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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.”


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!

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