Common Nonsense:Swordsman, alas, mole!

【明報專訊】Uncle Chor Yuen (楚原叔), veteran Hong Kong film director, has recently passed away at the age of 87, having witnessed and constituted the very contours of our Hong Kong film industry and history dissected by the alternating dominance of Mandarin and Cantonese films. The director survived the dissections! He started by making black and white Cantonese movies in his 20s. Many of them we saw not in the darkness of cinemas but in broad daylight accompanied by our television screens. When Cantonese movies faded out in the 70s, he made colourful custom martial arts films in which the swordsmen, when not crossing swords, spoke in Mandarin. It was then I acquired my first skill set of multitasking by fast-absorbing the subtitles while savouring the stream of images on the big screens. Then came the 80s which saw the sea change of everything ranging from the economy, film genres, popular culture to the zeitgeist. But Chor Yuen still managed to switch back to make a couple of Cantonese movies starring the very pop idols including our Leslie who's now eternal in our shared worship, memories and even the starry skies!