Armed with a dreamy story and jaw-dropping cinematography that work well to drive home the fading beauty of historical sites, the film brings out the inherent, almost physically painful loss in admitting the inevitable future towards gentrification, even as we fight to save these sites. Deeply metaphorical and worth a second watch, The White Girl is a very accomplished first feature from Suen, and heralds the coming of a new director with the knowhow and potential to add truly unique offerings to Hong Kong’s film canon.
Chatting with Doyle and Suen is like talking to two old friends who know each other so well that they readily accept each other's flaws and embrace each other's talents. While Suen gives off a more serious filmmaker vibe, Doyle is clearly the joker, interjecting the conversation with side stories while Suen patiently waits for him to finish before continuing. But one thing's for sure, both are passionate filmmakers whom we can't wait to see more of in the future.
“Hong Kong Trilogy” is a movie about generational differences, and was made by filmmakers from two very different eras.
Mr. Doyle is a veteran of the Hong Kong Second Wave from the 1970s to ’90s, when the city was considered a creative, independent voice in world cinema. But Ms. Suen and Mr. Hui, 31 and 32 respectively, started working long after Hong Kong’s 1997 handover to Beijing — at a time when mainland China was becoming politically, economically and culturally dominant.
The English subtitles at the end of Christopher Doyle’s Hong Kong Trilogy tell us that the people we’ve just met are real Hong Kong people “sharing their DREAMS” before signing off, “Thanks for taking the time to LISTEN UP.” Wouldn’t it be nice if more films were so charmingly gracious? Doyle’s trilogy certainly has charm, which to a degree makes up for a sometimes frustrating sketchiness in terms of substance. The film—three linked semi-documentary vignettes about a location close to the director’s heart—feels as much a community project as a personal statement. It isn’t so much an example of the genre known as the “city symphony”—it’s more like a city jam.
When talking about Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous, the biggest challenge is what vocabulary to use. The film, a hybrid of fiction and documentary, doesn't use a traditional narrative, but it's not entirely abstract either – it's a contemplative sort of parallel storytelling, one where the elliptical space between fact and fiction combines to make a third creature that is no less true.
年輕人的勇氣讓杜可風自省，「自己拍了這麼多年戲，好像不曾為下一代做過什麼。」雖 然他早在 2013 年已扶助新導演劉韻文拍攝《過界》，去年也在香港國際電影節拍攝青少 年題材的《香港 2014 —— 仝人教育》，但依然感到不足，「如果我關心這個城市，理應將 創作能力發揮到盡，用錄像接觸更多新事理，求問新生代怎樣看待生活，香港人怎樣看待 香港。」故此六十有二的他決心在 2015 年再出發，與兩位青年創作人許志堅(Ken)及 孫明莉(JennY)合力，透過未為香港商業及獨立影圈廣泛使用的國際非營利募資網站 KICKsTarTer，籌募約10萬元開拍包含老中青及佔領元素的《香港三部曲》，盡人事回應 社會現況之餘，也提醒電影工作者們 : 身處時代轉捩點，應該用影像藝術追求更遠大的夢。
Like Hong Kong itself, "Trilogy" is hard to categorize. At its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, it was in the features category; at South Korea's Busan International Film Festival last month, it's being called a documentary.
Doyle isn't keen to choose a side. "Even we're not sure what to call it. All we can say is that it's personal, poetic and political," he said.