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The Golden Rock 2014 Golden Horse Live Blog (Now complete)

Welcome to the 2014 Golden Horse Live blog.

We’re updating live below, with the newest update on the top. Just keep reloading the page and you’ll see the latest update. 

First, a disclaimer: This live blog reflects only the opinion of this blogger. It does not represent the opinions of any of the organisations that this blogger is affiliated with. 

Check the nomination list right here  

23:26: And that’s another year of the Golden Horse Awards. Thank you all for reading.

If you’re just joining now. Start from the very bottom and work your way up.  

23:22: The Best Film award goes to: BLIND MASSAGE. A total of six awards out of seven nominations.

Director Lou Ye is the only one to not win for the film.

23:21: Chen: “I was really afraid of having to watch four films a day, because some films are really….difficult…to sit there and watch.” Her near slip-up got a huge laugh.

23:18: Jury President Joan Chen and Golden Horse Chairperson Sylvia Chang on stage to present the Best Film award.

23:14: Finally, the Best Picture award coming. Assuming this is the final commercial break

23:10: This is Chen’s first win and second nomination. She was the star of several Tsai Ming-liang films. Tsai was one of the first people she thanked.

23:06: The Best Actress award goes to: Chen Shiang Chyi for EXIT

23:04: As we enter our fifth hour, Ann Hui and Lee Kang-sheng on stage to present the Best Actress award.

22:56: Chen Jianbin’s wife Jiang Qinqin joins Chen on stage to give her husband a kiss….followed by an acceptance speech. She also co-stars in A FOOL.

22:54: It’s time to note that Chen Jianbin alone has won more awards than most films tonight.

22:53: The Best Actor award goes to: Chen Jianbin for A FOOL. TRIPLE WINNER!

22:50: Aaron Kwok and last year’s Best Actress winner Zhang Ziyi present the Best Actor award.

212:49: Mickey Huang: “Liao Fan is BLACK COAL THIN ICE. Do you think this is PARADISE IN SERVICE?”

22:46: Time for Best Actor. Ella goes into the audience to hug Chen Jianbin. Attempting to hug all the nominees.

22:44: Mickey Huang: “I’m really surprised tonight, because Ethan Ruan is still here.”

Ruan was blasted last year for leaving the award ceremony early.

22:41: Star Chinese Movie just sold WRATH OF VAJRA being made by the “director of GALLANTS.” No, Star Movies, Law Wing-cheong was an actor in GALLANTS, not the director.

22:38: Three awards left: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film.

22:36: There was a priceless look of shock on Ann Hui’s face, as if Hou Hsiao-hsien might’ve read her name wrongly.

This is Hui’s third Best Director win at the Golden Horse Awards.

22:35: And the Best Director award goes to: Ann Hui for THE GOLDEN ERA.

22:34: This is Gong Li’s first appearance at the Golden Horse Award because COMING HOME is her first nomination.

22:33: Time for Best Director award. Hou Hsiao-hsien and Gong Li presenting.

22:32: Chen Jianbin was about to give a quote that he has remembered all his life, but stops to thank his family.

22:30: Unfortunately, A FOOL has only been screened publicly once at the Golden Horse Film Festival (only because it’s a nominee).

22:29: And the Best New Director award goes to: Chen Jian-bin for A FOOL. A double winner!

22:27: Jacky Cheung now on stage solo. Because he’s freaking Jacky Cheung. Ella: “Sing something!”

Cheung noted that he wasn’t supposed to present the award solo.

Cheung is presenting the Best New Director award.

22:22: Entering the home stretch now as we hit our final five awards: Best New Director, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Film.

22:21: Personally, I’m a little surprised by the Zhang Lei win, as Tsao Yu-ning was a heavy favorite to win for KANO. At least the biggest breakout performance of the year in Taiwan.

22:19: Liao Fan now on stage to introduce Best Picture nominee BLACK COAL, THIN ICE.

22:17: And the Best New Performer award goes to: Zhang Lei for BLIND MASSAGE. Now its fifth award for the night.

22:15: Lily Collins and Chen Bo-lin now stage to present the Best New Performer award. Collin: “I hear you’re the friend of all the girls in Taiwan”. Ha Ha.

22:11: KANO won the Audience Award and the FIPRESCI Award. Both of these were announced before the ceremony tonight.

22:10: Mickey Huang now interview two-time Best Actor winner Aaron Kwok.

22:08: The jury being introduced now. Jury President Joan Chen being interviewed now.

22:03: Jacky Cheung on stage now to perform his latest song. Huge applause.

22:02: Wei Te-sheng: “When I make a film, I have to make loan. She always has to be the guarantor. Do you know how painful that is?”

22:00: As the show enters its fourth hour, a video clip of nominees talking about the family members they want to thank.

21:52: Qin Hao on stage to introduce Best Picture nominee BLIND MASSAGE, which now looks like a pretty heavy favorite to win the big award tonight.

21:50: And the Best Original Song award goes to: THE CONTINENT. Pu Shu goes on stage to accept the award.

This is rocker Pu’s first song in over a decade

21:48: Yang wraps up his recurring head joke with a kiss on his bald head from Michelle Chen. Mickey Huang: “Don’t piss off Amber Kuo” (Yang’s girlfriend)

21:47: Yang and Chen remain on stage to present the Best Original Song.

21:46: Chen Qigong not present to receive the award. Best New Actor nominee Zhang Huiwen accepts the award on his behalf.

21:45: And the Best Original Score award goes to: COMING HOME.

21:43: Michelle Chen and Tony Yang (bald!) on stage to present two awards. First, Best Original Score.

21:42: Oh, Happiness will not be performed tonight because David Tao can’t make it to the show.

21:39: Each of the Best Original Song nominee gets a performance tonight. Happiness from (SEX) APPEAL is the only one left.

21:37: Anthony Wong Yiu-ming, wearing his yellow ribbon, now on stage to sing the theme song from ABERDEEN.

21:32: Tian now reads a poem at his Golden Horse statue. He has never received one before.

21:28: Tian: “I didn’t come here to escape war or anything. I came to Taiwan to act…so I want to thank Taiwan.”

21:27: Tian (holding the award): “I’ve waited for you for half a century! ”

21:26: A standing ovation for Tian Feng now.

21:24: Tian Feng was one of the most prolific actors in the 1960’s. One of King Hu’s favorites.

He often played masters, fathers, authoritative characters. Jackie Chan even played his stunt double before.

21:22: Sun Yueh presents the Lifetime Achievement award to Tian Feng.

21:17:  Niu: “Some has called Jimmy the liver of Taiwan cinema” (If I didn’t hear it wrong)

21:15: Huang signs three contracts on stage. I guess he’s still paying off some bills.

21:12: Huang was the producer on SEEDIQ BALE, known as the film that borrowed the largest amount of money for a Taiwan film.

This year, he’s the producer of KANO (which hasn’t broken even yet), PARADISE IN SERVICE (whose director has been convicted of a crime during pre-production) and CAMOUS CONFIDENTIAL.

20:10: Time for the Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year award, which goes to producer Jimmy Huang. Wei Te-sheng and Doze Niu on stage to present the award to him.

21:02: The video segment didn’t include Jimmy Heung, but the two hosts did mention him.

And now, a song performance.

21:00: And now, the In Memoriam segment.

20:58: Ma Yingli is director Lou Ye’s wife, by the way.

20:56: Ma Yingli says that the original novel doesn’t have narrative or any of the stuff that can turn it into a dramatic narrative.

20:54: And Best Adapted Screenplay goes to: BLIND MASSAGE for its fourth award.

20:53: Time for Best Adapted Screenplay 

20:52: Yee Chih-yen said that he was inspired to write MEETING DR. SUN after talking to teenagers about the difficulties in their lives.

Yee also says that this is the first time he’s won a major film award in Taiwan (I guess Taipei Film Festival didn’t count?)

20:50: MEETING DR. SUN also won the Best Screenplay award at the Taipei Film Festival.

Li Lieh is a producer on the film

20:49: Li Lieh: “Oh, Umin Boya, you’re not nominated this year?”

And the Best Original Screenplay award go to:  MEETING DR. SUN.

20:48: Li Lieh and Umin Boya on stage to present. Seems like Umin Boya forgot his lines.

They first present Best Original Screenplay.

20:44: And dinner’s here!!!!

20:43: Jiang Qunqun reading a Best Picture intro. For Chen Jianbin’s A FOOL.

20:41: And the winner of the Best Action Choreography award is: AS THE LIGHT GOES OUT. Another unexpected Hong Kong win.

20:40: And now, time for Best Action Choreography.

20:39: The hosts remind the winners that the Golden Horse Award does not limit the lengths of the winners’ speeches.

20:38: The winners clearly did not expect this award. Again, this must be what winning a Golden Horse award feels like (speaking as a film school graduate/failure)

20:37: And the Best Visual Effects award goes to: THE MIDNIGHT AFTER

I would have never expected a Fruit Chan film to ever win a Best Visual Effects award if you asked me 10 years ago.

20:36: Best Visual Effects up first. Apparently, it was the most difficult award to decide on, according to Fung.

20:35: Jury member Stephen Fung and Rainie Yang now on stage to present Best Visual Effects and Best Action Choreography.

20:34: The two hosts talk about how it’s totally OK to not win an award tonight.

20:32: Ella Chen just did an impression of Aaron Kwok. Ouch.

20:31: On an unrelated note. I have waited an hour for my dinner delivery, and the restaurant just called me to tell me that something isn’t in stock.

20:28: I should clear up that Golden Horse is absolutely not a sensitive keyword on Weibo. Just seems like certain media are not covering it. Individual accounts and smaller media are still doing live coverage.

20:26: Pu Shu now performing the awesome theme song from Han Han’s THE CONTINENT. I’ve been told this is a big deal.

20:24: Clearly, Star Chinese Movies is going to be looping the same 5 ads again all night.

20:21: It is extremely odd that Sina Entertainment is just pretending that The Golden Horse award is totally not happening right now.

20:19: Screenwriter Li Qiang now on stage to introduce THE GOLDEN ERA as Best Picture nominee.

Last year, Li said that Anthony Chen taking two years to write his award-winning script for ILO ILO was nothing since his script for THE GOLDEN ERA took three years to write.

20:19: This is where the geography game gets tricky. Does Chen’s Supporting Actor award go to China and Taiwan? I’d personally put it under the nation of the film, which makes this the second award for Taiwan.

20:18: This really is Chen Jianbin’s year. He’s nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Best New Director and Best Actor thanks to PARADISE IN SERVICE and his directorial debut A FOOL. His film is also nominated for Best Film.

20:17: And the Best Supporting Actor goes to: Chen Jian-bin for PARADISE IN SERVICE. Second award for the Doze Niu film.

20:16: Now, time for Best Supporting Actor. Another competitive category here. 

20:15: Gwei Lun Mei says she has always played major roles in her films since her first film. Lau Ching Wan: “Me too!”

She forgot about FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE

20:14: Mickey Huang: “We should get our Tourism authority to sponsor the awards” after hearing the director saying that he was traveling to Taiwan for the first time.

20:13: If we’re playing the geography game, it’s currently: China - 6, Taiwan - 1, Hong Kong - 0

20:11: And the winner of Best Short Film is THE HAMMER AND SICKLE ARE SLEEPING by Geng Jun.

20:09: Lau Ching Wan and Gwei Lun Mei now on stage to present two awards. Best Short Film.

And Lau Ching Wan’s Mandarin….

20:08: For those keeping score: PARADISE IN SERVICE has 1,  BLACK COAL THIN ICE has 1, BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES has 1, and BLIND MASSAGE has 3

20:06: A lot of local support for KANO, but also rumored to be the film that got the awards a ban in Chinese media. I repeat that this is only a rumor.

20:03: Now, a performance of the Japanese-language folk song in KANO. Though it sounds more like Taiwanese.

Masatoshi Nagase shows up on stage as the couch. Stays around to introduce the Best Picture intro clip in Japanese.

20:02: BLIND MASSAGE opens in China next weekend on the 28th. Not sure if it’ll be an edited version, though.

20:01: And the winner of Best Sound Effects is: BLIND MASSAGE. That’s three consecutive awards for the film!

Winner Fu Kang was also nominated for his work on RED AMNESIA, so he did have a 40% chance of winning.

20:00: Dai and Chen around for a third award: Best Sound Effects.

19:59: The younger winner, who is the student of the older editor, is absolutely speechless. That must be how winning your first Golden Horse feels like.

19:57: If all those rumors about multiple cuts of NO MAN’S LAND is true, then that Best Editing award….

Anyway, the winner is BLIND MASSAGE, its second win out of seven nominations.

19:56: Dai and Chen now present the Best Editing Award.

19:53: And the Best Cinematography award goes to: BLIND MASSAGE. This is the first win out of seven nominations from the film.

Winner Zeng Jian is a second-time winner, but his first win was split among three cinematographers.

19:52: Leon Dai and someone who identifies herself as “not Gwei Lun-mei” (Best Actress nominee Chen Shiang-chyi) now on stage to present. Their first award is Best Cinematography.

19:51: However, another smaller media organization I follow on Weibo is updating live. So…..

19:49: There’s been no confirmation of a Mainland China ban on the Golden Horse award, but Sina Entertainment’s Weibo account has not updated anything since the red carpet. They used to post live updates of the ceremony.

19:48: Wan Qian makes a wish on stage: She says she hopes to return to the stage in the future as the Best Actress winner.

19:46: And the winner of Best Supporting Actress is: Wan Qian for PARADISE IN SERVICE.

PARADISE has now won one and lost one.

19:45: By the way, INSANITY has only been shown once publicly at the Golden Horse Film Festival. I don’t think it has a Hong Kong release date set yet.

19:44: COTTON was the film that took 8 years to shoot, by the way.

Chang and Lee back to present the Best Supporting Actress award. This is the PARADISE IN SERVICE competition, with two actresses from the film nominated in this category.

Trivia: Ivy Chen was nominated at both Golden Horse and the Taiwan equivalent of the Razzies

19:43: And the winner of Best Documentary is: COTTON

19:42: Their first award is Best Documentary. They point out that one film took 8 years to shoot. Another took 10

19:40: Angelica Lee and Chang Chen now on stage to present. Each team of presenters presents two awards.

19:36: I believe Lau Ching Wan and Rubber Band are the only representatives of THE WHITE STORM tonight. Feel free to correct me on Twitter if I’m wrong.

19:34: We’re back with a live performance of the WHITE STORM theme song performed by Rubber Band. In Cantonese!

19:31: First commercial break! That means I can order dinner now.

19:30: Video clip of actors remember their first song. Chen Bl-lin says “I think they used to play the national anthem”. That’s not gonna be well-liked to Mainland audiences watching.

19:28: Director Diao Yinan accepts the award on behalf of the winner, who is currently at work.

19:27: Ruan and Kuo stay to present Best Art Direction.

The winner is BLACK COAL THIN ICE. First win out of 8 nominations 

19:26: Winner dedicates awards to her colleagues

19:25: Star Chinese Movies adds a note on the top right corner, saying that it will be showing BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES. The film has not been shown theatrically in Hong Kong, but the China version DVD has English subtitles.

19:24: And the winner is: BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES. One out of five nominations won.

19:22: Kuo Shu-yao and Ethan Euan now on stage to present the first awards. First up: the Makeup and Costume Design award

19:21: Ella Chen of S.H.E. and TV hosts Mickey Huang are the hosts this year. They’re saying hi to the big guests, including a very confused Nagase Masatoshi

19:17:  Sorry for the delay. Don’t worry, it’s a 4-hour show, and we’re only at the hosts banter right now. 

The Golden Rock 2014 Golden Horse Live Blog - The Preview

51_golden_horse.jpg

 

 

Due to my professional and personal obligations (more former than latter, if you’ve seen my work), I haven’t had much time to update this blog. But there are two occasions each year that bring me back with no exception: The Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards. The difference: One speaks (mostly) Cantonese, the other one speaks Mandarin.

 

(just kidding - there are more Mandarin speakers at the Hong Kong Film Awards now)

 

November means that it’s time for the Golden Horse Awards! Celebrating the best and brightest in Greater China cinema, this year’s Golden Horse Awards is once again dominated by Mainland China films. Nevertheless, there is strong support in Taiwan for local darling KANO and Gwei “Gooey” Lun Mei, even though her nominated film is a Mainland China film.

 

As I have done in the past several years, I will once again live-blog the entire Golden Horse Award ceremony from beginning to end. Like last year, there will be less snark, but I guarantee that there will be just as much pointless narration of events happening at the ceremony.  And I once again guarantee that I will not understand 30% of what is said at the awards because of the Mandarin.

 

Once again, the Live Blog will be done in a single entry that is continuously updated throughout the night. You will have to manually reload the page to see the updates because I don’t have technology like those people who live blog Apple release events.

 

The awards starts promptly at 19:00 (that’s 7 PM for you lazy 12-hour clock people) Hong Kong/Taiwan time on Saturday, November 22nd. That’s GMT +8 (or just use World Time Server to figure that out).  Expect the awards to run over four hours, which is only one hour longer than THE GOLDEN ERA and about the same length as a Lav Diaz film. I promise it’ll be a breeze.

 

Depending on my typing speed, I will also be on Twitter throughout the night. Just tweet @TheGoldenRock using hashtag #GHA2014 and your comments may end up on this blog or retweeted by me. Yeah, I’m all up in this social media thingy.

 

The nomination list here, courtesy of our friendly neighbourhood Webmaster Kozo.

 

See you on Saturday night/morning/afternoon!

 

 

 

 

The Golden Rock 2014 Hong Kong Film Awards Live Blog

So it begins. This year’s Hong Kong Film Awards live blog below, going from bottom to top for easier reading for those reloading:  

23:33 - And that’s it for another year of the Hong Kong Film Awards. Thanks a lot for reading!

23:32 - Wong Kar Wai returns to the mic for one more remark. “Film and kung fu is about two words: Faith. If Hong Kong films are good enough, it shouldn’t just reach the north.” Yup.

23:31 - HKFA plays music to get Song Dai off the stage, but he’s still talking. They had to turn his mic back on.

23:30 - Sil-Metropole’s Song Dai takes the microphone and gives a long speech in Mandarin.

23:29 - Final award count - GRANDMASTER takes 12. THE WAY WE DANCE takes 3. RIGOR MORTIS takes 2. UNBEATABLE takes 1.

23:27 - And the winner for Best Picture is: THE GRANDMASTER. 12 awards total. Sets new record for most awards won by a single film at the HKFA.

23:26 - “It was great that Louis lost but still graciously hugged Nick. I’ve never won a Best Actor award winner, either!! We both have to work hard, Louis!” - Jackie Chan.

23:25 - Jackie Chan now on stage to present the Best Picture award.

Anyone notice the absence of Eric Tsang this year? Might’ve been over him leaving the Hong Kong Artistes’ Association.

23:24 - Nick Cheung just started to sing THE SOUND OF SILENCE. He gives up after 4 lines and starts throwing punches.

23:23 - On a personal note, this is the second year in a row I’ve helped out on an HKFA-winning film. Both for translation work and for the same company. Last year was THE LAST TYCOON. This year is for UNBEATABLE.

23:19 - This is likely UNBEATABLE’s only win for the night. Out of 11 nominations.

“How much did you guys bet?” - Nick Cheung.

This is Nick Cheung’s 2nd Best Actor win at the HKFA. 

23:16 - Time for the Ip Man VS MMA battle. The winner of the Best Actor award is: Nick Cheung for UNBEATABLE

Nick graciously pulls Tony Leung in for a hug. Awww.

Anthony Wong tried to hug Nick, but Nick went to hug Bona’s Yu Dong instead. Whoops.

23:13 - Miriam Yeung on stage now to pass out the Best Actor award.

23:09 - For those keeping count, and it’s a rather easy count for now, THE GRANDMASTER has won 11 awards tonight. It’s only lost out in one category.

23:06 - Another commercial break before the Best Actor and Best Film awards.

23:04 - And the Best Director award goes to: Wong Kar Wai for THE GRANDMASTER

9th nomination. His 3rd win at the HKFA.

This is his first Best Director win at the HKFA since CHUNGKING EXPRESS in 1994.

23:01 - Going into the 4th hour now….

OK, Carina Lau now on stage to present Best Director. First dig at Wong Kar Wai for taking Tony Leung away for 4, 5 years. Then dig at Tony Leung for keep going back to Wong.

22:59 - Zhang seems genuinely touched for winning this one. I think the HKFA out of all was the most important for her to win.

22:55 - The advantage of the HK Film Awards: they let the big star presenters go off-script and talk for 6 minutes as long as they’re amusing.

And the winner of the Best Actress award is: Zhang Ziyi for THE GRANDMASTER

Both of Zhang Ziyi’s HKFA actress wins have been for Wong Kar Wai movies. Her last win was for 2046.

22:51 - Nick to Cherry “You’re still young. Just wait some time. Your fellow nominees all had to wait for while”

22:48 - Nick Cheung goes off-script for a bit of a monologue on each of the nominees.

Nick just realized the script wrote the wrong character for Cherry Ngan’s Chinese name.

22:47 - Nick Cheung on stage now to present the Best Actress award.

22:43 - Why did George Lam just switch to incoherent Mandarin in the middle of the Wong Fei Hung song?

22:36 - George Lam now with a musical performance. I hope he sings that song from HER.

22:34 - And it’s time for Gordon Lam to snark Ronald Cheng. “So, there are a lot of talent shows on TV now. Why didn’t any of them sing your songs?” - Gordon Lam.

22:33 - Max Zhang just spoke Cantonese in his Now TV interview. He would’ve impressed a lot of people if he did that on stage!

22:24 - Eddie Peng and Angelababy on stage now to present the award for Best Action Design

Eddie, working hard on that Cantonese.

And the Best Action Design award goes to: THE GRANDMASTER. That’s 9 awards. Max Zhang accepts on Yuen Woo Ping’s behalf.

22:22 - “Hey, Gordon, have you seen any of these three awards?” - Ronald Cheng, point the Best Director, Best Film and Best Actor trophies from other HK film awards.

22:17 - Best Original Song award now.

The Best Original Song award goes to: THE WAY WE DANCE.

22:15 - First up is Best Original Score. The winner is: THE GRANDMASTER. Its 8th award of the night.

22:14 - Kelly Chen and Mark Lui on stage now to present the music awards.

22:13 - Did this year’s Lifetime Achievement award just become the equivalent of the Academy Award’s scientific and technical awards?

22:12 - Um, Jet Li presents the award to Cheung Sing Yim on video. Is Cheung not in Hong Kong?

22:10 - Lifetime Achievement Award time. To director Cheung Sing Yim for being one of the first Hong Kong directors to go north. In a year that celebrates Hong Kong cinema’s “return”.

Cheung directed Jet Li in SHAOLIN TEMPLE, the first HK-China co-production. Jet Li offers a clip to pay tribute.

22:08 - Oh, I just missed my chance to play the Now TV guessing game. Lost my chance at winning HK$10,000.

22:04 - Another commercial break. ICEMAN 3D ad appears.

22:02 - Producer Stanley Kwan accepts the award on Zhao’s behalf. Zhao is currently shooting the new Peter Chan film.

22:00 - As we head into our third hour…

The winner of Best Film From Mainland China and Taiwan is: Vicki Zhao’s SO YOUNG

21:56 - Huang Bo and Chang Chen on stage to present Best Film from Mainland China and Taiwan. Trivia: Neither of these men won the Best Supporting Actor award this year.

21:54 - The two HK New Wave directors stay on stage for Best Sound Design.

Man. I kind of look forward to that AS THE LIGHT GOES OUT Blu-ray now.

And the winner of Best Sound Design is: THE GRANDMASTER. The 7th award tonight.

21:51  - Cheung and Yim are on stage to present Best Visual Effects. This is also a surprisingly difficult category to call.

And the winner of Best Visual Effects is Enoch Chan for RIGOR MORTIS.

RIGOR MORTIS just broke THE GRANDMASTER’s streak! 2nd award for the film.

21:49 - Alex Cheung just announced that he’s retiring from the ICAC  as a director this year and hints a return to the HK film industry.

21:48 - Alex Cheung, whom Ronald Cheng calls the director of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Yim Ho now on stage.

Seriously, Alex Cheung directed MAN ON THE BRINK. Only the first and the best HK undercover cop film ever made.

21:46 - Ronald Cheng reveals that the montage - with the message “history will pass, but film remains” was edited by Maggie Cheung. I apologize.

21:43 - Hong Kong cinema reflecting Hong Kong history? Still don’t quite understand this montage here.

21:40 - So, this is a long montage of Hong Kong cinema?  I’m not sure what’s going on here.

21:37 - Anthony Wong says he was asked to go on stage to talk about Hong Kong cinema. He pulls out a file of research material.

First, he puts the smack down on Baidu.

“According to Wikipedia, the first definition is Wong Jing. The second is Andy Lau. The third is Anthony Wong, the king of crappy films. I can’t agree with this. After all, Jackie Chan isn’t even here.”

And Anthony Wong just threw out a whole barrage of English.

21:36 - Anthony Wong on stage by himself now. Let’s see what he has to say this year.

21:35 - Back from commercial break with a short clip of Now TV interviewing Babyjohn Choi

21:30 - Wu Ma and Lau Kar Leung close out the In Memoriam segment.

21:26 - Fortunately, no cutting away to some pop act this year during the In Memoriam segment. Just a montage of those we’re remembering.

21:25 - Now the in memoriam montage.

First one up is, of course, Run Run Shaw.

21:23 - “Someone told me that anyone who’s in a Wong Kar Wai film would win an award, and I said ‘REALLY?’” - Max Zhang

Zhang also gives a shout-out to his wife Ada Choi.

21:20 - Time for the Best Supporting Actor award.

Shawn Yue first gives a shoutout to his buddy Eddie Peng.

The winner of Best Supporting Actor is: Max Zhang for THE GRANDMASTER. That’s 6

21:19 - Shawn Yue’s first question to Isabella: “So who are you with now?”

