When was the last time you were excited about the imminent release of a Hollywood movie? I’ve been considering this question long and hard, and I’d have to say I can’t remember. Whether it’s down to creeping conservatism among producers and backers, the pre-eminence of committees and focus groups over the intuition of a single individual, or simply a crippling unwillingness to take risks, it’s hard to imagine any of today’s major studios backing the kind of projects that in the 1970s made American cinema arguably the most exciting and inventive in the world, churning out movies almost monthly with the calibres of Chinatown, The Deer Hunter, The Long Goodbye, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Taxi Driver.
With a few honourable exceptions, the baton of creativity has now been passed over to the small screen, where TV networks and more recently alternative content providers such as Netflix are now driven by the talent and energy that some four decades ago imbued the film studios. Since The Sopranos became a regular fixture on our television sets around year 2000, and via subsequent long-running series such as The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and more recently Homeland, Scandal and House of Cards, we’ve become addicted to our weekly diet of drama, the constant unfolding of ever more delightfully convoluted plots and the evolution of characters that in some cases we feel we know almost as well as friends and family. “[Working in] television,” says this month’s Prestige Hong Kong cover celebrity, Jennifer Morrison, who stars in the fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time, “is...like living like a real person, when you’re just not sure what each day’s going to bring – what each episode’s going to bring.” Our exclusive interview with the American actress begins on page 114.
We also meet the multitalented, Oscar-winning actor, director, producer and screenwriter Kevin Spacey (page 126), whose starring vehicle, the dark political thriller series House of Cards, is remarkable for not only its excellence but also its innovative mode of distribution; and we take time for a chat with iconoclastic Hong Kong filmmaker Pang Ho-cheung (page 92). There’s fashion aplenty, and our usual quota of comment, culture, dining, travel...everything, in fact to keep you informed, diverted and cool as the heatwave blows in and temperatures rise through the roof. Thank you, as always, for joining us, and have a joyful July.