Hong Kong Feature
Cinema Hong Kong
Hong Kong cinema still projects an image of classic martial arts and prolific Triad flicks, with a few auteurs capturing the nuanced poetry of life in the former British colony. Inside the territory, however, silly romantic comedies with Canto-pop stars, gory/sexy ghost films, cheesy slapstick throwaways, and a handful of thoughtful independent films also populate the screens. It goes without saying that you can learn a lot about Hong Kong by watching its local flicks in situ.
Hong Kong International Film Festival. The annual Hong Kong International Film Festival brings together some of the finest film industry talent from all over the globe. The festival usually occurs in mid-May, offering two weeks worth of movie screenings, exhibitions, and seminars, some hosted by world-renowned actors and filmmakers. Hong Kong. 2970–3300. www.hkiff.org.hk.
A Night at the Movies
Except for children's and other niche-market films dubbed in Cantonese, all non-English-language films have both Chinese and English subtitles. For showtimes and theaters, check the websites of the movie chains or theaters directly, where you can usually see the seating chart updated in real time, before either booking online by credit card or buying your tickets at the counter later (all cinemas have assigned seating). Most cinemas offer a discount on morning shows or matinees.
Broadway Cinematheque. The train-station design of this art house has won awards; inside the foyer a departure board displays the showsings of primarily foreign and independent films, with a few Hollywood productions to round out the roster. You can read the latest reel-world magazines from around the globe at Kubrick, the café-bookshop next door, which also sells film books, comics, and other alternative literature. Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St., Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong. 2388–3188 ticketing hotline. www.cinema.com.hk. Yau Ma Tei.
Hong Kong Film Archive. Don't underestimate the popularity of old black-and-white films in a modern auditorium; it's best to buy your movie ticket in advance to avoid sold-out disappointment. The theater screen rare classics from the history of Hong Kong cinema and beyond, from the impressive archive of film reels and documents dating back several decades. Conscientiously curated film programs are accompanied by an exhibition in a separate gallery downstairs. 50 Lei King Rd., Sai Wan Ho, Eastern, Hong Kong. 2739–2139. www.filmarchive.gov.hk. Closed Tue. Sai Wan Ho.
Palace IFC. Large, cushy brown leather seats and ushers in black suits make this boutique cinema seem more like a private screening room than a multiplex. Five screens show new releases, foreign and independent films, and occasionally even restored celluloid classics. It's pricier than most picture houses, but also much classier. 1st fl., IFC Mall, 8 Finance St., Central, Hong Kong. 2388–6268. www.cinema.com.hk. Hong Kong or Central.
JP Cinema. When it's good old popcorn action fare you're after, JP treats its patrons right, without the shopping-mall multiplex madness. Past the snack bar you'll enter one of two theaters equipped with panoramic screens, surround sound, and a combined total of 658 red-cushioned seats. It even projects 3-D movies digitally at 4K super-high resolution. Hollywood and Asian action thrillers, epic adventures, and blockbuster comedies rule the lineup. As you come up out of Causeway Bay MTR exit E, walk left and watch for the giant posters. 22–36 Paterson St., Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. 2881–5005; 3413–6688 booking. www.mclcinema.com. Causeway Bay.
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