Isabella’s answer: “I’m with you right now, Shawn Yue!”

21:18 - Isabella Leong and Shawn Yue on stage now to present. Isabella hasn’t been on this stage for a while.

21:15 - Tsao remains on stage to present Best Editing

And the Best Editing Award goes to: THE GRANDMASTER. The film’s 5th award now.

21:14 - Le Sourd said the film’s first AD laughed at him when he asked for a shooting schedule.

21:12 - And the Best Cinematography award goes to: THE GRANDMASTER. This is Philippe Le Sourd’s first nomination and first win.

Did Chip Tsao just speak French to Le Sourd?!

21:10  - Chip Tsao, whose directorial debut ENTHRALLED is in cinemas now, on stage to present Best Cinematography.

Remember, THE GRANDMASTER was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars.

21:08 - Second commercial break

21:03 - Kara Hui just revealed that Willie Chan asked her to act in RIGOR MORTIS on behalf on his godson Juno Mak.

20:59 - Andrew Lau and Denise Ho on stage now to present Best Supporting Actress. Another tough category to call. 

And the winner is Kara Hui for RIGOR MORTIS. This is her first Best Supporting Actress win.

20:56 - “Perhaps the biggest disaster last year was 14 new directors fighting to make a living” - Cheung Tat Ming

20:55 - “This is the biggest disaster scene of Hong Kong cinema all year.”  - Cheung Tat Ming before showing the WHITE STORM song featuring Louis Koo, Nick Cheung and Lau Ching Wan.

20:53 - “You can hear Cantonese curse words everywhere in Hong Kong. Just hold the open door button on a full elevator for longer than 5 seconds.” - Cheung Tat Ming.

20:51 - Cheung Tat Ming, who has been away from the limelight for over a year due to his illness, is back on stage! I think this is the annual stand-up comedy routine.

20:49 - Olivia Cheng and Simon Yam stay on stage to present Best Costume Design

The winner of Best Costume Design is: William Chang for THE GRANDMASTER

Did anyone think William Chang would lose the category that he got an Oscar nomination for?

20:47 - And the winner of Best Art Direction is THE GRANDMASTER.

William Chang couldn’t make it to the ceremony to get his award because he was recently injured at work.

20:45 - Olivia Cheng and Simon Yam now on stage to present Best Art Direction.

This is the former beauty pageant winner’s first time at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

20:42 - And the most important award of the night: The Best Dressed Award.

The winners of the Best Dressed Award are Nick Cheung (who appears REALLY shocked) and Angelababy.

The winners are so shocked that they refused to stand up.  

20:41 - The advantage of Now TV: You get to see ads for companies like “I Love Cake” and a juicer ad featuring a dubbed Lee Young-Ae

20:36 - First ad break of the night. Time to take some meds.

20:32 - And now, the Best Screenplay award. This is a tough category to call.

The winner of the Best Screenplay award is:  THE GRANDMASTER.

This is Wong Kar Wai’s first Best Screenplay award!

“Hong Kong’s tallest director gets an award from Hong Kong’s shortest director” - Fruit Chan.

20:31 - They’ve mentioned their very long film title twice already, and I still don’t know what they’re presenting.

20:30 - The Golden Scene Film Awards continue as director Fruit Chan and actress Kara Hui go on stage - both in cinemas now with THE MIDNIGHT AFTER.

20:29 - And now, more hosts banter between Gordon Lam and Teresa Mo.

20:26 - Babyjohn Choi, seen for the past year in multiple Movie Movie and Broadway Cinema ads.

20:25 - And the winner of Best New Actor is Babyjohn Choi for THE WAY WE DANCE

20:24 - “Don’t worry, Juno, we still have a chance” - Nina Paw.

She stays on stage to give the Best New Actor award.  

20:23 - Adam Wong’s speech is still going. I take it as an opportunity to finish dinner.

20:20 - Adam Wong first thanks Golden Scene and Winnie Tsang. Cherry Ngan is crying in the audience now.

20:19 - According to the announcer, Adam Wong’s WHEN BECKHAM MET OWEN does not count as a feature film.

20:18 - First award is the Best New Director award. It’s usually the Best Screenplay, but I see they’re changing things up this year.

And the winner of the Best New Director award is Adam Wong for THE WAY WE DANCE, for er, his third feature film. 

20:17 - Nina Paw is tonight’s first presenter. “I’m glad to come up now since I probably won’t be up here later”

20:16 - OK, they just made a spoiler-esque joke about RIGOR MORTIS.

“FIRESTORM is like a game. 3D gunshots and explosions won’t kill him, but a 3D bus does.” - Ronald Cheng.

20:14 - CreateHK and the Hong Kong Film Fund are giving HK$100,000 to the winner of tonight’s Best New Director Award.

20:13 - Tonight’s hosts are Teresa Mo, Ronald Cheng and Gordon Lam. It’s like a Saturday Night Live thing by now.

“We’ve made only 49 movies this year, so I guess it was a pretty special year after all.” - Ronald Cheng.

20:12 - And now, a parade of new directors, made up of a whopping ten people.

20:11 - THE WAY WE DANCE has dancing, RIGOR MORTIS has vampires, and FIRESTORM has Philip Keung and Terence Yin falling on a metal crate onto the stage.

20:08 - And the vampire in RIGOR MORTIS just wire-fu-ed on the stage with several other hopping vampires. The vampires are joined by dancers from THE WAY WE DANCE.

20:07 - Crystal Lee introduces a montage of “new directors,” including one of which has already made three feature films (you can guess which one).

20:06 - OK, live at the Culture Center now as the show gets underway with Unbeatable’s Crystal Lee doing a speech.

20:05 - The Now TV hosts share their predictions. Female host: “I’d like Louis Koo to win because he’s never won before.”

20:04 - And we’re….not so off yet. Now TV doing several more minutes of pre-show. Apparently not even live events can start on time in Hong Kong.

20:02 - OK, infomercial over. Looks like we’re starting up very soon.

20:00 - Now TV is showing a restaurant infomercial right now. Seriously??

19:56 - Be sure to check out this year’s list of nominees here and tweet @TheGoldenRock with hashtag #HKFA2014!

19:52 - And our live blog begins! Tonight’s coverage is brought to you via Now TV.  

The 2014 Golden Rock Hong Kong Film Awards Live Blog Preview

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It’s time for the best and brightest of Hong Kong cinema to come together again and pat each other on the back. That’s right, it’s time for the Hong Kong Film Awards!  This weekend, Hong Kong will celebrate another year of great Hong Kong films (most of which are co-produced with Mainland China), and we’re here to reveal the winners live via text, because text is so much more exciting than pictures!

Like previous years, We will be live-blogging the proceedings as they happen. However, due to my new identity as a film journalist, snarking will be kept to a minimum, which mean I am leaving it to you all to do it.

But, first, the details:

Time? 20:00 Hong Kong time (GMT+8). Use World Time Server if you need to know that is in your time zone.

Place? Right here!

How? I will start a new entry for the live blog and update it continuously. All you have to do is enter that entry and reload every once in a while to see the latest updates!

Doesn’t that just add to your site visits? All I care is unique visits, and you reloading the page won’t add to it. Besides, my ego doesn’t need that kind of inflating.

Who’s nominated? What are you doing here if you don’t know? OK, do your homework here and start putting together those betting pools (hint: betting against Wong Kar Wai may not be good for your wallet).

Why should I read your live blog?  If you understand Chinese, live in Hong Kong and have a TV, then you shouldn’t. But if you answered no to any of those three questions, don’t you want to know what’s happening? If you answered yes to that question and you care about Hong Kong cinema, then why not read it?

Because you’re a dick.  Ok, fair point. But you still don’t understand Chinese/live in Hong Kong/have a TV.

Now you’re just talking to yourself on your own blog. I know I am, but what are you?

Since I will not be snarking, I am leaving it to my followers on Twitter to do it. Be sure to tweet your comments @TheGoldenRock with hashtag #HKFA2014, and I will retweet the best comments. I don’t necessarily agree with you by retweeting, but I am acknowledging that you are being witty on Twitter, which just makes you that much of a superior human being.

Stop being a dick. I am not retweeting that.

OK, see you Sunday night.

The Golden Rock 2013 Golden Horse Live Blog

Welcome to the 2013 edition of the Golden Rock Golden Horse Live Blog. We are sitting in Hong Kong right now, watching Star Chinese Movies’ live feed.

As always, I will be giving a play-by-play rundown of the show. This year, I am joined by two guess commentators: Dana Fukazawa from the New York Asian Film Festival and Golden Bell Award (Taiwan’s version of the Emmys) winner Coco Shen. They will be identified as D and C, respectively. 

Look below, and keep refreshing the page for updates!  

0:03 - And that’s it for the Golden Horse live blog this year. Thank you all for reading, and thanks to Dana and Coco for joining me. See you all next year!

0:02 - “This award will encourage more young Singaporean directors” — Anthony Chen.  

23:59 - ILO ILO was the first Singaporean film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Golden Horse Award. It is also the first Singaporean film to win the Best Picture Award.

23:58 - And the Best Picture award winner is: ILO ILO . WOW!

23:56 - Ang Lee: “The Best Picture winner took four rounds of voting and two and a half hours of discussion. I think that’s a record”

23:53 - Time for Best Picture now. It’s pretty much up in the air now.

Ang Lee and Hou Hsiao Hsien on stage to present the Best Picture winner.

23:46 - And now, all the past Best Actors and Best Actress winners in Golden Horse history (that are still alive and willing to show up) on stage. Doesn’t look like a lot, but remember the multiple award winners.

23:41 - Whew. Getting towards the end now. My two guests extremely happy for the Lee-Tsai wins tonight.

23:37 - “To win a Best Actor award among these nominees is extremely difficult” - Lee Kang Sheng

23:35 - [Frozen on stage] “There’s nothing wrong with your TV. This is Tsai Ming Liang’s directing style” - Lee Kang Sheng

23:32 - And we’re officially in over-run territory with the Best Actor award. My guests are pulling for Lee Kang-Sheng.

And the winner of the Best Actor award is:  Lee Kang Sheng for STRAY DOGS

23:30 - “I am the same age as the Golden Horse Awards” — Lau Ching Wan

23:28 - Lau Ching Wan and Brigitte Lin on stage to present Best Actor

23:24 - And a video montage of Best Actor award winners now, before this year’s Best Actor award.

23:20 - Final two awards coming up. GRANDMASTER will likely remain top winner tonight with at least 5 awards

23:17 - “I’ve been nominated for this for a few times, but it’s finally in my hands” — Zhang Ziyi

23:14 - And the winner of the Best Actress award is: Zhang Ziyi for THE GRANDMASTER 

23:12 - Andy Lau and Maggie Cheung now on stage to present the Best Actress award

23:10 - Tsai kang-Yong doing a poll of which astrology sign has the most Best Actress winners.

Virgo has the most number of Best Actress winners. But one has won five times.

Cancer has the most number of Best Actor winners.

23:08 - A video montage of all Best Actress winners before the Best Actress award.

23:06 - Into our 5th hour now. But that was a really great performance by Tsai Chin.

22:57 - C: “Look, everyone’s happy now!” (about Tsai Chin’s performance)

22:55 - Back now with Tsai Chin’s musical performance

22:50 - I’ve seen that ad for THE WEDDING DIARY 2 way too many times tonight.

22:47 - “Thank you, Ang Lee” — Tsai Ming Liang

22:45 - “Everyone knows I have a messy past with the Golden Horse Awards. They don’t like me very much, and I don’t like them very much, either.” — Tsai Ming Liang

22:43 - My guests are pushing for Tsai Ming Liang

And the winner for Best Director is: Tsai Ming Liang for STRAY DOGS 

22:41 - Zhang Ziyi, Gwei Lun Mei, Sammi Cheng, Yang Gui-Mei, and Joan Chen together to present Best Director

22:39 - For those who are keeping score: 4 awards for GRANDMASTER. 3 awards for ILO ILO

22:34: The major awards coming up after this commercial break. Starting with Best Director.

22:29: Chen Chen on stage now to accept her award. Standing ovation in the house.

“This is the greatest honor and encouragement of my life”
“I want to dedicate this award to all the people who work behind the scenes.” 

22:25: Charlie Chin on stage now to present the Lifetime Achievement Award for Chen Chen.

22:23: “When Anthony Chen said he took two years to write a script. I thought, ‘That’s nothing.’ My script for Ann Hui took three years” - Li Qiang, writer of SO YOUNG.

22:20: Ann Hui and Peter Chan stay on stage to present Best Adapted Screenplay

And the winner of Best Adapted Screenplay is: SO YOUNG

22:17: And the winner of Best Original Screenplay is: ILO ILO 

D: “This really is Ang Lee’s cup of tea”

22:16: D: “If TOUCH OF SIN wins, Peter would not read that name.”

22:15: Peter Chan and Ann Hui on stage now to present Best Original Screenplay.

C: “If they blow up Taiwan now, there goes Hong Kong cinema.”

