Hong Kong’s love of cinema is undeniable. For decades, it’s been an international film hub, developing one of the world’s most respected filmmaking traditions, as well as a keen consumer of movies from across the globe. From hordes of eager teenagers keen to watch the latest martial arts spectacular to couples taking in the latest Hollywood blockbuster, heading to the big screen is a popular pastime.
It’s not just blockbusters, though. Hong Kong has long held a love of the arthouse, too. And it’s this tradition that MOViE MOViE, which hosts a special Life is Art pop-up cinema at ArtisTree in September, has looked to nurture over the years.
MOViE MOViE, founded in 2012 by Broadway Cinematheque to celebrate its 20th anniversary, was set up as an alternative film channel, allowing people watch arthouse films from the comfort of their homes.
“The creation of MOViE MOViE has meant that award-winning arthouse gems have become more accessible to a wider audience,” explains Joycelyn Choi, general manager of the company. “We handpick a selection of quality, arthouse films from all over the world, and we’ve found that in Hong Kong, these films are well received.”
“Art house movies generally refer to films that are not sensationally driven, or dominated by special effects,” says Gary Mak, managing director of MOViE MOViE. “They are inspiring, accessible and feature stories that can occur in our daily lives. They are not there to entertain you, but to engage you. They can be small foreign movies or local independent films, usually shown in a limited number of cinemas.”
Life is Art runs at ArtisTree from 5 to 15 September, with both lunchtime and happy hour screenings. And for the collaboration, MOViE MOViE expert film team have selected a programme that reflects ArtisTree’s versatility as a diverse, multi-platform arts space.
“ArtisTree is a hub for the arts and a versatile space with unlimited possibilities, so we focused on featuring the many faces of different art forms,” Choi explains. “MOViE MOViE also celebrates the beauty of interdisciplinary art forms, in our case, through film.”
The programme reflects a rich array of art forms, from the contemporary art realm (Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
) to ballet (Bolshoi Babylon; Reset
) to musicals (Suicide Shop
). Life is Art also features a collection of microfilms from new local directors, which Choi says “reflect the innovation of new local talents”.
It’s hoped that the collaboration will attract both film aficionados and arthouse novices alike, and change the way they think about seeing a film. “We want Life is Art attendees to see watching movies as an active experience, rather than a passive act of consumption, so we’re looking to provide a real sense of immersion,” says Choi. “Ultimately we are trying to create a community,” Choi says, “a friendly environment for people to exchange ideas; a holistic and diversified experience.”
The stint at ArtisTree will be followed by a MOViE MOViE cinema launch at Cityplaza, something Choi hopes will be a “lifestyle-driven cinema space where people can go to relax and be inspired”.
Like ArtisTree, diversity, innovation and accessibility are all key buzzwords for MOViE MOViE, as is its positioning as a global arts platform. “Hong Kong is such a vibrant metropolis,” Mak says. “Our lifestyle keeps abreast with world trends and we’re no longer content with the traditional cinema offerings. For Hongkongers, we might live here but our mind-set is global. It’s a positive thing. Diversity leads to innovation and openness, which are necessary in the making of art.”
Life is Art pop-up cinema is at ArtisTree from 5 to 15 September. Click here for the full programme.
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