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schema magazine review: Vancouver International Film Festival 2008 

Hong Kong

High Noon

Posted by gloria, October 4, 2008 4:20 PM | Permalink

Review by Chris Walts

High Noon is 24-year-old director Heiward Mak’s debut feature, and judging from how expertly it was made, Hong Kong has a brilliant new talent to look forward to. High Noon is the coming of age story of seven high school boys trying to make the most of their fleeting moments of freedom before the shattering force of the rest of their lives takes hold. The story revolves around a transfer student, played by Lam Yiu-sing, who is quickly befriended by the other six boys, falling right into their nonchalant study habits and love for mischief and horsing around. The story quickly turns dark however as Mak explores the pitfalls of today's technology-heavy viral social media culture. A sex video shot with one of the boys' phone is accidentally sent out to everyone in his phonebook.

Masterfully shot, Mak knows exactly when to shift from surreal back to reality. She also gets great performances from the entire cast particularly her lead Lam Yiu-sing. One of the strongest features of High Noon is its current and poignant feel. Mak doesn’t shy away from dealing with abusive parents, teenagers sleeping around, drugs, suicide, and gang violence. As a frequent film watcher I was sick to death of the high school coming of age story, but Mak successfully breathes a full breath of fresh air into an overall stagnant genre.

High Noon
Heiward Mak | Hong Kong | 2008 | 106min

http://www.schemamag.ca/VIFF2008/hong_kong/