22:03: Amber Kuo and Kevin Chu on stage now to introduce the in memoriam sequence

22:02: “I only came with one wish: to shake hands with Ang Lee” — Anthony Chen.

21:59: Time for the Best New Director Award. Guests again pulling for Anthony Chen for ILO ILO.

And just as Anthony Chen stands up. Ti Lung reveals that he was just reading the nomination list.

And the winner for Best New Director is Anthony Chen for ILO ILO. For real this time.

21:57: I think John Woo just teased a Ti Lung-John Woo reunion.

21:56:  Fan service time. Ti Lung: “I haven’t been a gangster for a long time”

21:55: A BETTER TOMORROW reunion as John Woo and Ti Lung take the stage to give out the Best New Director award.

21:53 - “I’ve never won this award before” said Wong Kar Wai when he picked up the Audience Award for GRANDMASTER

21:52 - Now, recap of the two awards passed out last night. The FIPRESCI prize for RIGOR MORTIS and the Audience Award for THE GRANDMASTER.

21:49 - Tsai Kang-Yong now interviewing Brigitte Lin. Her two neighbors had to move to the stairs to get out of the way.

21:48 - Jury President Ang Lee: “Doing this job isn’t easy. Do you know how many of my friends I’ve offended?”

21:46 - Andy Lau takes the time to recognize the jury this year. Host Tsai Kang-Yong is one of them.

21:43 - Back from commercial break. Last year’s Golden Horse jury president Andy Lau on stage now.

21:37 - Each of the band member from ROCK ME TO THE MOON is giving a speech. I think Shu Qi is about to cry. Lot of fans for the film in the audience?

21:31: And now, Best Original Film Song

The winner of Best Original Film Song is: I LOVE YOU from ROCK ME TO THE MOON

21:26 - Chelsia Chen and Lang Lang now on stage to present Best Original Film Score.

And the winner of Best Original Film Score is: A TOUCH OF SIN

D: “Wait, Lang Lang isn’t supposed to mention this film title!”

21:24 - A nice performance by Lang Lang. Now, Tsai introduces the composer for this year’s award ceremony.

21:17 - After noticing that Maggie Cheung isn’t sitting next to Maggie Cheung. D: “Because Carina is there”

21:16 - I think the director of ILO ILO just got caught tweeting on camera.

21:15 - Back after a break for chips and salsa. Now a musical performance of memorable film scores by Lang Lang

21:06 - Time now for Best Action Choreography award.

And the winner of Best Action Choreography is: 12 ZODIACS  

21:05 - A team of 60 people in Paris worked on the special effects of THE GRANDMASTER

21:02 - Tsai: “[Best cinematography winner] I think he mentioned at least twice that THE GRANDMASTER took a long time to shoot.”

Dodo and Huang Bo remain to present the Best Visual Effects award

And the winner of the Best Visual Effects award is: THE GRANDMASTER 

21:00 - Best Cinematography award as we head into our third hour

And the winner for Best Cinematography is: THE GRANDMASTER

D: “STRAY DOGS is nothing. The camera didn’t even move”

20:57 - Huang Bo and Dodo Cheng - both past hosts - now on stage to present Best Cinematography

Huang Bo: “You see how excited I am by my hairstyle”

Huang Bo: “Yes, I’m only a half-Best Actor winner. I had to share it with Nick Cheung. He’s here tonight to take back what he lost in the past”

20:55 - C: “I like the Hong Konger’s speech”. She means the length of it.

20:52 - And William Chang’s protege has to tie his shoelace before going on the stage to get the award.

20:51 - Both my guests are saying “Just give it to GRANDMASTER already”

And the winner of Best Art Direction is: THE GRANDMASTER 

20:49 - Aaron and Sylvia remain on stage for Best Art Direction.  

D: “Aaron has so much hair”

20:47 - Director Anthony Chen looks like he’s about to break into tears from the audience stand.

20:44 - Time for Best Supporting Actress. My guests once again pulling for ILO ILO

And the winner of Best Supporting Actress is: Yeo Yann Yann for ILO ILO 

My two guests just broke into applause.

20:42 - 102 minutes in, and 8 awards have been given out

Aaron Kwok and Sylvia Chang on stage now to present Best Supporting Actress

20:34 - Ruan and Lin stay on stage to present Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year award 

And the winner of Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year Award is: Renowned producer Ye Ju-Feng

20:29 - BEYOND BEAUTY is the highest grossing documentary in Taiwan ever. It has grossed more than NT$50 million nationwide.

20:27 - And the winner of Best Documentary is: BEYOND BEAUTY, TAIWAN FROM ABOVE 

20:25 - Ethan Ruan and ZONE PRO SITE’s Lin Mei-Hsiu on stage to present Best Documentary

20:22 - C: “They’re definitely going overtime tonight”

D: “That’s because Taiwan is so zen”

As we go into another video montage, about the 60’s in Taiwan and the beginning of the Golden Horse Award.

20:21 - Tsai Kang-Yong is back with his Iron Man arm.

20:17  - Time for another commercial break

20:14 - Shu Qi and Leon Dai now presenting Best Makeup and Costume Design. My guests are guessing THE GRANDMASTER

The winner for Best Makeup and Costume Design is: THE GRANDMASTER

20:13 - C and D: “They’re giving him the award because he played a KMT member.”

Li is wearing a PRC flag pin.

20:12 - Best Supporting Actor up first. 

And the winner of Best Supporting Actor is:  Li Xue Jian for BACK TO 1942

20:09 - Leon Dai and Shu Qi on stage now to present. They are here to present Best Costume Design and Best Supporting Actor

They are both Supporting Actor/Actress winners.

20:07 - And Lisa Lu up now. Yes, this segment has gone on for 7 minutes.

20:05 - OK, so it seems from my social media feeds like I’m not the only person noticing all the Andy Lau and Maggie Cheung chatting.

20:04 - This is the 50th Golden Horse Award, so there’s more nostalgia than ever this year. Lots of memories being shared tonight.

20:00 - Tsai now interviewing veteran actors in the audience.

19:56 - And now, a montage of the moment of victory for past winners at the awards.

19:55 - Tsai telling a story about Stanley Kwan winning an award because the jury refused to give Hou Hsiao Hsien an award for CITY OF SADNESS

19:53 - And that was the 5th consecutive shot of Andy Lau and Maggie Cheung chatting away.

19:50 - “Better than sex,” says Leon Dai about filmmaking

C: “What’s he saying about our Gwei Lun-mei?!”

19:49 - C: “Short film, long speech”

D: “This speech is longer than his film”

19;46  - D and C: “HE’S GUAN ER DAI!” - about the Best Short Film winner

19:43 - The two now present Best Short Film

The winner for Best Short Film is: BUTTER LAMP 

19:42 - Kuo totally loses it on stage. Lots of fan boys happy tonight.

19:41 - The two are presenting the Best New Actor award.

My guests are pulling for ILO ILO’s Xu Jia Le (Not proper Singapore spelling)

The winner of Best New Actor: Kuo Shu-Yao for STEP BACK TO GLORY

19:40 - D: “Andy Lau and Maggie just don’t care” after seeing numerous shots of them chatting.

19:39 - C: “Why isn’t Faye Wong here?”

19:38 - Tsai Kang-yong changes into an Iron Man suit on his left arm.

Stanley Kwan and Vicki Zhao on stage now to present

19:36 - My guests are not responding very well to this musical performance.

19:31 - C: “She looks better in suits”

19:30 - And we’re back with a musical performance by Denise Ho of Golden Horse nominated songs.

19:25 - First ad break. Time to finish my pizza

19:23 - Tu: “I really wanted to keep this award in Taiwan!”

19:22 - Both my guests are pulling for STRAY DOGS

And the winner of the Best Sound Effects award is:  SOUL

19:21 - Ling Po stays on stage to present the Best Sound Effects award.

19:20 - “He should be on FEI CHANG WU RAO,” said D after discovering the French winner speaks Mandarin  

19:17 - C: “Why is this granny talking about her kids? Where is the mahjong table?!”

OK, we are kicking off with Best Film Editing award.

And the winner is: A TOUCH OF SIN 

19:14 - Ivy Ling Po is the first presenter of the night. She starts by talking about the rewards Golden Horse has brought her over the years.

19:12 - Over 30 movies are nominated tonight.

19:09 - Tsai introducing all the big-name actors in the audience, including Brigitte Lin, Jackie Chan, Sylvia Chang, Hou Hsiao Hsien, etc.. Also the award jury, including Rene Liu and Ang Lee

D: “Ti Lung is still around”
Me: “He’s not dead!”

19:08 - Host Tsai Kang-Yong on stage now, wearing a checkered Golden Horse on his back

19:07 - C: “Movies were so much better in the past”

19:06 - Remember to interact with us on Twitter. @TheGoldenRock

19:04 - Show starting with a montage of all Golden Horse Best Picture winners.

19:01 - If you’re in Asia, you can catch the award on Star Movies Chinese

19:00 - Feed awkwardly cuts into Andy Lau on the red carpet. Maggie Cheung on the red carpet.

D: “Wow, she looks 50″

18:58 - Two minutes to go! And Star Movies getting all the ads out of the right before the 4-and-a-half-hour show.  

18:53 - My guest commentators and I are ready to go. But first, pizza!

The 2013 Golden Rock Golden Horse Live Blog Preview

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“I can do this with one leg up and still walk in a straight line!”

 

Even though this blog hasn’t been very active, I commit myself to update it at least twice a year: During the Hong Kong Film Awards and during the Golden Horse Awards. If you see an update here now, that can only mean that it’s time for another Golden Rock Award Live Blog!

The 50th Golden Horse Awards is happening this Saturday, and I assure you that unlike my Hong Kong Film Awards blog this year, I will be watching the show live on a reasonably comfortable couch here in Hong Kong in front of a reasonably sized television. As I have always done, I will provide the latest updates, from presenters to award winners. I will also not understand at least 30% of what people say in Mandarin.

However, one thing will be different with this year’s live blog: There will be less snark. Sorry, a joke about people on stage and the people who produce these award shows will end up hurting my career (and people’s feelings), so the award live blogs from here on will be more facts and less jokes.

Unless someone else made the joke. Quote marks make everything OK.

The blog will be in the same format as the past. I will continuously update a singular blog entry throughout the night (because none of you should have to be bombarded on Twitter by updates via tweet). Just keep updating the same entry to stay updated throughout the night.

The live blog entry will be promptly up on this very blog at 7pm (19:00) Hong Kong Time. That’s 0900 GMT, and if you don’t know what that is on your local time, then World Time Server is your friend. You should also be ashamed of yourself for not being able to tell time in a globalized world, but who am I to judge?

Check out the nominees on the Golden Horse Award page. Due to time constraints and other issues, I will not be doing an award prediction page this year.

To get into the conversation during the ceremony, holla at me @TheGoldenRock on Twitter. I’ll retweet the best comments throughout the night, but that totally isn’t an endorsement. At least that’s what I’ve been told to tell people.

See you all on Saturday night!


The Golden Rock 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards Not-so-live Blog

I promised I would do this, so here’s the not-live edition of the Golden Rock 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards, er, blog! 

The time code this year would be the running time of the show based on the video copy of the TVB broadcast I have (really, don’t ask where I got it) instead of the time of the broadcast. Sorry if it confuses a few people. The total running time of the show is just over 3 hours (no commercial breaks, obviously).

Here we go!

00:01:01: A highlight of the red carpet footage kick off the show. I wonder how furious TVB is for having to show all these non-TVB artists.

00:02:10: Show kicks off now with introduction of Best Picture nominees. MOTORWAY gets a car on the stage

00:02:45: Is that….a video background???? Also, that is clearly on a rig they stole from an old Universal Studios ride.

00:03:30: Chin Ka Lok gets of the car and says a few lines representing the film, then makes fun of cops not caring about film shoots.

00:04:15: Camera accidentally gets a few late comers on camera.

00:04:35: Best New Artist nominee (heh heh) Tsui Ka Kit says a few lines about COLD WAR and looks super stiff doing it. Can someone take back his nomination?

00:05:35: Some lame jump stunt representing THE BULLET VANISHES, then Liu Kai Chi shows how much better he is at delivering scripted lines than Tsui Ka Kit.

00:06:30: Lots of pyrotechnics for VIRAL FACTOR, then represented by Elaine Kam - who doesn’t fire a single shot in the film. “This is a film about a family - about two parents and two sons”. Then she goes on to describe the entire plot and that the film is about the importance of family. I TOLD YOU IT WASN’T JUST AN ACTION MOVIE.

00:07:55: Time for VULGARIA. I don’t even want to guess what they come up with here.

00:08:10: And Susan Shaw brings out a fake mule. “Tyrannosaur is a host tonight, so he’s not going to swear tonight” 

00:08:50: Camera captures a few more empty seats with GIFT BAGS. They should take those away from those people.

09:10:00: Tonight’s hosts: Gordon Lam, Eric Tsang, Ronald Tsang, and a bald Jerry Lamb.

00:09:50: The hosts tell us that Hong Kong made five additional films in 2012 thanks to the lowered cost of digital filmmaking.

