Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val Hong Kong

Sun­dance sea­son is well un­der way in Hong Kong, bring­ing with it a pa­rade of in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned in­die films from the pres­ti­gious an­nual film fes­ti­val. Here are our picks for the ones to watch.

HK Magazine - - FILM -

All screen­ings at the Metro­plex, G/F, E-Max, KITEC, 1 Trade­mart Drive, Kowloon Bay. $90 from hk.sun­dance.org

South­side With You

Di­rec­tor and writer Richard Tanne’s début film gives au­di­ences a dif­fer­ent view of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the First Cou­ple of the United States: A first date be­tween lawyer Michelle Robin­son (Tika Sumpter) and young as­so­ciate Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers). In “South­side With You,” the pair go to an Afro­cen­tric art ex­hi­bi­tion, catch a screen­ing of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and share their most ide­al­is­tic thoughts, plant­ing a seed which would be­come the Oba­mas’ mon­u­men­tal pres­i­den­tial term. Sep 23, 9:30pm; Oct 2, 2pm.

Spa Night

Di­rected and writ­ten by Kore­anAmer­i­can An­drew Ahn, “Spa Night” merges themes of com­ing out with the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Asian-Amer­i­can nar­ra­tive. In this English and Korean-lan­guage fea­ture début, the clos­eted 18-year-old David (Joe Seo) takes up a job at a Korean spa and pop­u­lar cruis­ing spot in LA to help his fam­ily with fi­nances. Sep 24, 7:45pm; Oct 1, 3:30pm.

The Lovers and the Despot

A doc­u­men­tary un­cov­er­ing the bizarre and thrilling story of South Korean celebrity cou­ple Choi Eun­hee and Shin San­gok. Af­ter a tu­mul­tuous di­vorce in the late 1970s they were ab­ducted and brought be­fore noted film buff Kim Jong-il. For years, they were forced to make films to­gether un­der the dic­ta­tor’s watch­ful eye. Di­rec­tors Ross Adam and Robert Can­nan make full use of in­ter­views with Choi—and se­cretly taped record­ings from the pe­riod. Sep 25, 7:30pm; Oct 1, 5:45pm.

Swiss Army Man

Di­rected by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Schein­ert, this highly an­tic­i­pated fes­ti­val fa­vorite tells the story of a man stranded on a desert is­land (Paul Dano, “12 Years a Slave,” “Pris­on­ers”) who makes an un­ex­pected friend (Daniel Rad­cliffe) with some in­ter­est­ing quirks—for ex­am­ple, he’s dead. Known among in­ter­na­tional crit­ics as “the fart­ing corpse movie.” Sep 23, 7:30pm; Oct 1, 9:45pm.

She Ob­jects

This new of­fer­ing by 27-year-old Hong Kong di­rec­tor Ni­cole Fan tack­les a prob­lem that hits very close to home for many: The ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion of women in me­dia in Hong Kong, and the ef­fect it has on girls and so­ci­ety. From in­ter­views with celebri­ties and frank por­tray­als of ev­ery­day Hongkongers, this doc­u­men­tary ex­poses how “pretty” im­ages on so­cial me­dia can be linked to eat­ing dis­or­ders and vi­o­lence against women. Sep 25, 1:30pm; Sep 29, 7:45pm.

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