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Archive for December 8th, 2007

The Golden Rock - December 8th, 2007 Edition

- It’s reviews time! Japan Times’ Mark Schilling looks at Yoshimitsu Morita’s remake of Tsubaki Sanjuro, which he says passes the grade, though Kurosawa did it better. Twitch’s Todd Brown reviews Makoto Shinkai’s 5 Centimeters Per Second, which I loved even when I saw the trailer. I might review this when I have the time.

I don’t know if it counts as a review, but Daily Yomiuri has a report about the hit Japanese teen romance Koizora, though it seems like a hybrid of a plot description and a film review. The fact that my girlfriend hated the original “cell phone novel” doesn’t seem promising to me.

- The Korea Export Insurance Corp. will apparently now offer partial compensation through an export insurance policy for films targeted at an international market and/or has secured pre-sale deals that flops. I assume D-War doesn’t need that insurance.

- Japanese short film Frank Kafka’s A Country Doctor by Koji Yamamura picks up the Grand Prize at the animation festival I Castelli Animati in Italy.

- This weekend in Japan is the first film festival to feature films made entirely on cell phones. I expect the whole festival either to be on very small screens or on big screens filled with pixelated images.

- Somewhat related is the Daily Yomiuri’s Wm Penn pointing out the importance of cell phones in Japanese dramas this past year, including rescue tool, romantic triangle symbol, and character coding device.

- According to the official website,  Stephen Chow’s latest CJ7 is opening in North America 2 weeks earlier than Hong Kong. I know they want to open it in time for Lunar New Year in Hong Kong, but what’s up with that?

- If you’re in Los Angeles, be sure to check out the Toho Festival, featuring old Japanese monster flicks 4 weeks in a row!

- Japan Times’ David McNeill has a 2-part feature on the slew of films looking at the Nanjing Massacre this year from Chinese, Japanese, and Western perspective. Too bad the only Japanese perspective one seems like it might be a right-wing nut job (Seeing how “Japanese people don’t mistreat corpses like that, it is not in our culture” isn’t exactly the best evidence against the massacre). Then again, it’s not like the Chinese ones are going to be completely fair either.

Stay reading for the blog’s live coverage of the Golden Horse Awards.

The Golden Rock - Golden Horse Awards live report

The following is a minute-by-minute recap of the entire Golden Horse Awards as it plays on Hong Kong TV live. However, I missed the first half hour. But that’s OK - The show was over 4 hours long anyway.

8:00pm - Shit, I already missed half an hour of the awards, and the short documentary award only has two nominees.

I also don’t understand much Mandarin. Good thing the Hong Kong TV station has two on-air commentators to translate the important stuff.

8:02pm - Why is there a host standing on the side at all times?

8:06pm - That podium lady is actually interacting with the presenters. Is this a variety show?

8:08pm - These two guys have been onstage for 3 minutes, and I still don’t know what they’re presenting.

8:10pm - Best supporting actor! Which undeserving nominee will win?

8:11 pm - Tony Leung Ka-Fai wins for The Drummer/leftover footage from Election. He didn’t show up to recreate his dog-throwing scene in the film.

8:17pm - OK, I missed the Best Supporting Actress award, which went to Fan Bing-Bing for The Matrimony.

Oh shit, Kelly Chen is trying to sing classic show tunes in Chinese. Back to writing a real entry.

8:23pm - Well, that was less painful that the opening promised to be.

Whoa, a new podium lady.

8:26pm - a supermodel boasts that she’s been to Cannes a ton of times to suck up to Taiwan. zzzzzzzz…..

8:28pm - What On Earth Have I Done Wrong just picked up an international critics award.

8:35pm - These presenters seem familiar……didn’t they present the short film awards? Are they the official “not important awards” presenters?

8:36pm - OK, it’s Best Art Direction time, and it’s the first category where Lust, Caution shows up……and the awards goes to: The Detective???!!!! That means Aaron Kwok may just stand a chance.

