Actor Chow Yun-fat says Hong Kong movies should revive spirit

Hong Kong star Chow Yun-fat said Thursday the Hong Kong movie industry needs to make efforts to reflect its own spirit in films despite China's strict censorship to revive its once-thriving industry.

Chow, who led the golden era of Hong Kong cinema in the 1980s, made the remark after he was awarded with the Asian Filmmaker of the Year at the Busan International Film Festival, which opened in the southeastern port city Wednesday.

"We have a lot of censorship requirements in mainland China. Scripts must go to many departments. So, we must have clear and direct situations in scripts," Chow said in English during a press conference. "Honestly, we will try our best to make movies with Hong Kong spirit. This is our goal."

The 68-year-old said the Hong Kong film industry has witnessed many changes in the filmmaking process following Britain's handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

"We have to pay attention to our government and (its) direction. Otherwise, it will be hard to get the money to make movies. The mainland market is so huge," he said.

The actor, affectionately called "Big Brother," said it is inspiring to see the global rise of Korean movies, touting their wide spectrum of subjects.

"I think the competitive edge of the Korean cinema lies in its freedom. I highly think of their broad range of subjects and freedom in creation," Chow said. "Sometimes I even wonder, 'Can they cover such stories?'"

Over the course of his 50-year career, the beloved star has appeared in approximately 100 films in various genres, best known for his roles in John Woo's gangster film "A Better Tomorrow" (1986) and Ang Lee's Oscar-winning film "The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000).

Although there were ups and down in his career, Chow said there are no regrets but just lessons learned from his acting that allowed him to experience a much bigger world than Lamma Island, his hometown.

"Growing up in a small village until 10 years old and debuting at 18, I didn't spend much time at school. I learned a lot about the world while filming movies. Playing the role of other people taught me a lot of lessons," Chow said. "It is hard to imagine Chow Yun-fat without films."

During the film festival, Chow's latest film "One More Chance," where he plays a pathological gambler who tries to connect with his autistic son, as well as "A Better Tomorrow" (1986) and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000), will be screened in the special section dedicated to his acting career.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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