Hong Kong’s film industry has been affected by the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. Many people have lost stability and income due to the pandemic. Film production has also been suspended.
The 40th Hong Kong Film Awards, Hong Kong’s representation of Hollywood’s Oscars, took place earlier in July at the Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Center after several delays during the pandemic.
It was the first time everyone in Hong Kong’s film industry had come together since the pandemic began. Comedy pioneer Michael Hui has shared his feelings for Hong Kong and his late brother after accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award for his incomparable contribution to comedy.
prelude of laughter
Throughout his 40-year acting career, Michael has had many cinematic achievements. He, along with his younger brothers, Stanley Hui, Sam Hui and Ricky Hui, were the first brother act in Hong Kong. The Hui brothers were eventually crowned as pioneers of comedy and musical productions. Many older Hong Kongers would agree that they grew up with their movies or music, a traditional art of canto lost after the 90s.
Michael Hui has been a director, producer, actor, and screenwriter since the 1970s. Michael, Sam, and Ricky were regulars at breaking box office records for nearly two decades, beginning in the 1970s.
Michael first came onto the scene in 1972 as a television actor. Michael was invited to the big screen by movie mogul Run Run Shaw.
Michael joined Shaw’s Production the same year for the film “The Warlord”. He made his first appearance in “The Warlord” as a satirical comedy actor. His film debut grossed over HK$3 million (US$380,000), the third best-selling film of 1972.
Michael was the first actor in Cantonese films to address social affairs and the gap between rich and poor with humor. His films contrasted low-income citizens with the city’s wealthy.
His younger brother Sam Hui would later become the god of songs. Sam wrote music about society and reflected his love and hope for Hong Kong. The audience felt the comfort they needed in the midst of societal hardships and problems.
If the Hui brothers starred in a movie together, it would be guaranteed to break box office records.
During his acceptance speech, Michael first thanked his three brothers, Stanley (2nd), Ricky (3rd) and the youngest, Sam. “For many years they were the backbone of my system. Support. Without a word or hesitation. He smiled.
He recalled what his little brother, the late Ricky Hui, would say publicly to mock his tough character, “Of course, no one dares to say anything. Michael is a smart, stubborn, naughty little ass He’s not listening, so let him talk.
Michael, when he spoke of Ricky, was full of humility: “Ricky went to heaven. But I know he’s here with me tonight, in spirit.
He continued to affirm his late brother’s support while looking up at the sky: “Everything you said, Ricky, all the criticism you gave me was right. I really couldn’t have done this without you. I know you are here tonight watching over me. I miss you so much. I like you. I love you. This prize is primarily yours.
Hong Kong’s first-ever Best Actor has expired.
The legend of the Hui
The four Hui brothers were born in Guangzhou in the 1950s but later moved to Hong Kong. They completed their education in the colonial academy system.
While Stanley remained behind the scenes, the other three “were meant” to be on screen, as some citizens put it.
After Sam and Michael graduated from college, they joined Ricky on the movie screen.
From there, the three Hui brothers were on their way to stardom and impacted the lives of Hong Kongers.
They got used to breaking box office records starting in 1972.
“Games Gamblers Play” was the first film that Michael teamed up with his brother Sam Hui as an actor, screenwriter and director.
“Games Gamblers Play” grossed $140 million, making history the most successful film since Hong Kong became a trading port.
Hui Brother’s film achieved the highest-grossing cinematic revenue and beat Bruce Lee’s at the time.
In 1974, Michael founded his own film company, the Hui Film Company, with the film “Golden Harvest” with his brothers Ricky and Sam. Between 1974 and 2000, he created more than 20 comedy films.