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William Shakespeare, Bruce Lee to Be Honored at Hong Kong Festival

William Shakespeare and Bruce Lee are both to be honored at the upcoming Hong Kong International Film Festival (March 21-April 4, 2016).

Marking the festival’s 40th edition and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the HKIFF will program three vastly different film interpretations of Shakespeare’s stage play “Macbeth.” The trio are Akira Kurosawa’s “Throne of Blood,” Roman Polanski’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and last year’s “Macbeth” by star Australian director Justin Kurzel.

“’Macbeth’ has challenged filmmakers around the world as they have reimagined the interplay of fate and magic, human motivations and soul-wrenching questions of loyalty and destiny.  Yet, the violence at the heart of the play, with battles, beheadings and assassinations, also imposes demands on actors and audiences as powerful as the poetry of the Bard’s composition,” the festival said in a note.

The festival will also present additional films based on Shakespeare’s plays in its off-season Cine Fan April/May program.

(Separately, it was announced that the Shanghai International Film festival in June will also pay tribute to Shakespeare. It did not divulge its lineup, though it said that British actor Ian McKellen will attend.)

Reviving a local legend, the HKIFF will also present restored, digital versions of four Bruce Lee-starring films. It will screen Lee’s 1971 Hong Kong homecoming “The Big Boss”; nunchaku-wielding 1972 epic “The Fist of Fury”; “The Way of the Dragon,” which Lee also directed; and “The Game of Death,” the 1978 movie assembled and released five years after Lee’s death.

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