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Hong Kong

SHIFT is once again accepting submissions for their world wide, digital short film festival. We’ve featured them for several years in a row now, and the results are always impressive!

From their blog:

Online magazine SHIFT presents DOTMOV Festival 2012, a digital film festival aiming to discover talented creators and provide them with an opportunity to show their works. Screening was took place in 20 places, Hong Kong, London, Stockholm, New York, India, Brazil etc besides Japan last year. Works submitted from all over the world will be screened throughout the world venues from November 2012. Last year’s total

Bittersweet Fu (富中作樂) is an illustration lover’s graphic novel. The meticulous hand of its author, Ko Sing, is visible in every page. Whether it’s the distinct character design for each and every background character, or the lovingly rendered interior with the fisheye-lens perspective, Ko’s illustrations draw you in and make you look twice before you turn the page. Composition, perspective and character expressions are all exaggerated to humorous ends. The drawings dominate, while the story serves merely as a backdrop.

Yet just because Bittersweet Fu is heavy on illustrations doesn’t mean it’s an accessible work for everyone. The …

Hæxagon will be the most unique and unmatched video endeavor to be created within Hong Kong in recent years. With an estimated budget of HK$ 300,000 this post-apocalyptic themed short film dares to dwell into the Science Fiction genre. A genre that traditionally holds a vast fan base in Hong Kong but is hardly exploited by local filmmakers.

Hence, Hæxagon wants to fill a long vacant niche within Hong Kong’s filmic landscape and tries to go even further. Bringing Science Fiction elements into a jungle environment, mixed with ingredients of the 1970s doomsday exploitation. Brought to life by a crew …

The cult film plays a rather distinct role in the Hong Kong cinematic imaginary: not necessarily a bastion of kitsch or camp ripe for nostalgic or underhanded rehabilitation, it is more often here measured by its absurdity. Playing along the fringes of possible realities, such movies would often be lost to time were it not for a certain mythical status that allows them to reappear in the cultural consciousness at indeterminate intervals. Just a few years ago, for example, the fancifully titled Guan Yu vs. Aliens (Guan Gong dazhan waixingren) consisted of a single black-and-white photograph, a movie …

You may have been wondering why we’ve been missing in action for the past few weeks, and if you’re reading this, you will have noticed that we’ve been hard at work on a major overhaul of the site.

Aside from the leap into color, we’ve also added two new sections that I hope reflect on our editorial vision:

  • The Business of Cultural Exchange
    All about creating and commercializing pop culture. I hope to use this section to get under the hood of the cultural production process. Expect it to be filled with case studies, interviews and occasional reports of odd

The Postgal Workshop (猫室) has become the champion of homegrown animation in Hong Kong. Its recent comic book and animated shorts series, Din Dong (癲噹), went from being a local indie favorite to being aired on Japanese TV. Din Dong is a parody of the popular Japanese cartoon, Doraemon (ドラえもん). The characters are named after those in Doraemon (in fact “Din Dong” is a pun on what Doraemon was called in Hong Kong before its phonetically correct name change in 1999) and the story is set in an ambiguously Asian village beset by the financial recession.

Despite an …

Headliner (頭條新聞, 1989-present) is, my family likes to joke, the last show that survived the attacks on free speech in Hong Kong. Legally speaking, Hong Kong does indeed have a freedom of press, but in reality, the radio and TV programs that were more critical of China have been kicked off the air in various ways. (Like daily death threats by phone.) Headliner remains intact because it speaks indirectly and in abstract* about social-political issues. Its geographic focus is Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world, and in that order of priority.

Assuming you’re up to date on …

Stephen Chow controls the canon of humorous film in Hong Kong. Although today both he and fellow hometown heavy-hitter Jackie Chan have made their peace with the dictators in Beijing and pledged to use only Mandarin, the language of bureaucratic boredom, in their future films, Chow built his name on the intricacies of Cantonese street humor, often directed at the lifestyles and manners (or, typically, lack thereof) of the so-close-yet-so-far mainland government and people just across the border from British Hong Kong. Chow’s films are all, in some sense, genre flicks: gambling, kung fu, sports, vampires, and so on–if you …

“This is a movie that even makes men cry.” That was the claim laid by out newspaper and radio reports. Movie-goers were advised to bring a spare pack of tissues to mop up their tears.

Echoes of the Rainbow (歲月神偷, 2010) is a romantic film about the hardships of a stereotypical family in the 1960s. The story is inspired by the director-screenwriter’s own experience as a child. Through its 117 minutes, the plot takes us into the lives of each family member: An impish eight year, a high school champion, a hard-working shoemaker and a do-it-all mother.

Aside from making …

Cantopop may have been revolutionary back in the days of Sam Hui, the godfather of the Hong Kong sound, but today a younger generation of new irascibles is looking to make a change in the musical landscape of the island metropolis. A Roller Control, which counts among its members DJ and label boss Alok Leung as well as leading local contemporary artist Nadim Abbas, is well-poised to make it happen. With a sound somewhere between disco punk, modulated noise, and knob-fiddling sound art, ARC–as they are known in the hipster colloquialism–has been taking a certain segment of Hong Kong’s population …

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