The Hong Kong Film Industry

Hong Kong cinema has become defined by its stylized design, craft to work from a budget, and has even become of significant cultural importance with an impact that as shaped pop culture for decades. Indeed, Hong Kong cinema should not be underestimated and for decades it was the third largest film industry in the world behind the USA (Hollywood) and India (Bollywood) and second only to the United States in term of movie exports.
An industry crisis during the 1990s in Hong Kong pushed the film industry to a more modest position in the world standings, but Hong Kong cinema is still widely influential for its themes and design. 
The cinema in Hong Kong has had enormous bearing on several pop culture events and has been a pioneer in several genres, most notably action movies. The legacy of these pop culture trends remain today, with Western cinema, especially Hollywood often copying styles and filming methods employed in Hong Kong in decades past.
The cinema of Hong Kong is rooted in the early 20th century, as the then still British occupied state rode a wave of global motion picture intrigue. Despite this, only a limited amount of pre World War Two movies from Hong Kong remain, and it was after the war that the industry in the country started to take off. 
Up until the 1970s, Hong Kong cinema thrived thanks to Cantonese movies and during this period movies in the country were very much geared towards neighboring China. However, the advent of the martial arts boom saw Hong Kong emerge as the premier market for action movies, an innovative force in pioneering filming methods for high octane cinema.
Thanks to British influence and Chinese roots these action movies appealed to Western audiences (who fell in love with stars such as Bruce Lee) while also offering an authentic flavor of oriental cinema. The 1990s saw the industry slow down as Hong Kong was handed back to China by the British, but the action legacy is still seen today in Hollywood, while cinema in Hong Kong is now thriving again on the back of dramatic works.


The History of South Korean Cinema

The cinema of South Korea could arguably have the most turbulent history of any of the major orient motion picture industries. Able to boast eras of huge success, but also plagued by years of mediocrity, South Korean cinema is intriguing in history and utterly fascinating in its modern guise as an industry with a pioneering model for releasing and distributing movies.
Like most world cinema, the South Korean industry emerged at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century when motion picture technology first became available. Typically the early years reveal limited quality as people still came to terms with the medium, but just like in Europe and the United States there was a silent movie boom during the 1920s.
Of course, this all occurred in a united Korea, but the Korean War split the country into North and South Korea, and two separate industries were born. The era directly following the war is considered a golden period in South Korean arts and cinema. The government made the industry tax exempt and influence from the present United States filtered through to movies, and this era produced the most films and garnered the most acclaim.
As the decades wore on subsequent government regimes sought more control over South Korean cinema, and movies released during the 1960s and early 1970s suffered from increasing levels of censorship. Movie attendances fell, quality slipped, and only limited works of notable quality were made until 1980.
The next two decades were spent rebuilding the South Korean film industry until the mid 1990s brought renewed artistic expression, critical acclaim, and financial success. This was partly to do with a government model that insists South Korean movies are shown more and for longer than Western competitors in movie theatres. This model means South Korea is one of the only remaining countries where domestic movie box office is higher than exported box office.


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