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Archive for the ‘awards’ Category

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 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 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!

The Golden Rock - 2012 Golden Horse Awards Predictions Edition

 

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“I’m ready to get that Golden Rock guy when he gets in the car”

Before every awards live blog, I post my predictions for most, if not all, categories. This year’s Golden Horse Awards is no exception. So the below are my predictions for the awards.

Have no idea what I’m talking about? Check out my post from several days ago and get ready to join us for the Golden Horse Awards live blog!

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“If we had known that we’d be a frontrunner at the Golden Horse Awards, we would’ve made out a little longer! You know, for more votes!”

Best Picture

Nominees:
- Beijing Blues
- The Bullet Vanishes
- GF*BF
- Life Without Principle
- Mystery

Will Win: GF*BF
Should win: LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE

Taiwanese films tend to have a slight advantage at the Golden Horse (for obvious reasons). Since the other four films aren’t significantly stronger than the Taiwanese entry, GF*BF actually does have a chance to take the top prize. However, in my own opinion, LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE is the strongest of the five films - but just barely.

Best Director

Nominees:
- Gao Qunshu (Beijing Blues)
- Yang Ya-Che (GF*BF)
- Johnnie To Kei-Fung (Life Without Principle)
- Doze Niu (Love)
- Lou Ye (Mystery)

Will win: Doze Niu (LOVE)
Should win: Gao Qunshu (BEIJING BLUES)

In the past two years, the winner of the Best Director prize didn’t win Best Picture, and it would be no surprise if that trend continues this year. Note that Law Chi-Leung was not nominated, replaced by Doze Niu, which means that the committee must’ve saw something in Niu’s skill to juggle multiple plot strands and 10 major characters in a single film - even if that film wasn’t the top 5 films of the year. The GHA has made strange choices before, and Niu winning would not be their strangest decision (Aaron Kwok, I’m looking at you). Gao Qunshu picked up the Best Director prize at the Shanghai Film Festival for BEIJING BLUES, and it’s easy to see why from the film. I wouldn’t mind if Johnnie To wins, either.

Best Actor

Nominees:
- Joseph Chang (GF*BF)
- Lau Ching-Wan (Life Without Principle)
- Nick Cheung Ka-Fai (Nightfall)
- Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung (The Viral Factor)
- Chapman To Man-Chat (Vulgaria)

Will win: Joseph Chang (GF*BF)
Should win: Lau Ching-Wan (LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE) or Nick Cheung (NIGHTFALL)

I’m going to insist that the Taiwanese entry in any major category with just one Taiwanese nominee has a better chance of winning. Since Joseph Chang actually does give the best performance in the film, and his category is in dead heat, I will predict that he will win. However, Lau has never won a Golden Horse award, and Nick’s dialogue-less performance is flashy award bait, so they might be the more deserving ones here. I think Chapman is just happy to be there.

Best Actress

Nominees:
- Bai Baihe (Love Is Not Blind)
- Hao Lei (Mystery)
- Denise Ho Wan-Si (Life Without Principle)
- Guey Lun-Mei (GF*BF)
- Sandrine Pinna (Touch of the Light)

Will Win: Sandrine Pinna (TOUCH OF THE LIGHT)
Should win: Pass

Not having seen TOUCH OF THE LIGHT, I don’t want to make a call about who should win. However, wouldn’t be surprised if Sandrine Pinna takes the award in Taiwan’s representative at the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film race. If you force me to choose one between the four that I’ve seen, I would take Hao Lei or Bai Baihe. Yes, I chose two.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees:
- Chapman To Man-Chat (Diva)
- Bryan Chang Shu-Hao(GF*BF)
- Zhuang Kai-Xun (Stilt)
- Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei (Vulgaria)
- Wu Gang (White Deer Plain)

Will win: Ronald Cheng (VULGARIA)
Should win: Ronald Cheng (VULGARIA)

Ronald Cheng is the best thing in Pang Ho-Cheung’s comedy, and he also has the flashiest performance out of the four nominees I’ve seen in this category (Chapman was good in DIVA, though). Even with two Taiwanese nominees, they will have to be pretty damn good to beat Ronald Cheng here, and Bryan Chang was not good enough. STILT, however, seemed to have been well-liked at home, which could work in Zhuang Kai-Xun’s favor. I haven’t seen the film.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees:

