Brigitte LIN Ching-Hsia has been named the “Filmmaker in Focus” of the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival, taking place March 19 to April 5, 2018. With a career spanning over two decades and performing in more than a hundred films, LIN is widely recognized as one of the most acclaimed and distinguished actresses in Chinese language cinema. In celebrating her achievements, the Festival will screen 14 of her films and publish a retrospective book. LIN will also attend the “Face to Face” seminar to be held on 31 March, 2018 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, sharing her insights on film, art and life.
Born in Sanchung near Taipei, LIN was spotted by a talent scout at the age of seventeen, and was cast by renowned Taiwanese director SUNG Tsun-Shou as the female lead in his film Outside the Window (1973). Captivating the audience with her astonishing beauty and charisma, she became an overnight sensation. With the trend of romance films emerging in the seventies, the young actress, with an innocent girl image, flourished into a new idol in Taiwanese cinema through her collaborations with novelist and producer CHIUNG Yao, featuring in many of her productions including Cloud of Romance (1977) and A Love Seed (1979). In the eighties she moved her career platform to Hong Kong, where she displayed her versatile acting skills in different film genres, such as Love Massacre (1981), All the Wrong Spies (1983) and Starry is the Night (1988).
Instead of confining her persona to just a beauty icon, she has consciously extended her screen presence, covering historical and contemporary roles, and male and female characters. She is one of the few actresses who has succeeded in both romantic and martial film genres. LIN’s pioneering androgyny has inspired many directors such as LI Han-hsiang, who cast her to play the male role of JIA Baoyu in The Dream of the Red Chamber (1977), and TSUI Hark, who turned her into a handsome, alluring man in Peking Opera Blues (1986). Fusing masculine charm and feminine elegance in Swordsman II (1992) took her career to new heights.
LIN’s remarkable performances have won accolades from the audience and the industry alike. She has received four nominations for Best Actress in the Hong Kong Film Awards, namelyZU: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983), Police Story (1985), Swordsman II and Handsome Siblings (1992), and also two nominations at the Golden Horse Awards for Magnificent 72 (1980) and The Switch/Hero vs Hero (1982). She finally took home the Award for Best Actress at the 27th Golden Horse Awards for her role in Red Dust (1990).
Before leaving the industry, LIN capped her career with three iconic roles in the 1990s: a heartbroken femme fatale in Ronny YU’s The Bride with White Hair (1993); a brother-sister duo-in-one in Ashes of Time (1994); and a blonde killer in Chungking Express (1994), both films by WONG Kar Wai.
In addition to being a great actress, LIN has also pursued other artistic endeavors, such as acting in the theatrical production of The Peach Blossom Land (1992), and narrating the films Bishonen (1998) and Peony Pavilion (2001), both directed by Yonfan. She became a writer in 2011 and published two books, Inside and Outside the Window and Cloud Goes, Cloud Comes.
On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of her career debut in 2018, and the completion of the restored version of her first film Outside the Window, the Hong Kong International Film Festival will revisit and celebrate her dazzling and pioneering body of work.