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Archive for the ‘Lau Ching-Wan’ Category

Production News: June 26th, 2009

News on a couple of major productions that were announced this week:

Lau Ching-Wan and Louis KooOn June 23rd, China Star held an opening lens ceremony for their new project POKER KING (撲克王). The film stars Lau Ching-Wan as a gambling mogul and Louis Koo Tin-Lok as a gambling master. Stephy Tang Lai-Yan will play Louis Koo’s love interest.  Also appearing in the movie are: Cherrie Ying Choi-Yi, Josie Ho Chiu-Yi, the lovely Jo Koo (Kuk Tso-Lam), Wong You-Nam and newcomer Jacky Heung — the son of China Star head Charles Heung Wah-Keung. The duo behind last year’s LA LINGERIE, Chan Hing-Kai and Janet Chun Siu-Jan, will be behind POKER KING.

During the press conference, Lau Ching-Wan revealed that he is not much of a gambler in real-life as his gambling is limited to playing mahjong with friends and relatives during Lunar New Year and the occassional purchase of a lottery ticket.

As for Louis Koo, reporters seemed to be more interested in rumours that he was about to buy a HK$150 million luxury flat in Repulse Bay than anything related to POKER KING.  Koo admitted that he has looked at property in the area but that since it is a family matter, he does not want to comment further on the issue.  Back on the subject of the film, Koo has been preparing for his role as a gambling master by practicing card tricks for hours on end. He has practiced so much, his fingers have started to feel numb.

Stephy Tang, who plays Louis Koo’s love interest in POKER KING, revealed that she has no “heavy romance” scenes with the Tanned One but she is nevertheless feeling very nervous because she has never worked opposite actors of the calibre of Lau Ching-Wan and Louis Koo.  While her character in the movie is a gambling addict, she finds gambling distasteful and would not want a boyfriend who likes to gamble.  Asked what else would take a guy out of the running to be her girlfriend, Tang replied: “I don’t want a boyfriend who is obssesed with video games because I’ve no interest in that.  I’d really hate it if my boyfriend made me play video games with him.  He’d have to make a compromise.”

Quick Notes and Thoughts:

  • Looks like it’ll be an amusing movie.  I’ll see anything with Jo Koo in it.
  • It does feel like a step up for Stephy Tang.
  • Jacky Heung … Boy, I don’t know … Then again, the bar will be set pretty low.
  • This will be Cherrie Ying’s second HK movie of 2009.  The first was the little seen KUNG FU CHEF with Vanness Wu and Sammo Hung.  This one will be higher profile.  After her run as a minor “It Girl” earlier this decade, she’s been working mostly in the Mainland.

Related Links:

Aaron Kwok and Shu QiOn June 24th, an opening lens ceremony was held at the Yuen Long district’s Clarence Film Studio for the Universe - Enlight Pictures co-production CITY UNDER SEIGE (全城戒備).  Directed by Benny Chan Muk-Sing (CONNECTED), the actioner stars Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing, Shu Qi, Collin Chou, Zhang Jingchu and Jacky Wu Jing.  With a budget in excess of HK$100 million, the movie will be heavy on special effects and spend more than one year in post-production.  Producers hope to have it ready in time for a National Day 2010 holiday release.  Billed as “China’s answer to X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE“, the film tells the story of circus performers played by Kwok and Chou who develop super-strength after accidentally inhaling a gas.  Shu Qi plays a reporter.

Although a descendant of Lee Chum-Foon, the hero in Gu Long’s Little Lee Flying Dagger book series, Aaron Kwok’s character is an unremarkable, low-lever circus clown/knife thrower. Admitting that while playing a “down in the dumps” character will be a challenge, Aaron Kwok anticipates that working in front of blue screens will ultimately be the bigger challenge.

Reporters spent most of their time with Shu Qi asking about her love life but when talk centered around the film, the leading lady revealed that she was going to request that she be allowed to do her lines in Mandarin because she felt her Cantonese was rusty.  Unfortunately, when it came time for shooting, she was asked to do her lines in Cantonese.  When the subject turned to how many action scenes Shu Qi has in the movie, co-star Kwok joked: “She has many ‘mind versus heart’ action scenes”.

CITY UNDER SEIGE is the first collaboration between Shu Qu and Aaron Kwok since STORM RIDERS in 1999. Asked for thoughts on the issue, Kwok replied: “I hope that the roots we laid down ten years ago will bear fruit for this project.”

