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Hong Kong, 1998 (MIFF 1998, Regional Features)

Director: Stanley Kwan

A complex story based around a small ensemble of characters who cross paths in the wake of a plane crash. Grieving for his dead wife, a young husband, Fung Wai, meets a gay real estate agent, Tong, after he considers selling his apartment, which holds too many painful reminders of the loss. Much of Hold You Tight is revealed in flashback, detailing the young couple's life and scrutinising their secrets. Along the way director Stanley Kwan introduces his audience to a lonely drifter Jie, who was involved in an affair with Fung Wai's dead wife, Ah Moon, and Rosa, the owner of a small Taipei boutique who also crossed Ah Moon's path and was about to join her on the fateful flight until a mislaid passport saved her life.

This tangle of involvements slowly unravels as the characters pour out pent up emotional anguish and begin to face the future rather than dwell in a past that only holds grief, loss and emotional bruises. Another challenging and visually unique installment (and winner of Best Feature Film at the Berlin Film Festival) in the career of one of China's most acclaimed directors.

"An examination of sexual identity through the intertwined stories of five people of various persuasions... Kwan and debut scripter Jimmy Ngai construct an engrossing, multilayered fresco of sexual desire, both straight and gay." - Variety

"Kwan manages to dig deeper into secret lives using a gritty realism achieved through close-up camera work... Kwan's work is touching because of its familiar topic of loss and renewal and his ability to go beyond the surface." - Screen International

Stanley Kwan was born in Hong Kong in 1957. After studying in the Department of Communications at Baptist College he found himself working as assistant to several of the young directors who went on to establish the 'new wave' in Hong Kong cinema. He followed them when they made the transition from TV to film production. Kwan's films include Rouge (1987), Actress (1991) and Yang and Yin: Gender in Chinese Cinema (MIFF 1997).

See also...


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