- Liang Jing (Design of Death)
- Amber Kuo (Love)
- Ivy Chen Yi-Han (Love)
- Mavis Fan Hsiao-Shuan (The Silent War)
- Dada Chen (Vulgaria)

Will Win: Ivy Chen or Amber Kuo (LOVE)
Should win: Liang Jing (DESIGN OF DEATH)

Forget Mavis and Dada, which leaves us the two LOVE actresses and DESIGN OF DEATH’s Liang Jing. Amber and Ivy are both fine, and should be likeable enough to get the votes. However, Liang Jing gave a flashier performance (without dialogue, too, if I remember correctly) and a better performance overall as well.

 

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Despite not being nominated, Liu Kai-Chi will show up uninvited like this

Best New Director

Nominees:
- Tsai Yueh-Hsun (Black & White Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault)
- Yang Yi-Chien, Jim Wang (Cha Cha for Twins)
- Fung Kai (Din Tao: Leader of the Parade)
- Hero Lin (Silent Code)
- Chang Jung-Chi (Touch of the Light)

Will Win: Chang Jung-Chi (TOUCH OF THE LIGHT) or Fung Kai (DIN TAO)
Should win: Pass

Chang Jung-Chi has the country’s Oscar representative, while Fung Kai has the breakout hit of the year. BLACK AND WHITE was a total flop, I personally felt nothing for CHA CHA FOR TWINS, and I haven’t seen SILENT CODE or LIGHT. So I won’t be speculating on who should win.

Best New Performer

Nominees:
- Peijia Huang (Cha Cha for Twins)
- Chun-Mei Guo (Flying Dragon, Dancing Phoenix)
- Zhang Zixuan (Love Is Not Blind)
- Qi Xi (Mystery)
- Eric Lin Hui-Min (Starry Starry Night)

Will win: Peijia Huang (CHA CHA FOR TWINS)
Should win: Peijia Huang (CHA CHA FOR TWINS)

The only thing I liked about CHA CHA FOR TWINS was Peijia Huang’s dual-role performance. It seems to be the flashiest out of the five (I haven’t seen FLYING DRAGON), and it’s a well-liked film, so Huang is currently the frontrunner.

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees:
- Dai Yan, Gao Qunshu (Beijing Blues)
- Yang Yi-Chien (Cha Cha for Twins)
- Yang Ya-Che (GF*BF)
- Milkyway Creative Team, Au Kin-Yee, Wong King-Fai (Life Without Principle)
- Mei Feng, Yu Fan, Lou Ye (Mystery)

Will win: GF*BF or CHA CHA FOR TWINS
Should win: LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE

The two Taiwanese films are likely favorites in a field where the quality is pretty even across the board (except for CHA CHA, in my opinion, but it has awards to tell me otherwise). PRINCIPLE is just a personal favorite. Also, MYSTERY should be in adapted screenplay.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees:
- Xu Haofeng (Judge Archer)
- Guan Hu (Design of Death)
- Bao Jingjing (Love Is Not Blind)
- Tom Lin Shu-Yu (Starry Starry Night)
- Wang Quan-An (White Deer Plain)

Will win: LOVE IS NOT BLIND
Should win: LOVE IS NOT BLIND

Have not seen JUDGE ARCHER, so it has a chance of winning. However, if I have to choose one out of the four, WHITE DEER PLAIN is close for ambition, but LOVE IS NOT BLIND is the most successful out of the four.

Best Cinematography

Nominees:
- Wu Di (Beijing Blues)
- Song Xiao-Fei (Design of Death)
- Jake Pollock (GF*BF)
- Cao Dun (Love Is Not Blind)
- Reitemeier Lutz (White Deer Plain)

Will win: Jake Pollock (GF*BF)
Should win: Reitemeier Lutz (WHITE DEER PLAIN)

Lutz ought to win just because of scale and how attractive the whole package of WHITE DEER PLAIN looks. Otherwise, Jake Pollock has won before, and he should be in a good position to win again partly because of that. Plus, GF*BF is a very pretty film.

