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HighNoon | 8th Oct 2008 | 最新影評Reviews | (522 Reads)

She hits the ball out of the park!!  -- Review by Shelly Kraicer

24-year-old director Heiward Mak takes on a tough genre challenge--the all-male coming-of-age story--in her feature debut. And she hits the ball out of the park. This is a quintessentially Hong Kong cinematic take on the genre: the former colony's special movie brio powers the film, with assurance and abandon.

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The film originated as a three-part commission from HK actor/producer/celebrity Eric Tsang's company to make three similarly conceived teenage stories (one each in Taiwan, HK, and mainland China), each about seven boys nearing the end of high school, each by a different young director.

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Newcomer actor Lam Yiu-sing, in an impressive debut, is at the centre of High Noon. He's a newly arrived kid at a high school with well-established cliques. He and his new buddies bond through horsing around, absorbing shared academic punishments with gallant nonchalance. But their play quickly turns dark and dangerous--it's a Hong Kong movie after all--when erotic cellphone videos, suicide, drug use and gang violence move in from the margins.

Mak's installment announces the arrival of a major filmmaking talent. Daringly, she moves the story away from realism towards a hyper-saturated, pictorially flamboyant expressionism, a style that nicely matches the souped-up emotions and bubbling hormones of the characters involved. This is serious pop art HK style; joyful, disturbing, and exhilarating.

 

Shelly Kraicer

Film Festival Curator and Programmer