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The Longest Summer
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Tony Ho (center) and Sam Lee (second from right) in The Longest Summer
Year: 1998  
Director: Fruit Chan Gor  
Producer: Andy Lau Tak-Wah  
Cast: Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, Jo Koo, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Chan Sang, Pang Yik-Wai, Lai Chi-Ho, Leung Yiu-Wah, Lam Shek-Kin, Ng Ka-Chun, Cheung Sing-Chiu, Lee Lai
The Skinny: Perhaps the future of Hong Kong film lies with director Fruit Chan, who follows up his excellent first feature with one that may be even better.
by Kozo:
     No sophomore slump for director Fruit Chan, whose Made in Hong Kong was last year’s biggest surprise. He follows that up with another well-crafted drama about Hong Kong told through its most dubious citizens. Newcomer Tony Ho Wah-Chiu is Ga Yin, a former member of the British Army who is discharged pending the upcoming handover. Finding little steady employment, he falls in with his younger brother Ga Suen (Sam Lee Chan-Sam) as a triad in HK’s infamous gang underworld. With the uncertainty of the future bearing upon Yin and his comrades, the group decide to rob a bank to provide for themselves. However things don’t turn out as they expect, as the consequences for their actions prove disastrous. With July 1997 bearing down, the sky is full of fireworks as are the lives of these downtrodden Hong Kong citizens, each striving for their own identity in the rapidly changing world.
     The Longest Summer is an affecting, sometimes strangely funny masterpiece. Fruit Chan is probably the most exciting director to surface in Hong Kong since Wong Kar-Wai. His talent for using unknowns (among his actors, only Sam Lee is recognizable) and eliciting strong performances from them is undeniably strong. Also intriguing is his subject matter, which is at once political and personal, allegorical and intimate. Chan manages to explore and elucidate his average characters through incident and inaction, and though the meaning of his work might seem opaque, it nonetheless elicits a stirring emotional response. With Made in Hong Kong, Fruit Chan showed that he could craft stunning narrative work which spoke of both personal and social concerns, and he did so with charged cinematic eloquence. With The Longest Summer, Chan does it again. (Kozo 1998)
Awards: 18th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Nomination - Best Picture
• Nomination - Best Director (Fruit Chan Gor)
• Nomination - Best Supporting Actor (Sam Lee Chan-Sam)
• Nomination - Best Screenplay (Fruit Chan Gor)
• Nomination - Best New Artist (Tony Ho Wah-Chiu)
• Nomination - Best New Artist (Jo Koo)
• Nomination - Best Original Score (Lam Wah-Cheun, Bat Kwok-Chi)
• Nomination - Best Original Song ("Hui Nin Yin Fa Dut Bit Dor", performed by Andy Lau Tak-Wah)
5th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
• Recommended Film
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society

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