Yim Ho


Yim Ho
b. 1952, Hong Kong
Film director
Yim Ho was an early contributor to the ‘New Wave’ movement in Hong Kong cinema. After studying at the London Film School (1973–5), he worked in Hong Kong television, then entered film in 1978. A stylistic innovator and thoroughly conversant with Western film and culture, Yim’s films emphasize social realism, psychological drama and occasional sardonic humour. They also take a strong thematic interest in Hong Kong’s position with respect to Chinese culture, PRC politics and parallels with Taiwan.
Yim’s second film, The Happening (1980), dealt with the explosive violence of Hong Kong’s alienated youth in a shocking manner reminiscent of America’s contemplation of juvenile delinquency in the 1950s.
In King of Chess (1992), co-directed with Tsui Hark, Yim cross-cut scenes of China plunging frighteningly backwards during the Cultural Revolution while Taiwan raced into an equally frightening cyber-modernity. In his most sophisticated film, The Day the Sun Turned Cold (1995), awarded Best Film and Director at the Tokyo Film Festival, Yim explored an authentic Chinese crime story in which a young man accused his mother of poisoning his father ten years earlier. Less important than whether this crime really happened was the question of why anyone Chinese would cause their family such public shame in order to expunge personal guilt and pursue legal justice in a manner more Western than traditionally Chinese. Shot through with Oedipal tensions, the film explored symbolically the conflicting ties between the Chinese fatherland and the British heritage that still threaten to tear Hong Kong apart.
Richie, Donald (1996). ‘The Day the Sun Turned Cold: Some Aspects of Yim Ho’s Film’. Cineyama 31: 16–18.
JEROME SILBERGELD

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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