Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
Last week, I posted the 13th LoveHKFilm Awards, so now would be a good a time as any to talk about the genesis and development of this not-so-prestigious event. Basically, there was no genesis. I made it up one day to add to my nifty new website because hey, I had time on my hands. When one is bored, they frequently come up with new and creative ways to pass the time. Just ask this guy:
“Whew! I have a lot of time on my hands.
Maybe I’ll take up photography.”
Pardon our interruption to beat a dead horse. Frankly, the above horse is so entertaining that I think I’ll be walloping it well into 2008. I have not yet figured out how to make fun of Isabella Leong’s recent media blitz.
“I get into the craziest messes! Silly me!”
Anyway, back to LoveHKFilm Awards. Originally I created them just because I felt like being self-important. Oddly, I now get occasional emails from people asking me when the LoveHKFilm Awards will get announced. It’s almost like the awards actually mean something. I’m amazed that such a thing would ever happen because my opinion is about as important as the person who took your ticket stub on your way into the cinema. Hell, his opinion may be more qualified than mine, because I’m sure he sees more movies than I do.
But nobody sees more crappy Hong Kong movies than me. At least, that’s what occurred with this year’s LoveHKFilm Awards, which I decided to hand out this year via committee.
Some background: back when I lived in the United States, I watched most of my Hong Kong movies alone, and what few I could catch with friends usually fulfilled one of the following questions, “Does it have action? Does it have Jackie Chan? Does it have hot chicks?” A few of my friends managed to expand their range to become partial to the fine work of Andy Lau or Sammi Cheng, but nobody would go out of their way to see My Sweetie with me, no matter how cute that Stephy Tang was. That was my life a few years back.
But here in Hong Kong I know a few
suckers friends who will check out all the latest Hong Kong movies with me, up to and including such fine motion pictures as Beauty and the 7 Beasts and The Lady Iron Chef. Really, if you must test the loyalty of your friends, the surest way is to ask them to see a Wong Jing movie with you. If they say yes, then you’ve found a friend for life.
“Do you really think I care if my movies suck?”
Anyway, since I know people who are interested in seeing Hong Kong films, I figured why not ask them to help decide what 2007’s best Hong Kong movies were? Seven other such people took pity on me and agreed, leading to this year’s first LoveHKFilm Awards by committee. What’s the significance of this? Well, since it’s not just one person who’s coming up with these picks, perhaps this will be seen as more fair or balanced. Opinions are subjective, and
mob rule consensus is always preferable to the voice of a single dictator person.
Kelly Chen agrees:
“Yes, your LoveHKFilm Awards are quite fair.
Now get your foot off my head!”
So, hopefully this will be the first of many “jury-chosen” LoveHKFilm Awards. I’ll describe the simple rules below to account for the few discrepancies that exist between these awards and the other, more official ones out there. At the very end, I’ll print my personal picks because then you’ll know how I voted. If you stop reading along the way, no one will blame you.
RULES for the 2007 LoveHKFilm Awards:
Films under consideration must have premiered theatrically or on home video in Hong Kong in 2007. Exceptions to this rule are movies that only found distribution in 2007, but may have premiered in earlier years. Examples would be The Postmodern Life of My Aunt, which is considered a 2006 film thanks to an international fest premiere or The Third Eye, which premiered at the 2006 Hong Kong International Film Festival, but only came to DVD in 2007. Conversely, Shamo is considered 2007 by some sources (e.g. The Golden Horse Awards), but since nobody saw it in 2007, it’ll be counted in 2008. It’s already a lock for Best Fashion Accessory.
In addition, for a film to be eligible, it must meet 3 of the following 4 criteria:
1. The film contains Hong Kong investment. Totally important, and a major reason that both Lust, Caution and The Sun Also Rises - two films passed over for consideration by the Hong Kong Film Awards - count here.
2. The film features a Hong Kong actor in a prominent, if not starring role. Probably the biggest film on the bubble here is Jay Chou’s Secret, which only has one definite Hong Kong actor - Anthony Wong - in a key supporting role. Both leads are Taiwan-based, so this movie almost got cut from consideration. We counted it anyway. Not that it matters because it won nothing.
3. The film features a Hong Kong director, i.e. a director who either hails from Hong Kong, or whose career is largely associated with Hong Kong Cinema. Ang Lee probably doesn’t qualify as a Hong Kong director, and neither does Jiang Wen. However, both their films matched the other 3 criteria, so we counted them both. Make sense?
4. It must feature a Chinese language prominently. A movie like The Touch would still get consideration despite being shot in English, because it fulfills the three of the four above criteria. However, My Blueberry Nights would get knocked out because it’s all in English and doesn’t have a Hong Kong actor. Wong Kar-Wai doesn’t need our help, anyway.