Best Editing

Nominees:
- Yang Hongyu (Beijing Blues)
- David Richardson (Life Without Principle)
- Chen Po-Wen (Money and Honey)
- Simon Jacquet (Mystery)
- Cheung Ka-Fai (Nightfall)

Will win: pass
Should win: Simon Jacquet (MYSTERY)

Not having seen MONEY AND HONEY, I can’t make a call on who should win. However, Simon Jacquet did a great job sorting out Lou Ye’s active camerawork, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is recognized for his work here.

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MYSTERY star Qin Hao waiting to hear the news outside the Golden Horse Awards venue, shovel in hand.

Best Art Direction

Nominees:
- Lin Mu (Design of Death)
- Yee Chung-Man, Ben Lau Man-Hung (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate)
- Mam Lim-Chung (The Silent War)
- Penny Tsai (Starry Starry Night)
- Huo Tingxiao (White Deer Plain)

Will win: FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE
Should win: FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE

Money buys you the best set, and that goes for FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE. Also, Yee and Lau picked up the same award earlier in the year at the Hong Kong Film Award, so it would be no surprise if they pull a repeat here. However, the
category is pretty even this year, with strong work in DESIGN OF DEATH and WHITE DEER PLAIN as well.

Best Make-up and Costume Design

Nominees:
- Stanley Cheung (The Bullet Vanishes)
- Lin Mu (Design of Death)
- Fang Chi Luen, Li-Wen Hsu (Love)
- Man Lim-Chung (The Silent War)
- Tim Yip Kam-Tin (Tai Chi 0)

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

Both films are heavier on the make-up end than the Costume Design part, but the teams on both films churned out strong work that’s apparent on screen. I’ll be happy if either of those two films win.

Best Action Choreography

Nominees:
- Xu Haofeng (Judge Archer)
- Cyril Raffaelli, Li Chung-Chi (Black & White Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault)
- Yuen Bun, Sun Jian-Kui, Allen Lan Hai-Han (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate)
- Chin Kar-Lok (Motorway)
- Sammo Hung Kam-Bo (Tai Chi 0)

Will win: JUDGE ARCHER or TAI CHI 0
Should win: MOTORWAY or FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON TIGER GATE

Sammo Hung’s work is more clearly seen in part two of the TAI CHI trilogy, but he may get an award based on seniority here. I haven’t seen JUDGE ARCHER, but Xu Haofeng is a well-known martial artist who devotes his life to martial arts (he writes novels and is a co-writer on THE GRANDMASTERS). Nevertheless, Chin Kar Lok and his team deserves to be recognize for their car stunts in MOTORWAY, and FLYING SWORDS is a previous winner at the HK Film Awards.

Best Original Film Score

Nominees:
- An Wei, Wang Fan (Judge Archer)
- Teddy Robin, Tommy Wai (The Bullet Vanishes)
- Chen Chien-Chi (Love)
- Ding Wei, Lin Zhaoyang (Love Is Not Blind)
- Peyman Yazdanian, Johann Johannsson (Mystery)

Will Win: LOVE
Should win: Pass

The four scores here weren’t particularly memorable, so I will fall back to the Taiwan advantage and choose the Taiwanese film. I have not heard the JUDGE ARCHER score, so that win may happen as well.

Best Original Song

Nominees:

- “She & Me” (from Cha Cha for Twins)
Music: ciacia
Lyrics: ciacia
Performer: ciacia
- “Din Tao” (from Din Tao: Leader of the Parade)
Music: Lui Wei-Ren
Lyrics: Lui Wei-Ren
Performer: Alan Kuo
- “DoReMi” (from Romancing in Thin Air)
Music: Lo Tayu
Lyrics: Lin Xi
Performer: Sammi Cheng Sau-Man

Will win: DoReMi (ROMANCING IN THIN AIR)
Should win: DoReMi (ROMANCING IN THIN AIR)

Seen all three films, heard all three songs, and only remember one of them. DIN TAO has a better chance of winning than CHA CHA’s song, but I have a feeling Sammi will come out on top.