Collin Chou plays a circus troupe leader in the film.  His character and Aaron Kwok’s character start off as “hing-dai” (兄弟) but end up as bitter rivals when the gas not only gives Chou’s character super-strength, it turns him into a villain.  Commenting on his participation in the film, Chou revealed that, so far, it is the most satisfying filmmaking experience of his 25-year career because director Benny Chan has given him a lot of creative space and allowed him much input into the development of his character.

As she plays a cop in the movie, Zhang Jingchu was ready to engage in heavy training for action scenes.  However, preparation time for the film was limited so she will be a “projectile weapons expert” and her action scenes will be done predominantly in front of a blue screen.

Shooting for most of CITY UNDER SEIGE should be completed this summer but, because of the long post-production process, shooting may continue until next April.

Quick Thought:

  • Sounds like it will be good but I fear that there’s also great potential for sucky, bloated mess — especially with the heavy reliance on special effects.

Related Links:

BECAUSE I’M NOT ON TWITTER:

Rest in Peace: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and, shockingly, Michael Jackson …

Accuse me of having the mindset of an old Italian woman if you must but these things really do come in threes …

Setting aside, for the moment, the legacy of the self-proclaimed King of Pop, an interesting study of new media versus old media is emerging.  TMZ.com, of all places, was the first to break the story yet no one in the traditional media is giving them props for the scoop.  Conversely, if the TMZ report had turned out to be false, I’m 100% sure that the traditional media would be lining up around the block to slag TMZ and dismiss it as a “blog” or a “celebrity entertainment website”.

To many, Michael Jackson is going to be remembered as “the King of Pop”.  Others will remember him as a “freak” or an “alleged pedophile”.  I think my mental epithet for him will be “tragic figure”.  The guy had all the talent in the world yet suffered through a messed up childhood and an even more messed up adulthood.  This is tragedy on a Shakespearean level.  It rivals that of Othello, Macbeth, King Lear and Hamlet.

Favourite Michael Jackson songs: “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, “Rock With You”, “Smooth Criminal” and “The Way You Make Me Feel”.  To be honest, I don’t think the songs from THRILLER have aged that well.  It could be that I hang out with a bunch of creeps and degenerates but no one I know thinks, anymore, that “Beat It” is a cool song.  Whenever the subject of the song comes up in mixed company, someone inevitably cracks a masturbation joke.

Favourite Michael Jackson video (YouTube link):  It’s actually not one by Michael Jackson but a spoof video about Michael Jackson from the folks who used to do IN LIVING COLOR.   Before today, I hadn’t seen it in sixteen, seventeen years but the first line of the second chorus still cracks me up.

“Yeah but how does this affect ME?”: Feeling incredibly old today.  Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson were icons from my youth — especially Farrah and Micheal Jackson.  THRILLER was the first album I bought with “my own money” and I believe, at one point, I owned Farrah Fawcett’s famous poster.  (It was either the Farrah poster or the Loni Anderson poster.  Maybe I had both?)  Anyway, nothing makes you feel older than hearing news that an icon from your youth has passed.

Farrah Fawcett poster     Loni Anderson poster

Laugh at me now young ones but — hopefully not until many, many years later — you’ll be feeling aged when the Jackie Chans and Sammo Hungs of the world depart to join Bruce Lee, Shih Kien and Kwan Tak-Hing up in the sky for the greatest martial arts cast ever assembled.

Image credits: Sohu.com (Louis Koo, Lau Ching-Wan), Sina.com (Aaron Kwok, Shu Qi), Life Magazine (Farrah Fawcett)

27th Hong Kong Film Awards Preview: Best Actor

Previously: Best Film

Like the situation in the Best Film category, if LUST, CAUTION had qualified for this year’s HKFAs, there is little doubt that Tony Leung Chiu-Wai would be well on his way to winning a sixth HKFA Best Actor title. Leung’s performance in the film is outstanding. Without the benefit of big scenes or big speeches, Leung impressively conveys his character’s thoughts and feelings with small gestures and small expressions. He even manages to fill the film’s infamous sex scenes with so much emotion and tension that it’s impossible to argue that the scenes were included just to draw a box office crowd with the promise of some titillation.

