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The Golden Rock at the Golden Horse - not-so-live blog

Thanks to the magic of reruns, This blogger will be watching The Golden Horse Awards rerun after he returns from a concert. So from 11:30pm Hong Kong time (you’ll have to figure out what that time is in your own time zone), I’ll be live-blogging the rerun of the show with simultaneous commentary. That means you can first read the more-informed, more professional, and more-read Variety Live Blog before coming here for this idiot’s comments. I was hoping to get Kozo to do it, but obviously he’s the brains of the operation by not doing it.

Of course, I won’t be cheating by checking out the results first. The coverage this year should be less interrupted since I won’t be watching it on a free TV network, which hopefully means no abrupt commercial breaks.

But before that, here are some predictions:

Best Original Song: Cape No. 7
Best Original Film Score: Cape No. 7 (though I would like to see Sparrow take it)
Best Action Choreography: The Warlords or The Assembly
Best Make up and Costume Design: Warlords or Red Cliff
Best Art Direction: Red Cliff
Best Visual Effects: CJ7
Best Cinematography: Cape No. 7 (though it’d be nice for Sparrow to win this too)
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Assembly (I want Pang Ho-Cheung to win for Trivial Matters, and why isn’t The Warlords in this category?)
Best New Performer: Johnny C.J. Lin - Cape No. 7
Best Supporting Actress: No prediction
Best Supporting Actor: Ma Ju-Lung - Cape No. 7
Best Actor: Jet Li - The Warlords
Best Original Screenplay - The Warlords screenwriting committee
Best Actress - Too close to call
Best Director - Wei Te-sheng - Cape No. 7
Best Film - Cape No, 7

So that’s a prediction of 7 awards for Cape No. 7, because Taiwan will probably riot if it doesn’t win at least one major award.

11:29 pm: OK, all logged in and ready to go. The concert got out later than expected, and I had to sacrifice a MacDonald’s run. Instead, I have a pack of peanuts and a bottle of milk tea. The sacrifices I make for this blog.

The original live broadcast isn’t over yet, so I’m going to set some ground rules:

I don’t speak very good Mandarin, and my listening is worse, so forget about translating. I’ll just be explaining what’s going on with some comments.

Also, feel free to comment along the way here, or at the Lovehkfilm forum.

11:34 pm: Show still not over yet. OK, I guess I’m not sleeping ’til 3:35 am.

11:37pm: Struggling not to watch the live show for spoilers…………

11:40 pm: Show still not over. Maybe I should’ve gone to MacDonald’s…

11:46 pm: Live broadcast over, waiting for rerun now.

11:50 pm: Here we go. Lin Chi-ling starts off with a dancing performance while lip-syncing.

11:51 pm: Nice wire-work.

11:54 pm: Now I get it - It’s a dance performance for each nominated Best Picture.

11:57 pm: Ultra-serious epic Warlords interpreted in modern dance with Lin Chi-Ling shaking a stick. Let’s move on.

11:58 pm: Good, it’s over. Hong Kong’s Dodo Cheng and the host of Channel V’s girl-based talent show are the hosts. It’s gonna be a struggle hearing Dodo work through her Mandarin lines.

12:00mn: Mark that: 10 minutes for the first mention of Cape no. 7

12:02 am: OK, first award time: Presenters are…Vivian Hsu and Ando… know who I’m talking about.

Ando’s been studying Chinese for three months, so either he’s good at remember his rehearsed lines, or it’s actually not that bad.

The first award is for Best Sound Effects.

And the award goes to: Steve Burgess for Tsui Hark’s Missing.

12:05 am: Looks like the award is edited to save time. Good, it won’t be such a long night.

12:07: Miao Miao’s Fan Chih-Wai and Annie Liu come out to present the second award. Man, Annie Liu’s Mandarin is good.

Wait, she’s from Taiwan? That would explain it.

OK, the award is for Best Documentary. My teacher Angie Chen’s This Darling Life is one of the nominees.

The award goes to…….Up the Yangtze. Sorry, Angie.

