Three Love Affairs
As Hongkongers awaken to the fact that their city is still riven by class divisions underneath its glossy, consumption-driven veneer, Mok Hong-si's 1963 drama makes interesting viewing. The film's Chinese title, Queen of the Factory, is perhaps more enlightening. Set in an age in which industrialisation is providing the underclass - especially society's formerly suppressed female contingent - with a new way of living, the story is a comical chronicle of the courtship of a shoe factory worker (Ting Ying) and a chauffeur (Cheung Ying-choi), both of whom go to great lengths to feign prestige and pedigree to attain what they want.
And what they really want is love - or at least that's what underlies Three Love Affairs and Mok's other 1960s comedies (which will be shown on subsequent Friday mornings as part of the Hong Kong Film Archive's Morning Matinee programme this month).
In Mok's universe, hope is always in abundance and human goodness triumphs over cynicism and greed. It's hardly surprising that the film's protagonist eventually decides material excess is just another distraction in life. Tomorrow, 11am, HK Film Archive.