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Bye-bye, HKAFF

Aaaaaaaad, we’re back. These toys in my living room say “Hi”:

Chopper and Friends
Clearly, my toy collection kicks ass

Anyway, the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival is now over. During that 17-day period I consumed 18 movies, 5 short films, 2 regular theatrical releases and plenty of bad food. Amazingly, I did not get sick, though I do recall nodding off during my screening of 881.

 Sleeping kitty
Hokkien musicals put this cat to sleep, too

This year’s movies at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival ranged from underwhelming to pretty damn good, with the overall quality tipping towards the “good” portion of the scale. As always, reviews of some (though not all) of the films will be forthcoming on Since I’m actually managing to stick to my “800 words or less” mandate on the new reviews, I may be able to increase my output. The gun to my head also ensures that I follow the rules.

Blog Cop Anthony Wong
Anthony Wong disapproves of lengthy reviews

Here’s a list of films that I saw - not that the titles themselves necessarily mean anything to anyone. If there’s a review on, I’ve linked to it. If the review is well-written and fair, then it was written by either Kevin Ma or Sanjuro. If you wish for extra info on any of the films, please feel free to check out the official website. I helped with a couple of the catalog blurbs this year, so this notice also qualifies as minor self-promotion.

Movies I saw at the fest:

Miao Miao
True Women For Sale
Dada’s Dance
Some Like It Hot
The Sky Crawlers
12 Lotus
The Magic Hour
Cape No. 7
What on Earth Have I Done Wrong?!
Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit
After School
The Equation of Love & Death

Plus some Short Films:

Mr. Right
Family Viewing
Summer Afternoon
Young Blood

In between all the screenings, I saw two regular Hong Kong films, THE VAMPIRE WHO ADMIRES ME and WUSHU, both of which will see reviews on the site soon. WUSHU is supposed to be a Hong Kong film, but plays more like a China film, in that it uses China-centric actors, sets, locations, language, and probably undergarments. The line between HK and China cinema is so incredibly blurred nowadays that it is impossible for me to classify anything on this website, much less for’s yearly important-to-only-four-people LoveHKFilm Awards. I figure when we run them again this year, I’ll simply draw up a list and thumb my nose at any film that doesn’t make the cut.

I think this year, Donnie Yen should be up for a few awards. Besides his “acting” in EMPRESS AND THE WARRIORS and PAINTED SKIN, he could win something for his cool parenting skills:

Donnie and Po
Donnie Yen and his daughter were caught
off guard by Po, who proceeded to maul them indiscriminately

Looking forward, November brings the theatrical release of many of the fest’s featured titles. Hong Kong films will be rather sparse, though. Maybe we’ll finally see the release of Media Asia’s big gun, the Sammi Cheng-Eason Chan starrer LADY COP AND PAPA CROOK, but who knows if that’ll actually happen. The film looks like a pop thriller, and not like much of a comedy, but it’s directed by the duo of Alan Mak and Felix Chong, so anticipation is high.

Lady Cop and Papa Crook
Sammi + Eason should equal box office.
If not then Hong Kong Cinema really is in hell.

Also in November, we’ll be getting BALLISTIC, the Taiwan-set political thriller from director Lawrence Lau and CHAMPIONS, the Tsui Siu-Ming-directed action film starring Dicky Cheung. The trailer for CHAMPIONS looks action-heavy, and yet it also features the line of dialogue, “I must compete in the Olympic games!”, which is shouted by someone while they’re righteously shaking their fist. I predict laughs all around in the theater.

If you can name 2 people on this poster,
you deserve a prize

Finally, on the 27th, we’ll be getting THE BEAST STALKER, directed by Dante Lam of the lost-in-limbo Edison Chen film SNIPER. Nicholas Tse, Nick Cheung, and Zhang Jingchu star. I have seen neither a trailer nor heard any buzz, so I have no irresponsible, off-the-cuff comments to make.

