(Cantonese) Starring Law Lit, Zeny Kwok, Carrie Ng, Tats Lau (Glass Tears); Eric Tsang, Laurence Chou, Yeung Sing-lam, Zeny Kwok, Law Lan (Merry-Go-Round) Director Carol Lai Miu-suet (Glass Tears); Thomas Chow (Merry-Go-Round) Category IIB You couldn't ask for more contrasting views of Hong Kong youth than those provided in Glass Tears and Merry-Go-Round. The two pictures deal with lower-middle-class teens and their search for love, and even have a lead actress in common, but otherwise they come from different universes. Glass Tears, Carol Lai Miu-suet's directorial debut and Hong Kong's only competitive entry in this year's Cannes Film Festival, is dark and depressing. The movie ostensibly focuses on the search by Wu, a former mainland policeman (ably played by former kung-fu star Law Lit), for his lost 15-year-old granddaughter, Ah Cho. But the mystery is clearly secondary to the growing bonds between the 60-year-old man and his granddaughter's best friend, P (Zeny Kwok). She and her friends are blase about life, knowing all about drugs and sex but very little about love. It is no wonder these kids leave home. To say that Ah Cho's family is dysfunctional is an understatement. The director makes this point in the very first scene, with Mum (Carrie Ng, again excelling in an unglamorous role) and Dad (Tats Lau) eating dinner at the same table, but residing in their own private worlds. The portrayals are grim and disheartening, leavened with a bit of humour and wise editing - it's a brief 87 minutes. Merry-Go-Round (below) is spiritually the 'positive' print of Glass Tears. Here, the family, headed by patriarch Kuk (Eric Tsang), is poor but happy, always optimistic in the face of financial failure because it has something far more valuable: love and inner dignity. Based on characters created by radio DJ and author GC Goo-Bi, who also wrote the script, Merry-Go-Round tells of young love as an emotional and spiritual adventure, devoid of sex, drugs, and karaoke. Kuk opens a small restaurant specialising in 'la zha noodles' (the movie's Chinese title), and his son Fung (played by Laurence Chou) experiences the pangs of first, and second, love when he encounters Carlily (Yeung Sing-lam) and her tomboyish sister, Heman (Zeny Kwok, above, who on the basis of her performances in Merry-Go-Round and Glass Tears establishes herself as an impressive newcomer). The film is narrated by little sister Cocoa, who has her own romance with a poor orphan who lives with his garbage-collecting grandma (Law Lan). Directed by Thomas Chow, Merry-Go-Round is warm and funny but at times too saccharine and cute, underscored by music that is a little too perky. It may be no more or no less exaggerated than Glass Tears, but gives some hope for Hong Kong's Generation Z. Glass Tears is screening at Cine-Art House and Merry-Go-Round opens on September 27.