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Starry Starry Night (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Rene Liu (Actor) | Xu Jiao (Actor) | Harlem Yu (Actor) | Kenneth Tsang
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YesAsia Editorial Description

There was once a young girl named May (Xu Jiao) who felt alienated from everyone around her. May is worried about her mother (Rene Liu) and father (Harlem Yu), whose marriage is on the rocks, and she yearns to return to the woods where her grandfather (Kenneth Tsang) lives. One day, May befriends a boy (Eric Lin) as lonely as she is. When reality catches up, they run away to a beautiful world that belongs only to them. Both imaginatively escapist and heartbreakingly realistic, their journey speaks to kids and adults alike with the pain of solitude, the sorrow of loss, and the warmth of hope.

Based on Jimmy Liao's illustrated book, the fanciful coming-of-age film Starry Starry Night paints in vivid strokes the fears and fantasies of childhood. Winds of September director Tom Lin expands on the original story, while staying true to the sentiments and visuals of the book with splendid CG animation that brings alive Liao's imaginative world. As the teen leads, CJ7's Josie Xu Jiao and newcomer Eric Lin Hui Min take us back to a tender age when life is fragile yet full of wonder. Just like the heroine, audiences won't easily forget that summer back when, and its brightest, loneliest Starry Starry Night.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Starry Starry Night (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 星空 (2011) (DVD) (香港版) 星空 (2011) (DVD) (香港版) 星空 (2011) (DVD) (香港版) Starry Starry Night (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Rene Liu (Actor) | Xu Jiao (Actor) | Harlem Yu (Actor) | Kenneth Tsang | Guey Lun Mei | Chen Kuo Fu (Actor) | Janel Tsai (Actor) | Stone (Mayday) | Lin Hui Min (Actor) | Tom Lin 劉若英 (Actor) | 徐嬌 (Actor) | 庾澄慶 (Actor) | 曾 江 | 桂綸鎂 | 陳國富 (Actor) | 蔡 淑臻 (Actor) | 石頭 (五月天) | 林 暉閔 (Actor) | 林 書宇 刘若英 (Actor) | 徐娇 (Actor) | 庾澄庆 (Actor) | 曾 江 | 桂纶镁 | 陈国富 (Actor) | 蔡 淑臻 (Actor) | 石头 (五月天) | 林 晖闵 (Actor) | 林 书宇 劉若英(レネ・リウ) (Actor) | 徐嬌 (シュー・チャオ) (Actor) | 庾澄慶 (ハーレム・ユー) (Actor) | 曾江(ケネス・ツァン) | 桂綸鎂 (グイ・ルンメイ) | チェン・クォフー (Actor) | ジャネル・ツァイ (Actor) | Stone (Mayday) | 林暉閔(リン・フイミン) (Actor) | 林書宇 (トム・リン) Rene Liu (Actor) | Xu Jiao (Actor) | Harlem Yu (Actor) | Kenneth Tsang | Guey Lun Mei | Chen Kuo Fu (Actor) | Janel Tsai (Actor) | Stone (Mayday) | Lin Hui Min (Actor) | Tom Lin
Director: Tom Lin 林 書宇 林 书宇 林書宇 (トム・リン) Tom Lin
Release Date: 2012-01-20
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: Taiwan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIA
Duration: 98 (mins)
Publisher: Deltamac (HK)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1030245256

Product Information

Special Features:
- Trailer

Director: Tom Lin Shu-yu

Mei, a 13 year old girl, used to live with her grandparents up in the mountains where the stars were most beautiful. After she was taken back to the city, she has been having a hard time both at home and at school. Her only escape is through her memory of those starry nights.

One day, Mei meets the transfer student, Jay, who seems more detached from the world than she is. Together, they try to face their problems, but things only got worse when Mei's parents announce their divorce and ask her to choose who to live with. Mei and Jay decide to run away from home to see the stars she missed so dearly...
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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This film has received 8 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Starry Starry Night (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

January 11, 2012

Starry Starry Night is the third of artist Jimmy Liao's works to get the big-screen treatment, and the third time may be the charm. Not that the previous two film adaptations, Sound of Colors and Turn Left, Turn Right are bad movies; both are likable and entertaining, but each used overly-manufactured sitcom devices to flesh out Liao’s picture books into full-length features. The films had felt emotion but also annoying details or a sometimes ill-fitting irony. Starry Starry Night takes Liao seriously, using fantasy and imagination to approach the darker corners of his work, ultimately showing adolescence as painful and also precious. Director Tom Lin (Winds of September - The Taiwan Chapter) does add his own ideas, but they seem to complement and not detract from the sincerity that so characterizes Liao's work.

CJ7's Xu Jiao (now calling herself "Josie Xu") stars as May, the only daughter in a family that’s slowly splintering. Her parents (Rene Liu and Harlem Yu) are obviously not getting along like they used to, their dinners awkward and their shared company nearly nonexistent. As her parents show signs of a permanent split, May becomes interested in and finally befriends new student Jay (Eric Lin Hui-Min), a sullen and troubled loner whose silence hides domestic trauma involving his emotionally-wounded mother (Janel Tsai) and mysteriously missing dad. Together, the kids commiserate, becoming closer through creativity, fantasy and finally an impromptu trip into the woods, where May's grandfather (Kenneth Tsang) keeps a remote cabin. A crisis sends the kids on their trip, but solace and satisfaction can't be found by running away. Growing up teaches you that.