Beast Stalker
Sorry, this photo is small

There’s probably another Hong Kong film or two heading our way in November, and if so I’ll try to mention it here. I will leave the monthly blog post with some photos taken at the fest. Please note that I was standing next to the person taking this photo, meaning I was only four feet from the subject in question:

So close
“My spider-sense is tingling…like someone horrible
and absolutely evil is standing four feet from me…”

A suggestion was made that I actually attempt to “photo stalk”, meaning insert myself somewhere nearby in an attempt to go for an impromptu “Me and Ekin Cheng” photo opportunity. I declined, however, because my HKAFF Festival Pass was a privilege, and not an excuse to behave like some sort of annoying groupie.

Besides, if I had to photo stalk someone at the fest, it would be this person instead.

Karena Lam
Who doesn’t love Karena Lam?
Not so sure about the dress, though

Also, if I had really found a way to take a photo wth Ekin Cheng, I probably would have discovered first-hand what a swell and wonderful human being he is, thereby causing waves of guilt for all the crap he receives on Afterwards, I would probably be honor-bound to close down this site once and for all because of the disservice it does to Ekin and humanity in general.

By the way, next week is the 2008 Presidential Election, so please go out and vote next Tuesday. If you can’t vote, you can at least root for the candidate most suitable to lead the free world. You all know who that is:

Vote for me

Anpanman Prime says, “Bye”.

More than meets the eye
“Damn you, Megatron!”

7 Responses to “Bye-bye, HKAFF”

  1. eliza bennet Says:

    This is a great post! And you are slowly getting closer to Ekin (or is he getting closer to you?)

    I feel an interview coming in not so distant future!

    Loved the picture of the cat and yours toys are adorable :)

  2. Clara Says:

    Wow Eason looks so handsome in the photo you have quoted. I have never noticed how charming he is. And of coz everyone loves Karena Lam, she is Hong Kong guys’ dream wife, but girls may jealouse about her sweet smile. =)

    Anyway I can name all people on the poster of The Champions, so what is the prize? =D (btw Dicky Cheung is a really good actor, I like him. Especially in the TV series of “The Monkey King: Quest for the Sutra”!)

  3. Dana Says:

    Looking forward to the review of Wushu, the vampire one, not so much!

    Will you be reviewing the equation of love or death, parking, da da’s dance adn all that good stuff?

  4. Gabriel Says:

    4 feet from Ekin Cheng!! Did you feel faint with wonder? Are you planning on standing 4 feet away from other HK stars anytime soon?

  5. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Clara, congratulations on being able to name all the people on the poster of Champions! Sadly, there are no real prizes, though if you read carefully, the photo caption says that you DESERVE a prize, not that you’ll actually get one. So uh, sorry. If there’s an opportunity later, however, i’ll buy you a drink.

    Hi Dana, reviews of those three particular films will happen, though I have no time table. I’m hoping sometime in November.

    Hi Gabriel, being 4 feet from Ekin Cheng is pretty intimidating. I was afraid he’d use his “wind kicks” on me. Sadly, I have no plans to stand four feet from any other HK celebrities anytime soon. I have a friend, though, who attends all the Alive Not Dead functions and has photos of himself standing next to the likes of Cherrie Ying, Josie Ho, and all sorts of celebs. Basically, when it comes to rubbing elbows with the stars, I really stink at it.

    Hi Eliza, no idea if an interview with Noodle is in the cards. It would be nice, but apparently I am not willing to jump over media barriers to make it happen. We’ll see if/when it occurs.

  6. Morgan Says:

    I see huge bus ads for THE BEAST STALKER, but not one commercial or trailer anywhere. All I know is Nic Tse and a little girl is in the movie. Has the studio cut back on marketing in these tough economic times?

    If I was 4 feet from Karena, I would be woozy. If it was Ekin, maybe I would take a picture of him.

    Not one mention of Batman in this post?! Looks like the embargo is holding up.

  7. TheGoldenRock Says:


    They showed the trailer for Beast Stalker when I watched Tropic Thunder at a UA theater. This is because it’s being distributed by Lark, who either owns or is part of the same corporation as UA. EEG, who produced Beast Stalker, has a distribution deal with Lark since earlier this year. It’s actually a fairly well-edited trailer for a Hong Kong film.

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