The director is Canadian-Chinese, and gives his speech in English. “Long live Chinese cinema, long live Chinese documentary.” Seeing that he said that in Taiwan, I wonder who would interpret that in a political way.

12:12 am: Fan and Liu stay to present the Best Short Film Award.

And the winner is……Hopscotch.

12:15: It’s amazing that it’s been 15 minutes since anyone mentioned Cape No. 7.

12:16 am: Skipping another commercial break, Gao Jie and David Chiang comes out to present the award for…..they’ve been talking for 2 minutes now. And now we know it’s for Best Cinematography. Mark that it was 18 minutes of no mention of Cape No. 7.

The award goes to……Sparrow. This was the one I wanted to win!

12:20 am: The two stay to present another award. Best editing. I don’t think I predicted this one, and I don’t know why.

And the award goes to………Connected.

There’s been more people accepting awards for the award winners than award winners there!

12:23 am: Vicky Zhao and Cheng Chen present the Best Supporting Actress Award.

And the award goes to……..Orz Boyz’s Mei Fang.

Mei fang has been acting for 45 years, and extremely excited to get the award. It’s quite touching, actually. No cynicism here.

12:29 am: The two stay to present Best Supporting Actor. Cape No. 7 resurfaces, and has won no award as of yet.

And the award goes to………..Ma Ju-lung, for the first Cape no. 7 award of the night!

Ma delivers his speech in Taiwanese. There goes the Greater China audience.

12:32 am: Vanness Wu and Jaycee Chan present the award for……why the hell is Vanness wearing a bowler hat?! And he should probably shave. Jaycee, on the other hand, has a nice Khalil Fong look going with the thick black glasses.

Vanness praises Jaycee’s performance in Police Story. Ouch.

The award is for Best Action Design. Of course, there’s one DOOOOOOONNNNIIIEEEE movie in there (Empress and the Warriors)

And the award goes to…..Connected. Wow, that’s a bit of a surprise. And of course, Nicky Li is not there to pick up the award. Legendary Assassin needs all the promotion it can get.

12:38 am: Oh, good, a small break: It’s a martial arts performance, as the Golden Horse Awards further the Chinese-language cinema stereotype.

Channel V-produced boy band Lollipop tries to outdo Jay Chou’s theme song for Fearless by enunciating! Oh, it’s with completely new lyrics.

12:44am: They’re trying to sing the Game of Death theme song in Cantonese. This is freaking hilarious. It’s over after one verse. I wished it lasted longer just for laughs.

12:47am: Oh, good, it’s over. Kevin Chu (on my black list for Kung Fu Dunk, and thankfully NOT nominated for anything tonight) and Kelly Lin present the award for……….Chu asks Kelly whether she wants to pull a Lust, Caution. All HK film fans would thank him for this contribution, unlike say…..Kung Fu Dunk.

OK, the award is for Best Art Direction. The award goes to………..Parking! This is a surprise.

The two stay to present Best Make-up and Costume. The award goes to: Candy Rain. At least it awarded it for the only thing the movie had: style.

12:52 am: Eason Chan and Coco Lee present the award for……….first, they kiss each other’s asses, then Coco asks Eason the Hong Konger to explain Trivial Matters’ Chinese title to segue into talking about the importance of the award. Oh, damn it, I missed the pun in the middle of being annoyed.

Ok, the award is for Best Film Score. The award goes to……….Cape No. 7. How can THE Taiwanese movie of the year that’s also about music not win this award?

12:58 am: uh-oh. Audio problem with one of the mics onstage.

The two stay on for another award: Best Original Song. Wait, no live performance of the songs?

and the award goes to……….Cape No. 7’s South of the Border. Again, no surprise. That’s 3 awards so far for the Taiwanese blockbuster.

1:02 am: Someone please fix that damn mic.

1:05 am: Mathieu Amalric and Karen Mok present the award for the International critics award to Parking.

1:10 am: Who’s Marco Tempest? And why is he on Taipei 101? Let me google him.

OK, he’s an illusionist, and he’s about to pull off some kind of trick.

So he just brought himself from Taipei 101 to the awards 168 km away within a minute while putting a map right in front of a DV cam with a live feed. And now he’ll take the next few minutes to advertise himself.

