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… On this day, I see clearly, everything has come to life.

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with 聚言莊﹕The House Where Words Gather.

Archive for the ‘Lydia Shun Tin-Ha’ Category

The Top 10 Entertainment Circle Stories of 2007

Happy New Year! … even though everyone knows that the “real” New Year doesn’t begin until February 7th. ;-)

In my usual timely fashion, I’m going to start off 2008 by talking about 2007. On New Year’s Day, I went out for dim sum with my family. As most dim sum “Oil-Fried Devils”delicacies and, sadly, “oil-fried devils” (油炸鬼, my favourite Chinese food: fried doughsticks) remain beyond my eating and digestive capabilities, I nursed a bowl of congee while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of a busy teahouse. I also picked up a copy of “Oriental News Weekly” — a free Chinese-language newspaper distributed to Chinese communities here in Western Canada. Inside the paper was an article by an unnamed author listing the “Top Ten Entertainment Circle Stories of 2007″. Surprisingly, I was aware of eight of the ten stories. I guess my entertainment circle database isn’t as out-of-date as I thought. Although, I would categorize most of these stories as news about entertainment circle personalities rather than actual entertainment circle news. Nevertheless, sharing the article with you guys will help get the ol’ writing and translating skills rolling again so, without further ado, the “Top 10 Entertainment Circle Stories of 2007″:

10. Ada Choi Siu-Fan Reveals Relationship, Announces Forthcoming Marriage

Max Zhang JinOn December 10th, Ada Choi Siu-Fan released a four-hundred word statement to the press revealing that she and Mainland actor/stuntman Max Zhang Jin have been dating for four-and-a-half years and that they planned to marry in the near future. In the statement, which featured nineteen exclamation marks, Choi gushed about her future husband and called him a “man of the highest grade”.

Choi, 34, won the Miss Hong Kong Pageant in 1991. Zhang, 33, worked as a stuntman on CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON and HERO. He can be seen in the movies CHINESE HEROES, THE UNDISCOVERED TOMB and SHAOLIN VS EVIL DEAD 2. The couple reportedly fell in love with each other during shooting for the Mainland television series PARADISE (水月洞天).

(NOTE: Choi and Zhang married on January 12th, 2008.)

Related Links: Official site for PARADISE; Max Chang photo gallery from Baidu

9. Cathy Chui Chi-Kei Gives Birth To A Daughter

Shortly after actress/model Cathy Chui Chi-Kei (aka Cathy Tsui) married Martin Lee Ka-Shing (the second son of billionaire businessman Lee Shau-Kee — the founder of Henderson Land Development) in December 2006, rumours emerged alleging Chui was pregnant. On July 17th, 2007 those rumours came true as Chui gave birth to six-pound, eight-ounce baby girl Leanna Lee Hei-Tung. Similar to their opulent wedding in Sydney, the couple threw a lavish banquet in October at Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel celebrating their baby daughter’s “eighty-day” milestone. The event was attended by most of Hong Kong’s wealthy and influential business people.

(SANNEY: How does this qualify as a “top ten” story? Was 2007 a really dull year for the entertainment circle?)

8. Lydia Shum Tin-Ha’s Continuing Health Struggles

Lydia Shum being wheeled into the Queen Mary Hospital in late November 2007.After being diagnosed with liver and gallbladder cancer in 2006, Lydia Shum Tin-Ha, 60, has been in-and-out of hospitals. In October, she was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and treated for pleural effusion — a complication of liver cancer. She recovered sufficiently to receive a lifetime achievement award in November at TVB’s 40th Anniversary Gala. Days later, while in Macau for a banquet, Shum was taken to a hospital after she collapsed. She was transfered to Hong Kong’s Queen Mary Hospital later that week where she remains today.

