Surprisingly, this fifty-one minute independent
film found its way on to DVD and I am rather glad it did. Shot on video
with a budget that appears smaller than a 10-year old’s weekly allowance,
it is a charming sweet romance as well as a little love letter to Hong
Kong. Directed by Gilette Leung, the film in almost playful documentary
style follows two new friends around as they explore Hong Kong and their
feelings for one another. By the end of the film you are caught up in the
sights of the city, but even more so in their tentative tender overtures
to one another.
The story is told primarily through the narration
of Anne Marie (credited only as Anne Marie), a twenty-something urban graphic
designer and lesbian. At a dinner party of friends she meets Flann (Fiona
Tang) and discovers that they both liked the film “A Very Long Engagement”
and so gets her phone number. She doesn’t have the nerve to call her though
as tells us that her seventy-seven ounce cell phone feels like it weighs
a ton every time she picks it up to dial. Six months pass and she again
meets Flann at a friends gathering and this time suggests that the two
of them spend an entire day acting like tourists in Hong Kong and pretend
that it is all new to them. Flann agrees.
They begin at the airport as if they had just
arrived from some far away destination and go on a sightseeing trip that
takes in many of the vistas of Hong Kong from the Tsing Ma Bridge to the
Che Kong Temple to Central Market and a nighttime visit to the peak. Along
the way they chat about their childhood, their families, play “truth” and
are advised by a numerologist that today is a perfect day to tell each
other meaningful things. They also eat a lot wandering in for desserts,
tea and a delicious looking seafood dinner. They both skirt around issues
of the heart as in roundabout ways they try to determine what the other’s
feelings are and from time to time their hands nearly brush up against
one another. Finally in a rainstorm huddled in a doorway, they shyly hold
hands. The final stop on their tour is to come – a night in a tourist hotel
to bring their day of exploration to an end – or perhaps just a beginning.
Inside on the DVD cover, the director (who also
wrote the script and the music) expresses her thanks for having her first
film brought out on DVD and calls it the most exciting thing to happen
in her life and asks for those who enjoyed the film to write her at www.gilitte.com.
For a small little film it certainly has some nice extras - a making of
and scenes of the actors being directed - without subs though.
My rating for this film: 7.0 (taking into account
its budget limitations and small ambitions)
Other "View from the Brooklyn Bridge" Film Raters:
Sarah: 7.5 - "The
idea of pretending to be tourists in your own city (especially when it's
Hong Kong) intrigued me. I wasn't disappointed and enjoyed seeing the locations
she chose. I hope she makes more movies and gets some substantial
funding. Ms Leung has talent. GROUNDWALK was charming and fun
to watch. If not for the production values I'd rate it 8.5."