Ok, the live tricks are nice, but what does this have to do with the movies?

1:14 am: Oh, I get it. He’s going to present the Best Visual Effects awards?

Oh, more tricks first.

Oh, come on, he’s not even presenting the damn award. And he just revealed that the Taipei 101 stuff was actually on TV with him pointing the camera at it.

1:20 am: OK, Guey Lun-Mei and Kitty Zhang present the Best Visual Effects award.

And the award goes to……….The Warlords. That’s the first award of the night for Peter Chan’s film.

1:22 am: Finally, the first commercial break of the rerun.

1:26 am: Back from commercial break. Now either the Special Contribution Award or the Lifetime Achievement Award.

1:31 am: I feel bad for not paying attention to what the presenters are saying. This is for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Cheng Fang. Sorry, I’m not paying attention to what he’s saying, either.

1:35 am: Now the Special Contribution Award to Huang Ren.

1:40 am: Sorry, these kind of awards are always the down time for me. I mean no disrespect to the award winners.

Ok, now the Audience Award.  Wu Jun and Cape No. 7’s Johnny Lin present the award.

The award goes to……..Cape No. 7. No surprise at all, of course.

1:47 am: Lin Chiling presents an award from the audience stands. That’s a nice……..and very small dress.

She’s presenting the Best New Actor award. And the award goes to……………Suming Chiang of Hopscotch. Having Cape No. 7 take up two nominations probably spread out the votes for it.

1:53 am: Coco Lee performs a song about loving movies. They took out the Best Original Song performance for this and a magic performance instead?

1:57 am: So the performance is doubling as the In Memoriam segment as well.

2:01 am: Time for the Best Screenplay awards, with Eric Tsang and Karena Lam are presenting the award. Eric Tsang gives a shoutout to Winds of September, which he produced.

First the Original Screenplay. The award goes to……………Winds of September. Eric Tsang jumps for joy.

And now time for Adapted Screenplay with a very very happy Eric Tsang. The award goes to…………The Assembly. Disappointed as a Pang Ho-Cheung fan, of course.

Assembly screenwriter makes a crack Trivial Matters being “no matter” now, but says he liked the film very much.

2:13 am: A montage devoted to Taiwanese films. Oh, it’s a gag montage with other young Taiwanese film people, including Chen Bo-lin and the star of Island Etude.

They’re sitting around talking about how to make the next Cape No. 7. Fairly amusing.

2:15 am: A “to be continued” screen with a pigeon. Nice.

Kevin Chu pitches a film that combines the name of all the big Chinese films this year. After getting rejected for funding, he says “Taiwanese film will not die!” Kung fu Dunk didn’t help any.

Even Dodo Cheng joins in on the fun. She refers the hero to Ma Ju-lung playing a gangster-like loan shark. There’s even a part 3 coming.

2:22 am: Ang Lee and Brigette Lin come together on stage (the first time in a decade for Lin, according to her) to present the award for the Formoz Filmmaker Award.

And the award goes to………..Wei Te-Sheng, as expected. That’s the 5th cape No. 7-related award of the night.

The two stay for the Formoz Film Award. Remember the potential riots if you-know-what doesn’t win.

2:28 am: And the award goes to…………Cape No. 7, its 5th of the night.

Good thing they’re getting to the major awards now. These things are exhausting.

2:33 am: Never mind - Part 3 of the comedy short.

Comic sound effects are the least funny things in comedy EVER.

Peggy Chiao cameos as an aspiring actress………and gets casted. Movie name: Sea Horse No. 45.

Doze Niu of What on Earth did I Do Wrong show up and asks why Cape No. 7 could do it and not him.

And it ends with a voiceover by Ang Lee, identifying himself as a director born in Taiwan.

2:40 am: Johnny C. J. Lin does his erhu thing AND sings a Taiwanese folk song………………very off-key.

Of course, this year is all about Taiwanese film pride, so now comes a montage on the history of Taiwanese films.

2:45 am: Already crediting Cape No.7 with the resurrection of Taiwanese film is a little premature, no?

