Press Release

The 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival presents
SHAKESPEARE's Macbeth in three different interpretations
and the stunning 4K restored Bruce LEE classics

Feb 5, 2016

5 February 2016 (Hong Kong) – The 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival will mark the 400thanniversary of SHAKESPEARE’s death with ‘SHAKESPEARE Lives in Film’, a special programme showcasing three very different interpretations of Macbeth, with KUROSAWA Akira's Throne of Blood(1957), Roman POLANSKI's The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971) and Justin KURZEL's Macbeth (2015).

Macbeth has challenged filmmakers around the world as they have reimagined the interplay of fate and magic, human motivations and soul-wrenching questions of loyalty and destiny.  Yet, the violence at the heart of the play, with battles, beheadings and assassinations, also imposes demands on actors and audiences as powerful as the poetry of the Bard’s composition.

KUROSAWA Akira’s Throne of Blood, featuring an unforgettable performance by MIFUNE Toshiro, is KUROSAWA at his very best.  He transposes the timeless tragedy into the world of samurai, taking audiences into the heart of this powerful drama and experiencing it anew.

The Tragedy of Macbeth is a powerful vision from Polish filmmaker Roman POLANSKI. Some took offence at the violence and nudity of the film, while others noted subtle manipulations to SHAKESPEARE’s play that allowed Ross, a minor character, to reframe our reading.

Australian director Justin KURZEL’s stunning Macbeth offers a new exploration of the medievalism of costume and custom.  Michael FASSBENDER’s magnetic performance meets its match in Marion COTILLARD, who once again impresses as she crosses language and culture.

The Hong Kong International Film Festival will present additional films based on SHAKESPEARE’s plays in its Cine Fan April/May programme.

HKIFF40 will also present Bruce LEE classics in a stunning new digital format.  The films – The Big Boss(1971), Fist of Fury (1972), The Way of the Dragon (1972) and The Game of Death (1978) – have been digitally restored in 4K, and the martial-arts legend has never looked better.

The Big Boss announced LEE’s second coming in Hong Kong: his first megahit after years of meticulous martial-arts preparation in America.  LEE unveils his supercharged athleticism, the shrieks, and lightning-fast strikes when he metes out justice.  The Little Dragon amped up his game with Fist of Fury, grabbing his nunchaku and vaulting into period kung-fu for this exhilarating epic.  His patriotic Chinese knight-errant is unyielding as he toys with his targets and then thrashes them to bits.

With his fame larger than ever, LEE took on the added roles of director, writer and producer for The Way of the Dragon.  LEE’s final fight with Chuck Norris at the Coliseum in Rome is one of the most memorable scenes in film history.  Production on The Game of Death was put on hold when LEE answered Hollywood’s call for Enter the Dragon.  Assembled later, Game gathers LEE’s finished takes, adds stand-ins and recycles footage.  The highlight of LEE in his trademark yellow jumpsuit delivers the legend’s most enduring image.

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About The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF)
The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is one of Asia’s most reputable platforms for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers from all over the world to launch new works and experience outstanding films.

Screening over 280 titles from more than 50 countries in over 10 major cultural venues across the territory, the Festival is Hong Kong’s largest cultural event that reaches an audience of over 600,000.

Committed to discovering new talent, the Festival premieres the breadth of Chinese cinema and showcases Asian talents. As a lifestyle event, festival-goers can enjoy world-class films, attend seminars hosted by leading filmmakers from around the world, visit film exhibitions, join celebration parties, and more.

The Festival draws extensive media coverage from over 500 local and international press members and continues to grow in importance as one of the premier platforms to launch films in Asia. HKIFF40 will be held from 21 March to 4 April 2016.

About The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS)
The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited (HKIFFS) is a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organisation dedicated to the discovery and promotion of creativity in the art and culture of film.

The Society is committed to making world cinema accessible and affordable to the public. It organises the annual flagship Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and the Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) in March and April. Another annual highlight is the Summer International Film Festival (Summer IFF) held every August. Besides, the HKIFF Cine Fan Programme was launched in April 2013 with the aim to enrich and deepen the experience of Hong Kong moviegoers, the monthly programme features a variety of curate contemporary, retrospective and thematic showcases.

Passionately believing in the power of films to unite cultures and generations, the HKIFFS is devoted to giving thousands of film lovers around the region direct access to the world’s most inspired films all year round.

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