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The Longest Summer DVD

Mandarin and/or Cantonese Multilingual DVDs

Hong Kong Movie


128 Minutes


What is Multi-Lingual DVDs?


The Longest Summer (1998)


Director: Fruit Chan

Starring: Tony Ho, Sam Lee, Jo Kuk

Fruit Chan occupies the enviable position of being probably the second-most talked about director active in Hong Kong today. His sophomore film, MADE IN HONG KONG, after causing barely a ripple when sneak previewed at the 1997 Hong Kong Film Festival surprisingly went on to play festivals worldwide where it even succeeded in picking up an award or two, elevating Chan to the vanguard of a new Indie Cinema that the region is so desperate for as an alternative to, and an escape route from, the waning commercial sector. His follow-up, THE LONGEST SUMMER, met a less ecstatic response, but it helped cement Chan's reputation as something more than a one-hit wonder.

THE LONGEST SUMMER is about five middle-aged ex-soldiers ditched when the British garrison left town pre-handover. Their identity and allegiances left murky, the group sets about re-entering the workforce in a rapidly changing HK. Set against the lead-up to the big 1997 event, the group fall into a bank heist with the help of triad kid Ga Suen (Sam Lee). The story becomes a shell to follow his elder brother Ga Yin (Tony Ho), the film's principal character. It examines how his direction is lost, how he comes to question himself and why he actually resorts to joining HK's underside. But from the startling first scenes, you know Chan's telling more than one story here.

An immense amount of ground is covered during the film's two hours. The camera focuses straight on HK people's feelings as the colony changed hands--from schoolgirls' comments on mainlanders to the changing ideals of the young and old. The atmosphere of the raindrenched handover is captured with remarkable clarity and with the spirit of that period intact. As the ultimate "handover movie", there's a huge amount of the SAR covered in this film.

Not just the backdrops (many skilfully staged and shot in mid-'97) but also the rare (at this depth) celluloid insight into HK people. Even the triad-kids scene works wonders. The actors in The Longest Summer are nearly all newcomers again, and that means you can visualize them as ordinary Hong kongers. Known actors with the baggage of previous roles would have killed it for me. And two of the five leads are ex-servicemen in reality. Fruit Chan's picked new actors to keep an eye out for, particularly Jo Kuk as gangster's girl Jane, if they choose to stick with acting at all.

DVD: List Price: US $19.95

Sale Price: US$9.95

Language: Cantonese / Mandarin

Subtitle: English / Traditional Chinese / Simplified Chinese

All Regions (Can be played on any DVD player in the world)

Letter Box

Rating: IIB - "Adult Material; Parental Guidance Recommended" (roughly equal to an MPPA rating of "R") Films rated Category IIB contain large amounts of violence and/or nudity and sexual situations in addition to possible explicit language and adult situations.