by Yvonne Teh
For a number of Hong Kong denizens, the Easter holiday weekend is a good opportunity to get away from the Big Lychee for a few days. Still, that's not to say that there's nothing of note to do for those culture vultures among us that have opted to remain in town.
Dance fans can look forward to the Hong Kong Dance Awards 2011 this evening and also performances such as Off Screen, the City Contemporary Dance Company's 2011-12 season opener (and choreographer Noel Pong Chi-kwan's first full-length work), which runs from April 22 to 24 at the Cultural Centre.
Music lovers have a choice of concerts from various genres including Canto-pop (Sky King Jacky Cheung Hok-yau's series at the Coliseum); classical music (such as concerts featuring French violinist Renaud Capucon and pianist Frank Braley playing Beethoven sonatas at the Academy for Performing Arts from April 25 to 27); and Italian metal (with dark wave band Ataraxia at Hidden Agenda on April 26).
Movie-goers of various ages are especially well served this week. Family friendly offerings abound among films opening today, with Hop - a comedy with the Easter Bunny playing a prominent role - being especially topical.
Other Category-I-rated animated movies feature a Japanese robotic cat (Doraemon the Movie: The New Record of Nobita: Spaceblazer), the mainland's Pleasant Goat (Moon Castle: The Space Adventure), a sea turtle (Sammy's Adventures: The Secret Passage 3D) and Thomas the Tank Engine (Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue), and a wildlife documentary on cheetahs, lions and their cubs (African Cats opens at The Grand Cinema on April 23).
Those wanting more adult film fare are hardly restricted to Category-III works such as the buzz-inducing 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy or brutally violent I Saw the Devil - since the Hong Kong International Film Festival is still going on (despite banners on its website proclaiming that the official closing date was April 5).
Although part two of the festival is smaller, the programme contains its share of cinematic gems. And while a handful of its offerings (including Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud's visually astounding Oceans) are effectively bonus screenings of films shown in part one, this latter part of the fest is largely devoted to a selection of specialist programmes.
Critically acclaimed Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami needs little introduction, so the festival's The Reality of Illusion: Abbas Kiarostami programme is something to be savoured.
Those seeking to explore Kiarostami's filmography could do worse than take in screenings of Taste of Cherry (winner of a Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival - screening on April 22 at the Space Museum and May 1 at the Science Museum). There's also The Wind Will Carry Us (winner of the Fipresci Prize and Grand Special Jury Prize at the 1999 Venice Film Festival) screening on April 23 at the Space Museum and May 1 at the Science Museum.
Those seeking rarer cinema should consider entries from the Vietnamese Classics: Poetry in Motion programme of 10 films that University of Hong Kong scholar Gina Marchetti says presents 'a specific perspective on war in Vietnam that traces the development of Ho Chi Minh's vision of cinema as a tool for resistance, revolution and reconstruction, and carries it forward to the end of the cold war'.
Film editor Clarence Tsui has made Mrs Tu Hau (screening tomorrow at the Hong Kong Arts Centre and April 24 at the Space Museum) his 'Don't Miss' pick this week. And in 2008, When the Tenth Month Comes (screening on April 24 at the Hong Kong Arts Centre and April 29 at the Space Museum) made the best Asian films of all time list compiled by CNN.