- Amir Steklov
City Without Baseball - (2008)
Updated: Feb 19
Director: Lawrence Ah Mon & Scud.
There is something very special about this film I can't put my finger on. Something about the baseball team - the real team members are acting in the film.
They are isolated by choice because baseball is very unpopular in Hong Kong, they are "queer" but not in the way contemporary woke cinema portrays this term. They share intimacy, friendship and passion but at the same time do not excel in baseball.
During the duration of the film there are songs by dead musicians and their credit shows while the songs are playing. The music of the dead musicians is as mediocre as the baseball team.
And that gave me a strong emotional response.
In a culture that praises the "excellent", the "freaks" and the "geniuses" we often forget to pay tribute to the average people, who live their life the best way they can. They are super heroes in their own isolated universe - their body, souls and relationships.
The film has a few fully frontal naked scenes, which exposes the team to the vulnerabilities of cinema's relationship with the male body. But they are so comfortable, it seems like they are completely above those social constructs.
There are also obvious homages to Wong Kar-wai.
I feel like maybe it's a forgotten film. I never heard about it and never heard anyone talk about it. But in my opinion it's a very well made film that should have been more well known.
Verdict: 4 / 5 ★ - Best film about mediocrity I've seen.