When director Fruit Chan last took a trip to the darker parts of his brain the result was Dumplings
, one of the most disturbing horror films of recent years - so much so that I cannot imagine myself ever wanting to sit and watch it again, not despite
but precisely because
of how incredibly well made it is. And so the idea of Chan going dark once again with Berlin selection The Midnight After
is more than a little intriguing.
Imagine that the entire population of the planet has vanished, except
for you and 16 other people. Do the moral principles and religious
beliefs we live by still apply? If civilization has collapsed, how do we
survive? How far would you be willing to go to get life back to normal?
In 2012, a novel which originated as an on-line serial became a
publishing phenomenon in Hong Kong. Lost on a Minibus to Taipo by the
writer pen-named "Pizza" was a huge popular success, despite being very
different from any other Hong Kong novel ever written. The Midnight
After is Fruit Chan's spectacular adaptation of the book, telling the
story of a latenight minibus driving from urban Hong Kong to the New
Territories town of Tai Po. The driver and his 16 passengers go through
Lion Rock Tunnel and find the world changed on the other side. The film
visualizes a strange kind of apocalypse: a handful of typical Hong Kong
residents find themselves apparently the only people left alive, and
have to rethink their identities, their relationships and their future.
At its most basic level, the story exposes the demons that lurk deep
within human nature.
The film brings together such well-known stars of Hong Kong cinema as
Simon Yam, Kara Hui and Lam Suet with top talents from the new
generation of Hong Kong actors: Wong You-nam, Janice Man and Chui
Tien-you. These and their co-stars play a range of authentic Hong Kong
characters, giving the film a strong local flavour. Putting these people
in recognizably real settings while they have to deal with massive
unknown forces yields an unusual and engrossing drama. No late-night
minibus ride in Hong Kong has ever been like this!
Take a look at a selection of stills from the movie below.
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