Tai O stars in new Christopher Doyle movie

The old-school charm of Tai O is the backdrop for the latest work from award-winning local film-maker Christopher Doyle.

Australian-born Doyle is famous for his stylish cinematography in Wong Ka-wai movies such as In the Mood for Love and 2046.

His new film, The White Girl (白色女孩),  is co-directed with Jenny Suen, his partner on the well-received Hong Kong Trilogy, a docu-movie in part about Occupy.

The plot is best described as arthouse. A young woman (Angela Yuen) in Hong Kong’s last fishing village is allergic to the sun. Because of this, or perhaps some other reason, she goes out at night in pants and vest.

She meets a Japanese man, like her an outsider. As IMDB explains:

This is a love story, but Sakamoto and The White Girl are not lovers. So what happens between them? They look at each other. He becomes her mirror. She becomes his. That’s what love is: through another they see themselves, reflected, as the imperfect mess that human beings often are.

OK, so not quite up to the standard we’ve come to expect from the Lantau cinema standard set by the likes of Andy Lau and Jean Claude Van Damme.

But there is a sub-plot about greedy mainland developers that may resonate with local viewers.

It premieres on December 14, The White Girl Facebook page advises, though it is not listed at any local cinema.

That may be due to the tepid reviews, like this one from Screen Daily:

The Doyle name, and the legacy of his work with Wong Kar-wai, should ensure further festival bookings and perhaps minor VOD interest. However, it is too willfully obtuse and self-conscious to travel theatrically far beyond its domestic market.

It hasn’t been rated on Rotten Tomatoes or mainland movie site Douban and has earned just 4.8 stars (out of 10) on IMDB.com.

An unpropitious start, but enough to win admission to the Lantau Movie Hall of Fame.

UPDATE December 22:  scmp.com ranked it 44th out of the 45 Hong Kong movies released in 2017.

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