Blue Bird
An unusual inclusion in the Local Origination Project section was this Hong Kong-set short from Horie Kei. Filmed in a combination of Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese, it nevertheless proved an easy-to-follow chamber piece set entirely within the confines of a Hong Kong cafe. Ishida Akira and Ikehata Reina play a Japanese couple who run the restaurant, who are taken hostage when a mysterious mainland customer suddenly pulls a gun and refuses to leave.

Hiro Hayama (familiar to Hong Kong movie fans as the star of Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy) pops up as a Japanese businessman also caught in the melee, and there’s an amusing cameo from Ip Man director Wilson Yip too. While the script and performances are nothing too remarkable, the film captures the neon-streaked, smoke-filled aesthetic synonymous with classic 80s Hong Kong Action Cinema, and made for a welcome diversion from the Japan-centric focus of the rest of the programme.

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