Review: ‘Crossings’

Averitable hot pot of not-totally-compatible ingredients, "Crossings" is an overambitious study of the points at which Chinese and American cultures intersect, or don't. Pic will reward those with committed interest in the subject and repel others.

Averitable hot pot of not-totally-compatible ingredients, “Crossings” is an overambitious study of the points at which Chinese and American cultures intersect, or don’t. Pic will reward those with committed interest in the subject and repel others.

Hong Kong beauty Anita Yuen toplines as Mo-yung, a young middle-class woman whose family wants her to marry a sight-unseen Toronto man so she can leave the British colony before 1997. Those plans fly out the window when she meets Benny (Simon Yam), an ultra-cool photographer who may be peddling other goods on his shuttles between New York and H.K. Eventually, Mo-yung follows him to the Big Apple with something he wanted mailed; she has a hard time finding him, although his “clients” are soon looking for her.

Along the way, she runs into Rubie (serene Lindzay Chan), a part-white health worker who is being followed by a possibly psychotic schoolteacher with a fixation on Asian women.

Some scenes are alarmingly clumsy, but the script has wit (“Marco Polo,” says one character, “brought two things home from China: pasta and the Mafia”) and occasional moments — particularly those between the two female leads — are simply and touchingly handled.

Helmer Evans Chan was inspired by a real, mid-’80s incident in which a H.K. immigrant was pushed off a N.Y. subway platform by a crazed Caucasian (scary Ted Brunetti). “Crossings” smacks of calculated agenda, with ideas usually outstripping execution. Pic is chaotic and rough, but it moves swiftly, with at least one display of talent for every fumble.

Crossings

(HONG KONG-U.S.)

Production

A Riverdrive Prods. Ltd. (New York) production. Produced by Willy Tsao. Executive producer, Jessinta Liu. Directed by Evans Chan. Screenplay, Evans Chan , Joyce Chan.

Crew

Camera (color) Jamie Silverstein; editor, Henry Chang; music, Kung Chi Shing, Cui Jan; production, costume design, William Chang (Hong Kong), Deana Sidney (New York); sound, Coll Anderson. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (non-competing), Sept. 1, 1994. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

With: Anita Yuen (Mo-yung), Simon Yam (Benny), Lindzay Chan (Rubie), Ted Brunetti, Monica Ha, Monica Ha, Elizabeth Flax, Toshiro Chan Yamamoto, Philip Meng Miou.
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