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“Great films, hard seats and small theater”

Hong Kong Film Archive
Reviewed February 3, 2013

If you love films, then you will find a way to get to this place which is in an out of the way location for many in Hong Kong. But I have made the trip many times. If there is something showing you want to see, be sure to book it immediately or it may be sold out.

2  Thank moniker11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 - 14 of 22 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2012

The Hong Kong Film Archive is located in Sai Wan Ho, a fair trek from the familiar tourist districts of Central, Admiralty and Wan Chai. It's not exactly a Hong Kong tourist attraction, per se. In all honesty, there's really no reason to go and visit the "museum" unless you're heading to the Archive to attend a film screening. (It's a large room with an ever-changing display of some aspect of Hong Kong's cinematic heritage.)

However, if you're a movie lover, you'll be wise to look into the screening schedule during your time in Hong Kong. If you do buy tickets, definitely arrive a few minutes early to poke your head into the current exhibit, or stop by after the movie is over. English translations are always provided, although the focus will probably be on something that is not particularly interesting to Western audiences.

The real reason to come here is for the wonderful movies:

The first Sunday of every month, the HKFA screens a "restored treasure" which is generally a well-known classic of world cinema. Past treasures have included movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Day for Night, Singin' in the Rain, All About Eve and Twenty Four Eyes. The country of origin, as well as the genre and year, vary greatly. You can find a list of upcoming "treasures" on the HKFA website (http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/ce/CulturalService/filmprog/english/programmes.html).

There are also retrospective mini-film festivals focusing on particular directors, periods or stars. A few years ago, there was a Hitchcock tribute which saw screenings of nearly all of the Master's films, both famous and forgotten. Last year, a dual tribute was paid to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. This year, the festival focuses on German expressionists F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang, including both their European and American works. You can check out the latest info on the HKFA website.

There is also an annual "Critic's Choice" program, where local critics select films along a certain theme, and screen them at the Archive. The screening schedule is often spread out over many months, so check to see what's showing when you're in town.

Finally, there are other programs focusing on classic and contemporary local films. Again, the website contains all the necessary information, but always double check that a particular Chinese film is being screened with English subtitles. This is usually, but not always, the case.

Tickets for all of these programs can be purchased online at Urbtix or at any Urbtix counter in Hong Kong. If you want to try your luck, you can just show up and buy a ticket at the HKFA box office, but don't be surprised if all seats are gone. There is a "standing room" policy that allows you to show up 30 minutes before a schedule screening and buy a ticket to stand in the back of the cinema. If there are any empty seats (no-shows) you will be seated by a staff member.

Also keep in mind, more popular films sometimes get an additional screening in TST in the Science Museum Lecture Hall. If you don't feel like venturing to Sai Wan Ho, look to see if there is a screening in this more convenient venue.

3  Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

This is basically a very very tiny museum (one room total). We thought it would have a great deal on the HK film industry. Also, they play movies only on certain days of the month.

I would not recommend very highly.

Thank snod73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

During 40s 50s 60s Hong Kong looks nothing like today, most people were struggling to make a living, life was poor and simple, the only entertainment is the cheaply made Cantonese movies, theatres are everywhere in those days, of course there are few mentionable piece, but mostly about family life tough time, Kung Fu story etc, regular show
of those productions, attendance are low, old folks don't want to remind of the tough
time, the young generalation, care less, so what keep it open is a mystery?

Thank hkvisitor1997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2017
Google Translation

Thank kimnowitzki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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