Clarence Tsui

Clarence Tsui was South China Morning Post’s Film Editor (2005-2012) and now works as a freelance journalist.
Clarence Tsui
Clarence Tsui was South China Morning Post’s Film Editor (2005-2012) and now works as a freelance journalist.

Latest from Clarence Tsui

The Projector | When marketing campaigns go wrong: how China’s ‘creative’ film promotions can backfire

Flashy campaigns might help fill seats on a movie’s opening weekend but misleading messaging can turn the audience off, as seen with some recent releases in mainland China.

12 Apr 2019 - 9:40AM

Flashy campaigns might help fill seats on a movie’s opening weekend but misleading messaging can turn the audience off, as seen with some recent releases in mainland China.

When marketing campaigns go wrong: how China’s ‘creative’ film promotions can backfire
The Projector | How China is making realist films about Hong Kong instead of fantasy portrayals

Hong Kong film-goers’ interest in Bai Xue’s feature, a realist take on cross-border people smuggling, shows they want more than the caricatured portrayals of their city typical of local directors.

28 Mar 2019 - 8:48AM

Hong Kong film-goers’ interest in Bai Xue’s feature, a realist take on cross-border people smuggling, shows they want more than the caricatured portrayals of their city typical of local directors.

How China is making realist films about Hong Kong instead of fantasy portrayals
The Projector | Young Chinese directors evade censors to give voice to ethnic minorities in child-focused films

In movies that examine the lives of children from different ethnic minorities and social classes, China’s up-and-coming filmmakers may have found a way to tackle topics that would otherwise be no-go zones.

14 Mar 2019 - 3:36AM

In movies that examine the lives of children from different ethnic minorities and social classes, China’s up-and-coming filmmakers may have found a way to tackle topics that would otherwise be no-go zones.

Young Chinese directors evade censors to give voice to ethnic minorities in child-focused films
‘A different kind of freedom’: Afghanistan’s thwarted filmmakers and the new social order they imagined

They hoped to contribute to their country’s awakening from semi-feudal slumber, but its communist rulers soon went from emancipation to repression; archivist Mariam Ghani has made a documentary about their unfinished films.

5 Mar 2019 - 8:28PM

They hoped to contribute to their country’s awakening from semi-feudal slumber, but its communist rulers soon went from emancipation to repression; archivist Mariam Ghani has made a documentary about their unfinished films.

‘A different kind of freedom’: Afghanistan’s thwarted filmmakers and the new social order they imagined
When the CIA secretly funded and trained Tibetan exiles for insurgency against Chinese rule

Part of an experimental Berlin Film Festival programme, exhibition Shadow Circus documents the unlikely alliance between exiled Tibetans and the US spy agency, which lasted from the 1950s well into the 1970s.

27 Feb 2019 - 5:44PM

Part of an experimental Berlin Film Festival programme, exhibition Shadow Circus documents the unlikely alliance between exiled Tibetans and the US spy agency, which lasted from the 1950s well into the 1970s.

When the CIA secretly funded and trained Tibetan exiles for insurgency against Chinese rule
The Projector | China’s female film directors still struggling to break into the boys’ club

While veteran European female directors, such as Agnès Varda, were honoured at the Berlin International Film Festival, their contemporaries in China are still awaiting their moment in the sun.

22 Feb 2019 - 7:49AM

While veteran European female directors, such as Agnès Varda, were honoured at the Berlin International Film Festival, their contemporaries in China are still awaiting their moment in the sun.

China’s female film directors still struggling to break into the boys’ club
Opinion | Chinese censorship the talk of Berlin after Zhang Yimou film pulled from festival – and no wonder

With no explanation for the late withdrawal of Zhang’s film One Second from competition at the Berlin festival, it is no surprise international commentators gave renewed attention to the censorship of Chinese films.

15 Feb 2019 - 6:00PM

With no explanation for the late withdrawal of Zhang’s film One Second from competition at the Berlin festival, it is no surprise international commentators gave renewed attention to the censorship of Chinese films.

Chinese censorship the talk of Berlin after Zhang Yimou film pulled from festival – and no wonder
Review | Berlin 2019: So Long, My Son film review – fallout from one-child policy in China explored

Wang Xiaoshuai returns to form with this story of how a couple in China, and their friends, cope with the death of their only son; despite its sombre narrative, the film may be his most upbeat yet.

15 Feb 2019 - 12:02PM

Wang Xiaoshuai returns to form with this story of how a couple in China, and their friends, cope with the death of their only son; despite its sombre narrative, the film may be his most upbeat yet.

Berlin 2019: So Long, My Son film review – fallout from one-child policy in China explored
The Projector | Frank Scheffer’s lifelong fascination with China finds expression in latest film

The Dutch filmmaker returns to his favourite subject, this time with the documentary Inner Landscape, which shows a Chinese composer’s struggle to save a dying musical tradition

7 Feb 2019 - 9:08AM

The Dutch filmmaker returns to his favourite subject, this time with the documentary Inner Landscape, which shows a Chinese composer’s struggle to save a dying musical tradition

Frank Scheffer’s lifelong fascination with China finds expression in latest film
The Projector | China’s marginalised live streamers are the stars of a new documentary

Filmmaker Zhu Shengze’s Present.Perfect shines a spotlight on China’s everyday folk live streamers, many of whom are just searching for a human connection.

28 Jan 2019 - 2:12PM

Filmmaker Zhu Shengze’s Present.Perfect shines a spotlight on China’s everyday folk live streamers, many of whom are just searching for a human connection.

China’s marginalised live streamers are the stars of a new documentary
The Projector | Bi Gan is blazing a trail for other indie Chinese filmmakers despite big marketing fail

Cinema-goers were expecting a romcom and an excuse for a New Year’s Eve smooch, but Long Day’s Journey into Night is a far more challenging affair

13 Jan 2019 - 12:58PM

Cinema-goers were expecting a romcom and an excuse for a New Year’s Eve smooch, but Long Day’s Journey into Night is a far more challenging affair

Bi Gan is blazing a trail for other indie Chinese filmmakers despite big marketing fail
The Projector | French film festival puts Taiwanese cinema centre stage, showcasing five decades of movie making on the self-ruled island

The island’s movie-making industry is pursuing international ambitions with strong showing at the Festival des 3 Continents and push into Southeast Asia

28 Dec 2018 - 10:48AM

The island’s movie-making industry is pursuing international ambitions with strong showing at the Festival des 3 Continents and push into Southeast Asia

French film festival puts Taiwanese cinema centre stage, showcasing five decades of movie making on the self-ruled island
The Projector | Why Macau’s filmmakers are struggling to make their mark – there is no movie industry to speak of

The lack of a film industry or training schools in the casino hub means new directors have little support, unlike their Chinese or Hong Kong counterparts

6 Dec 2018 - 3:12PM

The lack of a film industry or training schools in the casino hub means new directors have little support, unlike their Chinese or Hong Kong counterparts

Why Macau’s filmmakers are struggling to make their mark – there is no movie industry to speak of
The Projector | Why there are still so few Chinese female directors: one woman is on a mission to change the narrative
  • The Chengdu film festival, by Yang Jing, The One aims to raise the ratio of female filmmakers in a country where 65 per cent of cinema-goers are women, but most scripts are written from a male perspective
23 Nov 2018 - 6:00PM
  • The Chengdu film festival, by Yang Jing, The One aims to raise the ratio of female filmmakers in a country where 65 per cent of cinema-goers are women, but most scripts are written from a male perspective
Why there are still so few Chinese female directors: one woman is on a mission to change the narrative
The Projector | The Chinese festival drawing hordes of ‘cultured youth’ to art-house cinema screenings

Pingyao International Film Festival draws young cinema fans from big cities hours away; Cheap tickets and accommodation, and stalls selling food and artisanal goods part of the draw