00:10:45: Each guest gets several strips of film from the five nominated films. Wait, was any of them even SHOT on film?

00:12:00: Pang Ho Cheung and Ronald Cheng up first to present Best New Director and Best New Artist.

00:13:00: Chapman To reminds Pang that June Lam was not eligible for the Best New Artist. Pang: “No, I was feeling sorry for the mule in VULGARIA”.

00:13:40: Chapman To reveals that the VULGARIA mule was actually already in ASHES OF TIME and DETECTIVE DEE, and hence, not eligible for the Best New Artist award.

Pang: “That’s a deer”
To: “Any great actor can transform from a mule to a deer”

00:15:00: Best New Actor up first. I passed on all the nominees because I didn’t feel any of them was particularly deserving. Did they pretty much just show all of Tsui Ka Kit’s lines in that nomination clip?

And the winner of Best New Artist is….Tsui Ka Kit for COLD WAR. I think even Pang gave a “WTF” face there.

00:16:35: And with that, the HKFA committee just avoided an ICAC audit.

Tsui Ka Kit: “My acting wasn’t good enough, not as good as our past Chief Executive.” BURN.

I think Tsui is either a great public speaker or rehearsed this speech for a long time.

00:18:00: Tsui was the Deputy Director of Operations at the ICAC before a controversial dismissal in the 1990s

00:18:40: Best New Director now. Pang reveal now that co-directors are not eligible for the Best New Director award

00:19:10: To: “There are great directing teams out there. Pang Brothers, Coen Brothers, Wong Jing”

Pang: “Wong Jing is a solo director”

To: “That’s what he tells you”

00:19:45: Time for Best New Director. I predicted Roy Chow, but wanted Brian Tse for MCDULL.

And the winner of BEST NEW DIRECTOR is: Roy Chow for NIGHTFALL. Toldja.

00:20:50: Roy Chow thanks Edko’s Bill Kong. The first of a long line of wins for Edko tonight.

00:21;25: Roy Chow thanks Christine To and ends with an “I love you”. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

I think that’s the first public acknowledgement of their relationship.

00:23:30: Giddens and a little 6-year old girl out now to present Best Screenplay.

Poor little girl looks so nervous. Giddens keeps reminding her of that. too. Apparently, the little girl will be the star of his next film KUNG FU

00:24:40: I predicted COLD WAR to win, though I wanted VULGARIA.

Will this be a case of split votes for Pang?

00:26:30: And the winner is COLD WAR for Longman Leung and Sunny Luk. This is their first screenplay.

This sets in motion COLD WAR’s big night.

00:27:00: Sunny Luk is a longtime Assistant Director, but industry gossip says that he was never very good at it.

00:28:09: I’m really liking this no commercial break thing.

00:28:30: One award is voted for live at the show: The best-dressed award. Tonight’s winners are Lau Ching Wan-Amy Kwok and Sammi Cheng. Gordon Lam apparently missed that photo.

00:29:30: Ronald Cheng forgets his lines and Gordon Lam saves the day.

00:30:50: Alex Man (Best Supporting Actor nominee) and Janice Man on stage now to present Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

Wait, Alex Man sells clothes now?

00:31:50: That video background is insanely distracting.

00:32:30: Alex Man demonstrating multiple styles of acting, from stage to film. Save us now.

Look up Alex Man’s little extended display last year at the Udine Far East Film Festival on Youtube and see why I dread this.

00:33:45: Alex Man forgot he’s on stage to present an award!

00:34:00: Best Art Direction. I predicted THE BULLET VANISHES, but wanted TAI CHI 0.

I just noticed that these are all period films.

And the winner is….THE LAST TYCOON. Oh, I’d forgotten about those sets.

00:35:55: Lau Ching Wan accept the award on behalf of Yee Chung Man. The other winner is here, though.

00:36:30: Alex Man and Lau Ching Wan chatting in the background is kind of distracting, too.

00:37:10: The two stay on stage to present…..oh, they both don’t know what they’re presenting. Professional.

00:37:30: This is Best Costume Design. I predicted THE SILENT WAR due to its Asian Film Awards win, but wanted THE GREAT MAGICIAN to win.

Again, all period films.

And the winner is………THE GREAT MAGICIAN. Alex Man tells Lau Ching Wan to come back to the stage. Yee Chung Man wins second award in a row.

00:39:25: Lau Ching Wan: “Don’t worry, you won’t see me on stage again tonight”

00:40:05: I still see a few gift bags.

00:40:20: Leo Ku on stage now to sing Best Original Song nominee from Lan Kwai Fong 2. A ballad…representing a film about clubbing. Such is Cantopop.

00:42:00: I’m sure this is bringing back many fond memories of the fine motion picture that is LAN KWAI FONG 2. Oh, wait none of these old geezers saw the film.

00:44:30: There’s an old guy in the extended leg room row who just flat out REFUSED to applaud.

00:45:10: Gigi Leung and someone that Ronald Cheng forgot now on stage to present Best Supporting Actress.

Oh, wait, that’s Andrew Lau. Ouch.

00:45:45: Leung: “I hear that Assistant Directors pick the supporting actress now. What do you think about that?”

Lau: “I don’t know how to answer that.”

Leung: “I was just reading from the script.”

Lau: “So I hear you recently got married.”

Leung: “I did, yes”

Lau: “So did Ekin Cheng.”

HAHAHAHAHAHA

00:47:20: OK, I predicted Elaine Jin for the Best Supporting Actress award, but wanted Mavis Fan or Jiang Yiyan

The winner is…….Dada Chan for VULGARIA. This is for the Golden Forum brothers.

Dada seriously owes Pang Ho Cheung. The win was definitely for the character, not the performance.

00:48:35: Dada first thanks Pang Ho Cheung. She looks seriously caught off-guard.

00:50:30: No commercial break means we keep on trucking. Jerry Lamb and Eric Tsang share the stage now for some banter.

Lamb asks Tsang about film. Is this the beginning of the tribute to film? I mean literally film, not movies film.

00:51:40: Pioneer award now being presented to Kodak Eastman. Arthur Wong - finally not nominated for Best Cinematography this year - presents the award.

00:52:50: Wong: “Film is like human nature, some warm and some cold”

00:53:30: Wong: “Film gave us cinematographers a sense of authority and a sense of unease while the film gets developed.”

00:54:40: They better not pick any digitally shot movies in this montage tribute to FILM.

00:55:20: The Asia-Pacific Chairman of Kodak Eastman Lois Lebegue (is it supposed to be Louis?) accepts the award and gives a speech in English.

00:56:40: Lebegue: “Film remains the gold standard.” I will never learn to shoot on it, but indeed it is.

00:57:55: Lo Hoi Pang on stage now to present Best Visual Effects and Best Sound

Lo is known for his rhyming skills (the full story takes too long to translate), and delivers two for the audiences.

Lo’s story has to do with testing microphones, and uses that to emphasize the importance of sound in films. Heh heh.

Lo just says something about mothers on stage. Chapman To looks shocked.

1:00:45: Best Visual Effects up first. I predicted CHINESE ZODIAC to win, but want TAI CHI 0.

They just showed the fake-ass billiard scene and a crane shot from MOTORWAY because they had no idea what visual effects are.

And the winner is…..COLD WAR. Seriously? For that crappy explosion?

1:02:50: Lo forgets to give a speech and goes straight to Best Sound Design. I wanted THE BULLET VANISHES, but predict COLD WAR or VIRAL FACTOR to win.

Jesus, THE VIRAL FACTOR is such a loud movie.

And the winner is……COLD WAR. Kinson Tsang’s 29th nomination?!

1:04:50: Jerry Lamb: “The star of DIVA has apparently won many awards, but never won one.” Well, that’s not a big secret. Come on, Joey Yung.

Oh, she’s not here tonight.

That leaves Mag Lam to sing the DIVA theme song on her own (it’s supposed to be a duet)

1:07:00: I remember when UA Cinemas played this song on loop to promote DIVA. It’s not bad, actually.

1:10:20: Wong Kar Wai on stage by himself, first wishes Eric Tsang a happy birthday.

He’ll be back next year.

He’s here to give a speech about….shooting on film?

WKW: “Anyone on the set can mess up, but film developers can’t mess up”

1:12:00: WKW: “Film developers will never win awards or applause. We pay tribute to those film developers tonight”

1:13:00: Two Production Achievement Awards go to two professional film developers tonight.

1:14:30: These two hold especially important jobs. If a reel of master print is ruined, that entire reel has to be reshot.

1:18:00: All four hosts on stage now. It’s time for the Best Supporting Actor award - two of the four hosts are nominated this year.

Eric Tsang: “All four of us have been nominated before, but I’m the only one that has won before”.

1:20:20: Nick Cheung and Miriam Yeung on stage now to present Best Supporting Actor.

Tsang: “Miriam, I thought your dress is reversed”

The four hosts remain on stage. The banter now clearly off-script.

1:21:50: What is that digital waterfall doing in the back?!

1:22:05: Nick Cheung: “I’ve never won Supporting Actor before. I went straight to Best Actor”

Oh, everyone just remembered that Ronald Cheng and Miriam Yeung were a couple.

Miriam to Ronald: “Hey, haven’t seen you for a while!”

1:23:30: There was a lot of jump cuts in that nomination clip for VULGARIA.

OK, I guessed Ronald Cheng would win, and wants Ronald or Chapman To to win.

And the winner is……….Ronald Cheng for VULGARIA!!

Ronald and Miriam politely shake hands.

Nick Cheung asks if Ronald and Miriam have anything else to say before giving Ronald the stage.

1:26:00: Ronald Cheng: “Tonight’s script came too late, so I forgot about my own speech.”

Ronald starts to cry. “I know I didn’t give people a good impression when I first entered the industry because my father is a record company executive”

1:28:00: Ronald now talks about giving up music to put his heart into acting. Now, it finally pays off.

1:28:50: Eric Tsang: “I’m so touched [to Gordon Lam] It’s right that you didn’t win”

1:29:40: Jacky Cheung on stage now to perform the theme song from THE LAST TYCOON. Hey, buy the DVD and you can see my translation of the song lyrics!

1:32:50: Jacky Cheung is a really good singer.

1:33:40: Stephen Fung on stage now to present Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

Stephen Fung almost switches to Mandarin by accident.

1:34:45: First up is Best Cinematography. I guessed VIRAL FACTOR or COLD WAR. but think LAST TYCOON should win.

And the award goes to: Poon Yiu Ming for THE SILENT WAR.

Not a bad choice, just wasn’t one that I had expected.

1:37:00: Straight into Best Editing now. I expected COLD WAR to win, and want MOTORWAY or COLD WAR to win.

And the winner is……COLD WAR

Editing played a huge part in keeping COLD WAR’s intense pacing, which is why audiences loved it so much. So, there ya go.

1:39:30: Co-winner Wong Hoi’s first job was INITIAL D, which I absolutely HATED, especially for its editing. Oh, well.

1:40:50: Eric Tsang introduces this year’s In Memoriam segment.

“You Raise Me Up”? Seriously?

Screen on stage messes up and cuts off part of the screen. We see the names on TV, but it’s clearly too small for people in the venue to see.

1:44:30: Oliver Wong, Szeto Kam Yuen, Joe Cheng, Kong Ngai, Jacqueline Law, Austin Wai are just a few of the names recognized.

1:46:20: Jackie Chan on stage to present Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan. He’s mixing Mandarin and Cantonese on purpose for our Mainland Chinese guests. This is annoying.

1:48:40: OK, I predicted BACK TO 1942 to win Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan, and would be happy to see it win.

The winner is…………..BACK TO 1942. No surprise here. Zhang Guoli, Xu Fan and Huayi’s Wang Zhonglei accept the award.

1:52:00: I don’t think half the audience even knows that Xu Fan is speaking as Feng Xiaogang’s wife.

1:54:40: Mavis Fan and Choi Si Won (yeah,he’s Korean) on stage to present Best Original Score.

Wait, Choi Si Won speaks Mandarin? Why is he spending his banter saying hi to people in the audience.

1:56:40: I predicted that COLD WAR would win Best Original Score, but want DIVA to win.

And the winner is…………COLD WAR, for its unnecessary in-your-face film score. I forgot to keep score. How many has COLD WAR won now?

1:58:30: Now, the Best Original Song award. I expected the LAST TYCOON song to win, but want the ROMANCING IN THIN AIR song to win. This is a pretty competitive year in this category, IMHO.

And the winner is………..THE LAST TYCOON. Clearly, we all miss Jacky Cheung.

2:02:40: Jacky Cheung hasn’t accepted an award for a long time because he no longer accepts music award and hasn’t been nominated for a film award for a while. Eric Tsang: “It’s good to be nervous at your age. Come back once in a while!”

2:03:50: And now, Raymond Chow on stage to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Ng See Yuen.

Personal story about Ng See Yuen: He shows up at all the big functions at my film school, and that’s pretty much all we see of him in Hong Kong these days. He now operates a chain of cinemas in Mainland China.

2:05:00: Ng established several Hong Kong Filmmakers groups, including the Directors’ Association.

