HK Magazine - - CULTURE - Com­piled by Jessica Wei jessica.wei@hk­mag­me­dia.com

HK Mag­a­zine: What can you tell us about “The Pos­ter­ist”?

Hui See-wai: It’s a bi­og­ra­phy doc­u­men­tary about Mr. Yuen Taiyung, a Chi­nese artist known for the cre­ation of more than 200 iconic Hong Kong movie posters. Th­ese posters in­clude many films from Bruce Lee, Hui broth­ers, Jackie Chan, Stephen Chow; kung fu, com­edy, you name it. They’re mainly from the 70s and 80s, and some from the 90s.

HK: Your fa­ther, Michael Hui, is a fa­mous film­maker and ac­tor, and part of the le­gendary Hui Broth­ers. Did your fam­ily work with Mr. Yuen?

HS: Ac­tu­ally, my fa­ther and my un­cles are the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Mr. Yuen’s work, be­cause Mr. Yuen drew posters for 17 of their movies back in the 70s and 80s. I think eight or 10 of them were num­ber one box of­fice hits in Hong Kong.

HK: What sig­nif­i­cance does your fa­ther play in the film?

HS: They had met once, 40 years ago. Mr. Yuen kept a photo of that meet­ing, when they first col­lab­o­rated on their first movie poster back in 1975. Mr. Yuen shared it with me last year and I was en­thralled by the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the film di­rec­tor and the movie poster artist, who de­spite only meet­ing once had col­lab­o­rated on 17 movies. I ar­ranged a sec­ond meet­ing be­tween the two of them, which I cap­tured in my doc­u­men­tary.

HK: How did you feel mak­ing the film, know­ing your fam­ily had this con­nec­tion with Mr. Yuen?

HS: It was very per­sonal to me, very sen­ti­men­tal. I’m very grate­ful to Mr. Yuen, and so is my whole fam­ily. My film is very much a trib­ute to him.

HK: Have you al­ways worked in film?

HS: I owned and ran a chain of cafes and dessert restau­rants in China for 10 years. Two years ago I started vis­it­ing Hong Kong to sort out fam­ily busi­ness. One of the projects was to clean old film nega­tives. Most of them were over 40 years old. They were faded and rot­ten, ba­si­cally un­rec­og­niz­able. I cleaned them, scanned them in, re­stored each frame us­ing soft­ware, and we re­leased them as a Blu-Ray boxset. I made a short doc­u­men­tary about that pro­cess. It was a priv­i­lege to be able to take this old stuff and make it new again for the next gen­er­a­tion.

HK: Has it changed how you see Hong Kong cinema?

HS: The one thing I learned most was to ap­pre­ci­ate the art of it. At that time th­ese films were come­dies and block­busters. When we re­watch them, they carry a com­pletely dif­fer­ent sen­ti­ment. It’s a piece of Hong Kong her­itage.

Hui See-wai is the di­rec­tor of “The Pos­ter­ist,” a doc­u­men­tary about the long-lost art of hand-painted movie posters in Hong Kong. He tells Jessica Wei about his film­mak­ing fam­ily, Hong Kong cinema and the sub­ject of his film, the artist Yuen Tai-yung.

See “The Pos­ter­ist” at the Movie Movie:

Life is Art Fes­ti­val on Aug 28,

2pm. Broad­way Cine­math­eque, 3 Pub­lic Square St., Yau Ma Tei. Artist Yuen Tai-yung paints Bruce Lee

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