The nominees, minus Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, are:

Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing (THE DETECTIVE)
Andy Lau Tak-Wah (THE WARLORDS)
Simon Yam Tat-Wah (EYE IN THE SKY)
Jet Li (THE WARLORDS)
Lau Ching-Wan (THE MAD DETECTIVE)

5. Andy Lau Tak-Wah (THE WARLORDS)

Back when I was getting treatment for cancer — sometime in between round five and round six of chemotherapy — I got a delightful gift basket and a wonderful package of cards and letters from people I met over the years while running my old website. There were get-well messages from, among others, YTSL (Yvonne Teh of bc Magazine), Paul Fox (who used to run Cantonkid.com), Tim Youngs (of Another Hong Kong Movie Page and cameos in Pang Ho-Cheung films), my pal John Charles, Jennifer and Laura from San Francisco and, of course, our beloved Kozo (the Lord and Master of LoveHKFilm). Since I lost all of my Eudora inboxes and address books in the Great Hard Drive Crash of ‘07 (but mostly because I’m a terrible person and a lazy, lazy man), I haven’t properly thanked many of the people who wished me well. If anyone out there sent me a get-well message but didn’t receive a personal note of acknowledgement and thanks from me, please accept my apologies. My bad manners belie the fact that your cards, letters and e-mail messages really helped pull me through a difficult time. It was really great to know that I was loved and appreciated.

What does this have to do with Andy Lau and his Best Actor nomination? Well, included in the package of cards and letters was a get-well message from the Heavenly King himself! I was stunned — though, based on stories of Andy Lau’s many good deeds, I shouldn’t have been surprised — that a big star like him would take the time to write little ol’ me a note of Get-well note from Andy Lauencouragement. Needless to say, it was a huge shot in the arm so even if a future edition of Next Magazine publishes photos of Andy Lau eating “rejuvenation” dumplings made from baby flesh, I’d still have something good to say about him. That said, he shouldn’t have been nominated for his performance in THE WARLORDS.

Lau’s performance can, at best, be described as workmanlike. At worst, an argument can be made that Lau was unconvincing and ineffective. The main problem is that Lau is badly miscast for the role of Cao Er-Hu. The real-life Cao was, as I understand it, chivalrous and loyal but quick-tempered with a rough-hewn disposition that helped drive his wife into the arms of the more refined Ma Xin-Yi. Lau naturally projects a suave and sophisticated image so when the story calls for him to behave brusquely, he has to strain to make it convincing. An intense Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Tony Leung Ka-Fai or Francis Ng Chun-Yu type of actor should have been cast for this role not a “cool as a cucumber” Andy Lau or Simon Yam Tat-Wah type.

Speaking of whom …

4. Simon Yam Tat-Wah (EYE IN THE SKY)

Had he been nominated for his intricate performance in EXODUS, Simon Yam would rank higher on this list. Unfortunately, it’s hard to consider him a serious contender for the Best Actor award based on his performance as Surveillance Unit leader Dog Head. The problem does not lie in the quality of Yam’s work, it lies in the quality of the Dog Head character. There is little depth to the role beyond the “grizzled veteran who takes a newcomer under his wing” that audiences have seen in countless movies. The performance is fine but the role has a very low degree of difficulty. Besides, it wasn’t even the best acting performance in the film — that would belong to the work done by Tony Leung Ka-Fai as meticulous gang leader Shan.

3. Jet Li (THE WARLORDS)

Jet Li in THE WARLORDSBuilding upon his commendable performance in FEARLESS, Jet Li continues to evolve as an actor with his work in THE WARLORDS. Instead of playing his usual seemingly invincible fighting hero, Li does a creditable job portraying a flawed late-Qing era army general. It’s a solid individual achievement but it doesn’t rise to the level required of an award winner. It would have been interesting if the powers-that-be behind THE WARLORDS didn’t play it safe and unleashed Li to play a duplicitous, greedy schemer who stabs his sworn brother in the back for personal gain instead of the conflicted nobleman who compromises his morals for “the sake of the people”. Regrettably, no one will know if Li would have been able to meet the challenge.