Best Visual Effects

Nominees:
- Frankie Chung (Black & White Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault)
- Kent Chen, Horn Hsu (Cha Cha for Twins)
- Wook Kim, Josh Cole, Frankie Chung (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate)
- Koan Hui, Chang Hongsong (Painted Skin: The Resurrection)
- Xiao Yang, Chang Song, A Law, Li Ming-Hsung, Li Jin-Hui (Starry Starry Night)

Will win: PAINTED SKIN
Should win: STARRY STARRY NIGHT or CHA CHA FOR TWINS

CHA CHA FOR TWINS did pull off the twins concept very well because of its special effects team, though their work are virtually invisible compared for PAINTED SKIN and FLYING SWORDS. STARRY STARRY NIGHT also used effects to good measure - a restrained, but fairly strong effort.

Best Sound Effects

Nominees:
- Frank Cheng (Black & White Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault)
- Phyllis Cheng (The Bullet Vanishes)
- Dong Xu (Design of Death)
- Kinson Tsang King-Cheung, Lai Chi-Hung (Nightfall)
- Traithep Wongpaiboon, Nopawat Likitwong (The Silent War)

Will win: BLACK AND WHITE
Should win: THE SILENT WAR or THE BULLET VANISHES

BLACK AND WHITE is an easy choice because of the action portions, but THE SILENT WAR has a very intricately designed sound mix (though it was far too soft when I saw it in the cinemas), and BULLET uses the sound to drive the tension, especially towards the end of the film.

I will be referring to these predictions throughout the night of the awards. I predict that I’ll get a lot of these wrong, but I did try to put in as much informed opinion in this as I can. If i come out over 50% right, I would’ve had a good night.

Hope to see you on on November 24th on Twitter!

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Detective Hunter Zhang being told why LOVE IS…PYJAMAS should’ve been nominated for Best Picture

 

The Golden Rock 2012 Hong Kong Film Awards Live-blog Edition

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In case you needed a reminder

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The Golden Rock - The 31st Hong Kong Film Awards Preview Edition

Note: Edited April 14th to include award predictions

We haven’t blogged for over a month due to work and film festival commitments, but when we come back, we come back harder than ever!

That’s also a quote from Scud’s next film.

Anyway, it’s that time of the year again. No, not Lunar New Year, it’s the Hong Kong Film Awards! And that means it’s time again for The Golden Rock Hong Kong Film Awards Live Blog!

We don’t know how many times we’ve done this already (3rd? 4th?), but at least we can tell you it’ll be the most star-studded one:

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None of these people will join us on this year’s live-blog

The picture alone makes it star-studded, right?

So join us again as we (and by we, we mean one dude in his living room) battle technology, bad red carpet commentary, crappy cuts to commercials, useless musical performances, and, of course, Hong Kong film industry congratulating themselves for another successful year of making movies in Mainland China!

As we had done previous years, the live-blog will be housed in one single entry that will be updated every minute or so, which means readers only have to go to the dedicated entry and press refresh for the latest updates. The show starts at 20:00 Hong Kong time on Sunday, April 15th, and we will start at 19:30 Hong Kong Time (GMT +8). We may even open the comments section by then, so get ready to join us in the fun-making.

As someone who has seen almost all the nominated films (and unfortunately, a few more) and regularly follows the awards, I think I can make an educated guess about what will win.

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The Golden Rock - March 4, 2012 Edition

This entry covers two major messes going on in the Chinese film industry, and a Golden Broom to sweep it all up.

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Photo from Sina Entertainment Weibo account

- The attention for action film SPECIAL IDENTITY meant to go to Donnie Yen, who is starring and producing under the direction of Clarence Fok. However, the attention has now shifted elsewhere before shooting has even wrapped.

This started when Apple Daily reported on February 24th that co-star Vincent Zhao essentially left the set due to complaints about the new script by Hong Kong writer James Yuen, which undermines his role and favors Donnie’s. The new script had been changed without Zhao’s approval, though Zhao’s contract said that he had the right to do so. There were also complaints about Zhao’s prima donna attitude on set (which includes an entourage of seven).