And the movie’s song gets its own live performance. The drumming is completely off-beat. Ouch.

Meanwhile, the movie’s group of musicians sing songs from classic Taiwanese films. I know Cape No. 7 is like the best thing since sliced cheese, but the ceremony is getting a little long.

And Van is not really a great singer.

They really don’t have to re-introduce the members one by one. Most people who care already saw a 2-hour movie about them. Why the hell are they singing the song they screwed up again?

Ok, the Cape No. 7 musical celebration ends without a performance of the award-winning song.

2:57 am: Shu Qi and Feng Xiaogang come out to present Best Actor. Feng thanks the awards for allowing him the opportunity to hold Shu Qi’s hand. Then he lets go.

A quick cutaway shot shows Johnny C.J. Lin’s seat is under his character’s name in Cape No. 7, as if no one will know his real name. Ouch.

The award goes to……….Zhang Hanyu, a real surprise! Feng Xiaogang gets to hand the award to his leading man.

3:04 am: Finally the home stretch. Sandra Ng and Peter Chan Ho-sun come out to present the Best Actress Award. Peter Chan wonders why he has to hold Sandra Ng’s hand. By the way, Ng is the mother of his child.

This is the toughest category to call. I’m sure the anticipation was intense, at least when it was live.

The award goes to………………Prudence Lau for True Women for Sale! Really, any of these win would’ve been a surprise. Hopefully, it’ll help its box office in Hong Kong for the rest of the week.

3:10 am: OK, two awards left. Zhou Xun and John Woo present the Best Director Award. What a slap to the face, by having Woo present the award he got snubbed for. Even though I didn’t think Red Cliff was as great as it could’ve been, Woo’s work deserved at least a nomination.

Will Cape No. 7 pick up the majors and complete this year’s Taiwanese film celebration?

And the award goes to……………Peter Chan Ho-sun! This doesn’t bode well for Cape No. 7.

Peter Chan says “this award did not come easily” in front of John Woo. I’m pretty sure Red Cliff was harder to make than Warlords.

Is it my imagination, or does Woo look bitter in the background?

3:18 am: OK, the final award of the night. Best film is being presented by Huang Tong and Michelle Yeoh. Yeoh thanks the Golden Horse Awards for not fogetting her. I didn’t forget Silver Hawk or The Touch, either.

The audience root for the Taiwanese nominees. Least applause goes to The Assembly.

Here we go. The award goes to…………………….The Warlords, in a comeback! It was called most overrated film of 2007 by the Lovehkfilm committee for a reason.

3:23 am: Final tally - Cape No. 7 picked up six awards (and another one for Cape No. 7 director Wei Te-sheng), and Warlords picked up three. Even though Cape No. 7 took the most awards as expected, its thunder sort of got stolen with The Warlords taking away the two most important awards.

All in all, the show is still too long and overblown. It even ran longer than last year’s ceremony.

Anyway, until the next big award ceremony, that’s it for now here in Hong Kong. Thanks to Boss Kozo and Variety’s Marcus Lim for stopping by. I need some sleep.

5 Responses to “The Golden Rock at the Golden Horse - not-so-live blog”

  1. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m reading the Variety Live Blog right now, and it’s unfortunately full of errors. I’m thinking of live-blogging their coverage.

  2. Marcus Lim Says:

    Have a good night mate, I’m off to bed.


  3. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hi Kevin, I’ve enjoyed your blogging thus far, but it’s about time for me to head off to bed. Warning: the ceremony runs overtime.

  4. glenn Says:

    Nice post! Sorry I missed reading it live.

    I’m trying to picture Eason and Coco Lee together — is she still popular? I’m always a bit surprised when she turns up — I can still remember when the label here tried to break her in the States with a heavy marketing push.

    You can still find her CD in most $1 bins.

    Again, thanks for the coverage!

  5. YTSL Says:

    Sorry to miss your live coverage but here’s letting you know it makes fun ‘after the fact’ reading! BTW, know where I can see a picture (or more) of Brigitte Lin and Ang Lee co-presenting a Golden Horse award? :b

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