2. Lau Ching-Wan (THE MAD DETECTIVE)

On an objective scale, Lau Ching-Wan should rank higher on this list. Inspector Bun, Lau’s character, is one of the tent poles of THE MAD DETECTIVE and if he doesn’t get the audience to buy that he is a detective with a “special ability” then the high-concept film has no chance of working. While he succeeds in convincing the audience, subjective factors put him in the second spot on this ranking. First, the other shoe never drops with his character. Inspector Bun is a brilliant cop whose gift is as much of a curse as it is a blessing but that’s where the character development ends. Nothing else really happens with him after his ability to see “inner personalities” is revealed. Second, the Inspector Bun character is just another variation of the kind of quirky, offbeat personality that viewers have seen Lau play many times before. THE MAD DETECTIVE provokes and challenges audiences but it certainly doesn’t challenge Lau Ching-Wan’s acting abilities. Third, Lau won last year so it feels like it’s someone else’s turn to win the top prize. Namely …

1. Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing (THE DETECTIVE)

Last year, Aaron Kwok was the heavy favourite to win in this category for his role as a deadbeat dad in AFTER THIS OUR EXILE. As a result, it was a pleasant surprise when Lau Ching-Wan won because he was sentimental favourite — the “entertainment circle veteran who deserved to win a Best Actor HKFA at some point in his career” (a mantle that he has since handed to Simon Yam). However, if one gives it a little thought, Lau’s victory wasn’t the HKFA equivalent to Martin Aaron Kwok in concert February 2008Scorsese winning a Best Director Oscar for THE DEPARTED. Lau truly deserved to win because he played his character in MY NAME IS FAME so well, it’s impossible to imagine any other actor in the role. By contrast, several actors could easily do a comparable job to Kwok in AFTER THIS OUR EXILE.

This year, the shoe is on the other foot. While Lau gives a flashier performance in THE MAD DETECTIVE, Kwok deserves to win because he absolutely owns his “loser private detective” character. From the first shot of him waking up to the catchy “Me Panda” to the last shot of him finding satisfaction in solving his case, flamboyant Heavenly King Aaron Kwok totally disappears behind a rumpled, sad-sack facade. Like Lau and his character in MY NAME IS FAME, it’s difficult to picture anyone other than Kwok playing C+ Detective Tam. While THE DETECTIVE and the Tam character don’t have the typical award winner gravitas, it’s a worthy substitute in a year where the best performance didn’t qualify.

Image credits: Applause Pictures (Jet Li); Xinhua (Aaron Kwok)

The 26th Hong Kong Film Awards

Updated at 10:52 pm

The 26th Hong Kong Film Awards were presented Sunday evening at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsimshatsui. AFTER THIS OUR EXILE was the big winner with five awards (Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best New Performer). However, its lead actor, Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing, was not able to capitalize on the film’s winning momentum as the favourite going into the evening was upset by crowd favourite Lau Ching-Wan (left). Lau, 43, won the Best Actor prize over Kwok for his performance in MY NAME IS FAME. A twenty-four year veteran of the entertainment circle, Lau finally broke his shutout in the Best Actor category after being nominated seven times previously for LOST IN TIME (2003), VICTIM (1999), THE LONGEST NITE (1997), FULL ALERT (1997), BIG BULLET (1996), C’EST LA VIE, MON CHERIE (1994) and THOU SHALT NOT SWEAR (1993). A thunderous round of applause erupted in the Cultural Centre when Lau’s name was announced. After shaking hands with fellow nominee Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Lau made his way on to the stage and joked: “I hope I’m given a little more time. After all, I’ve waited so long.”

He went on to say: “I had a feeling I would win when I saw that the HKFAA (Hong Kong Film Awards Association) picked ‘passing the torch’ as its theme this year. Because of that, I knew the award would go to a youngster like me. I want to thank Brother Chau-Sang (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang), Brother Sing-Sing (Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing) and Brother Chiu-Wai (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai). I will take the torch and work hard.”

Related images:

Gong Li and her cleavage (right) won the Best Actress prize for their work in CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. Gong, who did not attend the ceremony, won her first Hong Kong Film Award after being nominated previously for her roles in A TERRACOTTA WARRIOR (1990) and TEMPTRESS MOON (1996). In a phone interview with Oriental Daily News, Gong said: “I’m very surprised. I didn’t think that I would win. I thank the HKFAA for giving me something that I’ve longed many years for. Although I’ve won many international awards, this is the first time I’ve won in Hong Kong. Every time I win an award, it has something to do with Zhang Yimou. He really brings me good luck. I have to clarify one thing: There are rumours that I didn’t go to the awards because I didn’t like the way the HKFA booked my accommodations. I want to let people know that I have a house in Hong Kong and don’t need to stay in a hotel. I didn’t make it to the awards because I’m working in America.”

