When I saw the Reggae Kung Fu poster, I asked my friend, a native of Hong Kong, if Jackie Chan was in town. I meant it as a joke. He didn’t laugh. He took me seriously.
“No. Unfortunately, Jackie Chan is not in town.” He said it as if he knew, at all times, where Jackie Chan actually was. And, he seemed disappointed he could not take me to meet Jackie Chan. He didn’t mention any Reggae artists.
Humor, especially with sarcasm, doesn’t translate well, mine, or his. My friend told me how much he loves Jackie Chan, how much the people of Hong Kong love Jackie Chan. But, he said, the movies made in Hong Kong look different than the movies made in the US.
“What’s the difference,” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said. “They’re just different.”
He tried to show me some examples. Grittier, dirtier, darker, faster, more martial arts. “American movies make Hong Kong look…cleaner.”
“Show me your Hong Kong.”
He tried to. I think. The sites we filmed and photographed were carefully selected. I spent nearly a week in Hong Kong, this time, and I still don’t think I’ve seen the city, the ‘real’ city. After all, I couldn’t give a one sentence description. Big, tall, vibrant, energizing, fast paced, harried, smelly, busy, clean, dirty… I could use a dictionary and never run out of adjectives to describe Hong Kong. It is all of those things, and more. So, bear with me. I photographed the things I could see. Slice of Life? I hope so…