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Alive and kicking


Commissioned anthology that was made to lift the spirit of Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic. The who's who of Hong Kong cinema participated, but the result is a little uneven. Not too surprising considering the exterior motives behind this anthology, and there are a couple of worthwhile entries, but overall it's probably best to lower your expectations when watching this.

Echoes of the Rainbow

Sui Yuet San Tau
2010 / 117m - Hong Kong
Echoes of the Rainbow poster

Hong Kong jumping on the schmaltz train. They've been trying this several times for the past decade, it's just that it's not really their strong suit. Echoes of the Rainbow tries hard, but in the end that only adds to the cringe. It's not a complete disaster and if you like films that chase retro-charm it's probably worth a shot, just don't expect too much.

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The film follows the lives of a poor family of cobblers in '69. They don't have much money, but their oldest son shows lots of promise, so they do their best to give him the best education possible. Their youngest is more of a free spirit and runs through Hong Kong with a fishbowl on his head, pretending to be an astronaut.

The film feels like a HK version of Always, Sunset on Third Street. People like Sandra Ng or Simon Yam aren't really fit for such sentiment though and while the film does feature a pleasant sepia glow, it gets quite kitsch. The same can be said about the plot, which goes all-in on sentiment in the second half. There are some decent moments here, it's just not enough for someone who prefers the future over the past.