Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Contract (1978)

The Contract (1976)

September 16th, 7:00PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Michael Hui plays a bumbling, rarely used actor/extra working under the yoke of an abusive long term contract that he has signed with a fictitious Hong Kong television network. Now he has been offered a more lucrative position with another network, but the catch is he hast to nullify his current contract before he can take the job. But in the dehumanized world of network politics a contract is a contract.
The Hui Brothers were the undisputed kings of Hong Kong comedy throughout the 1970's, and The Contract has all the elements that make for a great Hui film. A script penned by Michael Hui and loaded with bitting satire, a great opening comedy theme composed and preformed by Sam Hui and enjoyable performances all around. Like many Michel Hui scripted films, much of the comedic subject matter springs from real life social or economic problems that existed in Hong Kong at the time. In this case examining the network wars that were continually going on between TVB and ATV among others.
The brothers were and still are closely linked to television. They first came to prominence in the late 1960's with their Hui Brothers variety show. The show was similar in tone to American series such as The Smothers Brothers or Laugh In, in that it dealt with hot button issues of the day with an eye towards the common people.
Each of the brothers went on to make a considerable name for themselves. Michael Hui as a comic actor and director of bitting satire, Sam Hui as the eternally popular originator of modern Cantopop (Cantonese pop songs) and Ricky Hui as a solid character actor with a comic bent. But it is together that they reached the greatest of heights. This series has previously shown The Private Eyes (1976), which is frequently regarded as their most iconic work. This slightly later film is a comedic masterpiece in its own right and it sure to delight the tastes of many.
Hong Kong, Director Michael Hui Koon-Man, Cast Michael Hui Koon-Man, Samuel Hui Koon-Kit, Ricky Hui Koon-Ying, Tiffany Bao, Ellen Lau, Yeung Wai, Cheng Fu Hung, 96 minutes, in Cantonese with English subtitles

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