HONG KONG - EAST MEETS WEST
a Pop-Culture Mecca
written by Connie Lacobie for Mark Twain's First International Festival
on May 11, 2002 at Mark Twain Elementary School, Houston, Texas
Hong Kong has been a busy commercial and cultural exchange center between East and West, since 1842 when Hong Kong became a British Colony. Before 1984, it played an important role for the westerners to trade with the communist China, and attracted a lot of attentions from foreigners. They came to Hong Kong to explore this exotic place, write novels, songs, and poems about Hong Kong and to make movies in Hong Kong.
Inspired by the article by Amy Wu in Time, 1997, I found the following productions which are quite interesting and worth to mention:
- Tai-Pan & Noble House by James Cavell in 1966 & 1981
- A Many Splendored Thing by Suyin Han & contributing into a movie "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" by William Holden and Jennifer Jones in 1955.
- The World of Suzie Wong by Richard Mason in 1957 which contributed a discovery of a beautiful star, Nancy Kwan for the Hollywood in 1960.
- The Honourable Schoolboy by John LeCarré's in 1977.
- Revenge of the Pink Panther by Blake Edward.
- The Man with the Golden Gun 007 James Bond in 1974
- The Pillow Book directed by Peter Greenaway in 1996.
- Chinese Box directed by Wayne Wang for Le Studio Canal.
- The Chinese Box written by Christopher New
- A Change of Flag written by Christopher New
- Mad Dogs and Englishmen a classic song by Noel Coward.
- Bruce Lee : Enter the Dragon directed by Robert Clouse
- Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew written by Linda Lee
- Unsettled Matters written by Tom Bleeker
- Shadow of china directed by Mitsuo Yanaimachi.
- Rush Hour 2 directed by Brett Ratner, starring Jackie Chan & Chris Tucker.
- The World of Lily Wong written and illustrated for Time by Larry Feign.
At the Movie Museum, Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon Pennisula, the exhibits of 50s & 60s Hong Kong local movies reflected the cultural values then and holds a great significant historical distinction for Hong Kong Cultures.
From each of the film clips, the lifestyles of common local Hong Kong people who were mostly refugees from the mainland China during 1950s and 1960s were greatly revealed and presented.
On Ngong Ping Plateau, within walking distance from the Lantau Tea Gardens, the Po Lin Monastery houses this giant Buddha statue and three other magnificent statues of Buddha. Vegetarian meals and cold organic soft silken tofu puddings are available.
Some of the following scenes in Hong Kong Island are mostly taken by the movie camera. They are unique and unusal, like those groceries stores selling dry seafood and herbal produces; the scene of a old steep street with a lot of stairs; and the scene in Central District with a tram strolling on the rail.
See those high-rise residental buildings, packed and densely populated. Spot, at the low end of the photo, a green tram rolling along the rail.
Hong Kong people like to eat dry sea food, like sea weed, suztaki mushooms, dry fish, dry shrimps, dry squids, dry octopus etc. It is a very interesting market scene in Western District.
This Eastern Street has a significant value to me because I used to live on Bonham Road, one street above Eastern. Looking through the window of my old home (now demolished), I could see Eastern Street on the right. My family used this street every day.
Thank you Tony Man for these Hong Kong Photos