Shing Hon Lau

Shing Hon Lau – Yu huo fen qin Aka House of The Lute (1980)

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An adults-only entry to Hong Kong’s new-wave film movement, House of the Lute is elegant and engaging. The classy production is accompanied at all times by sounds of a lute – a dynamic instrument adding audio punctuation marks and exclamation points throughout the course of the story. A television set features prominently in the second half and adds interest. Aside from providing the advertising spiel for the famed Darkie toothpaste brand, the TV also brings additional issues to the screen. It appears no coincidence that a forced sex scene between Shek and a less-than-willing Mrs Lui plays against a news report of Hong Kong’s rising social ills, notably rape and murder. Later, a local farmer brushes aside books and smashes away antique pottery to better view the TV – akin to how Hong Kong has bulldozed heritage in its hurtling drive for urban modernity. House of the Lute lends itself well to retrospective viewing. Read More »