Ring of approval

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 12:00am

Latest postings on the Young Post website yp.scmp.com suggest quite a handful of you spent Christmas studying. Are you still busy revising for forthcoming examinations in the new term?

As we know, all work and no play makes Jack a very, very dull boy indeed. Since there is still some time left before the new term starts, why not put your books down for just a day or two and do something that is both fun and mentally refreshing?

There are still plenty of good movies around right now and if you still have not seen The Return of the King, which is the final part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, then you should make time for it. Director Peter Jackson's screen adaptation of JRR. Tolkein's classic is truly mind-blowing. However, make sure you visit the restrooms before the movie, which runs for almost three hours. And in case you have forgotten the many, and complicated, storylines as well as the numerous characters that make up this wonderful tale of fantasy, you are well advised to refresh your memory by watching the VCDs or DVDs of the previous two instalments - The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers.

If commercial movies - like Infernal Affairs 3, Master Q: Incredible Pet Detective and MTR (with Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Miriam Yeung Chin-wah) - do not really tickle your fancy, you may want to check out the ongoing Chinese Independent Film and Video Showcase at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. This eclectic movie programme will run until January 11 and this Sunday 'Shorts Selection' (part one) - a collection of six short films by mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwanese directors - will be screened. Three of the entries were shown at film festivals this year: Kees Van Es' Tall Shadows (Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival); Distance, by Lester Chen (Taipei Film Festival); and Liu Jiayin's The Train (Beijing Collegiate Film Festival).

You can also catch the 'Art & Environment' exhibition at the Arts Centre, a collaboration with the Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden on this ongoing two-year project. It is aimed at exploring the relationship between creative art and the natural environment in Hong Kong. It will comprise workshops and a display by local artists and art educators from January 2 to 20.

On the performing arts front, City Fringe is about to start and one programme that you might want to get tickets for is Purple Turtle's Beauty & The Beast. This theatre company is well-known for its fun-loving productions and its artists have made this fairytale classic their own by injecting lots of songs, dance, gags and audience participation into the tale. The show, which will run from January 7 to 10, is in English.

All right, if you just want to stay at home there are quite a number of VCD releases that might temporarily take your mind off work. Finding Nemo (both Cantonese and English versions) is definitely worth a look. Though the story is very simple - a cute clown fish gets lost and embarks on an exciting adventure - all the characters are colourful and loveable. With witty dialogue and great one-liners, you can spend hours watching this animation again and again and still find it entertaining. Another choice is Turn Left, Turn Right, the screen adaptation of Jimmy Liao's popular illustrated storybook of the same title. However, despite the movie's commercial success, some critics said it failed to capture the essence of the original. On second thought, get the movie's soundtrack, which is really good, and play it while reading your book.