HK Fullscreen, Revisited, Again

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.

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