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Spacked Out
Year: 2000
The girls of Spacked Out
Director: Lawrence Ah Mon (Lau Kwok-Cheung)
Producer: Johnnie To Kei-Fung
Cast: Debbie Tam Kit-Man, Christy Cheung Wing-Yin, Au Man-Si, Maggie Poon Mei-Si, Vanessa Chu
The Skinny: An uncommon Hong Kong film that uses unknowns and real locations to tell a common, but incredibly real story. Not a fun movie, but one absolutely worth watching.
by Kozo:
     Lawrence Ah Mon’s return to directing is a low-budget indie produced by pal Johnnie To and Milky Way Productions. It chronicles the misadventures of four young girls ages 12-13 who live in a world that could only be described as HK’s version of Larry Clark’s Kids. Basically, we’re asked to watch as it’s apparent that their lives mean nothing and have little to offer in the future. 
     Cookie has no mother, may be pregnant, and has a triad boyfriend that cares nothing for her. Two of our heroines, Sissy and Cece, are actually going out, but they’re different. One is a reckless tomboy that’s too attached to her chosen mate, while the other is a self-imagined pinup girl who wants to screw around. That leaves us with Banana, who has an insane mother, an absent father, participates in phone chat room dating, runs mobile phones to China, and sleeps around like nobody’s business. And remember, they’re all 12-13!!! 
     Okay, that’s really not a shock, since we know by now that this stuff happens. Still, it can be painful and even harrowing to watch. This is a film that seems plotless, but reaches its denouement when we realize that this is all a byproduct of a society that values nothing. Only then do we see the lesson that the girls discover in the film. That answer is something I won’t divulge but it’s prosaic, rather obvious, and totally true. This is a movie where there are zero answers, but the journey itself is compelling and laudable. 
     Lawrence Ah Mon wrings real performances from his cast of total unknowns, with only Vanessa Chu (as Lai-Yi) resembling anything like a star. Her ethereal, waif-like appearance only helps her small, but vital role. She plays an almost idealistic other to our protagonists, and thus becomes a sort of untouchable idol to Cookie. I enjoyed this film for what it provided: a dark, believable truth with an equally believable optimism left behind. (Kozo 2000)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen