Not a Hong Kong remake of Bill Clinton’s fave Western, but a remake of producer Eric Tsang’s own Taiwanese “Winds of September,” “High Noon” tracks seven rowdy high school boys with names like Smoothie, Soy Sauce and Sticky Dick from shenanigans to tragedies. Directed by 24-year-old first-timer Heiward Mak (from her own script), pic makes the most of a low budget, even adopting a touch of Wong Kar-wai’s trademark neon-smeared impressionism. Distribution in English-speaking territories seems unlikely, but international fest programmers will want a look — and young Mak is one to watch.
Voice-over narrating hero describes his prankster gang’s mission as “to resist idleness with idleness.” Mission is accomplished with the help of innocence-tainting high-tech gadgetry. A sex scene involving Smoothie is captured on vid, “American Pie”-style, and uploaded to the student body’s PalmPilots. But soon the manic turns melancholic, courtesy of recreational drug use, prostitution, infidelity, violence, and other factors that strain credibility, if not interest. Shooting at Dutch angles, Mak and d.p. Rex Chan exploit limitations of medium-def DV with a pleasingly soft pastel look that smooths over the pixels. Other tech credits are passable.