You might remember Rafa Zubiria for his haunting video of Hong Kong which featured a sinister Mr. Softee and earned him a Vimeo Staff Pick back in 2015. Well, now the talented 32-year-old Spanish filmmaker returns with another stunning clip that offers an even more poetic take on our city.
Created as an entry for the prominent async International Short Film Competition, A Gentle Glow features several cities in Southeast Asia and offers a nostalgic glimpse into Hong Kong’s past through a series of moody shots captured during Rafa’s visit here.
Forget towering skyscrapers and hyperlapse trams because this time we’re taken on a voyage to Aberdeen Harbour and the backstreets of Hong Kong. And you won’t find the cliché dance track we’re used to hearing in clips of our city because instead we are treated to a sobering poem written by twentieth century Russian poet Arseny Tarkovsky.
The poem features in a track called Life, Life, which was created by Ryuichi Sakamoto, the Japanese composer behind the Oscar-winning movie The Revenant. Incidentally, Sakamoto is one of the judges of the competition, and we’re pretty sure he’ll be blown away by how perfectly the track fits with the shots in the video. He might also be pleasantly surprised to find that Mr. DiCaprio himself features in it too.
So what made Rafa choose these shots? “I wanted to explore Asian cultures and collect their beauty with my camera”, he tells Localiiz. “I shot scenes in Hanoi, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Guilin, and Chongqing – cities that I found very inspiring because of their vibrant rhythm, chaos, the modernity versus decay dichotomy, and the endless symphony of lights.”
And what makes Hong Kong so special? “I think Hong Kong is one of the most spectacular cities in the world’, he says. “From those ridiculous tall “hives” to its original geographical accident, the many islands, the extensive green areas in the backyard, the glowing neon signs – that mixture makes it unique.”
We couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope he impresses Sakamoto and wins the competition!
Stay tuned for the results on December 15.
Watch more! Explore more fantastic videos of Hong Kong in our library.