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Archive for April 16th, 2007

The Golden Rock song of the day - 4/16/07

“1960 April 16th, one minute before 3 pm, we were together. I’ll remember that minute because of you. We’re one-minute friends from now on. This is fact, you can’t deny it because it’s already past.”—-Days of Being Wild.

Originally appeared on 1992’s The Legend of Pop Queen Part II album, but now only available on compilations such as this one, today’s song of the day is inspired by Wong Kar-Wai’s Days of Being Wild. The line above is probably my favorite moment in Wong Kar-Wai film history. That’s why today’s song of the day is the film’s theme song by Anita Mui - “It’s Like This”

Why? It’s one of my favorite moments from one of my favorite movies. This should make this one of my favorite songs. Even if it’s not, it’s awfully fitting for the film, isn’t it?

Here’s a Mandarin cover done by Leslie Cheung, with the famous moment right at the very end.

Hail King Lau

Watched the rather unprofessionally edited version of the Hong Kong Film Awards last night on the local TVB. At one point, it was so badly edited down for time that they actually cut off an entire section, then played that section about 15 minutes later. Acceptance speeches were cut down, and somehow they still had time to cut to TVB’s own host sitting in an empty studio for a round-up. Either the show was on tape delay in HK as well, or they just botched the little time they had to edit the show down. I probably should have been thankful that I got to watch it so quickly on TV in the first place, but how hard is it to just show the whole thing uncut?

This year, the show was hosted by Eric Tsang’s daughter Bowie, who actually hosts several TV shows in Taiwan, Lam Chi-Chung, and Nick Cheung (Yes, Johnnie To recent favorite Nick Cheung). Unlike the Asian Film Awards, which featured awkward English bantering between Fiona Sit and David Wu or a solo Wu doing his Tarantino impression, the hosts this time actually got some good bantering in. But Nick Cheung, a stranger to hosting awards, had trouble remembering the script, which made him the butt of jokes by the other two hosts. At points, at least one of the host had to look at the script on the podium. Note to Hong Kong award shows: get a teleprompter.

Apparently, people complained about the large amount of Mandarin presenters for last year’s ceremony, so what do they do this year? Bring even more and lesser known Mandarin-speaker presenters to the stage! Thankfully, TVB provided subtitles for most of the Mandarin presenters’ lines (another sign of a tape delay).

The now-defunct mock boy band alive also came out for a performance. Instead of singing their single “Adam’s Choice” themselves, they brought out Paul Wong on the guitar and a bunch of local independent bands to sing most of the song while the Alive boys took out cue cards featuring messages they have for the entertainment industry (”Don’t Copy, support original creation!”). Of course, if I didn’t know that Paul Wong was putting on a concert with these independent bands next month, I would’ve actually saw it as more than a promotional gesture. I couldn’t even see 1/3 of the cards/band members performing because TVB kept cutting to cameras that WEREN’T shooting where things were happening, as if TVB doesn’t want us to see the Alive boys promoting independent music.

Of course, this year the Hong Kong Film Awards has something to be proud of - the Oscar win of The Departed. They use it as a way of encouraging the business, telling them to write scripts that Hollywood will want to buy. Personally, I thought Patrick Tam winning the best screenplay award with his student was a better encouragement to this budding filmmaker than any Hollywood awards.

After the way rabid fans acted for Rain and Andy Lau at the Asian Film Awards, the fans for EEG artist Isabella Leung also showed up to see her lose twice for the supporting actress and best actress. It was refreshing to see Anthony Wong getting so pissed that he said if the fans didn’t shut up, he would announce someone else as the winner even if Isabella won. I can’t wait to earn that type of respect.

As for the awards, I’m glad Lau Ching-Wan found that the 7th time’s the charm, and that a 17-year absence behind the camera would bring Patrick Tam some of the biggest applause of the evening. However, I’m a little saddened that Johnnie To went home empty-handed (Exiled’s editing was hands-down some of the best in HK film), probably because of multiple nominations in one category. and that young filmmakers not named Daniel Wu didn’t see their films recognized. Next year, I’ll get to watch the whole thing live (on TV or at the venue, either one is good), I just hope the movies will be just as good, if not better.

Here is the Variety Asia report on the awards, if anyone wanted it.

- Let’s start with Hong Kong Sunday numbers. As expected, Mr. Bean’s Holiday hangs on at number 1 with HK$1.09 million on 32 screens (US$1=HK$7.8) for a 11-day total of HK$17.83 million. As for openings, Taiwan lesbian romance Spider Lilies expanded from Thursday’s 6 screens to 9 screens over the weekend, earning an impressive HK$320,000 on Sunday for a 4-day total of HK$1.23 million. Hong Kong director Yip Lim-Sum follows his cynical romantic-dramedy Marriage with a Fool with an even more cynical take of love with Love is Not All Around, starring a bunch of Gold Label idols. It had preview showings over the weekend, and it made HK$200,000 on 32 screens (not sure how many showings per day) for a HK$540,000 3-day total. It opens next week.

- As reported yesterday, Tokyo Tower managed to open huge enough that it got the number 1 spot in Japan this weekend. In a continuing slump of futuristic films, Sunshine opens weak at 7th place, despite the presence of Japanese star Hiroyuki Sanada. More tomorrow when the numbers come out from Box Office Mojo.

- As for the North American box office, Rear Win…I mean Disturbia opens huge with 28 million. The big story is, of course, Grindhouse’s 63% freefall. Made for nearly $100 million (with prints and advertising), the double feature has only made $19 million so far.

- On Saturday, I was going to report on the latest attempt of censorship by the Thai government, this time for the independent film “Syndrome and a Century.” Basically, as Variety Asia reported, the Thai censorship board asked for several cuts to the film that show doctors behaving (comparatively) badly. When the director refused, the board refused to give the film back and threatens to make the cuts anyway. Now, the whole issue is getting huge, as Jason Gray reports that there is now an internet petition against the Thai censorship board, calling for a free Thai film industry.

On a related note, Twitch has an interview with director Apithatpong Weerasethakul, even though it makes no mention of the censorship issue because it was done probably during the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival.

- In light of the complaint by the United States against China at the World Trade Organization, China held a huge display of pirated materials burning to raise awareness of the government’s attitude, and again to show American a big red middle finger.

At least it wasn’t a book burning.

- Here’s something to get excited about for today - the first full length trailer for Takeshi Kitano’s comedy “Kantoku Banzai,” courtesy of Twitch. It looks crazy as hell, and a lot of fun too.

- In the history of bad ideas, Edward Norton has signed up to star in “The Incredible Hulk,” Universal’s sad sad attempt to undo Ang Lee’s film. But rather than resetting the whole franchise, it will actually be a continuation from the first film. It’ll be directed by Louis Leterrier, who did the Transporter films, and I assume it’ll be much less ambitious that Ang Lee’s misunderstood film.

That’s right, I actually liked Ang Lee’s version of The Hulk. The freefalling of my credibility continues. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen