Cannes contingent celebrates a century of Chinese cinema

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 May, 2005, 12:00am

To celebrate 100 years of Chinese cinema, Hong Kong's contingent is well represented at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which opened on Thursday.

John Woo is a member of the jury and Johnny To Kei-fung's Election is in the running.

It is To's first selection at the festival; his previous film Breaking News was shown last year but not nominated for the Palmes d'Or.

Election is a tale of two triad bosses fighting to become head of their gang - through intense and violent lobbying, as would be expected, but in a democratic election. It is one of five Asian films vying for the Palmes d'Or. Tony Leung Ka-fai plays a bloodthirsty psychopath triad boss so convincingly that he has succeeded in astonishing Cannes audiences.

In Europe, Leung is mainly remembered for his part in Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Lover. The critics are saying he may well come away with a prize.

While the jury is out deliberating, the Hong Kong community is partying.

Over the next couple of days they will celebrate 100 years of Chinese Cinema on the beach outside the Palais des Festivals.

The Hong Kong Pavilion is also organising a bash this week to which Andy Lau Tak-wah's Focus, the Emperor Group and Media Asia, have all sent representatives.

Superstar Jackie Chan is due to make an appearance in the coming days.

Among the celebrities in attendance is Stephen Fung Tak-lun, who is in town to market his House of Fury to the rest of the world. Antony Szeto (Dragon Blade), is showing his latest effort, the short film Taped, starring Maggie Q and Carl Ng Ka-lung, at the Short Film Corner.

Cinematographer Chris Doyle (2046) was seen on Friday night nursing a bottle of beer and chatting to Colette Koo, who is in town finalising the production of the first feature film that she is producing, Jessica Caught on Tape.

The festival ends on Saturday.



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