2:06:15: And Raymond Chow takes a 5-second break in his speech to reset his hard drive.

2:07:15: Raymond Chow finishes his speech and thanks the audience. Whew.

2:08:25: Ng gave Yuen Woo Ping, Tsui Hark, Jackie Chan their first chance at filmmaking. He’s also an important representative of the film industry and led protests against the triads in the film industry and film piracy. He also apparently came up with the idea for the Walk of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui.

2:15:00: Ng See Yuen’s speech is giving me a lot of facebook surfing time.

2:15:39: Ng See Yuen to young people: “stop complaining about your parents and your government”. Well, we know where he stands politically.

2:16:45: And now, Anthony Wong Yiu Ming pays tribute to, er, Leslie Cheung movie theme songs, I guess.

Anthony Wong admits that he often forgets lyrics, and he just did it.

2:23:44: A series of movie theme songs to remind us what a great star we lost - and the great films that no one makes anymore.

2:24:40: Gordon Lam: “Hong Kong action cinema has been great in the last few years because Eric Tsang hasn’t participated in it.”

02:25:30: Are they so devoid of presenters now that Eric Tsang has to be one of the presenters? He and Chrissie Chow now present Best Action.

02:27:00: Time for Best Action Design. I guessed that CHINESE ZODIAC would win, but wanted MOTORWAY to win.

Eric Tsang: “Is Chin Kar Lok that good, or is he just really cheap?”

And the winner is…..CHINESE ZODIAC. Regardless of the film’s quality, the action design’s actually not bad.

Jackie Chan lets the new kid give the acceptance speech. That’s a good call after that.

Jackie then translates for the Mandarin speaker. “He thanks me, he says” 

Thanks to Eric Tsang for getting a couple of jabs in.

Eric Tsang: “He just won for doing what he’s always done”

02:32:11: Gordon Lam reminds Eric Tsang that he’s never won Best Director before.

02:32:40: Aaron Kwok now here to present Best Director. Try not to overact this one.

02:34:25: OK, I realized that I didn’t make a prediction for Best Director. Since I already know who wins, I won’t make any prediction.

And the winner is………Longman Leung and Sunny Luk for COLD WAR, setting up for their Best Picture win.

I wonder the fact that many of the voters have worked with them before has anything to do with their win.

02:37:35: Sunny Luk thanks Wong Jing and another director as the people who taught him how to be a PA/Assistant Director.

02:38:20: And time for Best Actress. Going into the home stretch now.

Jacky Cheung’s back on stage to present. The Best Actor winner from last year should be here to present this. Where’s Andy Lau?

02:39:15: Jacky Cheung: “Actually, you know I’ve been acting since 1989, I just haven’t had much luck.

Cheung: “I was actually quite uncomfortable with presenting an acting award. Then I realized, hey, all the nominees are singers! Then I felt a lot more comfortable”

02:40:50: OK, I guessed Sammi Cheng or Miriam Yeung would win, but prefers Sammi.

And that was HUGE spoiler for THE SILENT WAR

Cheung: “Usually, the nominated singer who doesn’t show up doesn’t win”. He’s talking about Zhou Xun.

And the winner is……Miriam Yeung, for her first Best Actress win ever. Sammi looks like a load just came off her shoulders.

02:42:39: Miriam is crying on stage now. She seems to have no speech.

02:43:40: Yeung thanks Joe Ma and James Yuen. Gordon Lam breaks her speech and asks Ronald Cheng to say something. Ouch. 

Yeung also thanks Pang Ho Cheung for picking her, even though she heard that she wasn’t the first choice for the role.

Hmm, she’s forgetting to thank Shawn Yue.

02:46:45: Anthony Wong and Deanie Ip now on stage to present Best Actor. What a strange pairing.

And Wong is going to run his mouth off. I know it.

02:47:30: Anthony Wong says that Deanie Ip isn’t feeling well and isn’t going ahead with the banter. Wong asks if that means he has to do two people’s lines by himself.

Wong: “The awards people thought I’ll run my mouth off again, so they asked Deanie to watch me, but since she can’t speak, this is great for me.”

And Wong proceeds to read out two people’s lines.

Wong: “Why are you winning so many awards, Nick Cheung? You just let your daughter play with them!”

Wong: “Lau Ching Wan is a good choice, he looks a bit exotic. But the awards people rarely vote for foreigners.”

Everyone wants to hear what he has to say about Chapman To due to their reported feud. Wong takes out a long stack of paper for it, and To stands up pretending to leave.

Wong shuffles the paper and simply says “let’s just encourage each other”

02:52:00: Finally time for the award. I guessed Tony Leung will win, but wanted Chapman To or Nick Cheung.

And the winner is…….Tony Leung for COLD WAR. He’s been nominated 15 times at the HKFA, and this is his 4th win as Best Actor. A solid performance, and not a terrible choice.

Leung: “My daughters said I’ll have to thank them, and I ask them why. They said it’s because they saw the film four times. Then I asked them why don’t they ask the boss to thank them. Then they said it’s because they paid for their friends’ tickets. With my money.”

Classy speech by Tony Leung, in which he thanked the film’s major members and saluted them.

02:57:50: Eric Tsang: “Hong Kong cinema isn’t dead because we’re united. Look at how we talk to each other like family!”

02:58:30: And now, Andy Lau and Carina Lau on stage to present Best Picture. Oh, so there he is.

Andy Lau asks Carina Lau what she thinks about the nominees.

And Andy Lau goes to calls VULGARIA by the wrong name. But congratulates Dada Chan on stage. Classy.

Carina goes to call all the Best Film nominees just OK.

Andy Lau: “But I’m in COLD WAR”
Carina: “So what? It doesn’t have Tony Leung!”

And there’s that expected punch line.

03:02:00: OK, I predicted COLD WAR will win, but wanted VULGARIA or MOTORWAY to win the award. Sigh.

And the winner is……….COLD WAR. OK, then.

And this is now the year of COLD WAR and Edko.

Bill Kong is the first to speak as the producer/boss. Followed by the co-producers.

Eric Tsang: “Since it won the most prizes, therefore its Best Picture win is deserving”

And that wraps up this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards blog. Hope that we’ll return live this year. It’s just not as fun without you guys.

See you in the fall for the Golden Horse Awards!

The Golden Rock - 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards Prediction Edition

 

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Some of these people will be going home happy tonight

Despite my own spotty blog writing schedule, the Hong Kong Film Awards live blog has always been something that I’ve consistently done over the last few years. Unfortunately, due to scheduling problems (the problem being me being stupid in forward planning), I will not be able to do a live blog this year. I will likely do a play-by-play after the broadcast as a translation for people, but they will not be up during the broadcast of the show.

However, I will follow tradition by offering my own predictions for the awards this year. For an alternate (and very well thought-out) set of predictions, I first suggest you all go take a look at Sanney Leung’s predictions and the list of nominees before coming back to read mine.

Done? OK, let’s do this:

Best New Director

Will win: Roy Chow (NIGHTFALL)
Should win: Brian Tse (MCDULL THE PORK OF MUSIC)

I’m not sure which is funnier: That only one nominee in this category is actually nominated for a directorial debut, or that the director who’s only made one film is the least deserving nominee in the category. With 16 million HK dollars at the box office and a lot of positive reviews, NIGHTFALL will likely give Roy Chow that Best New Director award that he thought he’d deserved for MURDERER. However, when the possibility of MCDULL winning a Hong Kong Film Award comes up, I will always choose MCDULL for my preferred choice. 

Best Film of Mainland and Taiwan

Will Win: BACK TO 1942 (China)
Should Win: BACK TO !942 (China)

The other four nominees are all good in their own way, but none of them are playing at Feng Xiaogang’s level, who delivered a famine film that actually managed to balance spectacle, tragedy, and black comedy. It was never meant to be a blockbuster tearjerker like AFTERSHOCK, and kudos to Feng Xiaogang for not trying to repeat past achievements.

Best Visual Effects

Will Win: CHINESE ZODIAC
Should Win: TAI CHI 0

All the visual effects nominees are actually pretty weak this year, but I predict that the committee will give it to the most expensive film. However, I prefer to give it to the film in which the special effects made the most sense. The video game effects of TAI CHI 0 really served the film’s style, whether you like it or not. Many people didn’t like it, so it probably won’t win.

Best Sound Design

Will Win: THE VIRAL FACTOR or COLD WAR
Should Win: THE BULLET VANISHES 

Remember how loud THE VIRAL FACTOR and COLD WAR were? The voters probably remember that, too. THE VIRAL FACTOR will get the big-budget movie win, or COLD WAR will get the prestige film win, but I personally thought THE BULLET VANISHES had a nice, understated sound mix that delivered when it needed to. Check out the finale to (or hear) what I’m talking about.

Best Original Song 

Will win: THE LAST TYCOON
Should win: ROMANCING IN THIN AIR

One of the most competitive years in recent memory in this category, there are at least three very solid songs running for the award. While the song from THE LAST TYCOON is a great song (Jacky Cheung’s presence will probably elevate its chances for a win as well), Sammi Cheng’s ROMANCING IN THIN AIR theme song works well with the film and serves the film than the LAST TYCOON song does.

Best Original Film Score

Will win: Peter Kam (COLD WAR)
Should win: Eman Lam, Veronica Lee (DIVA)

The only reason I prefer DIVA is because the other nominees are pretty typical film scores without anything special to distinguish it. Peter Kam’s score for COLD WAR actually even hurt the film. However, if a COLD WAR sweep is coming, then Kam will probably go home with another HK Film Award tonight.

Best Action Design

Will win: CHINESE ZODIAC
Should win: MOTORWAY

Jackie Chan is always a frontrunner in this category, but the complex chase choreography of MOTORWAY (especially in the hillside chase sequence in the middle) deserves recognition in my book. I would not be upset at a VIRAL FACTOR win, either, since it’s easily the most accomplished thing in the film. That helicopter sequence was really not easy to pull off (as dumb as the execution is).

Best Costume Design and Make-Up

Will win: THE SILENT WAR
Should win: THE GREAT MAGICIAN

Man Lim Chung likely have his supporters, judging from his win at the Asian Film Awards, but THE GREAT MAGICIAN was the most accomplished film in this department for its colorful variation of fashion styles.

Best Art Direction

Will win: THE BULLET VANISHES
Should win: TAI CHI 0

In my opinion, THE BULLET VANISHES and SILENT WAR already cancel out each other for so obviously recycling the same set, but THE BULLET VANISHES’ factory and town sets are likely to be memorable enough to catch voters’ attention. At the same time, Tim Yip’s prestige and his effort in building the enormous sets in TAI CHI 0 (including the metal monster) may earn him another HK Film Award after all.

Best Editing

Will win: COLD WAR
Should win: MOTORWAY or COLD WAR

Getting a film like MOTORWAY down to a lean 89 minutes with just the right pacing is an award-worthy achievement, but editing did play a huge part in giving COLD WAR the breathless storytelling that audiences loved. Again, if a sweep is in store tonight for COLD WAR, this will be one of the awards it picks up.

Best Cinematography

Will win: THE VIRAL FACTOR or COLD WAR
Should win: THE LAST TYCOON

THE VIRAL FACTOR may pick up the big budget film technical award for the action sequences, and COLD WAR may win this as part of the sweep, but voters may remember the grandeur of Andrew Lau and Kenny Kwan’s work on THE LAST TYCOON. It’s such a good-looking film that no one will believe that it was directed by Wong Jing (though let’s face it, it was probably partly directed by Andrew Lau anyway. 

Best New Artist

Will win: Pass
Should win: Pass

The field is so weak this year that no one deserve this award this year. Luckily, I’m not in the committee, and I’m sure the HKFA won’t be pulling a HK Film Critics Society this year. Congratulations to whoever wins, but that person probably doesn’t deserve it. 

Best Screenplay

Will win: Longman Leung and Sunny Luk (COLD WAR)
Should win: Pang Ho Cheung, Luk Yee Sum, Lam Chiu Wing (VULGARIA)

Filled with technical talk and award bait moments for its stars, COLD WAR will probably win with little resistance from the general public. Despite its flaws, the best thing about VULGARIA really is its profanity-filled script. Pang deserves his second screenplay award at the HKFA (ironic since his first win was for LOVE IN A PUFF), but the wind really is blowing towards COLD WAR winning it all.

Best Supporting Actress

Will win: Elaine Kam (THE VIRAL FACTOR)
Should win: Mavis Fan (THE SILENT WAR) or Jiang Yiyan (THE BULLET VANISHES)

Elaine gets to cash in her veteran cred here and pick up the award for her award bait monologue in THE VIRAL FACTOR (came too early in the film for impact, if you ask me), but if voters know what they’re doing, they should recognize Mavis Fan (for having a character more interesting than the lead actress) or Jiang Yiyan (for giving a better performance than the lead actress) for their work.

Best Supporting Actor

Will win: Ronald Cheng (VULGARIA)
Should win: Ronald Cheng (VULGARIA) or Chapman To (DIVA)

Both of these actors stole the show in their respective films, so I would be very happy if either Chapman or Ronald wins tonight. If Chapman loses for DIVA (which may happen since Ronald has Golden Horse momentum behind him), he may still win Best Actor, so that’s OK. However, I am leaning toward Chapman for being the only great thing in DIVA. Ronald was just the icing on the VULGARIA cake. 

