Even if 2003 is not yet over, there is an important fact to add in any decent summary of the year: the co-productions between Hong Kong and China. This ineluctable evolution is becoming more and more official, as we were able to see when a delegation of 100 important personnalities of HK cinema (including Louis Koo, Lau Ching-Wan, Derek Yee, Joey Yung, Jackie Chan, etc... ) went to China to meet the highest political personnalities in Mainland China and talk about the future of the "chinese" movie industry. But there is another important market for HK cinema: Taiwan, which was in the past one of the most important sources of box office for HK movies. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China. All chinese countries, but still quite different on many aspects.
In 2002, director Teddy Chen (famous for some action movies like Purple Storm or Accidental Spy) creates his own studio, Jin Chuan Pictures, whose purpose is to produce Chinese movies, without any consideration of the place where it's made. By using the skills and talents from the three chinese countries, the studio wants to find a good compromise between commercial and art movies.
After a first production which can be considered as more taiwanese (Twenty Something Tapei), the first "chinese" production of Jin Chuan is arriving. Hidden Track is the second movie of the director Aubrey Lam, whose first movie Twelve Nights caught some attention 3 years ago. Aubrey comes back with a new concept, the journey of a young chinese girl through music and men. Hidden Track is the typical kind of movie that Jin Chuan wants to produce: a leading actress from China (Popo), an HKgese male cast (Shawn Yu and Daniel Wu), and the guest appearance of taiwanese superstar Jay Chou. Will Hidden Track stands out in the middle of the conventional HK romantic movies? The answer will be given on HK screens on the 13th of November and soon on DVDs...
But Hidden Track is not the only point of interest about Jin Chuan Pictures. The huge project Dark October is reaching the end of its pre-production, after being postponed because of the SARS crisis. This period martial art movie will focus on 4 days of 1905 when the life of Dr Sun Yat-Sen was threatened by the Ching Dynasty in Hong-Kong. Five martial arts experts will then team up to protect him. Dark October is clearly one of the biggest projects of 2004 in HK, and will decide of the future of Jin Chuan Pictures. Teddy Chen is betting his career on this project, with its big budget (more than 50 millions HK$), impressive set recreating different places of the 1905 Hong Kong, 500 shots of SFX, and a solid cast (Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Eric Tsang, Ekin Cheng, Chang Cheh, Eason Chan...). With one half of drama and one half of action, Dark October should be one of the projects to follow in 2004.
Cinemasie invites you to discover more about those two movies through to the interviews we had with Aubrey Lam and Teddy Chen. We wish them good luck for both projects and salute the efforts of Jin Chuan Pictures to create interesting projects.