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Cinemasia Film Festival
March 5 - March 10
Four Hong Kong made movies will be featured in this year’s Cinemasia Film Festival in Amsterdam. 5 – 10 March
First Night Nerves
All eyes are on Hong Kong City Hall as the final week of rehearsals begin on Two Sisters, a stage production starring rival actresses Yuan Xiuling (Sammi Cheng, one of Johnnie To’s favourite actresses) and He Yuwen (Gigi Leung, Sylvia Chang’s Tempting Heart). When the two drama queens aren’t feuding about line counts and tabloid gossip, they’re swamped by personal problems.
Stanley Kwan, who gave Hong Kong classics like Rouge and Centre Stage, returns to his hometown after a 19-year hiatus, with a wickedly funny tale of backstage turmoil best explained as Birdman meets Almodóvar. While featuring divas galore in cameos, he examines their inner insecurities in an industry especially unforgiving to women. Kwan also proves why he’s still Hong Kong’s best directors of actresses, bringing out an electrifying performance from Bai Baihe (Monster Hunt) as Yuan’s lesbian confidant. The film has been eagerly embraced by prestigious festivals such as Torino, Busan and Tokyo Filmex.
Tue 5 March 21:30 – Kriterion K2 TICKETS
Sat 9 March 15:00 – Kriterion K2 TICKETS
The Lady Improper
Siu-man (Charlene Choi) scowls through her job as a gynaecology nurse, while trying to hide her mail-order dildo from her co-workers. Her marriage has fallen apart due to a non-existent sex life. When her father (legendary action star Lau Wing) is hospitalised, she is forced to run his cha-chaan-teng (Hong Kong style diner). But how can Siu-man, who’s been forbidden to enter the kitchen since childhood, recreate her father’s signature dishes? Unexpected help comes in the form of Chia-hao (Wu Kang- jen), a hunky Paris-trained Cordon Bleu chef who arouses both her appetite and her desire. She realises that she must tackle her fear of intimacy head-on. It starts with cooking and pole-dancing lessons.
Hong Kong may be a high-tech, cosmopolitan city, but old-fashioned Confucian morality dies hard. Independent filmmaker Jessey Tsang’s courageous and tantalising new work delves into sex phobia and female repression – subjects often swept under the carpet in Asian society. The film is also a love song to the humble yet heavenly flavours of Hong Kong cuisine.
Sun 10 March 19:00 – Kriterion K1 TICKETS
The Memory of Water
Melanie, a Canada-based filmmaker returns to her birthplace Hong Kong and gets entangled in a romantic fantasy. Stephen describes the diaspora experience in terms of an original “molecule” that cannot be erased after generations of dilution.
Tai-hung (Philip Keung) seems to be living an ideal life with a successful business and a doting wife (Kara Hui). But when he learns that an old friend has died, he’s forced to come to terms with a secret that he’s been hiding all along – he’s really a woman trapped in a man’s body. Caught between his duties as a family man and his own destiny, he struggles to define the right thing to do.
Jun Li tells a powerful story of identity and acceptance with his directorial debut, a rare LGBTQ-themed drama from Hong Kong. Brimming with empathy and intellectual insight, Tracey is a trailblazing cinematic work from a society where transgender issues remain taboo or misunderstood. In addition to Ben Yuen’s brilliant Golden Horse-winning performance as an older transgender opera singer, longtime character actor Philip Keung gives a career-defining performance as a repressed soul.
Thu 7 March 19:15 + Q&A with Trans Focus Screening – Kriterion K2 TICKETS
Sat 9 March 16:45 + Q&A with Director – Rialto Boven TICKETS