Su and I went to the Gala Premiere last night featuring “Love After Love” directed by internationally renowned film director Ann Hui. I had read an article on SCMP maybe a fortnight ago about the film, but I couldn’t recognize the names of the artistes, except Ann Hui and the author Eileen Chang. HKU Foundation apparently has a leaning towards the works of the two ladies and had used films involving them before to raise funds. The Covid pandemic had smothered most if not all such activities and gatherings in the past two years, so that many alumni, like me, would make an effort to turn up when one was being organized, if only to find out who were still around and about. We tried to turn up slightly early at the ceremony before the film started, but it was rather crowded, as would be expected. We did meet up some friends, including ones we had not met for a rather long time; and it was difficult sometimes to recognize people behind face masks.
Su took a photo with an artiste, and we had a picture with Ann Hui whom I had known through Gus many years ago, shortly after I first left HKU when she was staying in Robert Black College. I can’t tell whether she could still remember me or my name, with her worldwide fame and successes, but I thought I would email the photo to Gus somehow, who now stays in Vancouver, above water, I hope.
You could have seen what Su had written about her first afterthoughts on the film. Overall, we both appreciated the camerawork and direction, but had problem with the storyline and the characterization of the principal protagonists. Then again, we were not there to critique my friend’s work and frankly, I don’t think she cares too much how the film would fare in the box offices. I think there could be a problem, but so what, she has already received her Lifetime Achievement Award in Venice last year.
Back to the film which was adapted from Eileen Chang’s works, the storyline is flimsy and simple enough. I like the rain scenes, of which there were lots. I like some of the dialogues and a few punch lines which would make good quotes, which I won’t know whom to credit, the author, the director or the script writer Wang.
Earlier, Su had reminded me that we had lined up for a busy week, which began on Monday with the closing concert of the First Hong Kong Hymnos Festival when I put on her favourite bow tie to keep my neck warm and for a few good selfies. Again, we met many friends. On Tuesday, we had our first hairy crab meal at home, with crabs brought to us by her good friend Andrew; and we have lined up a few other dinners before Sunday, including at least two to welcome back Peter, albeit temporarily. In the meantime, Su stocked up sufficient bottles of bubblies and red wine that would last us through the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Tiger, her year. Most of the bottles were delivered this morning, but by the time I returned from my lunch at Football Club, which was rather heavy, she had put in storage all of them, away from my sightline. Well done, Su, I told her.
Something else which had taken up my attention in the last week was the close of nomination for candidature for the upcoming election to the Legislative Council under the improved election system. Some friends are among the 1,500 on the Election Committee which would decide on which 40 candidates would go into the future LegCo. I had been under the impression that only people in the 1,500 could stand for election to the Election Committee constituency. I was wrong. Any candidate can run as long as he or she can get the required number of votes from each of the five sectors, but only the 1,500 people on the Committee can vote. Competition for the 20 seats in the ten geographical constituencies the 30 seats in the functional constituencies is expected to be fierce, but the voter turnout rates would be something else. Some friends have said they could not understand the system and also suggested that it would not be much of an election. Well, I would ask them to think again if they are interested in Hong Kong and in Hong Kong’s future. It is not politics that will keep Hong Kong float and keep the economy going. Hong Kong needs stability, continuing stability and certainties to ensure investor confidence; and the new election mechanisms backed by the national security laws will provide that guarantee.
I hope to talk to you again soon.