We’re in the middle of an interesting time here in Hong Kong. No, we’re not referring to the debate over the proposed CE election process (yawn!). We’re talking about being sandwiched between two blockbuster films – The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which arrived on our shores a few weeks ago and is still going strong, and Max Max: Fury Road, which is opening here next week. It’s this time when it’s easy to miss out on some good films that won’t be receiving much press. Lucky for us, our in-house movie expert, Howard Elias, is here to tell us about them.
How often do we get to see a film from Kosovo? That should be reason enough to get you to see Agnus Dei. Based on a true story, Peter is a 30-something Serbian. When war breaks out, he is forced to enlist in the army to fight against the Kosovo Albanians. After he risks his life saving an Albanian girl, the two travel back to his mother’s house only to discover a family secret that will shatter his world to pieces. There is a reason why Agnus Dei has won 27 international awards. It’s powerful stuff!
Showing at the Grand cinema.
On June 9, 2013, and for a few days afterward, Hong Kong was in the world’s spotlight. US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, Edward Snowden, had just revealed himself as the person who was behind the leaked information about the US government’s indiscriminate mass surveillance program. The bulk of Citizenfour takes place in Snowden’s hotel room at The Mira in TST where he very calmly tells investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian reporter Ewen MacAskill what he knows. Given the importance of the subject matter, there is no doubt that Citizenfour is compelling viewing but is it great filmmaking? Watch it and decide for yourself.
Showing at the AMC and BC cinemas.
Soul Boys of the Western World
Funny how it seems that just when a band embarks on a world tour, along comes a documentary about them. I know this much is true with Soul Boys of the Western World, the new film about ’80s UK boy band, Spandau Ballet. There is no question that fans of the group will enjoy this film. I admit to having “Gold” and “True” in my music collection but this film didn’t make me want to pull out my credit card and download a few more of their tunes. It did make me appreciate Tony Hadley’s soaring vocals all the more though.
Showing at the AMC, BC and Grand cinemas.
Howard Elias is a Hong Kong-based film critic and film event organiser. You can hear his reviews every Thursday morning at about 8:40 am on RTHK Radio 4, and read his reviews anytime on his website at howardforfilm.com.