So, this is a something I’ve had rattling around in my head for awhile, and I finally managed to edit it into… a thing. I’m not sure how successful it is; basically, the idea was to try to communicate the experience of watching a Hong Kong movie as someone who lived there as a kid. Specifically, a movie (it began as “movies,” but trying to track down editable copies of old HK films is incredibly difficult, as it turns out) that shows a LOT of Hong Kong itself from around the period my family lived there. Michael Hui’s The Private Eyes (1976) does that – it’s surprisingly local, in fact – and so I edited it down to particularly recognizable scenes (because it was either that, or do the whole movie and… no), and then asked my brother to watch them with me while I recorded our conversation, which I then cut into the video edit.
In theory, the juxtaposition of the film and our largely extra-textual conversation about it is supposed to enact and/or illustrate the disjuncture I think those of us who have a relationship to a place can feel when we see it in the movies. I don’t know if it’s generalizable, although I have similar sorts of feelings when I see movies shot in parts of New York City in the early-mid 1970s… but I tend to have feelings about the movies themselves as well (Godspell, Superman), whereas with The Private Eyes, as much as I like the movie, it’s really all about the place for me.
Anyway, it may or may not be successful, but it was pretty much what I had in mind when I set out to make it.