VIFF 2017: A cranky artist meets his match in I've Got the Blues

Hong Kong

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      A crankily original artist meets his match with a volatile filmmaker as Hong Kong veteran Angie Chen attempts to profile Yank Wong, a painter, designer, and rootsy musician (his guitar plucking explains the title) who refuses to let anyone else tell his story.

      That requires Chen, a UCLA grad originally from Shanghai, to follow the guy on his HK haunts, and to Macau and Paris—where he left two daughters with different mothers—while attempting to smoke and drink him under the table. It takes some time to get used to their bantering style, but the film reveals mounting pleasures as we get to see more of Wong’s work, both in the studio and on the walls of some bohemian salons. His certitude that he always knows best—something he uses to belittle others while smiling—is irritating, however, and Chen knows and shows it.