LOVE IN THE BUFF
LOVE IN THE BUFF
by Marybel Gervais
(translated by Adam Abouaccar)
In 2010, Pang Ho-cheung’s precursor to Love in the Buff – the similarly titled Love in a Puff – had its Hong Kong debut. Initially, the film failed to receive much attention due to its Category III rating, but several critics (such as Muse Magazine’s Perry Lam) praised the work, insisting that few films have done as much to document the reality of young people growing up in Hong Kong. Each country has its share of feature films dedicated to uncovering the lives of young adults; this theme is looked at through many different lenses worldwide. These films often contain an assortment of stories concerning what it’s like to be starting out on the job market, uncertainties with regard to university, awareness of new freedoms/responsibilities and the broadening of one’s social circle. More often than not, these issues are tacked onto a budding love story.
Here in Quebec, one of the iconic films in touch with the realities of growing up is Giles Groulx’ Le chat dans le sac (1964), through which Groulx explores the political maturity of young Quebecois adults in the 1960s. Fernando Meirelles’ Cidade de Deus (City of God) touches upon the same themes but stages them in an entirely different reality. Set in a poor neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro, the film tells the story of Buscapé – nicknamed Rocket – who manages to escape the confines of his hometown, where young men have no other choice but to be part of a gang. His dream of becoming a photographer as well as his clear sense of determination will help him achieve his destiny. Sadly, he will bear witness to the self-destruction of his childhood friends along the way. Meirelles took great care in recruiting young people from the slums, who would be familiar with the reality of the story. Further examples, from Mike Ott’s Analog Days (USA, 2006) to Oskari Sipola’s Elokuu (Finland, 2011) illustrate the international scope of restless youth films in recent years.
Both Love in a Puff and Love in the Buff tread the same path as these films. We’re introduced to the career changes, the endless work hours, the small parties with friends and the romantic rollercoaster that is Jimmy and Cherie’s relationship. We are given a brief explanation of Cherie’s history at the beginning of Love in the Buff, which is more than enough to follow the ensuing events without having seen the first installment. Frankly, Love in the Buff transcends its sequel status to stand on its own as a wholly original work.
LOVE IN THE BUFF has it Quebec Premiere August 5th at 4:40pm in the Concordia Hall Theater. More info on the film page HERE.
Pang Ho-cheung’s VULGARIA also has its Canadian Premiere on August 6th at 7:45pm in the Hall Theatre. More info on that film HERE.