Best Actress

Will win: Sammi Cheng (ROMANCING IN THIN AIR) or Miriam Yeung (LOVE IN THE BUFF)
Should win: Sammi Cheng (ROMANCING IN THIN AIR)
Dark Horse: Elanne Kong (LOVE LIFTING)
To ensure a riot in the Cultural Center: Zhou Xun 

It’s finally Sammi’s year, and she could do a lot worse than winning for Johnnie To/Wai Ka Fai’s romance drama. The film had a LOT of problems, but Sammi wasn’t one of them. Elanne winning will be a pleasant surprise, and a huge “eff you” to the Hong Kong Film Critics Society. Actually, any actress winning would be a huge “eff you” to the critics group, since they didn’t like any of them for their awards.

Best Actor

Will win: Tony Leung Ka Fai (COLD WAR)
Should win: Chapman To (VULGARIA) or Nick Cheung (Nightfall)

I didn’t like NIGHTFALL, but I thought Nick Cheung’s performance was very strong. On the other hand, I didn’t think Chapman To was particularly good in VULGARIA, but I like the film and would rather see him win over a COLD WAR win for Tony Leung. Again, if a COLD WAR Best Picture win is coming, then expect Tony Leung to pick up Best Actor for his solid turn tonight.

Best Picture

Will win: COLD WAR
Should win: VULGARIA or MOTORWAY

Sanney felt that VULGARIA should take the top award as a statement to the co-production system, and I’m inclined to agree. It’s not the best film of the bunch, but neither was GALLANTS when it picked up its Best Picture award. However, I personally prefer MOTORWAY for being well-crafted and hitting the mark so well. On the other hand, there is a lot of industry support for COLD WAR, and it certainly seems like it’s set to take the top prize of the night.

If you get to watch the ceremony live tonight, then have fun. Otherwise, we’ll be back in the next few days with the play-by-play Hong Kong Film Awards not-so-live blog!

 

 

The Golden Rock - THE GRANDMASTER Review Edition

(Below are thoughts on the film that I wrote down just hours after seeing the film for the first time with only Chinese subtitles and without considering the complex philosophies behind the film. For a more detailed and thoughtful take on the film, I would recommend Kozo’s upcoming review on LoveHKFilm.com and Maggie Lee’s review on Variety)

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For a while, Wong Kar-wai’s THE GRANDMASTER had an “s” at the end of the title, and it’s easy to see why from the final product. Originally envisioned as the biography of Ip Man - the Wing Chun master best known as Bruce Lee’s master - THE GRANDMASTER is and isn’t the story of Ip Man. Ip is simply one of the major players in Wong’s epic about “Wu Lin”, or what one may call the martial arts world. The story covers part of Ip’s life from 1936 to 1960 (his death is also expressed in intertitles), but its scope is far wider than just one man’s life. This is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a contemporary wuxia film, and it is indeed every bit as arty AND as exhilarating as anyone can expect from a (real) wuxia film by Wong Kar Wai.

In ASHES OF TIME, Wong used the world of Jin Rong’s wuxia novels to examine themes like longings, regrets and unrequited love, going to the lengths of even taking out action scenes when he revisited it for the REDUX version. While THE GRANDMASTER visits such themes once again, they are not the focus in what is first and foremost a film about the “Wu Lin” world. Specifically, it’s about the different philosophies and traditions held by the schools that occupy it. In one breathtaking sequence, the masters of several northern style martial arts each spar with Ip Man (Tony Leung) to show him how to take on Gong Bao Shen, the retiring chairman of the Chinese Martial Artists Union in Foshan. With this sequence, not only does Tony Leung show how well he has acquaint himself with the style of Wing Chun, Wong Kar Wai also shows off his (and his collaborators - including martial arts scholar Xu Haofeng) dedication in faithfully depicting the various forms of martial arts in his film.

THE GRANDMASTER is indeed about Ip Man’s road to become the last one standing, but Wong never indulges in the glamorous myth-making that Tsui Hark did with Wong Fei Hung in ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA or Wilson Yip did with his IP MAN films. Ip Man here is not unlike the Chow Mo Wen character in IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and 2046 - introverted, contemplative, cool in the face of any situation, and a man who finds himself caught in circumstances beyond his control. As a result, Ip Man isn’t a particularly interesting character if not for his skills in Wing Chun.

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Instead, THE GRANDMASTER will be remembered for Zhang Ziyi, who plays Ip’s rival Gong Er, also Gong Bao Shen’s daughter and the heir to her family’s 64 Stance move. A strong-willed female martial artist out to reclaim her family honor despite her father’s rejection, Gong Er is such a strong character (thanks to Zhang Ziyi’s performance) that her story alone could’ve easily been made into a separate film. Wong has always been great at creating strong female characters, and Gong Er is definitely one of the best he has ever written.

At the same time, that shift in focus is ultimately THE GRANDMASTER’s major weakness. From the parallel narratives and Chang Chen’s brief, but memorable appearances, one can tell that Wong was trying to make a film that shows the contrast in the philosophies of the three masters/martial art styles: Leung’s Ip Man (Wing Chun), Zhang’s Gong Er (Baqua Quan), and Chang Chen’s Yi Tian Xian (Baji Quan). Each of the narrative would’ve been strong enough to become an individual film, but the film feels loose and not cohesive enough when put together in its current truncated form. There are parts of the film that are simply gorgeous and/or breathtaking, but those parts are ultimately greater on their own than the film as a whole.

An even bigger weakness? Chang Chen only shows up in three scenes that have no bearing on the two main stories. Yet, he is so good here (especially in his bloody fight scene in the rain towards the end of the second act) that you may wish the film is half an hour longer just so WKW could fit him in.

As a result, THE GRANDMASTER isn’t a film that will send anyone out of the cinema fired up. There’s no Bruce Lee or teeth-grinding foreign villains here to excite anyone. It’s a film about lamenting a bygone era, the price of pride and honor, and - being a Wong Kar Wai film - it also becomes a film about longings, regrets, and unrequited feelings. It is a beautiful art film a la Wong Kar Wai, but it is also a great martial arts film as well, though not in the traditional shallow way. Each of Yuen Wo-Ping’s moves is as intricately calculated and breathtaking as Wong Kar Wai and cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd’s shots, but the choreography is simply part of what Wong and his co-writers are trying to express. THE GRANDMASTER is a martial arts film on both a physical and a spiritual level; a true examination of “Wu Lin” and how martial styles apply to life instead of just simple action escapism that most martial arts film fans would usually look for. In other words, as long as Wilson Yip sticks to his usual formula for IP MAN 3, he has nothing to worry about.

Despite what seems to be a muted praise, THE GRANDMASTER is still an excellent film – the technical aspects are top-notch, the actors are excellent (especially in their fight scenes), the dialogue are as quotable as ever, and its philosophical approach to martial arts will be appreciated by many wuxia fans. It also suffers from usual WKW weaknesses – the storytelling can be muddled at times, and most of the characters simply embody ideas rather than becoming real characters (Think Chang Chen or Song Hye Kyo, who has only one line and 5 minutes of screen time as Ip’s wife). It’s not a ground-breaking film in the genre, but it’s refreshing as a film that recognizes martial arts as a way of life rather than a nationalism tool. THE GRANDMASTER will certainly remain as one of the top Chinese films of 2013, and it was definitely worth the wait.

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Me getting to the subway station after watching THE GRANDMASTER

The Golden Rock - 2012 Golden Horse Awards Live Blog Edition

This is it! Today is November 24th, 2012, and it’s the day of the 2012 Golden Horse Awards. In the household of the Golden Rock (population: 1), we celebrate the best and brightest of films from the Greater China Region (that were submitted) with snark and live-blogging!

So without further ado, read below all that happened at this year’s Golden Horse Awards:

10:58pm: And 4 hours later, we’re done with our Golden Horse Awards coverage. Thanks to everyone on Twitter, Facebook, and those who read the last 4 hours. Our next live blog will be in April with the Hong Kong Film Awards, and we’ll of course be back to cover the 50th Golden Horse Awards next year, too. See ya!

10:56pm: So the final count: BEIJING BLUES and LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE tied at 3. Mainland China cinema is the ultimate winner of the night with most wins.

10:55pm: Wow, that was a major, major surprise. BEIJING BLUES take home Best Picture without winning Best Screenplay, Best Director, or any of the acting awards.

10:54pm: Finally, here we go. Oh, god, the clip for BULLET VANISHES is a major spoiler

The winner of Best Feature Film is……BEIJING BLUES!!!!!!!! WHAT??!?!?!?!?!?!

10:49pm: Waste of time banter happening. Please stand by.

10:47pm: Seen on Weibo: Leon Dai writes brief Weibo post called “Ten Years”. No names on it, of course.

10:46pm: Now, Andy Lau on stage to present the Best Picture award. I predicted GF*BF to take the top prize, but it’s all up in the air now.

Andy Lau is the Chairman of this year’s Golden Horse Award jury.

10:44pm: Huang Bo: “I always look up to Uncle Andy when I was growing up…….then people told me that Andy Lau would be perfect as my younger brother.”

10:43pm: Bowie Tsang explaining why she was so emotional about Lau Ching-Wan winning the Golden Horse Awards: He’s never won a Golden Horse before, and she was also present the only time he won a Hong Kong Film Award.

10:40pm: Next up is the final award, Best Film.

Current count: LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE at 3 awards, MYSTERY at 2, and BEIJING BLUES at 2

10:36pm: “I don’t make movies for awards….I’m just kidding, of course I want awards.”—Lau Ching-Wan

10:34pm: And the winner for Best Actor is…………….Lau Ching-Wan for LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE!!!! This is his first Golden Horse Best Actor win.

10:32pm: I don’t understand what Deanie Ip is saying. Seriously.

10:30pm: Deanie Ip now on stage to present the Best Actor Award. I’m rooting for Lau Ching Wan, but feel a bit sorry for Taiwan now, so a Joseph Chang win would be a nice moment.

10:29pm: Huang Bo mentions that Joseph Chang must be feeling a lot of pressure. His win would give Taiwan a great morale boost.

10:27pm: The two hosts now discuss the Best Actors nominees. Nick Cheung shared his Best Actor Award with Huang Bo when he won.

10:20pm: Sadly, Gooey does NOT thank Leon Dai in her acceptance speech.

10:17pm: And the winner for Best Actress is………………….Guei Lun-Mei for GF*BF!!!!! Taiwan finally nabs a big award!

10:14pm: Li Bingbing and some guy named Jackie Chan on stage to present the Best Actress award. Jackie Chan attempts to speak Taiwanese and fails miserably…and I don’t even speak Taiwanese!

Jackie Chan says he was asked to drag out his time on stage. Threatened to start singing.

I predicted Sandrine Pinna for the win, but this is a really tough one.

10:13pm: “Maybe you should win the Best Actress Award” — Hao Lei to Huang Bo.

10:10pm: I prefer Bai Baihe in LOVE IS NOT BLIND to Bai Baihe in real life.

10:08pm: Huang Bo and Bowie Tsang go into the audience to interview the Best Actress nominees.

10:03pm: Still no clear frontrunner tonight, as BEIJING BLUES, LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE, and MYSTERY each has two awards.

10:02pm: To winning Best Director paving the path for LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE to pick up Best Film, but remember all paths were leading to A SIMPLE LIFE last year when SEEDIQ BALE won.

10:01pm: And now, it’s the one commercial break per major award phase of the night.

9:59pm: And the winner for Best Director is………………..Johnnie To for LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE!

Lau Ching-Wan goes up to the stage and says: “I am not Johnnie To”.

9:57pm: Of course. Huang Bo and Lin Chiling take the chance to promote SAY YES, their upcoming Valentine’s Day movie.

9:56pm: Give Lin Chiling the award for Best Script Reader tonight.

9:54pm: Lin Chiling now on stage to present the Best Director Award. As I typed earlier, was expecting a Taiwanese director to get it, but now leaning towards Johnnie To or Gao Qunshu.

Lin Chiling is so thin that she looks like she’s tied up in bondage.

9:52pm: Time for some witty banter before the Best Director Award. OK, guys, let’s get to it, we’re getting into the 4th hour……….

9;50pm: Also forgot to mention that Taiwan has yet to figure out how to send out HD signal abroad: Star Movies Chinese HD channel’s broadcast is in 4:3 aspect ratio.

9:48pm: Had expected Gilles Yang or Doze Niu to have pretty good chance at Best Director tonight, but now leaning towards Gao Qunshu or Johnnie To. What happened, Taiwan??!!!!!

9:47pm: Camera captures Doze Niu taking photo of LOVE theme song being performed onstage with his iPhone. Oh, he’s one of THOSE people…..

9:45pm: OK, I get it. A classic theme song from a film by each of the Best Director nominee. Try explaining that idea at the pitching meeting.

9:44pm: Someone please tell Sammi on Weibo that they’re singing another one of her songs. Since, you know, she’s clearly not paying attention.