On February 27th, the SECRET IDENTITY production opened its own official Weibo account (verified as the real deal by Sina), followed by an official statement from the production on the night of February 29th announcing that Vincent Zhao has officially left the production, and that it was an amicable split. James Yuen (he’ll show up again later, by the way) also wrote his Weibo that he did not write one word of the film.

Two hours later, Vincent Zhao posted a e-mail from the IDENTITY production on his own Weibo:

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As of noon on March 1, 2012, the SECRET IDENTITY production will no longer provide accommodation for Mr. Vincent Zhao. I hope you can understand; the production is seriously over-budget!”

At 6 am, Zhao also posted a statement on his Weibo discrediting the points in the Apple Daily report one by one, and that the statement from the production was released without his knowledge, which means Zhao has essentially been fired.

Zhao’s wife also joined in on the fun, defending her husband and accusing the production of using him as a scapegoat for the mismanagement of the film’s finances. Zhao calls himself the victim and left Shenzhen (where the film was being shot) for Beijing on the same day. Meanwhile, public support from Zhao’s past co-stars like Laung Ka Yan, Timmy Hung, Xu Jiao, and Wudang director Patrick Leung came Weibo-ing in.

Thing were quiet until today, March 4th, when Zhao held a press conference in Beijing essentially repeating his Weibo statement. He accused the production of changing the script that he’d signed up for without his approval, and that he was unilaterally dismissed by the production.

Several hours later, the production put out its own statements to counter Zhao’s points. They are as follows:

1) Zhao caused the start of production to be delayed by a day because he not only demanded to be upgraded to an executive suite, he also demanded that the production pay for the expenses for his wife, his two kids, the nanny, an English teacher, his agent, and his assistant, as well as a driver and bodyguards (a martial arts actor needing a bodyguard. Imagine that).

2) The script changes were done for the benefit of the film. As producer and action director, Donnie had approached Zhao to discuss the changes, only to be turned away. In fact, the production only agreed to take on Zhao based on Donnie’s recommendation.

3) Andy On is to replace Zhao on the production.

Zhao says he retains his right to take legal action, but with On joining the production and Zhao simply crying shenanigans, it looks like this will remain only a battle of words. Zhao has little more to say (unless he wishes to counter the production’s counter-argument), but it’s likely that SPECIAL IDENTITY will be remembered more for this scandal than anything else for the time being.

- Another person calling foul is writer James Yuen. The respected Hong Kong scriptwriter of films like LOST IN TIME, several Peter Chan films, and oh, HERE COMES FORTUNE, is crying foul because he claims that his script for SHADOWS OF LOVE, the latest Cecilia Cheung film, was stolen by the film’s investor.

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This all began on February 19th when Oriental Daily reported Yuen’s claims that he has written the original script for SHADOWS OF LOVE, and that its investor Allen Tan (a former talent agent) took it without giving proper credit or proper compensation. After a strong denial Tan himself, who says director Calvin Poon and his writer essentially rewrote the script, which means there’s not much traces of Yuen’s work. Tan also accused Yuen of demanding too much money. Angered, Yuen took it further by writing a complete account of his side on Weibo.

Here are the basic explanation of Yuen’s claims:

  • Yuen was asked by Tan in March 2010 if he had any scripts that Tan could produce.  Yuen then turned in a 6000-word outline that he wrote with two assistants back in 2009. However, he never heard from Tan again.
  • In June 2011, Yuen heard that a film with the same story and characters starring Cecilia Cheung had just wrapped shooting.  The film’s producer: Allan Tan
  • Yuen then called producer Stanley Kwan, who said that he knew they were Yuen’s material and even asked Tan to settle any copyright and payment issues. That was never done
  • The following month, Yuen and Tan had a meeting, and Tan asks Yuen to sell off the rights to him and his company. Yuen agreed and even signed a contract.
  • However, Yuen claims he never got his payment, and when he inquired Tan about it, Tan said that financiers China Film Group and DMG were unwillingly to pay.

