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The Golden Rock - HKAFF 2010 Day 1 Edition

We’re off and running. It’s the 2010 edition of the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, and this blogger is moving up and down the Kowloon peninsula (plus Central) to check out this year’s offering of Asian cinema. I’m trying to update daily with the help of my shiny i P a d (that was to avoid spam), so pictures and links are sparse to ensure efficiency.

For more info about any of the films I’m covering, check out www.hkaff.asia

Day 1 was the opening films. I attended the opening ceremony with Boss Kozo, but please check out photos on the YesAsia Facebook or in the upcoming news item on YesAsia instead.

Lover’s Discourse (Hong Kong, 2010, directed by Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan) - This collection of love stories with interconnected characters is a strong debut by two-thirds of Pang Ho-Cheung’s screenwriting team (Pang serves as producer). While the acting is mostly hits with some misses, the film overall is well-made. The first half starts out really strong with some great spots of humor, then a little dragged down by a more serious second half. At nearly two full hours, the film also runs a little long. Still, a strong local youth romance that is sadly almost guaranteed to not make a lot of money.

Revenge: A Love Story (Hong Kong, 2010, directed by Wong Ching-Po) - This gory exploitation thriller feels like what Josie Ho wanted DREAM HOME to be - a loud, violent, nihilistic exploitation revenge film that rocks it’s audience into shock. What Ho and producer Conroy Chan didn’t expect was that Wong Ching-Po has an art film ambition in his script. Star Juno Mak, a self-proclaim fan of exploitation cinema, wrote this story that would’ve made an ok entry in 90s category III cinema, but his writer-director couldn’t avoid his penchant for creating meaning. The result is utterly ridiculous, but entertaining in its own sadistic way. Aoi Sola gives it her all, performing a graphic rape scene that no HK actress with dare to touch. Review for LoveHKFilm coming.

Note: Star Juno Mak pointed out that the festival version of the film is the “director’s cut” and that they’re in negotiations with the censorship board about possible edits needed. Yay, us.

Day 2 will be 3 films, including VILLAIN and THE DRUNKARD, whose original author reportedly influenced Wong Kar Wai greatly. I expect to catch some sleep in between.

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