I’m not a guy, so I can’t say that I’ve been through it all before, but in a way I have given that I have a couple brothers. But then, neither has twenty-four year-old director Heiward Mak, who makes her feature debut with this film, High Noon. One could never tell, though.
I’m talking about coming of age as a seventeen year-old boy (and I mean boy). Mak’s film (an installment in the Winds of September series), and I’ve been asked to limit how much I reveal, highlights just how wrought with bad decisions, conflict, and vulnerability the transformation from boy to well, not quite man, can be. And given texting, Facebook, Twitter, and cellphones turned video cameras that capture every sexual conquest (or lack thereof), it looks even more difficult than what I remember contending with at that age (again, I know I’m not a dude). Set in Hong Kong, one feels like a bit of a voyeur peering into the lives of the nine boys in the film, which I gather was exactly how Mak wanted us to feel – like the outsider that these boys felt like every day of their awkward lives.
If you can get through the first 45 minutes or so, you’ll be rewarded. The last hour packs in pretty much everything under the sun, including violence at home and on the streets (and even the convenience store clich