Bends (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Anna (Carina Lau) is happily married to her successful husband and together they're raising a daughter who is studying abroad. Misery hits when her husband suddenly vanishes one day, leaving her scrambling for ways to maintain a high-class life on her own. Meanwhile, her driver Fai (Aloys Chen) places all his hopes on this job in order to move his wife from Mainland China to Hong Kong to give birth to a second son, which is forbidden under China's one child policy.
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|Product Title:||Bends (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 過界 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 过界 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 過界 (2013) (Blu-ray) (香港版) Bends (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Also known as:||過界男女 过界男女|
|Artist Name(s):||Carina Lau (Actor) | Chen Kun (Actor) | Tian Yuan (Actor) | Lawrence Cheng (Actor) | Stephanie Che (Actor) | Elena Kong (Actor) | Michelle Lo (Actor) 劉嘉玲 (Actor) | 陳坤 (Actor) | 田原 (Actor) | 鄭丹瑞 (Actor) | 車婉婉 (Actor) | 江美儀 (Actor) | 盧覓雪 (Actor) 刘嘉玲 (Actor) | 陈坤 (Actor) | 田原 (Actor) | 郑丹瑞 (Actor) | 车婉婉 (Actor) | 江美仪 (Actor) | 卢觅雪 (Actor) 劉嘉玲 （カリーナ・ラウ） (Actor) | 陳坤（チェン・クン） (Actor) | 田原（ティエン・ユエン） (Actor) | 鄭丹瑞（チェン・ダンソイ） (Actor) | 車婉婉（ステファニー・チェー） (Actor) | Elena Kong (Actor) | 盧覓雪（ミシェル・ロー） (Actor) Carina Lau (Actor) | Chen Kun (Actor) | Tian Yuan (Actor) | Lawrence Cheng (Actor) | Stephanie Che (Actor) | Elena Kong (Actor) | Michelle Lo (Actor)|
|Director:||Flora Lau Liu 劉 韻文 刘 韵文 Flora Lau Liu Flora Lau Liu|
|Blu-ray Region Code:||A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese|
|Country of Origin:||Hong Kong|
|Picture Format:||[HD] High Definition What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.78 : 1, 1.85 : 1|
|Sound Information:||7.1, Dolby TrueHD|
|Disc Format(s):||Blu-ray, 25 GB - Single Layer|
|Screen Resolution:||1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)|
|Video Codecs:||AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10)|
|Publisher:||CN Entertainment Ltd.|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1035512518|
- Making of
BENDS straddles the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border and tells the story of ANNA, an affluent housewife and FAI, her chauffeur, and their unexpected friendship as they each negotiate the pressures of Hong Kong life and the city’s increasingly complex relationship to mainland China. Fai is struggling to find a way to bring his pregnant wife and young daughter over the Hong Kong border from Shenzhen to give birth to their second child, even though he crosses the border easily every day working as a chauffeur for Anna. Anna, in contrast, is struggling to keep up the façade of her ostentatious lifestyle into which she has married, after the sudden disappearance of her husband amid financial turmoil. Their two lives collide in a common space, the car.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Bends (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"
This professional review refers to Bends (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Flora Lau is either the luckiest or the unluckiest filmmaker in Hong Kong. Her feature debut Bends attracted the participation of producer Nansun Shi (Tsui Hark’s longtime producer), cinematographer Christopher Doyle, as well as stars like Carina Lau and Aloys Chen. The film was also co-financed by Hong Kong government’s film subsidy, and is about topical Hong Kong issues that will be familiar to anyone who follows local news. This kind of pedigree for a debut work attracts scrutiny, especially when the film in question holds its world premiere as an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. Unfortunately, the buzz for Bends lifts expectations so unfairly high that there’s bound to be disappointment. If anything, it should be appreciated by local Hong Kongers for being a bona-fide Hong Kong film.
Based in Shenzhen, Fai (Aloys Chen) crosses the Hong Kong-Mainland China border every day to work as a chauffeur for socialite Anna (Carina Lau). Fai’s wife Tingting (Tian Yuan, Butterfly) is pregnant with the couple’s second child – a no-no considering mainland China’s one-child policy. Unable to pay the hefty fine, Fai, who is already a permanent Hong Kong resident, needs to bring Tingting over the border to Hong Kong to give birth. It sounds easy, but the task is virtually impossible since the government has cracked down on cross-border births by limiting the number of non-residents in maternity wards and deploying additional border patrols.
Meanwhile, Anna is facing a crisis of her own. After a typical party at the residence, Anna’s businessman husband Leo (Lawrence Cheng) disappears without a trace. His office has been cleared out, credit cards have been cancelled and Anna is left to fend for herself. Anna tries to keep up appearances during Leo’s absence by paying for extravagant tea gatherings with her socialite friends while filling her home with Feng Shui accessories for good fortune. However, when Leo starts sending real estate agents to the home, Anna realizes that he may not be coming back after all.
With the help of Doyle on camera, Flora Lau has made an elegant-looking film using a modest budget. The film captures a quieter side of Hong Kong, using empty spaces (like hillside roads) to emphasize the isolation of the characters. The framing may even evoke comparisons to the veteran cinematographer’s work with Wong Kar-Wai, though Lau’s directorial style differs greatly from Wong’s. Unlike Doyle’s other 2013 effort, Peter Chan’s American Dreams in China, Bends’s visual palate appears to have benefitted greatly from an experienced cinematographer like Doyle behind the camera.
However, the visuals aren’t enough to compensate for the flaws in the script. Bends succeeds at putting a human face on controversial social topics. The debate over mainland Chinese mothers giving birth in Hong Kong has been filled with so much inflammatory rhetoric from both sides that the film’s sympathetic approach to the topic feels refreshing. However, the script doesn’t lend the same depth to the relationship between Anna and Fai. The two spend most of the film apart in their respective subplots except for one subtle emotional moment about an hour in. Lau clearly intends for the two characters to remain in their respective worlds until they finally clash at the end, but the result is a film that feels dramatically undercooked, especially when the ending needs that connection to have a real impact.
At times, Lau’s direction also feels intentionally detached, a choice that will leave some audiences cold. She demands that the audience work to find a connection, which doesn’t always prove successful. Bends will ultimately divide audiences, but there’s no doubt that it still has merits. The film features a strong performance from Carina Lau and exceptional cinematography from Christopher Doyle, and its story offers an unusually balanced approach to a controversial topic. A breath of fresh air from Hong Kong’s usual hyper-commercial films, Bends is certainly worth a look. What you’ll get from it is a different story.
by Kevin Ma - LoveHKFilm.com