I Have a Date with Spring
Bathed in a warm buttery glow, this film is a
lovingly nostalgic look back at Hong Kong in the 1960s. Based on a stage
play by Raymond To, Clifton Ko brought this to the screen in 1994 and with
a cast of supporting and unknown actors it became a surprise hit that ran
in HK for over five months. The film is structured very much like a play
– almost every scene takes place inside - and it utilizes very few cinematic
devices (besides the flashback) to tell the story. The story it tells
is a bittersweet one – of life flying by all too quickly – of love lost
and lost friends – of success and failure – and the sad inevitability of
growing up and growing apart.
A well known singer Alice Lau (Butterfly Yiu)
returns to Hong Kong in the 1990s for the first time in years to perform
a benefit concert at an old nightclub that is being torn down. Hearing
certain music and seeing familiar sights set her off down memory lane and
a series of flashbacks take us back into the 1960s. Alice and three other
girls (Law Koon-lan, So Yuk Wa and Fung Wai-hang) portray a struggling
but spirited singing group working for Uncle Po (Yip Wing-cho) at this
The film delves into the personal lives of the
four girls and charmingly evokes their friendship and support of one another
in pranks, tears and mahjong games. Outside of the club, Hong Kong is being
torn apart by riots and bombs – but inside there is only their comradery
and their music. Life though begins to intrude – one girl goes off to perform
in Vietnam with her boyfriend, another begins singing at USO canteens and
Alice gets her big break one evening when the headline singer (Chow Fai)
gets waylaid by the bombs and Alice stands in for him.
Alice also falls in love with the saxophone player,
David Ng, but success and pride drive them in different directions. Now
Alice has come back to Hong Kong and the ghosts of her past begin to surround
her once again. It is all told in a wonderfully moving manner – funny,
sentimental and poignant. The acting from all the participants feels
just right – and in particular Alice Lau is simply wonderful.
My rating for this film: 8.0
Distributed by Universe
The transfer is very nice - excellent colors
and lighting - it could be a tad sharper though.
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks
The subtitles are Chinese or English or Bahasa
There is a trailer for this film - plus ones
for Curry and Pepper, Fun and Fury and The Last Blood.