Cantonese Cinema Digital Archive 粵語電影資料庫

Cantonese Cinema Digital Archive 粵語電影資料庫

Cantonese Cinema (1949 – 1969)

The “Missing Period in Cantonese Cinema” is a digital archive project dedicated to the collection and categorisation of primary sources on Cantonese-language films, including film titles, production details, genre description, advertisement, newspaper reports and film reviews. Funded by a General Research Grant (GRF) of the Research Grant Council, the present collection presents a bilingual searchable database that covers the period 1949 – 1960. During the process of data-mining, the research team has discovered over 300 film titles that are either not listed on existing databases, or in scattered fragments that need verification and consolidation. Copies of these films may no longer exist, but the discovery of evidence of their theatrical release will contribute toward a more complete filmography of Cantonese cinema.

These “missing titles” are based on extensive data-mining undertaken by the research team since 2016. Brief summaries of the content of film advertisements, announcements, and film reviews are also included where practicable to shed light on how films and film genres were described and promoted in publicity materials. These are original findings that will contribute to future research on the Cantonese film culture at the time, and how films were branded by film companies and received by their contemporary audience and film critics.

Cantonese Cinema (1970 – 1997)

As the Hong Kong society began to recover from the repercussions of the 1967 riots, Cantonese film production entered a new phase in the 1970s, when Mainland China was caught in the midst of the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). The seventies can be seen as a critical transition to what is now commonly known as the “golden era” of Hong Kong cinema in the 1980s, which saw the coming of age of the Hong Kong New Wave and the unprecedent growth of the film industry.

As a continuation of the “Missing Period in Cantonese Cinema (1949-1969)” project, Cantonese Cinema (1970 – 1997) presents a digital archive of film reviews, media reports, and commentaries on films and filmmakers. The most important primary source is the City Entertainment magazine (formerly known as Film Bi-weekly), which used to be the leading film magazine in Hong Kong. Founded in 1979, the magazine used to be an authoritative voice in film journalism and high quality film reviews. It was also a nurturing ground for local film critics and film audience since the 1980s. Cantonese Cinema (1970 – 1997) is a streamlined keyword searchable database that provides researchers a convenient, at-a-glance index to City Entertainment’s film reviews, interviews, and reports on filmmakers and the film industry. By entering or clicking on a film title, the user will see a complete list of entries with the article’s title, author’s name, issue number, page(s), and a short summary of the content. We hope that the Cantonese Cinema Digital Archive (1 & 2) can serve as a convenient tool for researchers on Hong Kong cinema.