Related Link: Lydia Shum biography at Hong Kong Cinema: View From The Brooklyn Bridge (scroll down to bottom of the page)

7. Moon Lee Choi-Fung Divorces After Dirty Laundry Aired

Former “Girls With Guns” star Moon Lee Choi-Fung, 42, got divorced from husband Dennis Law Kai-Yan in 2007 after Law allegedly discovered Lee having an affair with their twentysomething godson. Supposedly, Law walked in on Lee and Moon Lee Choi-Fung at an event in Hong Kong in Janaury 2008.the godson — who worked for Law’s performing arts company — while the two were intimately involved. Exposing the alleged affair to the media in June, Law declared: “No matter how you look as it, as a husband or as a godfather … to discover something like that in your own bedroom … of course, it’s a shock and something that’s very hard to accept. What hurts most is that a loving family and marriage have been destroyed. After I learned the truth, I found out that this affair was an open secret among many people at the performing arts company.”

In response to Law’s declaration, Lee took out an ad in a newspaper denying the allegations. Reportedly, Law and Lee have now divorced with Lee receiving US$12,000 per month in alimony.

Lee, best known for the “Angel” series of action movies, married Law — a surgeon turned artistic company director — in 2000. The two formed Sight, Sound & Action Ltd., a production company that has staged successful musicals such as HEAVEN & EARTH and TERRACOTTA WARRIORS.

Related Link: Moon Lee’s blog (Chinese language only)

6. Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi Reveals Two Points In Toronto

After suffering a wardrobe malfunction that exposed her thong at the 2006 Tung Wah Charity Show, EEG starlet Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi suffered another wardrobe failure in 2007 as she unknowingly flashed her nipples on June 23rd while performing at Canada’s Wonderland for the New Talent Singing Awards Toronto Audition Show. Not only was the exposure shown on the stage’s big screen, it was uploaded onto YouTube where it became one of the most viewed clips.

5. Carmen Choi Ka-Man, Daughter of Toy King Choi Chee-Ming, Marries

(SANNEY: Let’s skip this one because I have no idea how this is related to the entertainment circle. As far as I can tell, Miss Choi is not involved in the entertainment business. Also, she married a man from another rich family and not some actor or singer.)

4. Michael To Dai-Yu Denies That Sonjia Kwok Sin-Lei Is “The Other Woman”

TVB star Michael To Dai-Yu and his wife Wong Wai-Bo divorced in March 2007 following six and a half years of marriage. Shortly after, Wong reportedly told “a friend” that TVB leading lady Sonija Kwok Sin-Lei was the “third party” responsible for breaking up her marriage. Despite strong denials by To, the allegation provoked a hailstorm of negative publicity that caused Kwok to flee Hong Kong for her native Vancouver for three months.

Kwok, a “rumour queen” who has been linked to many of her TVB co-stars, announced in December that she will not be renewing her TVB contract when it expires this year. She will instead concentrate on building her career in the lucrative Mainland market.

3. Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau and May Lo Mei-Mei Blacklisted

Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau and his wife May Lo Mei-Mei were blacklisted by the Philippine Consulate General in September 2007 from hiring any more Filipino maids. Reportedly, the Consulate General labeled the Cheung family a “substandard employer” after they allegedly went through twenty-one maids in three years. Responding to the move, Cheung told the media that he was an “ordinary employer” who has often rehired maids after their contracts expired and only fired the ones who weren’t “helpful”. He blamed the high turnover rate on a number of maids who resigned because they could not deal with the numerous stairs of his four-story home.

In addition to the ban on hiring new maids, the blacklisting means that Cheung will not be allowed to renew the contracts of his current maids when they expire. May Lo reportedly appealed to the Consulate General but to no avail.

This is the not the first time the Cheung household has had problems with Filipino maids. In December 2006, one of Cheung’s maids was convicted for stealing a letter and three photos from Cheung.

2. Singer/Business Executive Stephen Gan Fock-Wai Arrested For Indecent Assault

Pak Fah Yeow executive Stephen Gan Fock-Wai, 45, was arrested in October 2007 for an alleged indecent assault on a white_flower_oil.jpgmale taxi driver. Reportedly, on a taxi ride home following a night of drunken celebration, Gan touched his taxi driver inappropriately then tried to make amends by leaving a HK$500 bill.