AFTER THIS OUR EXILE was Patrick Tam Ka-Ming’s first directorial effort in sixteen years. His last film was 1989’s MY HEART IS THAT EXTERNAL ROSE. Accepting his directing award, Tam told the crowd: “Thank you to the HKFA for supporting me. I wish to thank the cast and crew as well as God for giving me such an excellent gift.”

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Tam was asked for his thoughts about the successful night for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE. Tam: “I can’t say getting all the awards was expected or unexpected because there was no way to predict but I feel disappointed for Sing-Sing (Aaron Kwok). He really did a lot for this film. However, awards aren’t our main goal. The main thing is for everyone to see the hard work we put into the movie.”

Eight year-old Gouw Ian Iskanda won two awards, Best Supporting Actor and Best New Performer, for his role in AFTER THIS OUR EXILE. He was the first actor to win both the new performer award and an acting award in the same year since Karena Lam Ka-Yan (JULY RHASPODY) did it five years ago. To the suprise of many, Iskanda beat out veterans Simon Yam Tat-Wah (ELECTION 2), Nick Cheung Ka-Fai (ELECTION 2) and Liu Ye (CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER) in the Best Supporting Actor category. Surprised himself, Iskanda had to be prompted to go on stage to collect his second award of the evening. Shellshocked, the child actor was at a loss for words and managed only to say: “I never thought I’d win twice … I learned a lot from making this film. I’m very happy. I’ll continue to work hard.”

More composed when speaking to reporters following the ceremony. Iskanda told reporters that he was looking forward to the spoils of victory. Iskanda: “I was going to get a reward of a Nintendo Wii and ten games for winning. Now that I’ve won twice, I think I should be getting twenty games.”

Asked if he was going to be an actor when he grows up, Iskanda replied that he wanted to be a “tennis player” instead.

Related images:

Daniel Wu (Ng Yin-Tso) took home the award for Best New Director (THE HEAVENLY KINGS). He accepted the award with his Alive bandmates Conroy Chan Chi-Chung, Terence Yin (Wan Chi-Wai) and Andrew Lin Hoi because he views THE HEAVENLY KINGS as a group achievement rather than an individual one. Asked if winning the directing award means that he will focus more on directing rather than acting in the future, Wu said that he probably wouldn’t because he “feels more comfortable acting”. Related image (courtesy Ming Pao Daily):

Sir Run Run Shaw (Siu Yat-Fu) was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Hong Kong cinema. The 100 year-old Shaw did not accept the award in person, however, because he was not feeling well enough to attend the ceremony. Flanked by a contingent of Shaw Studio veterans that included Ti Lung, Gordon Liu (Lau Kar-Fai) and Jimmy Wang Yu, Shaw’s eldest son and presumptive heir, Siu Wai-Ming, accepted the award on Shaw’s behalf. Related image (courtesy Ming Pao Daily):

A reflection, perhaps, of his sometimes stand-offish relationship with the Hong Kong Film Awards, acclaimed director Johnnie To Kei-Fung was shut out at this year’s award despite receiving nine nominations for his films ELECTION 2 and EXILED. To, as he has done regularly in the past, did not attend the ceremony.

Big names Zhang Yimou, Chow Yun-Fat and Jet Li were also not present at the awards.

More from the awards ceremony following the list of results.

RESULTS FROM THE 26TH HONG KONG FILM AWARDS

For a detailed list of the nominees: See the official Hong Kong Film Awards website

BEST FILM: AFTER THIS OUR EXILE 父子

  • Presented by: Vision Film Workshop, Black & White Films Ltd.
  • Executive Producer: Chiu Li-Kuang (邱瓈寬)

BEST DIRECTOR: Patrick Tam Ka-Ming (譚家明) for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE

BEST SCREENPLAY: Patrick Tam Ka-Ming, Tian Koi-Leong (田開良) for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE

BEST ACTOR: Lau Ching-Wan (劉青雲) for MY NAME IS FAME (我要成名)

BEST ACTRESS: Gong Li (鞏俐) for CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER (滿城盡帶黃金甲)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Gouw Ian Iskanda (吳澋滔) for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Zhou Xun (周迅) for THE BANQUET (夜宴)

BEST NEW PERFORMER: Gouw Ian Iskanda for AFTER THIS OUR EXILE

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung (劉偉強) , Lai Yiu-Fai (黎耀輝) for CONFESSION OF PAIN (傷城)

BEST FILM EDITING: Eric Kong Chi-Leung (鄺志良) for BATTLE OF WITS (墨攻)

BEST ART DIRECTION: Huo Tingxiao (霍廷霄) for CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER

BEST COSTUME AND MAKE-UP DESIGN: Yee Chung-Man (奚仲文) for CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER

BEST ACTION CHOREOGRAPHY: Yuen Woo-Ping (袁和平) for FEARLESS (霍元甲)

BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE: Peter Kam Pui-Tat (金培達) for ISABELLA (伊莎貝拉)

BEST ORIGINAL FILM SONG: “The Chrysthanthemum Terrace” (菊花台) from CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER sung by Jay Chou (周杰倫)

  • Composer: Jay Chou
  • Lyrics: Vincent Fang Wenshan (方文山)

BEST SOUND DESIGN: Nakom Kositpaisa for RE-CYCLE (鬼域)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Ng Yuen-Fai (吳炫輝) , Chas Chau Chi-Shing (鄒志盛), Emil Yee Kwok-Leung (余國亮) , Alex Lim Hung-Fung (林洪峯) for RE-CYCLE

BEST NEW DIRECTOR: Daniel Wu (吳彥祖) for THE HEAVENLY KINGS (四大天王)

BEST ASIAN FILM: RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES (千里走單騎) from Mainland China

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Sir Run Run Shaw (Siu Yat-Fu, 邵逸夫)

NOTES FROM THE CEREMONY:

- Despite rumours suggesting that their 18-year relationship was in peril, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Carina Lau Ka-Ling attended the ceremony hand-in-hand. The two also presented the Best Film award together. Of late, the couple has been plagued by rumours that Leung left Lau over Lau’s alleged “friendship” with Taiwanese tycoon Terry Guo Tai-Ming (Taiwan’s richest man and, according to Forbes, the 176th richest man in the world).

Related images:

- Teresa Mo Shun-Kwun was the first celebrity to show up on the red carpet. Mo: “I got here at 6:50 pm and waited around for a while before stepping out yet I’m still the first one here. Showing up early is a bad habit that I have to correct.”

For the record, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Carina Lau Ka-Ling were the last celebrities to arrive. Related image (courtesy Oriental Daily News):

- The boys from Alive, their musical director Paul Wong Kwoon-Chung and an entourage of twenty to thirty people arrived on a big yellow bus. Daniel Wu brought his girlfriend model Lisa S., Andrew Lin Hoi had his wife on his arm and Conroy Chan Chi-Chung was accompanied by his wife Josie Ho Chiu-Yi. Paul Wong performed during the cermony.

Related images:

FASHION NOTES:

- “Tube dresses” and “clutch purses” were all the rage at this year’s ceremony.

- Kelly Lin (Lam Hei-Lui), Huo Siyan (MY NAME IS FAME), Eva Huang Shengyi and Shu Qi turned heads with their eye-catching fashions. Related images:

- Rene Liu (Lau Yeuk-Ying) shocked many by dressing like a man. Related image (courtesy Ming Pao Daily):

- Oriental Daily News asked fashion designer Dorian Ho (official website) to comment on some of the fashions worn by the stars. His thoughts:

- Miriam Yeung Chin-Wai wore an elegant dress designed by Tomas Chan. However, her “rough demeamour” at the ceremony was not a match with the outfit’s elegance. Speculating that Yeung is still into her character as a fishmonger for her new film HOOK ON YOU, Ho remarked: “She might as well have done like Rene Liu and dressed like a man.”

- On South Korean star Song Hye-Kyo, Ho commented: “Her hair style is old-fashioned and her dress was just average. She doesn’t look a bit like a big star. She’s very pretty but the way she presented herself tonight was just a disappointment.”

- Ho had high praise for EEG personalities Isabella Leong Lok-Si and Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin. Ho: “Ah Sa (Choi) usually gets criticized for what she wears but she looked pretty good this time. She has a body type that’s very hard to dress so what she’s wearing is not bad. Besides, she’s wearing a brand, J. Mendel, that I really like.”

As for Isabella Leong, Ho said: “She frankly deserves some praise. A dress like that, with all those levels, can be very intimidating to wear but, with her height, she pulls it off. It’s a good fit. I think she’s really improving the way she dresses. Her fashion sense is starting to match the potential that she shows.”

