The Overlook: Inside the mesmerizing world of the obscure Hong Kong musical Air Hostess

In The Overlook, A.V. Club film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky examines the misfits, underappreciated gems, and underseen classics of film history.

In 1959, Motion Picture & General Investment Co., the baldly named Hong Kong production arm of the Singapore-based Cathay Organisation, released Air Hostess, a travelogue-like musical melodrama starring Grace Chang (a.k.a Ge Lan), one of the studio’s most popular contract stars. It’s a lot of fun to look at, as are all of the movies that Chang made with writer-director Evan Yang. Mambo Girl, which catapulted Chang to stardom, is filled with checkerboard patterns, two-tone sweaters, and other things that looked great in black-and-white, while Our Dream Car is staged like a brochure. (See: the extended diagonal split-screen sequence, with two panels joined in a back-and-forth of song and car-ownership ecstasy.) Air Hostess, shot in color, has the graphic sense of a Ben-Day dot comic …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *