Here I am, trying to get another entry down, but there’s a movie playing on OMNI.2, one of Canada’s premier multi-cultural channels. Although the programming of OMNI.2 is aimed for 22 different ethnocultural groups in 20 different languages, Saturday nights are always in Cantonese. Almost just as invariable are the romantic comedies of Hong Kong cinema that they broadcast around this time.
It makes sense of course; studies have shown that by 2017, visible minorities will top 50% in Toronto and Vancouver, with Chinese people making up over 500,000 of that percentage. Add to this the growing fascination of younger people with the Asian culture, and recent flicks from Hong Kong are the perfect way to build a strong market presence.
Unfortunately, the movies are mostly trite: a collection of predictable, saccharine love stories with little artistic intent, and the one on now is no different. I have to admit though, as simple as these movies are, they still affect me. When I see the characteristic neon building signs, homely food stalls filled with wok hey, and claustrophobically busy streets of Hong Kong again, I’m filled with a certain inexplicable romanticism.
And I can’t seem to get over it. All I want to do is go to Hong Kong again and share the experience with someone. An experience that’s heart-racingly poignant, like the adolescent memory of a first date, when you’re building up the courage to hold someone’s hand. Perhaps, like Humbert Humbert in Nabokov’s Lolita, the memory of my childhood has frozen something in me. A memory that’s beautiful.
Simply, purely, beautiful.