Related images:

OTHER IMAGE LINKS:

Courtesy Oriental Daily News: THE BANQUET’s Zhou Xun; Chapman To Man-Chat and his wife Kristal Tin Yui-Lei; Stephy Tang Lai-Yan; Tang, Alex Fong Lik-Sun and some of the other former Cookies

Courtesy The Sun: Fellow winners Zhou Xun and Lau Ching-Wan exchange pleasantries; Jay Chou and Tony Ching Siu-Tung; Matthew Medvedev from ROB-B-HOOD; Kara Hui (Wai Ying-Hung)

Courtesy Ming Pao Daily: Zhou Xun accepts her award from presenter Miriam Yeung; Zhou; Anita Yuen Wing-Yi; Jay Chou

Oriental Daily News Photo Gallery Slideshow (Macromedia Flash Required)

Hong Kong Film Awards: Go! Lau Ching-Wan! Go!


My apologies for the long gap between posts. Healthwise, I am doing all right … though I still spend more time than I’d like to in waiting rooms at various medical facilities. Thanks, by the way, to the three people who wrote in this week to ask how I was doing. It’s just that I’ve been struggling with my writing of late. Before, when I used to do news reports, the articles would write themselves. Now, every paragraph is a grind as I debate questions like: Does anybody besides me find this interesting? Is this too mundane to even mention? Should I cut this part out or leave it in?

For the past three weeks, I’ve been working on a post about Hong Kong television serials. It started out as a review of CCTV’s HEAVEN DRAGON: THE EIGHTH EPISODE but the pre-amble on television serials and how they got me sucked into the HK entertainment circle went on and on and on as I indulged heavily in a trip down memory lane. The post approached 10,000 words and I hadn’t even started talking about HEAVEN DRAGON: THE EIGHTH EPISODE!

Consequently, I’ve decided to shelve that post temporarily and put one up on this Sunday’s Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA). But first, an announcement: I am going to gird up my loins and put up a HKFA report here somtime Sunday afternoon/Sunday evening North American time. It’ll be just like the ones I used to do at Hong Kong Entertainment News In Review … except I won’t be wearing an Armani tux (er, Men’s Wearhouse knockoff) while I’m typing it out.

Sometime in the near future, I will be posting a revised version of that mammoth treatise on HK television serials so stay tuned.

On to the day’s business:

Since I’ve seen only a handful of films from 2006 and am still catching up on the events of the past year, I don’t have any real insight on who I think will win or should win at this year’s awards (go here to see list of nominations). However, I will be offering a fine white lamb or, if I can’t find one, six pigeons to the Entertainment Circle gods if they make the following happen:

  • A win for Alive’s “Adam’s Choice” from THE HEAVENLY KINGS in the Best Original Song category. Having seen both THE BANQUET and FEARLESS, the songs from those films don’t play as integral a part in their respective movies as “Adam’s Choice” does in THE HEAVENLY KINGS. Besides, for a song that is essentially a joke, it’s pretty damn catchy.

  • My greatest wish (an additional lamb or six pigeons to the Entertainment Circle gods if it comes true): A win for Lau Ching-Wan in the Best Actor category. Lau has done better work in his storied twenty-plus years career than he did in MY NAME IS FAME but I really hope he wins this year. Chow Yun-Fat (three wins in this category) and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (five wins — most ever in the Best Actor category) already have enough awards. Jet Li has his international acclaim and, quite frankly, his Huo Yuanjia is just a slightly different version of other kung fu heroes he’s played in the past while Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing is, well, Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing. Webmaster Kozo of LoveHKFilm says that he hears the race is between the Kwokster for his glamourous role as a deadbeat dad and Lau. Here’s hoping that the HKFA ignores the award-baiting and allows Lau to come out on top. It will be a little bit of a “Martin Scorsese wins Best Director for THE DEPARTED” situation but, without Lau’s sympathetic portrayal keeping it grounded, MY NAME IS FAME could have easily been pretentious and self-serving rather than a delightful love letter to the HK movie industry.

Chinese Lesson of The Day: “Ching Wan” means “high and noble in virtue and ambition”. “Ching Wan Jik Seung” (see graphic above) means “may you soar higher and higher” and is used as a well-wishing expression like: 身體健康 (sun tai gin hong, “may you have good health”) or the familiar Lunar New Year greeting 恭喜發財 (gung hei fat choi, “congratulations and may you be prosperous”).

See you Sunday!

 
 
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