Hongkong film industry is popular all over the world and particularly in East and South-East Asia. Hong Kong movie products can be viewed in theatres and video shelves in places like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China and South Korea. In Japan too, Hong Kong cinema has exerted its influence. Even in the West, Hong Kon cinema has penetrated and influenced Western film-makers.
In early days, Shanghai was the capital of the Chinese speaking world. Those days the movies were based on Chinese Opera, which was the major form of entertainment for the Chinese. Gradually, some creative sort of people in Hong Kong too started making movies.
World War I Days
Cinema-making came to virtual halt in the days of the First World War. However, in post-war days, the creative work began again. After the communist victory in China in 1949, Hong Kong became the centre of Chinese-language cinema.
Early Hongkong can be bifurcated into two parallel cinemas: Mandarin and Cantonese. Mandarin movies were watched by mainland emigres, while the audience of the Cantonese films were the natives of Hong Kong. In 1963, the British colonial government made it mandatory for all film-makers to give subtitles of all films in English. This helped movies to gain popularity all over the world.
Golden Harvest Studio
Golden Harvest Studio was formed in 1970. The Studio worked with several rising performers. The Studio played a major role in the careers of Hong Kong movie legends like Bruce Lee, the Hui brothers and Jackie Chan.
Content of Hongkong movies changed rapidly with rest of the world. Softcore erotica and social-issue dramas became the subjects of the films.
Early 90s saw the evolution of Hong Kong film industry as a full-fledged cinema of international level, on the level of Hollywood and Bollywood. Hong Kong cinema makers were specially fond of special effects technology. Action, comedy, supernatural, almost every type of movie was made.
» First Hong Kong feature film Zhuangzi Tests His Wife was made in 1913.
» Liang Shobo is known as 'Father of Hongkong Cinema'.
» Tang Shu Shuen, was Hong Kong's first noted woman director, making films, The Arch (1970) and China Behind (1974).
» Bruce Lee
» Hui Brothers
» Jackie Chan