In addition to his duties as an executive for Pak Fah Yeoh — makers of the popular remedy “White Flower Oil” — Gan has dabbled in music, releasing seven albums since 1987. He had his first hit, “Love for Another 80 Years”, in 2007. The song served as the theme music for a “White Flower Oil” ad campaign.

In the past, Gan has been linked romantically to actress Fennie Yuen Kit-Ying. There are also rumours that he is bisexual.

1. Father Of Obsessed Andy Lau Tak-Wah Fan Commits Suicide

The father of an obsessed Andy Lau Tak-Wah fan killed himself on March 26th by jumping into the sea off Kowloon after escorting his daughter to the star’s birthday party. The man, 68, left a twelve-page suicide letter stating that the trip to Hong Kong from their home in Lanzhou bankrupted his family and the least Lau could do was give his daughter, 28 year-old Yang Lijuan, a private audience.

According to media reports, Yang has been obsessed with Lau since she was 15 and had quit school and refused to work in order to be a full-time Lau fan.

The suicide set off a wave of condemnation in the Mainland media against over-indulgence of children and celebrity worship.

Image credits: Wenhui United Press Group (”Oil-Fried Devils”), Baidu.com (Max Zhang), CRI Online (Lydia Shum), Moon Lee (Moon Lee), Pak Fah Yeow (While Flower Oil bottle)

An Invitation

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Before I begin, a big “thank you” to everyone for welcoming me back to the “Internet Forest” with such warmth and good will. A special thank you to Webmaster Kozo over at LoveHKFilm for helping me get the word out.

A few words about some of the reactions to my first post: I hope that you guys aren’t expecting to come here and find news about recent happenings in the entertainment circle. I have to fill the fourteen-month hole in my entertainment circle knowledge before I can begin talking about the latest events. The HK entertainment database in my brain ends at around the time of the Lunar New Year 2006 release of FEARLESS in HK. The rest is a blank slate. The only things I know about the period between January 2006 and March 2007 are:

  • The deaths of Bau Fong, Kwan Hoi-Shan and Bill Tung Piu
  • News on four of my favourite 1990s-era actresses from TVB: Jessica Hsuan (Suen Huen) leaving TVB for an independent manager, Maggie Cheung Ho-Yee getting Graves’ Disease, Fiona Leung Ai-Ling getting in a car accident while filming a “religious” video in Australia and Mariane Chan Miu-Ying still going strong in the business world.
  • Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi marrying Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung and now, apparently, pregnant with his child
  • The Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi de-pantsing incident
  • The Gillian Chung Yan-Tung/Easyfinder fiasco
  • Isabella Leong Lok-Si being “frozen” by EEG for “bad behaviour”
  • Ekin Cheng Yi-Kin shaving his head bald to play Huo Yuanjia for a television series
  • The Lydia Shum Tin-Ha health crisis. For those of you who don’t know: Last summer, Lydia Shum was asked whether or not her daughter, Joyce Cheng Yan-Yee , had laser surgery to remove acne blemishes from her face. In response, Shum boldly said: “… 做過一次雷射就仆街死!” (if she did laser once, I’ll f***ing die right now!). Soon afterwards, she was hospitalized for weeks with serious health problems involving her liver. Apparently, she’s fine now but — call me Chinese-superstitious — it’s another warning from karma, the Universe, God, Buddha, the Great Whatever, etc. to be careful of what you say and how you say it.

. . . and that’s all I know of the past four-hundred-some days. So, I now formally invite you to help me restore my HK entertainment database by pointing out things that happened in the last year that you found interesting. They can be significant (Jackie Chan became a monk, shaved his head bald, sold all his assets and donated the proceeds to the monastery) or whimsical (Athena Chu Yan admits in an interview that she has “feelings” for a guy who ran some website called HK Entertainment News In Review but it disappeared and now she has no way to get in contact with him). If you found it interesting, I’d like to know about it. You don’t have to go into chapter and verse detail — just say: “Joey Yung Tso-Yi is dating Jack Donaghy” or “Edison Chen is starring in the remake of Tracy Jordan’s WHO DAT NINJA?”. I will look up the rest on the Internet.