8: 38pm - Best Makeup-Costume Design, no Hong Kong film, and Lust, Caution’s second chance…….and the award goes to: Lust, Caution, now picking up its first award of the night.

8:42pm - Best Sound Effects. Annie Liu forgets that Titanic is a disaster film and calls in a romance film. Yes, a romance film about a big-ass iceberg that kills hundreds of people.

Anyway, the award goes to: The Most Distant Course.

8:48pm - Best Editing, and Lust, Caution’s third chance…..the award goes to: The Sun Always Rises.

It seems like only half the awards actually see its recipients show up to claim the awards.

8:56pm - The Lifetime Achievement Award for Edward Yang, but ATV cuts off half of it for bad commercials?

8:57pm - Hou Hsiao-Hsien presents the award. At least he wore a suit instead of this:


8:59pm - And ATV cuts off Hou Hsiao-Hsien to change broadcast to its English channel in order to show some band awards in the Cantonese channel. That was abrupt.

9:04pm - 4 minutes into the coverage, and a commercial break already. This is a long night.

9:08pm - OK, music awards. but we know Jay Chou isn’t going to be performing his Best Original Song nominee because he’s in Hong Kong performing right this minute.

9:09pm - Podium Lady with Feather on Head returns.

9:10pm - OK, some other Taiwanese pop singer sings Jay Chou’s song……and sings it better.

9:15pm - Holy shit, he pulled off Shu Qi’s song from Blood Brothers… Shu Qi’s key.

9:21pm - OK, time for the award. The Best Original Song award goes to: Jay Chou’s song for Secret. Lyricist Vincent Fang shows up for the award.

9:23pm - The award show has so many dead moments that I just finished today’s entry WHILE writing this live report.

9:25pm - Best Original Music goes to: Lust, Caution. Its second award of the night, and presented by star Tang Wei.

9:32pm - Kelly Chen returns as a presenter. Cracks jokes in Mandarin, with drum sounds and all.

9:33pm - Best Cinematography. Soi Cheang’s Shamo’s first chance, and Lust, Caution’s sixth chance. The award goes to: The Matrimony, probably a surprise win, considering cinematography was one of Lust, Caution’s strong points.

9:36pm - Kelly sticks around for Best Visual Effects as well. I hope Twins Mission doesn’t win for this.

The award goes to: Secret?! OK………….

9:39pm - All three Podium People are at the podium to show some gag video with the host performing “magic tricks.” It’s kind of funny.

9:44pm - Then they waste some more time to put on a real magic demonstration.

9:48pm - Aaron Kwok is actually there, and they just pushed up to help with the magic thing. He probably thought they were going to magically give him the Best Actor award.

9:54pm - They should’ve gone to commercial to skip the whole thing.

10:06pm - Finally back to giving out awards. Now: Best Taiwanese Filmmaker.

And the award goes to: Ang Lee, to thunderous applause.

10:13pm - Best Taiwanese film time. And the award goes to: Secret.

10:15pm - Best new actor time. Korea’s Lee Jun-Ki speaks Mandarin! Tons of young girls scream!

10:18pm - And the award goes to: Tang Wei for Lust, Caution. Who seriously expected her not to win?

10:28pm: OK, Best Original Screenplay time. Protege is the only Hong Kong film in the category. And the award goes to: Home Song Stories. Poor guy’s English acceptance speech isn’t getting the laughs he want. Actually, thanking Lust, Caution for being an adapted screenplay is pretty funny.

10:31pm: Time for Best Adapted Screenplay. This is the more competitive one, as Battle of Wits, Lust, Caution, and The Sun Always Rises are all part of this. Oh, and Shamo too. The award goes to: Lust, Caution for its 4th award of the night.

10:33pm - Holy shit, Wong Jing and Chu Ying-Ping on the same stage. It’s time for an assassination attempt by movie critics!

10:36pm - The Audience Award for Best Film - Nominees are: Getting Home, What on Earth Have I Done Wrong, Home Song Stories, Eye In the Sky, Lust, Caution. Oh, they’re the same as the Best Film category.

