City Without Baseball (2008) Call Number: DVD-V LD12-0277
Permanent Residence (2009) Call Number: DVD-V LD12-0028
Amphetamine (2010) Call Number: DVD-V LD12-0278
Image: Courtesy of Artwalker Productions
Since 2007’s City Without Baseball, Hong Kong director Scud (Danny Cheng Wan-Cheung) has been pushing boundaries in his exploration of themes usually deemed too controversial for Hong Kong cinema. His first film features actual members of the Hong Kong National Baseball Team in a city where baseball is almost unknown.
Permanent Residence is a semi-autobiographical account of the director’s life and his sexual awakening. Although the film has got mixed reviews, it has been praised for dealing with taboo subjects.
Amphetamine was nominated for a Teddy Award at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival. Censored in its home country and causing controversy in several Asian countries, the film tells the love story between a successful gay banker and an emotionally troubled, drug-addicted straight swimming instructor.
Scud’s films are technically accomplished, but most of the narratives are campy gay soap operas alienating for (especially) Western audiences. However, the films deserve attention because they’re nothing like what we’ve seen before from Asia and particularly from Hong Kong.