After two difficult years with the pandemic, we could all do with a bit of fun and some good old-fashioned comedy as we enter 2022. Fortunately, the Asian Film Archive (AFA) has lined up a couple of comedy programmes that will inject a healthy dose of humour in your lives.
This January 2022, come together and celebrate one of cinema’s most pleasurable genres as the Asian Film Archive presents a curated programme featuring ten films across five decades and eight countries.
From the slapstick and deadpan, to the satirical and surreal, expect a delightful assortment of comic stylings to tickle your senses — hahaha: a season of comedy screens exclusively at Oldham Theatre from 7 January to 27 February 2022.
hahaha: a season of comedy
For fans of Asian comedy, this is the opportunity to catch some true classics of Asian cinema. This includes, Pendekar Bujang Lapok (The Bachelor Warriors). The bujang lapok (‘over-aged bachelors’) comic quadrilogy was produced by Shaw Brothers’ Malay Film Productions and directed by P. Ramlee between 1957-1961.
The films feature the iconic recurring characters Ramli, Aziz and Sudin (played by P. Ramlee, S. Shamsuddin and Aziz Sattar respectively) as they spread mischief and mayhem across a variety of scenarios. Also on show is Summer Snow (Hong Kong).
Winner of the Best Actress and Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1995 and sweeping the Golden Horse and Hong Kong Film Awards that year, Summer Snow is Hong Kong director Ann Hui’s domestic drama that captures the realities of being a middle-aged woman in 90s Hong Kong with touches of levity.
Tickets and details hahaha: a season of comedy are available at Asian Film Archive.
Restored: Cheerful Wind
Restored is a regular series showcasing Asian films that have been meticulously preserved and restored by different institutions from across the world. The platform revisits these classics in a new light and allows them to be appreciated by new generations of audiences.
Previously, Restored had featured Singaporean cult classics such as They Call Her… Cleopatra Wong (1978) and They Call him Chop Suey (1975), and pioneering Sri Lankan film Bambaru Avith (The Wasps are Here, 1978).
This year, the honour is bestowed to Cheerful Wind (Taiwan, 1982, Hou Hsiao-hsien). Before achieving international acclaim and being widely-recognised as one of the leading auteurs of New Taiwanese Cinema, Hou Hsiao-hsien made Cheerful Wind (Taiwan, 1982, PG). Written and directed by Hou in the early 1980s and crafted for commercial appeal, the light-hearted romance stars pop idols Feng Fei-fei, Kenny Bee and Anthony Chan (the latter two, members of popular Cantopop band The Wynners), and was a box office hit at the time.
The film opens on the Pescadores Islands where Lo-zai is directing a silly laundry detergent advertisement, with his camera assistant and girlfriend, Hsing-hui. When blind man Chin-tai wanders onto the set, Hsing-hui, being drawn to him, casts him as an on-screen talent. The two meet again in Taipei, where they forge a friendship which soon blossoms into romance.
Cheerful Wind was digitally restored in 2K by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (TFAI) and IMAGICA Lab and overseen by the director himself in 2018. The film screens at Oldham Theatre from 15 January to 4 February 2022.
Get tickets here.
(Hero image: credit: Star Alliance Movies (HK) Co. Ltd.)