8 Nov 2018 - 2:27PM

Pingyao International Film Festival draws young cinema fans from big cities hours away; Cheap tickets and accommodation, and stalls selling food and artisanal goods part of the draw

The Chinese festival drawing hordes of ‘cultured youth’ to art-house cinema screenings
The Projector | Filmmakers seek box office boom with Chinese co-productions, but success is not guaranteed

From Hollywood and France to South Korea and Japan, international filmmakers are keen to team up with those in China, but mixed results show unpredictability of mainland audiences and adminis­trators

26 Oct 2018 - 4:29AM

From Hollywood and France to South Korea and Japan, international filmmakers are keen to team up with those in China, but mixed results show unpredictability of mainland audiences and adminis­trators

Filmmakers seek box office boom with Chinese co-productions, but success is not guaranteed
The Projector | China’s changing landscape star of documentary shown at Busan International Film Festival

Chinese Portrait, a film by director Wang Xiaoshuai, is an amalgamation of short clips shot over the past decade showing the country’s physical and sociological evolution

12 Oct 2018 - 1:02PM

Chinese Portrait, a film by director Wang Xiaoshuai, is an amalgamation of short clips shot over the past decade showing the country’s physical and sociological evolution

China’s changing landscape star of documentary shown at Busan International Film Festival
The Projector | China’s golden week: which movie will win big at the box office, Shadow, Project Gutenberg or Hello, Mrs Money?

A small-time film production company may have found the formula for big-screen success with its comedy of manners starring Celina Jade

28 Sep 2018 - 11:49AM

A small-time film production company may have found the formula for big-screen success with its comedy of manners starring Celina Jade

China’s golden week: which movie will win big at the box office, Shadow, Project Gutenberg or Hello, Mrs Money?
The Projector | Hong Kong filmmaker’s Toronto film festival showing reflects city’s international legacy

Half Chinese and half English, and now based in New York, Simon Liu ponders how his experimental films have come to exhibit a split personality

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

Half Chinese and half English, and now based in New York, Simon Liu ponders how his experimental films have come to exhibit a split personality

Hong Kong filmmaker’s Toronto film festival showing reflects city’s international legacy
China’s Dallas Buyers Club wins big at the box office, and other summer 2018 hits

A look at summer’s successes, as well as its biggest flops, reveals the changing tastes of mainland audiences

31 Aug 2018 - 8:07PM

A look at summer’s successes, as well as its biggest flops, reveals the changing tastes of mainland audiences

China’s Dallas Buyers Club wins big at the box office, and other summer 2018 hits
Chinese documentaries focus of Hong Kong film festival, with state suppression of the genre taking centre stage

As mainland Chinese authorities continue to tighten their grip on independent filmmakers, Huang Wenhai’s ‘Rejection/Determination’ platform puts state suppression centre stage

16 Aug 2018 - 4:20PM

As mainland Chinese authorities continue to tighten their grip on independent filmmakers, Huang Wenhai’s ‘Rejection/Determination’ platform puts state suppression centre stage

Chinese documentaries focus of Hong Kong film festival, with state suppression of the genre taking centre stage
Chinese filmmaker exiled in Hong Kong draws on his experiences of exclusion and reunion in new film

Ying Liang’s A Family Tour is inspired by the director’s inability to return home, where his work has been condemned as ‘subversive’

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

Ying Liang’s A Family Tour is inspired by the director’s inability to return home, where his work has been condemned as ‘subversive’

Chinese filmmaker exiled in Hong Kong draws on his experiences of exclusion and reunion in new film
Chinese filmmaker tells story of child monks in Nepal – they fight, swear and are addicted to cellphones

Swearing, fighting and addicted to cell phones and Bollywood – Chinese filmmaker Kang Yuqi’s new feature, A Little Wisdom, shows kids will be kids, even in a monastery in the birthplace of Buddha

19 Jul 2018 - 3:36PM

Swearing, fighting and addicted to cell phones and Bollywood – Chinese filmmaker Kang Yuqi’s new feature, A Little Wisdom, shows kids will be kids, even in a monastery in the birthplace of Buddha

Chinese filmmaker tells story of child monks in Nepal – they fight, swear and are addicted to cellphones
The rise of female filmmakers in China: the three women breaking ground in a man’s world

Women are behind three of the top 10 grossing movies of 2018, with one pulling in more than 1 billion yuan, becoming the first female Chinese filmmaker to do so

5 Jul 2018 - 11:48AM

Women are behind three of the top 10 grossing movies of 2018, with one pulling in more than 1 billion yuan, becoming the first female Chinese filmmaker to do so

The rise of female filmmakers in China: the three women breaking ground in a man’s world
Romance returns to Chinese cinema – but off screen, the film industry is mired in relationship dramas

In China action-packed blockbusters have been muscled out by romance films, but not for the reasons you might expect

21 Jun 2018 - 8:06PM

In China action-packed blockbusters have been muscled out by romance films, but not for the reasons you might expect

Romance returns to Chinese cinema – but off screen, the film industry is mired in relationship dramas
New Oscars rule to give Asian documentary filmmakers much-needed boost

Hong Kong filmmaker Ruby Yang applauds the new regulations announced by the Academy and talks about her efforts to interest more Hongkongers in the genre, which is on the rise thanks to platforms like Netflix and HBO

7 Jun 2018 - 7:32PM

Hong Kong filmmaker Ruby Yang applauds the new regulations announced by the Academy and talks about her efforts to interest more Hongkongers in the genre, which is on the rise thanks to platforms like Netflix and HBO

New Oscars rule to give Asian documentary filmmakers much-needed boost
French film legend Agnès Varda on Faces Places, her feminist vision, and visits to Hong Kong and China

At 90, feature filmmaker turned documentary director continues to find new ways to share her vision of the world; she regrets being too ill to attend a retrospective in Hong Kong, but has fond memories of visits in 1957 and 1989

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

At 90, feature filmmaker turned documentary director continues to find new ways to share her vision of the world; she regrets being too ill to attend a retrospective in Hong Kong, but has fond memories of visits in 1957 and 1989

French film legend Agnès Varda on Faces Places, her feminist vision, and visits to Hong Kong and China
At Cannes, two Chinese films show Hong Kong’s golden era of showbiz still plays a role in China’s cinema

While Hong Kong films are largely absent from the latest edition of the Cannes Film Festival, actors and singers from the city’s golden age of showbiz are very much present in two Chinese movies showing at the event

18 May 2018 - 8:08AM

While Hong Kong films are largely absent from the latest edition of the Cannes Film Festival, actors and singers from the city’s golden age of showbiz are very much present in two Chinese movies showing at the event

At Cannes, two Chinese films show Hong Kong’s golden era of showbiz still plays a role in China’s cinema
Young Chinese directors content with Cannes Film Festival debuts, whether they win or lose

For Wei Shujun and Shen Di, the memo that their films had been shortlisted for prizes at the prestigious film festival took a while to sink in

21 May 2018 - 10:28AM

For Wei Shujun and Shen Di, the memo that their films had been shortlisted for prizes at the prestigious film festival took a while to sink in

Young Chinese directors content with Cannes Film Festival debuts, whether they win or lose
The Spy Gone North: South Korean espionage thriller by Yoon Jong-bin reflects the new era of Korean politics

The Spy Gone North veers away from portraying North Koreans as scheming, cold-blooded killers, showing the need for peaceful engagement between the two countries and reflecting the new era of Korean politics

25 May 2018 - 5:31PM

The Spy Gone North veers away from portraying North Koreans as scheming, cold-blooded killers, showing the need for peaceful engagement between the two countries and reflecting the new era of Korean politics

The Spy Gone North: South Korean espionage thriller by Yoon Jong-bin reflects the new era of Korean politics