In the meantime, here are some of the storylines I plan to research in the near future (if you know what’s going on with any of the following, please don’t hesitate to give me some details in the comments section):

  • What’s happened to Sammi Cheng Sau-Man and Miriam Yeung Chin-Wah? Has their time at the top passed? I know Joey Yung Tso-Yi seized the Queen of Cantopop title last year but what about the movies? A quick check doesn’t reveal any big projects coming down the pipeline for either of the women. Is it over for them already?
  • What’s going on with Jackie Chan? Is he still undermining his son’s career by publicly criticizing him? Is his box office prowess continuing to decline? Has he done anything embarrassing to himself in the past year?
  • Is TVB still going strong? ATV isn’t much of a threat but is the availability of more entertainment choices eating away at TVB’s dominance like specialty channels, DVDs, video games and the Internet have done to network television here in North America?
  • More on TVB: Were there any breakout hits last year? Are people still interested in the Miss Hong Kong Pageant? Is TVB feeling any pressure from the huge Mainland television productions?
  • What’s going on with Athena Chu Yan, Nadia Chan Chung-Ling (I still refuse to refer to her as Nnadia), Flora Chan Wai-Shan, Yoyo Mung Ka-Wai, Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling, Maggie Siu Mei-Kei, Jo Koo (Kuk Tso-Lam), Niki Chow Lai-Kei, Fiona Yuen Choi-Wan, Fennie Yuen Kit-Ying, Christine Ng Wing-Mei and Michelle Reis (Lee Ka-Yan)?

What were some of the better movies of 2006? Were there any LOVE BATTLEFIELD/CRAZY N’ THE CITY-type sleepers? I talked briefly to Kozo about this and he suggested ELECTION, ELECTION 2, EXILED, BATTLE OF WITS, MY NAME IS FAME and ISABELLA as essential viewing. He also suggested that I might enjoy THE HEAVENLY KINGS, DRAGON TIGER GATE and ROB-B-HOOD. Does anyone have any other suggestions to add? If you plan on making a recommendation, please keep in mind that my local Chinese video store went out of business while I was sick so now I have to buy every movie I want to see. As a result, please put your recommendation in one of two categories: “must see” or “intriguing and somewhat interesting but it can wait”. I’ve already dropped $40 for HEAVEN DRAGON THE EIGHTH EPISODE (the CCTV adaptation of DEMI-GODS AND SEMI-DEVILS) and $100 on an order for ELECTION, ELECTION 2, EXILED, BATTLE OF WITS and ISABELLA so the DVD budget is stretched a bit tight. I’m also eyeing the Pearl City DVDs of MISSING CINDERELLA and DEAR LOVE (as a kid, I used to love watching the late night airings of 1950s/1960s black-and-white romantic comedies starring Cheung Ying and Ha Ping — like Mary Tyler Moore during the DICK VAN DYKE SHOW days, Ha Ping was quite the hottie back in the 1950s/1960s).

Thanks in advance for your tips and suggestions. I look forward to chasing down leads and catching up on some HK movie viewing.

A note on one of the comments from the last post: How does an English-only fan get into the wuxia genre? At this point, I’d say it’s kind of difficult. There are a couple of English translations available for purchase: “The Deer and the Cauldron” and “Flying Fox of the Snowy Mountain” have been translated into English. However, they aren’t exactly the best examples of the wuxia genre. “Flying Fox” is mediocre and introducing yourself to wuxia by reading “The Deer and the Cauldron” is like introducing yourself to Clint Eastwood’s cowboy movie career by watching UNFORGIVEN instead of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY or A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. Moreover, fully translating wuxia into English is quite challenging. There are a lot of concepts that simply don’t have English equivalents. I’d say your best bet is to try and buy one of the DVD sets of wuxia novel TV adaptations. I believe the CCTV adaptations have English subtitles and TVB has released English-subtitled versions of their classic 1980s adaptations of LEGEND OF THE CONDOR HEROES and RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES.

 
 
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