9:43pm: Um, didn’t we already get a movie theme song medley already? Not that I’m not liking this one better…….

9:42pm: But before the major awards, we get another musical performance by Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker award winner Huang Yu-Siang and singer Lala Xu.

Did I say that Huang Yu-Siang is a really good pianist?

9:40pm: This commercial break is feeling extra long…..

9:34pm: Good, humble speech by Mr. Shih. Up next to present is Lin Chiling, after the commercial break.

Looks like we’re coming into home stretch, as the four major awards are the only ones left.

9:27pm: Shih Chun was discovered by King Hu. In addition to being one of the best-known wuxia stars (including in King Hu films), he will also be in Hou Hsiao Hsien’s upcoming wuxia film THE ASSASSIN

Shih now works in preservation and promotion of King Hu’s works.

9:26pm: Hou Hsiao-Hsien now on stage to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Shih Chun.

9:24pm: Just seen on Weibo: Sammi Cheng found out her ROMANCING IN THIN AIR song’s Golden Horse win on Weibo.

9:20pm: I didn’t make a prediction for this award. Guessing Taiwan doesn’t have to worry about this award, either.

The winner for Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year is…………Huang Yu-Siang! The blind star and composer of TOUCH OF THE LIGHT!

9:19pm: Wang Wei-Liu, last year’s Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year, now on stage to present this year’s Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker award.

Wang clearly nervous as he makes his way through his speech.

9:16pm: Already known: GF*BF wins the Golden Horse Audience Award.

9:14pm: This year’s jury Chairman is Andy Lau, which is why he’s sitting front and center at the ceremony.

9:12pm. Whew, getting a few minutes’ break, finally.

9:10pm: Wang Wei-Liu up after the commercial break. I’m guessing it’s time for the Lifetime Achievement Award

9:08pm: Szeto Kam-Yuen and Lo Wei-Kuen both got mentions, so I guess it’s not just Taiwanese………

9:05pm: Now, the In Memoriam sequence, remembering Taiwanese film figures who left us this past year.

9:03pm: And now, a montage about the success of Taiwanese films…….on the night when Taiwanese films are losing to Mainland Chinese films. Whoops.

9:02pm: TOUCH OF THE LIGHT is produced by Wong Kar-Wai’s Jet Tone Films, which is why Chang thanks Wong Kar Wai.

9:00pm: And the winner of Best Director is……….Chang Jung-Chi for TOUCH OF THE LIGHT!

8:58pm: Now it’s time for Best New Director, presented by Wei Te-Sheng…..and sorry, I don’t know who the other one is….total fail.

Also, Taiwan doesn’t have to worry about this category: All 5 nominees are Taiwanese.

I predicted Chang Jung-Chi or Fung Kai to win for TOUCH OF THE LIGHT or DIN TAO

8:55pm: Angelababy was wondering which of her two nominated films would win Best Action Choreography. Neither did.

Bowie Tsang: “I think this is the time to say…’TAIWAN FILMS JIA YOU!’” Someone’s getting nervous….

8:54pm: Chin Ka Lok having a really good week: Marriage, baby on the way, and now, a Golden Horse Award!

8:53pm: Time for Best Action Choreography. I predicted JUDGE ARCHER or TAI CHI

The winner for Best Action Choreography is………….MOTORWAY!!!!!!!

8:51pm: Also forgotten: One of the three winners for DRAGON GATE is Korean, so I can’t translated his speech. The American guy: “This place is wonderful. The food, wow!” I think that was a euphemism.

This is like a bad joke: A Korean, a Hong Konger, and an American step onto an award stage……….

8:50pm: And the winner for Best Visual Effects is………FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE. Oh, I forgot the 3D thing.

8:49pm; Stephen Fung and Angelababy now on stage to present Visual Effects and Best Action Design.

I predicted Best Visual effects would go to PAINTED SKIN.

8:46pm: Four Hong Kong winners so far tonight. Is LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE heading to major winning night after Best Screenplay win?

8:43pm: Next up after commercial: Stephen Fung and Angelababy present.

8:42pm: And the winner of Best Original Song is…………DoReMi from ROMANCING IN THIN AIR. Lo Dayu’s first Golden Horse Award.

8:41pm: Now, Ronald and Richie present Best Original Song. I guess the other two nominated songs will not be performed, then. I predicted Sammi Cheng’s DOREMI for ROMANCING IN THIN AIR.

8:39pm: They are first presenting Best Original Film Score. I predicted LOVE, but I’m not really rooting for any film in particular.

And the winner of Best Original Score is…………..MYSTERY

8;37pm: Now that’s over, Ronald Cheng and Richie Ren come on stage to present.

Ronald: “Why are you always playing cops and heroes, while I play a man in drag, a man in drag, and a man in drag?”

8:36pm: Oh no, Sally Yeh is going to try and pretend to be dancing. I need some more yakitori.

8:34pm: Camera gets half a second of Jackie Chan singing along, then quickly cuts back to Andy Lau. Hmmmmmmmmm…………

8:33pm: Quick check of Weibo says Taiwan cinema is in a bit of danger this year, as Mainland films take up the awards.

8:30pm: Camera gets a shot of Andy Lau singing along. Hmmmmmm……

8:27pm: Time for another musical performance. A medley of classic film theme songs performed by Sally Yeh. This means only one thing: Yakitori break!

8:25pm: No win for GF*BF so far, which does not bode well for its Best Picture chances. But remember, SEEDIQ BALE went through similar process last year.

8:21pm. Time for Best Original Screenplay. I predicted GF*BF or CHA CHA FOR TWINS.

The winner of Best Original Screenplay is…………….LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE! Third Hong Kong win of the night!

Denise Ho accepts the award on behalf of the winners.

8:20pm: LOVE IS NOT BLIND writer wrote her book after an argument with her boyfriend.

8:19pm: The writer of LOVE IS NOT BLIND is absolutely effing ADORABLE

8:17pm: And the winner for Best Adapted Screenplay is…….LOVE IS NOT BLIND! I got another one right!

8:15pm: Bad mic disaster just as Alec Su begins to speak. Awkward moment no. 4 of the night. The two then recite their favorite dialogue of the year……but no one seems to be recognizing them.

Sonia Sui and Alec Su are presenting Best Adapted Screenplay. I predicted LOVE IS NOT BLIND

8:14pm: A few of the ones I wanted to win have been winning, but my “should win”’s have been way off tonight. Expected advantage for Taiwan not happening this year.

8:13pm: Next up as presenters: Sonia Sui and Alec Su.

8:11pm: Liang Jing thanks DESIGN OF DEATH co-star Huang Bo for the fake set of teeth she wears in the film.

That’s two wins for DESIGN OF DEATH and two wins for BEIJING BLUES.

8:09pm: And the winner for Best Supporting Actress is………….Liang Jing for DESIGN FOR DEATH!

Liang Jing is director Guan Hu’s wife. Kitty Zhang is Wang Quan’an’s wife. Xu Fan is Feng Xiaogang’s wife. Hey, see a pattern?

8:08pm: Chou and Gooey remain to present Best Supporting Actress. Gooey: “Jay…you’re not nominated this year for it”. Jay follows with a shout-out to Nicholas Tse, who IS nominated for Best Actor.

I predicted one of the LOVE actresses.

8:06pm: Um, pretty clear that the director of CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT doesn’t really speak Mandarin. Congrats anyway, dude.

8:05pm: CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT marks another win for documentary distributor CNEX.

8:04pm: And the winner of Best Documentary is……CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT!

8:03pm: Jay Chou and Gooey address each other by their character names. Gooey says “My favorite role of yours is….GREEN HORNET”

The two are presenting Best Documentary. I didn’t predict this category.

8:00pm: From Twitter again: “Tony Yang’s girlfriend=Amber Kuo, yo”. Thanks, Shelley! Also from her: “NIGHTFALL should never win for anything”

7:59pm: From Twitter “Tony Yang’s gf is Amber Kuo”. Thanks, @yupkigirl!

7:58pm: Jay Chou and Guey Lun-Mei (aka Gooey) up next as presenters.

7:57pm: And the winner of Best Editing is……………..BEIJING BLUES! Second award of the night

7:56pm: Sorry, Chen and Yang’s second award is Best Editing. I didn’t predict anything, but would like to see MYSTERY win. BEIJING BLUES also a possible winner.

7:55pm: And the winner is……………NIGHTFALL????!!!!!!!!!

Nick Cheung accepts the award on behalf of the winners.

7:54pm: The first award they’re presenting is Best Sound Effects. I predicted BLACK AND WHITE, but want BULLET VANISHES or SILENT WAR

7:52pm: Ivy Chen and Tony Yang now presenting Best Sound Effects and Best Special Effects. Chen is nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and apparently Yang’s girlfriend is also nominated. Tell me on Twitter who they’re talking about.

7:50pm; Alan Kuo performing DIN TAO, nominated for Best Original Song tonight.

7:47pm: Lead cast of DIN TAO and drumming troupe perform. First performance of the night.

Friendly reminder: Tweet your thoughts about tonight’s awards in Twitter with the hashtag #2012GHA!

7:45pm: Huang Bo and Bowie talk about the success of local films, from PAINTED SKIN to VULGARIA to DIN TAO

7:42pm: No clear front runner yet. GF*BF already lost out at least two categories, one of which had a pretty good chance of winning.

7:41pm:  Next up: Ivy Chen and Tony Yang present….something. We’ll find out after the commercial break

7:40pm: Chapman To lost, but looks very happy that Ronald won for VULGARIA….co-produced by To

7:38pm: And the winner for Best Supporting Actor is………Ronald Cheng!

7:37pm: And now, Niu and Peng remain for Best Supporting Actor. I predicted Ronald Cheng to win for VULGARIA.

7:36pm: Winner Wu Di says it was the first time he’s ever shot on digital.

7:35pm: And the winner for Best Cinematography is…………..BEIJING BLUES! Good night for Mainland Chinese cinema tonight.

7:34pm: Niu and Peng say they don’t know why they’re presenting Best Cinematography. Skips to nominee clip. Ouch.

I predicted Jake Pollock to win for GF*BF, but wanted WHITE DEER PLAIN to win.

7:32pm: Doze Niu and Eddie Peng up next as presenters after this commercial break.

7:31pm: And the winner of Best Art Direction is………..DESIGN OF DEATH! A pleasant surprise!

7:29pm: Winner just says thanks and takes off. Pinna and Chang caught off-guard

Time for Best Art Direction now. I predicted FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE

7:28pm:  And the winner is………THE BULLET VANISHES! Whoo-hoo, I got one right.

7:27pm: An awkward “whose turn is it to talk now” moment there with Chang and Pinna. The latter keeps missing her cue.

They’re presenting Best Make-up and Costume Design. I predicted TAI CHI or BULLET VANISHES

7:26pm: And time for our first commercial break. Next presenters: Joseph Chang and Sandrine Pinna

7:25pm: That was a bit of a surprise. Does that signal the beginning of a good night for Lou Ye’s MYSTERY?

7:24pm: And the winner of Best New Performer is……….Qi Xi for MYSTERY!

7:22pm: I predicted that Peijia Huang would win this category with CHA CHA FOR TWINS.

7:20pm: Ko and Kuo remain on the stage to present Best New Actor. Ko Chen-Tung won this awards last year.

7:19pm: And the winner of Best Short Film is……..THE HOME GLEANERS

7:18pm: Amber Kuo and Ko Chen-Tung are the first presenters. Presenting Best Short Film.

7:17pm: Of course, they throw in an anti-piracy message at the end of the dance sequence

7:15pm: This is the first year that the nominee list expanded to five?

7:14pm: “All of this year’s Best Actor nominees have beautiful wifes, too!” Lau Ching Wan shakes his head.

Huang Bo: “What about Nicholas Tse?”

Bowie Tsang: “Let’s not go there”

7:12pm: Huang Bo: “Look, I was beaten up this year, too! Why wasn’t I nominated? Chapman To didn’t get beaten up, either.” This was followed by a clip of VULGARIA. Yes, that clip.

7:11pm: “All of this year’s Best Actor nominees had to withstand a good beating!”

7:10pm: I am not kidding that when I type that Huang Bo is a surprisingly good singer.

7:08pm: Tonight’s hosts are Bowie Tsang and HUANG BO! The two start with speech about dreams and being happy to be there. Leads to a song & dance!

7:07pm: As always, just keep reloading this page to see the latest entries.

7:06pm: Awards officially starting now. Starting with montage of nominated films.

7:03pm: Holy crap, Lin Chiling is really tall. I also call the kettle black.

7:02pm: The feed starts with red carpet footage, Lin Chiling walking the red carpet now.

7:00pm: And we’re off. Star Movies Chinese feed starting now.

14:30: Four and a half hours away from the show. Tonight’s live blog is brought to you by the iPad, my generic keyboard, my desktop computer, and Splashtop 2. We’re hella hip with technology like that. Since this seems to be working, I’ll be back at 7:00pm Hong Kong time! 

Don’t forget to join and post comments on twitter with hashtag #2012GHA!

 
 
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