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Hu-Du-Men
   |     review    |     awards     |     availability     |
Josephine Siao in Hu-Du-Men
  
Year: 1996
Director: Shu Kei
Producer: Clifton Ko Chi-Sum
Writer: Raymond To Kwok-Wai
Cast: Josephine Siao Fong-Fong, Anita Yuen Wing-Yee, Daniel Chan Hiu-Tung, Chung King-Fai, Waise Lee Chi-Hung, Tam Sin-Hung, Siu Chung-Kwan, Michelle Wong Man, David Wu, To On-Yan, Lee See-Kei, Chiu Hung
The Skinny: A wonderful human drama that loses a little when it gets preachy. Otherwise, see this movie for its intelligence and for Josephine Siao's performance.
Review
by Kozo:
     Quick lesson: in Cantonese opera, the Hu-Du-Men (loosely translated as ďstage doorĒ) is the invisible line between stage and reality. Once the Hu-Du-Men is crossed, an actor ceases to be one person and becomes another person entirely.
     Josephine Siao is Sum, the aging star of an opera troupe, who specializes in playing men. Sum has mixed feelings over her familyís imminent emigration. Not helping things is the fact that some of the troupe are annoyed with the non-traditional vision of their new director (David Wu). Also, Sumís daughter is hanging out too much with a suspiciously tomboyish female friend, much to dadís vocal dismay.
     Sum is solicited for a potential apprentice: Yuk-Sheung (Anita Yuen), a talented but mousy young actress abused by her father, who disapproves of her relationship with a young med student in Singapore (Daniel Chan Hiu-Tung). Finally, Sumís long-lost female friend turns up with a real big shocker. But, thatís late in the film so I wonít reveal what happens.
     The loose plot and rather coincidental events are offset by intimate yet economical direction and an engaging, emotional performance by Josephine Siao. She is an amazing actress, and her performance is so good that one should see this film for that alone. Anita Yuen is fine in a controlled supporting performance, and Waise Lee lucks out in a great supporting role.
     Critically-acclaimed like nobody's business, Hu-Du-Men is unfortunately not without flaws. The script by Raymond To is typical To: intelligent and relevant, but also self-conscious to an almost maddening degree. A lot of verbal exposition weighs down the film's drama, and the political correctness issues discussed seem needless. Hu-Du-Men works best as a human drama—and as a showcase for Josephine Siao's undeniable screen presence. (Kozo 1996)
Awards:

16th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
Nomination - Best Picture
Nomination - Best Director (Shu Kei)
Nomination - Best Actress (Josephine Siao Fong-Fong)
Nomination - Best Screenplay (Raymond To Kwok-Wai)
Nomination - Best New Artist (Daniel Chan Hiu-Tung)
Nomination - Best Editing (Kwong Chi-Leung, Shu Kei)
3rd Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
Recommended Film

 
 

DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

 

image courtesy of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society

   
 
 
 
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