directors Pang Ho Cheung and Patrick Kong).  
By the time the screening finally began, it was pretty close to the witching hour -- but at that point in time, I didn't mind too much.  Indeed, I actually came away from the event wishing that other premieres could be as innovatively organized -- though it's also true that I definitely would prefer for film screenings to draw to a close quite a bit earlier in the night than this one did! ;b


Goodbye HK, Hello YVR said...

Interesting! They put some effort into the premiere which sounded like it was fun. So is Nick Cheung a good director???!!! Or just his abs look good on screen! hahahaha

YTSL said...

Hi The Fragrant Harbour --

Ya about their putting some effort into the premiere. Forgot to previously mention that one side of the ticket for the event also had been designed to look like an old time Cantonese opera show ticket!

Re Nick Cheung: You can tell he's a novice director but considering that it was his first effort, I'd say that it was respectable. But ya, his abs (specifically in "Unbeatable") are far more impressive... ;b

Bill said...

Hi Yvonne,

This is the kind of blog I especially enjoy at your site because it gives one a personalized look into a local Cantonese event - in this case a complete opposite of your Transformers premiere...The blurred slow shutter speed photo of the ghostly figure in the aisle could be a spirit invoked at a seance. A truly haunting blog from the transformative world of Hu-Du-Men.


YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

Actually, I didn't attend the Transformers premiere, only a preview afterwards. The premiere was reserved for people from abroad -- yeah, not very Hong Kong friendly.

Re the "Hungry Ghost Ritual" premiere: it was a very local affair indeed. Interesting though that the world premiere was actually not in Hong Kong -- whereas it was the case for "Transformers: Age of Extinction"!