Just One Look
Hong Kong 2002
Directed by Ip Kam Heung.

A nostalgic coming of age film set on the small island of Cheung Chau in the 60s and 70s starring a gaggle of young cantopop stars (Charlene Choi, Gillian Cheung, Shawn Yue, and Wong Yau Nam). It should be painfully awful but surprisingly ends up just right, an incredibly sweet film that makes do with its young, inexperienced performers, and puts them to work in service of the story, rather than being a story written specifically as a vehicle for the stars. The movie theater is the focal point of the town. The boys (Shawn Yue and Wong Yau Nam) sell sugar cane in front of the local cinema, the changing marquee marks the years that pass. It is a story about growing up and falling in love, but it is also a story about how each of us use movies to help give our lives meaning, to shape our messy lives into a narrative in which we are the star, and how movies suggest to us new dreams and aspirations. Anthony Wong and Eric Kot round out the cast with strong supporting roles.

Rating: Highly Recommended (Highly Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on June 28, 2004.

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