Groundwalk


Surprisingly, this fifty-one minute independent film found its way on to DVD and I am rather glad it did. Shot on video with a budget that appears smaller than a 10-year old’s weekly allowance, it is a charming sweet romance as well as a little love letter to Hong Kong. Directed by Gilette Leung, the film in almost playful documentary style follows two new friends around as they explore Hong Kong and their feelings for one another. By the end of the film you are caught up in the sights of the city, but even more so in their tentative tender overtures to one another.
The story is told primarily through the narration of Anne Marie (credited only as Anne Marie), a twenty-something urban graphic designer and lesbian. At a dinner party of friends she meets Flann (Fiona Tang) and discovers that they both liked the film “A Very Long Engagement” and so gets her phone number. She doesn’t have the nerve to call her though as tells us that her seventy-seven ounce cell phone feels like it weighs a ton every time she picks it up to dial. Six months pass and she again meets Flann at a friends gathering and this time suggests that the two of them spend an entire day acting like tourists in Hong Kong and pretend that it is all new to them. Flann agrees.
They begin at the airport as if they had just arrived from some far away destination and go on a sightseeing trip that takes in many of the vistas of Hong Kong from the Tsing Ma Bridge to the Che Kong Temple to Central Market and a nighttime visit to the peak. Along the way they chat about their childhood, their families, play “truth” and are advised by a numerologist that today is a perfect day to tell each other meaningful things. They also eat a lot wandering in for desserts, tea and a delicious looking seafood dinner. They both skirt around issues of the heart as in roundabout ways they try to determine what the other’s feelings are and from time to time their hands nearly brush up against one another. Finally in a rainstorm huddled in a doorway, they shyly hold hands. The final stop on their tour is to come – a night in a tourist hotel to bring their day of exploration to an end – or perhaps just a beginning.
Inside on the DVD cover, the director (who also wrote the script and the music) expresses her thanks for having her first film brought out on DVD and calls it the most exciting thing to happen in her life and asks for those who enjoyed the film to write her at www.gilitte.com. For a small little film it certainly has some nice extras - a making of and scenes of the actors being directed - without subs though.

My rating for this film: 7.0 (taking into account its budget limitations and small ambitions)


Other "View from the Brooklyn Bridge" Film Raters:

Sarah: 7.5  - "The idea of pretending to be tourists in your own city (especially when it's Hong Kong) intrigued me. I wasn't disappointed and enjoyed seeing the locations she chose.  I hope she makes more movies and gets some substantial funding.  Ms Leung has talent.  GROUNDWALK was charming and fun to watch.  If not for the production values I'd rate it 8.5."