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ArtsHK Summer Film Fest: Top 5 Movies

HK Summer Film Fest: Top 5 Movies

August 09, 2010
With movies from all over the world and topics ranging from bisexual women contemplating abortions to Peru’s Shining Path guerillas, recommends the best flicks at this year’s summer festival

In this searing heat, it is impossible to walk even five minutes down the road for an ice cream without being drenched in sweat. The Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival  (August 11-September 13) comes just in time then, as there is really nothing more enjoyable than hunkering down to one of these movies in an icy cold cinema with a giant bucket of popcorn.



1.The Local Favourite: Ann Hui's All about Love (2010)

This year, the festival opens on August 11th with the world premier of All about Love, a romantic comedy directed by Ann Hui. Hui has picked up three Best Director awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards and her latest film stars Sandra Ng and Vivian Chow (marking her return to the big screen after 13 years) as two bisexual women and one-time lovers who meet again unexpectedly at a clinic for expecting mothers. The women rekindle their romance, all the while debating whether or not their on-again romance could handle the burden of two newborns if both choose to keep their babies. More of a escapist lark complete with a re-do of Meg Ryan's fake orgasm at the dinner table than a serious look at bisexual women's choices in the modern world, it nevertheless promises to start the festival on a high note.


Date: August 11
Time: 7:15 pm and 9:45pm
Venue: Both showings are at the Grand Cinema, Elements


2.The Bollywood Entry: Karan Johar's My Name is Khan (2010)

Although My Name is Khan is currently the highest-grossing Bollywood film in overseas markets and features the Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, don't expect your usual singing-dancing extravaganza. Instead, this is a story of both the covert and overt prejudices Muslims face today in post 9/11 US, seen through the viewpoint of an Asperger's sufferer. Khan plays Rizwan Khan, a man who emigrates to America in pursuit of the American dream, only to see it all collapse together with the World Trade Centre in 2001. The film then follows Khan as he embarks on a quixotic journey to meet the president of the United States, to tell him to his face that although his name may be Khan, he is not a terrorist.


Date: August 22
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue: The Grand Cinema, Elements

Date: September 1
Time: 7:15 pm
Venue: Hong Kong Science Museum Lecture Hall


3.The Turkish Delight: Semih Kaplanoglu's Egg (2007)

Egg, or Yumurta, in Turkish, was nominated the Best Film in the Istanbul Film Festival in 2008. It is the first part of a trilogy released in reverse chronological order, Egg tells the story of a middle-aged poet, Yusuf (Nejat Isler), who returns to his hometown after his mother's death. Unknown to him, his beautiful cousin Ayla (Saadet Isil Aksoy) has been living with his mother for the past five years and she relays to him his mother's dying wish, which he has to carry out. Combating his guilt for having abandoned his hometown as well as the draw of his memories, Yusuf is finally confronted with what he has long tried to flee. The second part of the trilogy, Milk, which depicts Yusuf's coming of age; and the third part, Honey, which shows Yusuf as a six-year old, are also screening at the festival.


Date: August 20
Time: 7:15 pm
Venue: The Grand Cinema at Elements

Date: August 28
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Hong Kong Space Museum Lecture Hall


4.The Festival Darling: Claudia Llosa's The Milk of Sorrow (2009)

Winner of the Golden Bear in Berlin and nominated for a Best Foreign Film award at last year's Oscars, this is a film that is bound to sell out quickly. Between 1980 and 1992, the Shining Path Maoists terrorised Peru, imposing their vision of a proletarian dictatorship on countless hapless Peruvians. Their brutality was well-known, and this film focuses on how a mother's state of constant fear can be passed onto her daughter, even if the daughter now lives in more peaceful times. The Milk of Sorrow contains graphic allusions, yet most of the violence takes place off-screen; that combined with its strand of magical realism makes the film extremely effective in its quiet condemnation.   


Date: August 17
Time: 7:15 pm
Venue: The Grand Cinema at Elements

Date: September 5
Time: 4:45 pm
Venue: UA cinema at Langham Place


5.The Golden Oldie: Michael Powell's The Red Shoes (1948)

One of the highest-grossing British film of all times and a favourite of film makers such as Brian de Palma and Martin Scorsese, this classic film is renowned for not only its haunting storyline, but also its beautiful and serious portrayal of ballet. It is also known for its striking and imaginative use of colour, and thanks to a seven-year project spent restoring it, the film can now be enjoyed in all its glory. The plot follows Vicky Page (Moira Shearer), a talented ballerina who must choose between the man she loves and her love of dance: all this is set against a ballet adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's gory fairy tale, also called The Red Shoes, which Vicky has a lead role in.


Date: August 16
Time: 9:00 pm
Venue: HK Science Museum Lecture Hall

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