Looks like YAHHK has transformed into a movie blog. Not surprising, as Hong Kong is known for its film industry and is host to many film festivals throughout the year, including the Sundance Film Festival, which happened throughout the month of September and I do regret missing. However, I managed to catch one movie from the Hong Kong Gay and Lesbian Film Festival before it closed this past weekend. Last Sunday, I watched The Summer of Sangaile, a Lithuanian lesbian film.
The Summer of Sangaile is a coming-of-age story (seems like that’s been the movie theme of my life these days) about a 17-year-old girl named Sangaile, who spends her holidays in a small town surrounded by fields and woods. She befriends a girl her age named Auste and the two have a sweet summer fling where they explore the countryside—and each other.
3 out of 5 stars. This was a nice end-of-summer film. I felt like it captured the spirit of a youthful, teenaged summer. While I can’t relate to a few of the cultural references (there was a scene where the beach group find a tapeworm in a fish and freak out/take pictures with it; this scene got my Lithuanian friend really excited and she began whispering how this was something Lithuanian youths used to talk about), I related a lot to the photoshoots, and Auste’s aesthetics was what I aspired (and failed) to be when I was 17. Also I’d never seen my friend giggle so much at a movie, so I’m glad she liked it. Beautiful cinematography and some amazing costume and set design. Great acting too, as the girl who plays Auste only has two other works under her belt. Worth watching!
Due to my inability to keep on top of things, I didn’t realize that the film I really wanted to see, Freeheld, starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, was the closing film for the festival. (One of my friends posted a video message Ellen Page had left the audience for the festival. What!) In addition, the after party for the HKGLFF featured Manila Luzon from RuPaul’s Drag Race and a few other drag queens! I had wanted to go to that but the tickets were a bit pricey for me, and I decided that I’d rather be a homebody.
Funnily enough, I was introduced to the programmer for HKGLFF who put in The Summer of Sangaile yesterday, and she told me a bunch of other films I should have seen at the festival. I already want to watch Boulevard, which was the last film Robin Williams made before he passed away, and Tangerine, which was shot completely on an iPhone. (Trailers below.)
I’ll definitely be more proactive and prepared for the next film festival! I smell one around the corner.