Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008
The Pye-Dog

The Pye-Dog

(Ye, Leung Heun)
Sponsored by: Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office(Canada)

Canadian Premiere

WINNER: Grand Prize, International Film Festival for Children and Young Audience “Schlingel,” Germany 2007
WINNER: Best Supporting Actress (Susan Shaw), 27th Hong Kong Film Awards
Opening Film, 2007 Hong Kong Film Festival

Screening Times

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“Entertaining, emotional, and a damn fine Hong Kong movie. One of the most pleasant surprises of 2007” - LOVEHKFILM.COM

Credits

Director: Derek Kwok
Screenplay: Derek Kwok
Cast: Eason Chan, Gia Lin, Wen Jun Hui, Eric Tsang, Susan Shaw
Producers: Teddy Robbin, Li Kuo Hsiung, Fred Deng
Distributor: Mei Ah Entertainment Group

Description

As a child, an orphan struggling to get by, Dui was mercilessly bullied, and fashioning devices for self-defense instilled in him an aptitude for gadgetry and handiwork. The closest thing he ever had to a father was a cynical, mid-level crook who steered Dui’s skills toward dirty criminal activities. Now a man, Dui is awkward and introverted, hiding the spark inside him behind dull and glassy eyes. Twelve-year-old Wang is also without parents. Following his father’s mysterious disappearance and his mentally unwell mother’s suicide, he’s lived in his grandmother’s care, never uttering a single word.

Dui is assigned a thankless task by his mentor, and with only a name and a photo to go on, he takes a job as a elementary school janitor with the intention of kidnapping the son of his gang leader’s hated nemesis. Dui doesn’t realize that Wang is his target, and he unintentionally connects with the kid, each of them bringing out a hidden store of affection and playfulness in the other. Different feelings are stirred in Dui by the shy teacher Miss Cheung. New possibilities open up for all of them, but at the same time, dark plans are afoot, unexpected twists arise and innocent eyes hide mysterious intentions.

With patience and grace, in carefully arranged series of chapters, Derek Kwok—an experienced screenwriter but first-time director, not to be confused with the heartthrob Hong Kong actor—unwraps an artful, distinctive and rather idiosyncratic variation on the noir crime thriller, fitted with parts from the heartwarming comedy-drama drawer. It’s to Kwok’s great credit that his light, sure footing in crafting his characters and their interactions keeps him clear of the sugary syrup lesser talents might have become bogged down in. Eason Chan, in the role of Dui, shows how he’s matured as an actor in recent years, and lovable veterans Eric Tsang and George Lam add flavour to the mix, but it’s Wen Jun-Hui as the enigmatic yet endearing Wang who steals the show. Let’s not forget Shaw Brothers icon Susan Shaw, who won a richly deserved Hong Kong Film Award (an HK Oscar!) for her performance here.

—Rupert Bottenberg