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Library Notice
From Romance at the West Chamber to Butterfly and Red Pear Blossoms : A chapter of Generation Mutation
從《西廂記》到《蝶影紅梨記》: 磨合世代中的一章
Mr. Sam HO, Programmer, Hong Kong Film Archive
The Centre for Humanities Research
15 April 2011
2:30 p.m.
15 April 2011
4:30 p.m.
2/F, Mini Theatre
Target Audience


Modern China can be read as an age of mutation and negotiation. In the face of traditions falling apart, different beliefs – the New and the Old, East and West, and contesting imported Western cultures – are recuperated, repudiated and negotiated in modern China. The Union Film Enterprise, which played a critical role in the history of Hong Kong cinema, is exactly the product of such mutation. The founding of the company can be attributed to a good number of reasons of great complexity, including the practitioners’ yearning for a breakthrough to negotiate the commercial and the aesthetic. The Union productions also incarnate the negotiation of different beliefs the Chinese experienced in the first half of the 20th century. Romance at the West Chamber the Union produced in 1956 and the following three Cantonese opera movies epitomize the creative transformation of the Union, and best exemplify the border-crossing of Cantonese opera and cinema. The Cantonese opera cinema thereafter experienced diverse developments, which were punctuated by the quality production of The Legend of Purple Hairpin and Red Pear Blossoms in 1959 as an enblematic synthesis of aesthetic and production concerns as well as different cultural beliefs.