Friday, March 15, 2013

A Quick Trip To The Hong Kong Film Archive And My New Girlfriend

In an unbelievable stroke of luck, my 8 days in HK was a trip for the ages.  And here is one case in point.  Another one or two are to follow in later posts.  But, lets start with this one.  My HK itinerary was chock full of places to go and people to see, and surely on my dance card was a quick stop at the Hong Kong Film Archive.
We were stationed in Yau Ma Tei for our stay and usually tried to hit the pavement or MTR early for a full day of visiting.  Out early one morning for a trip and a full day to HK Island, our first stop was the HKFA in Sai Wan Ho.  It's a touch out of the way so we figured we would hit it first and then work our way back towards Central.  There was a King Hu retrospective going on at the Archives but unfortunately, there was no film showing on the day of our visit.  I at least wanted to go and check the joint out and to pick up a film book or two.  And that's exactly what I did.  

The Archives is just a short walk from the Sai Wan Ho MTR stop.  Maybe a few blocks.  Lucky for us (again, luck!) that the weather was amazing for the entire length of our stay.  It was a nice walk.  Upon entering, the Archive wasn't anything special.  My wife and I were the only ones there, aside from the security guard.  To be fair, it was only a few minutes after opening and on a weekday.  A bunch of film flyers were available to take, and I took.  All of them.  One room on the first level housed an art instillation that wasn't film related but actually the artwork of King Hu himself!  (Thanks YTSL)  So, after perusing the masters artwork, we made our way to the elevators to head up to the second floor where the King Hu film exhibit was stationed.  As the elevator doors opened, my wife and I stood aside to let the handful of people exit.  And as I smiled and slightly bowed my head at the exiting passengers, I did the double takes of all double takes.  Well, at least it was the double takes of all double takes since the previous double take of all double takes I had a few days earlier.  We'll get to that one in a future post. 

My legs instantly turned to wet noodles and my heart skipped several beats.  In a heat flash, I wasn't married anymore.  Instantly knowing that I knew who she was, a lovely ear to ear smile spread across her face as she slightly bowed her head, as I had done.  She, and her party, exited the elevator and walked on as my wife and I entered, and pressed the button for the second floor.  The doors closed and I shit my pants.  Clutching the walls and my wife's arm, I said, "Do you know who that was? Oh my god!  Holy shit!"  My wife is mostly clueless in the ways of HK cinema and, of course, had not the slightest clue.  "That was Cheng Pei-Pei!"
We got off of the elevator, my legs still gelatin.  We looked around the King Hu exhibit for maybe 5 seconds, none of it registering.  My wife, getting a kick out of me being a blubbering mess, coerced me back downstairs to try and get a picture or an autograph.  Back downstairs, swimming in sweat, we discovered Pei-Pei and her party looking at the art instillation.  Not wanting to bother her, we milled around the lobby like two sketchy dummies for about 15 minutes until she emerged.  I know that Pei-Pei can speak English, but I'm a wuss and asked my wife if she could ask her, in Mandarin, for a picture.  I'm more than a wuss.  A starstruck puss*.  Pei-Pei entered the lobby and my wife approached and kindly asked if she would take a picture with me.  She was more than happy to oblige this losers request, as you can see by the above pic. That smile!!!!  Love was in the air.  I was too nervous to talk to her or gush at how I'm such a big fan.  After the picture, I slightly bowed my head again, said thank you, and got the heck out of there.  Puss*.
I left the Archives floating on HK's polluted air.  I had stepped in shit with this chance meeting.  Was it luck?  Was it meant to be?  And Ms. Cheng was the 2nd actor I 'bumped' into on the trip.  Luck, man.  I tell ya.  Oh.  And I bought the two above books at the Archive.  Did I forget to mention that?


  1. You lucky dog! Now I know what starstruck looks like. ;D

  2. duriandave, it was kismet. I just had unbelievable luck on this trip. I met another actor as well. Stay tuned......

  3. Wow, what a great story. I went to HKFA to see a film, unfortunately I had to leave in the middle of the film because I was feeling sick. Not as good of a story, maybe next trip I will head over in the morning instead ... :)

  4. dude, I almost fell out of my chair when I saw you and Cheng Pei Pei! I'll pull my hair out if you ran into Angela Mao too! Your wifee does not know Cheng Pei Pei?!

  5. haha Thanks, everyone. It was just insane. I didn't meet Angela Mao, unfortunately. But another old schooler. I told my wife that Pei Pei was in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, of all movies, so she would know who she was. I am missing HK something terrible.

  6. Hi Kingwho? --

    Very cool re your meeting Cheng Pei Pei at the HK Film Archive.

    But wait, you missed the "Zen and Sensibility: Legend in King Hu's Drawings" exhibition at the HK Film Archive? I think that's the art installation you're referring to -- did you not know that the art works were by none other than King Hu?

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  8. Ok. So, I just mentioned this to my wife and she said that we DID know it was the artwork of King Hu because I was the one who pointed it out to her. I must have been so dumbstruck by Pei-Pei that I forgot?! Very weird because pretty much everything that happened in HK is still fresh in my memory. Correction on the blog is done. Thanks so much YTSL. :)

  9. Hi again Kingwho? --

    Teehee, I can see you really were overwhelmed by meeting Cheng Pei Pei! To be fair, the King Hu exhibition at the HK Film Archive wasn't as good as others I've seen there. (One on Lin Dai was wonderful, if memory serves *me* right! ;b)


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