The above rules didn’t prevent some issues from occurring. One major issue was whether or not to let Lust, Caution in, not only because of its lack of inclusion in all of Hong Kong’s film awards, but also because if it were allowed in, it might sweep everything and make us look like one of your typical snooty awards societies. Well, we did leave it in, and it did win everything. My curiosity demands that we do a hypothetical do-over to see what would occur in a world without Ang Lee.
Also, to be clear about something: not everyone in the jury saw every film that was eligible for inclusion. I myself missed two films, House of the Invisibles and Fear Factors, but that’s not that big a deal because nobody else on the jury saw them either, and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that neither film would be giving Lust, Caution a run for its money. All jury members saw the majority of the films, and most saw any film up for a quality award (i.e., not some jokey or crappy award). I myself saw every single film under consideration, including that terrible Francis Ng film The Closet.
The problem that does exist though, is that means a film can be hurt by not enough people seeing it. This was possibly the case for The Sun Also Rises, which was seen by a little over half of the jury, but not by all. As a result, I did some awesome mathematical re-jiggering (Whoops! Are we allowed to use that word anymore? PC Police, help me out!) to make sure lesser-seen films had extra representation. The solution probably wasn’t foolproof, but hey, we did the best we can. It’s not like anyone around here got paid.
Though it must be noted: one person on the jury did not see Lust, Caution, which means that every other vote for Lust, Caution got an extra boost. That boost could have propelled it past Hooked on You, which had nearly the same score as Lust, Caution and was seen by the entire jury. So, if the last person had seen Lust, Caution and had decided that it was complete and utter crap, they would have not given it any points, thus making Hooked on You the winner of our Best Picture award. Add to this the fact that the person who didn’t see Lust, Caution opted out due to disinterest, and you have the definite possibility that Hooked on You wins Best Picture.
All things considered, it’s possible that Hooked on You got robbed by the LoveHKFilm Awards.
“What? My movie got robbed
by your crappy awards? Screw you, Kozo!”
Anyway, here are my personal picks for the LoveHKFilm Awards:
The 10 Best Films:
1. Lust, Caution
2. Mad Detective
3. Hooked on You
4. The Sun Also Rises
6. Mr. Cinema
7. The Postmodern Life of My Aunt
8. The Pye-Dog
9. Magic Boy
10. The Detective
The 10 Worst Films:
1. Wonder Women
2. Anna & Anna
3. The Drummer
4. House of Mahjong
5. Kung Fu Mahjong 3 - The Final Duel
6. Beauty and the 7 Beasts
7. Love Is Not All Around
8. Kung Fu Fighter
9. Sweet Revenge
10. Super Fans
Best Actor: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (Lust, Caution)
Best Actress: Siqin Gaowa (Postmodern Life of My Aunt)
Best Supporting Actor: Ronald Cheng (Mr. Cinema)
Best Supporting Actress: Teresa Mo (Mr. Cinema)
Best Director : Jiang Wen (The Sun Also Rises)
Best Screenplay: Wai Ka-Fai, Au Kin-Yee (Mad Detective)
Best New Artist: Tang Wei (Lust, Caution)
Most Underrated Film: Magic Boy
Most Overrated Film: The Warlords
Most Bizarre Film: Ming Ming
Biggest Disappointment: Blood Brothers
Best Action: Invisible Target
Best Production Values: Warlords
Worst Production Values: House of Mahjong
Most Underrated Performer: Eason Chan (Hooked on You)
Funniest Performer: Louis Koo (Triangle)
Best Overacting: Chow Yun-Fat (The Postmodern Life of My Aunt)
Worst Overacting: Tony Leung Ka-Fai (The Drummer)
Taking Up Space: Tsui Tin Yau (Who’s Next)
Career Suicide: Barbara Wong (Wonder Women)
And, to honor the old Webmaster-only LoveHKFilm Awards and its silly categories:
Most Annoying: Jim Chim Sui-Man (Simply Actors)
Most Charismatic: Guey Lun-Mei (Secret)
Most Loveable: Kate Yeung (Magic Boy)
Missing in Action: Anita Yuen Wing-Yee (Protege)
Funniest Film: In Love with the Dead
Entertainer of the Year: Eason Chan, even if he did appear in Brothers
The Special Award: Wonder Women, because it was so very, very, very special
The Winner of Many of Next Year’s Awards: Edison Chen, for a zillion obvious reasons
Anyway, that’s it for this year’s LoveHKFilm Awards. Startling and scandalous, wasn’t it? Well, probably not, because these awards aren’t official and will likely be ignored by everyone in the Hong Kong entertainment industry. But hey, it was interesting, right?
“No, it wasn’t, and never claim that it was again. Got it?”