Hold You Tight

HONG KONG / 1998 / Cantonese, English / Color / 35mm (1:1.85) / 96 min

Director: Stanley Kwan
Screeenplay: Jimmy Ngai
Kwan Pun-Leung
Editor: Maurice Li
Production Designer: Bruce Yu
Cast: Chingmy Yau, Sunny Chan, Eric Tsang
Producer: Raymond Chow
Production Company: Kwan's Creation Workshop
No. 15, 1/F, LionRock Rd., Kowlooncity, Kln., HONG KONG
Phone: 852-2383-0267 / Fax: 852-2794-3709
Source: Pony Canyon Inc., Omega Project Inc.

Stanley Kwan

Film director. Born in 1957 in Hong Kong. After studying communications at Hong Kong Baptist College, Kwan joined a television station as an apprentice actor. He soon moved to the production division and worked as an assistant director for Ann Hui, Yim Ho, and other directors who would become New Wave Hong Kong cinema. Kwan directed his first feature, Women ("Nuren Xin") in 1985. He was soon recognized as one of the leading film directors in Hong Kong known for sensitive portrayals of female characters. In 1991 his film Actress ("Ruan Ling Yu") won actress Maggie Cheung the Silver Bear for Best Actress in the 1992 Berlin Film Festival. After Red Rose, White Rose ("Hong Meigui Bai Meigui") he temporarily withdrew from feature filmmaking and devoted himself to theater projects, experimental shorts, and documentaries, Yang +/- Yin: Gender in Chinese Cinema ("Nan Sheng Nu Xiang," 1996), and A Personal Memoir of Hong Kong: Still Love You After All These ("Nian Ni Rushi," 1997), screened as a Special Invitation Film at YIDFF '97. This last film permitted him to examine his own roots and sexual identity. Many regard his 1998 film Hold You Tight as indicative of a new direction in Kwan's career. He is currently working on Tale of an Island, as part of "Y2K" project, a joint venture with Edward Yang and Iwai Shunji.

Hong Kong, 1997. A mainland-born computer software designer and his wife. A Taiwanese boy who feels a strong and inexplicable attraction to the programmer but ends up making love to his wife. Then there is an affable gay Hong Kong-born real estate agent. The Taiwanese boy returns to Taipei and meets a woman who looks exactly like the programmer's wife. All these lives intertwine. Images as fragments of lives are freed from melodramatic chronology and put together following the protagonists' emotions. After experience in theater, with experimental shorts, and making two documentaries which allowed him to look back to his own roots and identity, Stanley Kwan has attained an astonishing simplicity, frankness and honesty in describing modern people confused with their love: each of them trying to see him/herself as he/she really is—to regain peace, a relationship with oneself as well as with others. It is also a spiritual, and phychological document about what Hong Kong's 1997 historical transition has meant to its people.

Juror's Statement
Last Year I had a wonderful experience in Israel as a member of the jury for the Jerusalem Film Festival. The documentary films I saw there were a revelation—fascinating subjects and innovative forms of expression by young filmmakers. As I watched these films, it struck me that I had missed two things during all my years of directing films.
First, I realized how under-informed I am about what's going on in different parts of the world. Directors like me who most often make fiction films find it all too easy to narrow our focus down to the worlds we create on screen. It's always salutary to be reminded that there is a real world out there.
Second, I realized how our energy level changes as time goes by. It's not at all unusual to find new and inspiring elements in work by young filmmakers. But the creative energy which young filmmakers bring to their work can all too easily diminish with time, often without the filmmaker him/herself even being consciously aware of it. If someone asked me to film Love Unto Waste again now, I probably wouldn't be able to do it in the way I did when I made that film in 1986. It's invaluable for an experienced, practiced director to be confronted by new and inspiring ideas from younger talents.
My experiences in Jerusalem broadened my vision and helped me to reassess myself as a filmmaker. I hope and expect that the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival will give me similar experiences, and I hope that everyone who attends the festival will feel as I do about the work of young documentarists today.

COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee