More than two decades after beginning work on what would become his 1997 Trilogy, Fruit Chan’s ambitious series-starting “Made in Hong Kong” is finally gearing up for its very first U.S. release. Metrograph Pictures is rolling out a brand new 4K restoration of the film, one of Hong Kong’s most beloved indies, bringing it to the big screen as it was first imagined by Chan.
In 2017, on the 20th anniversary of its release, “Made in Hong Kong” was restored by Italy’s Udine Far East Film Festival and, per an official release, was made “starting from the original camera negatives and working under the direct supervision of Fruit Chan and cinematographer O Sing-pui. The restoration is as authentic and true to the original film as possible.”
Per an official press release, the film is the “first independent film released in post-Handover Hong Kong, [and] director Fruit Chan’s atmospheric shoestring-budget character study is a rough-and-ready piece of work shot on grainy leftover 35mm short ends in the city’s overcrowded subsidized housing projects. The result is a tough, pessimistic film, a portrait of a city on the brink that follows the drifting of high school dropout and wannabe Triad tough Autumn Moon (Sam Lee, in a star-making role, opposite a largely non-professional cast), who sees little hope for his future or that of his home as a newly created Special Administrative Region within China.”
Over the years, “Made in Hong Kong” has drawn comparisons to other seminal works about disaffected youth, from “Rebel Without a Cause” to “Doom Generation” and “Unknown Pleasures.” The film was only Chan’s second, yet it went on to win the Best Picture Award at the 1998 Hong Kong Film Awards, along with racking up 13 other wins and 6 nominations. The film was also picked as the Hong Kong entry for what was then known as the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 71st Academy Awards, though it was not ultimately accepted as a nominee.
Metrograph Pictures will release the film in New York City on Friday, March 6, with a national rollout to follow. Check out a brand-new trailer for Chan’s restored film, available exclusively on IndieWire, below.