Starry Starry Night does nothing particularly new, recycling common tropes about adolescence, coming of age and personal growth. However, in this age of force-fed consumerism, there are few things we've not seen nor heard before. The trick, then, is all in the telling - and Tom Lin and Jimmy Liao do a fine job there. Liao's subjects are commonplace but he uses his artwork to capture his characters' innocence and melancholy. Lin doesn't have Liao's expressive use of color and ink to enchant the audience, but he's got fine art direction, terrific cinematography and some smart use of CGI. The visual effects bring to life fantastic imaginary objects like paper creatures or wooden animals, but they aren’t the spectacle. The point here isn't the visual effects, but their representation of the characters' innocence and emotional connection. In lieu of action or dialogue, this imagery-as-character works wonders.

Also effective is the film's look and style. Colors are primary and bright, but with sharp shadows giving detail and edge. Pacing is quite leisurely, perhaps more than necessary, with acute emotion usually reflected with slow motion theatrics. The film is stronger when it employs quiet shifts in mood, like a dance sequence between Rene Liu and Xu Jiao that veers from minor elation into sudden sadness. As the parents, Rene Liu and Harlem Yu are fine; neither is completely sketched, but the portrayals make sense from May's limited and decidedly affected point of view. Newcomer Eric Lin is a bit stiff and uncomfortable as Jay. Lin is fine as a beautiful, idealized bad boy, but he's too soft to handle the character's darker emotions. At the film's heart is Xu Jiao, who makes a solid transition from child to adolescent actor. Her plain yet pretty features make her an easy actress to identify with; May's emotions, while typical of a fictional introspective youth, are easier to buy when the actor carrying them is so genuine-seeming and unpretentious.

Starry Starry Night captures youth effectively but not realistically, filtering loneliness, realization and growth through a fantastic and also somber lens. Tom Lin respects the mood and intent of Jimmy Liao’s work, and if any flaw exists in this adaptation it may be due to the translation between mediums and not the work itself. Lin makes small, even cloying additions, like the use of a missing piece from a puzzle of Vincent van Gogh's famous painting Starry Night, which May searches for frantically and perhaps to no avail. The metaphor there is obvious, but it acts as an effective image for a pop-art coming-of-age fantasy, and certainly works better than another cloying moment, an all-encompassing voiceover from May that wraps up everything too neatly. In the context of Tom Lin's super-sincere adaptation of Jimmy Liao's work, these devices are fine ones, as is a final cameo from Taiwan starlet Guey Lun-Mei as a pitch-perfect older version of May. Starry Starry Night attempts cinema magic in its portrayal of moody youth, and the spell it casts is not without flaw. And yet it's also hard to resist.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm

Editor's Pick of "Starry Starry Night (2011) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Picked By Sanwei
See all this editor's picks

February 29, 2012

Finally, a Jimmy Liao adaptation that gets it right
Starry Starry Night is the third Jimmy Liao story to get adapted for the big screen, and it's also hands down the best. Previous adaptations Turn Left, Turn Right and Sound of Colors had bigger stars, bigger directors, and unique draws of their own, but neither was able to create the visual fantasy and pensive innocence so integral to Jimmy Liao's illustrated books. Winds of September writer-director Tom Lin's adaptation of Starry Starry Night, however, comes very close in spirit to Liao's book, be it in the whimsical imagery or the tender storytelling.

Published in 2009, Liao's Starry Starry Night is about a reticent young girl from a breaking family who befriends an equally lonely boy. One starry night, they run off into the woods, away from the troubles of the world that they can't control. From Liao's book, Lin fleshes out a fuller story about May (Xu Jiao) and Jay's (Eric Lin) puppy love, their family problems, and a precious adolescent world where imagination provides refuge from the reality of loss and alienation. Liao's story is a montage of moments from May's memories, and Lin doesn't try to distract from that wistful, coming-of-age sentiment with unnecessary subplots and characters. Instead, he fills in the moments by concentrating on May and Jay's relationship and May's inner world.

This means that the film falls squarely onto the shoulders of its young cast, and Xu Jiao is more than up to the task. Growing up from CJ7's impish kid to a young actress, she brings the experience and maturity required for the precocious leading role. Newcomer Eric Lin, though likable, is on the blank side, but it's mainly Xu Jiao who carries the film. The adult cast isn't too shabby either with Rene Liu and Harlem Yu as May's parents, and Kenneth Tsang as her grandfather. The always welcome Guey Lun Mei makes a small but significant appearance as the grown-up May at the film's end. The jury may be mixed on whether the additional episode about May years later is necessary for the story, but it does offer a more cinematic ending (with Guey Lun Mei, nonetheless), while staying sincere and understated.

The film not only stays true to the original story's sentiments, it also stays true to Liao's aesthetics. This was Lin's goal to begin with, and he succeeds handily with beautiful art design and CGI animation to create May's world of blue elephants, giant origami animals, and airborne train rides. Their foray into the forest is fittingly evocative of a childhood adventure, in which both fantasy and reality are a step away. One of the most memorable moments of the film is when the lights literally go out on May in the hallway upon news of her grandfather's passing. The scene is simple, silent, and direct, and yet so succinctly captures the sudden darkness and helplessness of losing a loved one. The film also adds the prominent and effective visual theme of jigsaw puzzles to tie the story together.

While not without its minor flaws, Starry Starry Night has its heart in the right place from start to finish, even down to the end theme by Mayday. The film is fanciful, heartfelt, and contemplative, just like Liao's books and drawings, recalling a younger, simpler time that we may have long left behind but still remember like yesterday. Finally, a Jimmy Liao adaptation that gets it right.

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