Everyphone Everywhere

WORLD PREMIERE

Everyphone Everywhere

全個世界都有電話 (Chyuhn go sai gaai dou yauh dihn wa)

Hong Kong, 2023, 93’, Cantonese
Directed by: Amos Why
Screenplay: Amos Why, Frankie Chung, Kong Yu-sing 
Photography (color): Leung Ming-kai
Editing: Jefferson Lai, Stanley Tam
Production Design: Ng Suet-yan, Saphire Ho
Music: WiFi, Tsai Chia-ying, Flow
Producers: Winnie Tsang, Amos Why, Teresa Kwong, Frankie Chung, Philo Wu, Chen Pao-ying
Cast: Endy Chow (Chung Chit), Peter Chan (Raymond So), Rosa Maria Velasco (Ana Lee), Amy Tang (Yanki), Henick Chou (stepson), Cecilia Choi (Ivy), Bonde Sham (phone shop assistant, private kitchen staff), Patra Au (security desk lady, flower seller), Alan Yeung (Alan), Wong Kar-wai (security guard), Adam Wong (chef)

Date of First Release in Territory: TBA 

 

Amos Why’s singular approach to recording contemporary Hong Kong continues in Everyphone Everywhere, a lightly comic drama capturing scenes of pandemic-era life, exploring the cityscape and covering our tight links to mobile phones.
Everyphone Everywhere’s cross-cutting narrative brings together a large set of players within the mobile-communications theme. First there’s designer Chung Chit (Endy Chow), who rushes to catch a ferry and leaves his phone at home. There’s no time to retrieve the device, so he tries to soldier on without it – and the results are eye-opening. Eventually, he’ll need to call his wife Ivy (Cecilia Choi) to awkwardly help him out. Meanwhile, soon-to-emigrate middle manager Raymond Ho (Peter Chan) starts his day with his WhatsApp account hacked and frozen. Broken contacts aside, his big fear is exposure of shady workplace practices and possible blackmail or arrest. Then there’s Ana (Rosa Maria Velasco), an old classmate of theirs who’s waiting in a private kitchen and getting odd messages. And all the time a young lady, Yanki (Amy Tang), and a nerdy computer wiz (Henick Chou) are busy using messaging apps for sleazy purposes.
Pulling together the various plot strands, Amos Why’s fourth feature spins into complex and curious entertainment. The director once again draws on rising talent, here headed by Endy Chow in a relaxed and personable role and with the others drawn from cinema, TV and popular YouTube channels. Viewers are kept on their toes as numerous characters pass by, with some appearing in dual roles and others briefly turning up to give sometimes imaginative faces to those on the other end of messaging exchanges. 
Why’s past plots have been engineered to send cast and crew to as many corners of Hong Kong as possible, but this time things are more focused. Everyphone Everywhere starts on the island of Cheung Chau and trots around the city before settling in the Kwun Tong industrial area, building a sense of place as Chit gets lost trying to find Ana’s meeting place within a massive industrial complex. The kindness (or not) of strangers and other little snippets of community life come in too, and Why doesn’t shy away from accurately showing Hong Kong’s outdoor mask-wearing requirement, which ended this March after 945 days: Everyphone Everywhere has its cast join the rest of the public in keeping their masks on. A fun bit of Covid-times weirdness is also thrown in when a scene recreates how a government alert caused phones across the city to blast sirens. Meanwhile, government banners are seen promoting last year’s 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, with the tagline heralding “A New Era.”
The anniversary angle brings up thought-provoking contrasts when Chit, Raymond and Ana finally meet and look back on the hopes and feelings they’d written down 25 years ago. Social shifts are also reflected when a man seems worried about others bringing up his past actions, as well as when the subject of emigration comes up.
There’s a lot to process in Why’s unique brand of cinema, and his first two films showed it wasn’t easy to balance clear plotting with all the recording of local places and society. His third film Far Far Away saw him smoothing out the form into a highly watchable package, and that effort continues here with an easily relatable phone topic sitting beside the extensive local coverage. Viewers looking back on the Hong Kong of 2022 should be able to find Why’s film an easy-going document of the city and its people in unusual times.

 

Amos Why 

Amos Why began his career working in local print media before moving to TV, film and advertising. After years of directing TV series for local broadcaster RTHK, Why made his directorial debut with the partially self-funded independent drama Dot 2 Dot (2014), which earned him a nomination for Best New Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards. In 2018 he directed the crime thriller Napping Kid and then he went for romance in his third film Far Far Away (2022). 

FILMOGRAPHY

2014 – Dot 2 Dot 
2018 – Napping Kid 
2022 – Far Far Away 
2023 – Everyphone Everywhere 

 
 
Tim Youngs
Film director: Amos WHY
Year: 2023
Running time: 91'
Country: Hong Kong
29/04 - 4:55 PM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
29-04-2023 16:55 29-04-2023 22:07Europe/Rome Everyphone Everywhere Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine cec@cecudine.org

Photogallery