On February 22nd, Yuen writes that this mess has entered legal proceedings, which means there won’t be any more public comments from either side. However, this may also block the film’s release until the case is settled and turn this into another case of bad luck/bad career choice for Cecilia Cheung.

cecigoldbroom.jpg

 

- On Saturday, March 3rd, the 3rd Annual Golden Broom Awards was held in China. Much like the Razzies in America, the award (dis)honors the worst in Chinese cinema. After nominations from the public, the awards are decided by a jury of 27, which includes scholars, film critics, authors, editors, and members of the media. The award ceremony also included a respectable guest list that included director Wang Shaoshuai, Li Yu (BUDDHA MOUNTAIN), Manfred Wong, Lou Ye (SUMMER PALACE), Gu Changwei (LOVE FOR LIFE), Zhang Meng (PIANO IN A FACTORY), Yu Dong (head of Bona Group), and actress Qin Hailin. By the way, none of them won any of the dishonors.

Here is a list of (lose-)winners:

Most Disappointing Films: WARRING STATES, LEGENDARY AMAZONS, THE LOST BLADESMAN

Most Disappointing Mid-Low-Budget Films: NO. 32, B DISTRICT and LOVE NEVER DIES

Special Jury Prize for Most Disappointing Film: FLOWERS OF WAR (for using the Nanjing Massacre to sell sex)

Most Disappointing Directors: Frankie Chan (LEGENDARY AMAZONS), Gao Xiaosong (MY KINGDOM)

Most Disappointing Actor: Sun Honglei (WARRING STATES)

Most Disappointing Actress: Cecilia Cheung (LEGENDARY AMAZONS and TREASURE HUNT)

Most Disappointing Ensemble: EAST MEETS WEST

Most Disappointing Animated Film: XI BAI PO

Most Disappointing Imported Film: THE GREEN HORNET

Since the award was being held by the mook (magazine-book) YOUTH FILM HANDBOOK, there were also positive awards handed out to good films, but we won’t mention them here.

As expected, no one that won any of the disappointing award actually showed up. Instead, you got the Cecilia imposter above and the Sun Honglei imposter here:

 sungoldbroom.jpg

 

Of course, we can’t expect anyone to have Halle Berry or Sandra Bullock’s sense of humor, right?

 

SOURCES

Sina Weibo
Mtime

The Golden Rock - August 29, 2011 Edition

With talk about the box office battle looming in China come December, it’s a good time to do a focus story about the art of scheduling movie releases in the Greater China area:

- As i had mentioned in an earlier entry, this summer has not been a particularly great one at the movies here in Hong Kong. The thing is that it hasn’t been that great in China, either, as BEGINNING OF THE GREAT REVIVAL, WU XIA, and MYSTERIOUS ISLAND have been the only three major stories all summer. This may baffle those who are used to the usual summer tradition around the world, with the biggest, loudest blockbusters rolled out to make money from kids out of school on holiday (high weekday grosses).

While the vacationing kids audiences is big in China, high ticket prices means that the movie going audience tends to skew a little older, which means that big filmgoing periods are more likely to coincide with big holiday periods when people don’t have to work.

There are essentially four big release periods in China that every distributor of major blockbusters in China want to get their hands on: Lunar New Year, Golden week in May, National Day extended holiday in October, and mid-to-late-December. Since the summer is when Hollywood blockbusters dominate the global box office, the summer is not a huge release period unless you have something big enough to compete.

Case in point: Out of the top ten grossing films in China in 2010, only two films were not released during those four periods - AFTERSHOCK was big enough to take on the summer, and UNDER THE HAWTHORN TREE was released a week before the National Day holiday rush began with LEGEND OF THE FIST.

Three of those periods are pretty self-explanatory when it comes to why they’re huge for filmgoing - Instead of long weekends, China’s holidays are clumped into longer batches because it allows time for workers in big cities to return home to visit their families. Extended holidays also mean theaters and distributors are blessed with consecutive days of high box office gross, which also means plenty of good publicity for the films as well.

However, the period that baffles even me is the December period. The so-called “year-end celebratory” period has long been where Feng Xiaogang reigns as king (ever since his SORRY, BABY in December 1999, only THE BANQUET was not released during that time), and that’s when China made so many major blockbusters that it’s become the place where Zhang Yimou and Feng Xiaogang earn top box office dollars with films like HERO, THE ASSEMBLY, IF YOU ARE THE ONE, and CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. In 2010, the period saw its most intense competition yet with a direct battle between Jiang Wen’s LET THE BULLETS FLY and Feng Xiaogang’s IF YOU ARE THE ONE 2. While BULLETS came out on top, IF YOU ARE THE ONE 2 also made 473 million yuan, Feng’s second highest-grossing film after AFTERSHOCK.

That battle is about to get even more intense this year, with three big films already locked to duke it out in the same week in mid-December:  Derek Yee’s THE GREAT MAGICIAN (Tony Leung + Lau Ching Wan + Zhou Xun), Tsui Hark’s IMAX 3D FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE (Jet Li +wuxia + 3D), and Zhang Yimou’s NANJING HEROES (big budget +rumored IMAX release + Batman!). There’s even word that Wong Kar Wai’s GRANDMASTER may be trying to make that release date as well.

But why? and how? December sees no major holidays in China (I’m pretty sure they don’t get Christmas Day off over there), and yet, that’s when the year’s biggest films (yes, even bigger than Lunar New Year) are rolled out. But at least now you know why all the talk in Chinese cinema right now is concentrating on that all-important December period. If your film is there, you’ve hit the big time, baby.

- China has three major film awards - The Golden Rooster Awards, the voter-based Hundred Flower Awards, and the Huabiao Awards. Held by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television every two years, the latest edition of the Huabiao Awards has just announced its nominees. The Huabiao is a little unique in that it clearly separates purely Chinese productions and co-productions into two separate categories.

Under “Excellent Chinese Narrative Films”, the 20 nominees include both FOUNDING OF A REPUBLIC and BEGINNING OF THE GREAT REVIVAL, as well as “box office hits” like WENTIAN, GUO MING YI, and WEN SHAN ZHOU. Of course, Zhang Yimou’s UNDER THE HAWTHORN TREE, Chen Kaige’s SACRIFICE, and Feng Xiaogang’s AFTERSHOCK are included. Even GO LALA GO managed a nomination.

Meanwhile, 8 co-productions are nominated for “Excellent Co-Produced Film” - CONFUCIUS, IP MAN 2, BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS,  ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW, DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART, OCEAN HEAVEN, REIGN OF ASSASSINS, and…….THE MESSAGE?!

10 other films were also nominated for “Excellent Digital Film”, but those are just small productions that no one really cares about.

Only two foreign films were recognized in the nominations - AVATAR and INCEPTION. Those who care, raise their hands? OK, moving on.

WENTIAN, the astronaut film produced by the People’s Liberation Army’s August 1st Studio (Last I heard, they were making an inspiration sports film about their basketball team), scored the most number of nominations - with “Excellent Film Techniques”, Best Script, Best Director, Best Actor in addition to its best film nod. I can’t wait for that WenTian sequel, which might be some twisted, communist propaganda version of STAR TREK.  Yes, soon, the PLA will be liberating the oppressed people of space from the evils of the intergalactic Kuomintang.

For those who still care, the awards were held on August 28th, and 10 out of the 20 nominated films were recognized for best films. They include REVIVAL, AFTERSHOCK, REPUBLIC, WENTIAN, GUO MING YI, WEN SHAN ZHOU, and HAWTHORN TREE. Meanwhile, WENTIAN and REPUBLIC picked up Best Director (s), REVIVAL won Best Screenplay, both Ge You (for SACRIFICE) and YANG SHAN ZHOU’s Li Xue Jian won Best Actor(s), Sandra Ng won Best Overseas Chinese Actress for ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW, and Chow Yun Fat picked up Best Overseas Chinese Actor for CONFUCIUS.

Notice one important omission? Yes, LET THE BULLETS FLY was completely ignored.

The complete list of winners (in Chinese) can be found here.

Not much for an entry today, but I promise Chinese box office and other gossip in the Chinese movie scene next time.

 
 
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