Thursday, December 13, 2012
Beneath the Peony (1978) - Finale of the Eternal Love Song
Featuring here is the promotional still and flyer of Beneath the Peony 1978(牡丹花下), a sensual adult drama starring Hsia Hou Lan（夏厚兰） and Tony Liu (刘永) . In March 2012, Tony Liu was surprised to find out this flyer and was wondering if there's any surviving copy somewhere, as he has never watched it before..
The last comeback feature of the independent Pacific Film Studio Hong Kong, this is the last film directed by Yu Cong（于聪）, and probably the last film of his beloved wife Helen Hsia Hou Lan too.Soon after the film premiere in Taiwan, Yu Cong passed away from terminal cancer early July 1978.
Yu Cong sestablished Pacific Studio in 1955 and produced it's debut The Resurrection of Roses (Yu Cong co-star with Helen Li Mei) and later The Diamond Flower(钻石花), Hsia Hou Lan debut, he has never gave up his passion and dream for movie, and high ideal to become a successful director, only fate and talent betrayed him till the very last day in 1978. Almost every film project attempted along the way ended up as failure, and Yu Cong has been drowning with debt and financial issue since late 1950s...
Despite of career filled with misfortune, the best gift from God to Yu Cong is his wife, one of the most sophisticated and glamorous bombshell of Chinese screen Hsia Hou Lan, who has never betrayed his love, and supported him in all means at all time. Rumors and tabloid even implied that at their most desperate and diffcult period , Hsia sometimes have to trade herself to patrons, and silently Yu Cong would waited at the hotel lobby, and after that, the couple would walked away hand in hand ...
1950-60s, Hsia Hou Lan gave up all the chances and opportunities that could make her a big star and most celebrated bombshell of Chinese Cinema, insisted whoever offered her the contract must also madeYu Cong the director, and this precondition somehow deemed unacceptable by the film studios and producers. In the name of love, Hsia Hou Lan career was never really a success one, but she never regretted of her choice of life:
In presumably her final interview to media not long after Yu Cong's funeral, she said:
'before his final breath, Yu Cong told me that it was the most beautiful thing in his life to have me as his wife, and both of us has promised each other that no matter what we become in the next life, we still want to be together, and love each other forever...'
From my latest interview with film veteran earlier in June 2012, I asked about Hsia Hou Lan, everyone talked about their love stories, but no one has ever spotted her after Yu Cong passed away..
Beneath the Peony ended a true bittersweet love story behind Hong Kong cinema, and it becomes the finale of the screen and real life couple's eternal love song...a song that always moved me, touched my soul so profoundly, and I sincerely hope their everlasting love legacy continues to be known and acknowledged...