And the award goes to: Getting Home. Whoa. Will this be repeated when the actual Best Film award comes? Does this mean Aaron Kwok has better chances of winning? nah.

10: 51pm - Time for the major awards. I think they skip some awards in the Hong Kong broadcast for commercials. Bastards…..

10:58pm - And they switch channels again.

11:00pm - Time for Best Actor. Aaron! Aaron! Aaron! Aaron!

And the award goes to: Sandra Ng rips the envelope!!!!!!!

And Ang Lee manages to piece it back together to give it to Tony Leung Chiu-Wai for Lust, Caution. Sorry, Aaron.

11:08pm - Come on, the award is going overtime already. Get Wong Jing off the stage.

11::14pm - Best Actress time. Who’s betting on Tang Wei? Will it be another upset?

And the award goes to: Joan Chen! For Home Song Stories. Another upset indeed!

11:17pm - Two more awards left: Best Director and Best Film. Will Lust, Caution take them both, or will they both be upsets?

11:21pm - OK, Aaron, sorry you lost. Just give out the damn award already.

11:23pm - Time for Best Director. And the award goes to: Ang Lee for Lust, Caution. It’s probably a heavy favorite for best picture now.

11:33pm - Here we go, the last award of the night. And the award goes to: Lust, Caution. That would make it 7 awards total to make it the big winner of the night.

And that would wrap up the coverage. ATV screwed up by skipping some awards and also switching channels due to contractual obligations. Plus the show itself is overlong with performances and demonstrations. Still, despite some upsets, there doesn’t seem to be one that was really out there. Anyway, a complete list will be out in a few days.

The Golden Rock - December 7th, 2007 Edition

- Let’s look at the Thursday opening numbers from Hong Kong to predict the weekend. Johnnie To/Wai Ka Fai’s Mad Detective wins the day again with HK$518,000 from 36 screens for an 8-day total of HK$6.07 million. If this keeps up, it should wrap the weekend with nearly 8 million, though its chances of hitting 10 million is getting slim with The Warlords coming up this coming Wednesday night. Danny Pang’s out-there romantic horror In Love With the Dead will probably be able to stay at second place with a current 8-day total of HK$3.27 million. However, it should come short of brother Oxide’s The Detective’s gross of near HK$6 million.

Meanwhile, the only opening film that hit the top 10 is Robert Benton’s Feast of Love. From 10 screens, it made HK$60,000. It’s going to be a very quiet weekend at the movies.

- From Twitch is the first trailer for the Japanese cult film Machine Girl that looks really cool in that adrenaline rush way. Be aware, though - it’s not really safe for work.

- Yet another Japanese film awards has given the best film honor to Masayuki Suo’s I Just Didn’t Do It. This time it’s the Nikkan Sports Film Awards, who also gave Suo the best director award. Kimura Takuya, meanwhile, won best actor for Yoji Yamada’s Love and Honor, Yuko Takeuchi picks up another best actress award for Sidecar ni Inu, Tokyo Tower’s Kirin Kiki picked up best supporting actress, Takashi Sasano picked up best supporting actor for Love and Honor, and Yui Aragaki picked up best newcomer for her two films this year - Warubobo and Koizora.

- Earlier (as in when we were still at Blogger), we reported that Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip are working on their 4th film together, the supernatural film Painted Skin. However, now that has changed, with Gordon Chan taking over. Donnie Yen will apparently play a ghost catcher. More exciting is the fact that this will be the first fantasy-horror film that is actually about the supernatural that was approved by the Chinese government.

-  While China did greenlight a ghost movie, Variety reported that they are starting their 3-month Hollywood film blackout period tomorrow. However, the Associated Press got right to Chinese film officials, who denied the report.  Then again, the Hollywood blockbuster I am Legend still hasn’t secured a release in China, despite opening in much of the world next week. The worse news is that Smith said he is meeting Stephen Chow this weekend, and that he is exploring the idea of setting his Karate Kid remake in Hong Kong.

More over the weekend. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen