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.
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!
“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!”
- Beijing Blues
- The Bullet Vanishes
- Life Without Principle
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Despite not being nominated, Liu Kai-Chi will show up uninvited like this
Best New Director
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
MYSTERY star Qin Hao waiting to hear the news outside the Golden Horse Awards venue, shovel in hand.
Best Art Direction
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- “She & Me” (from Cha Cha for Twins)
- “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
- 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
- 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!
Detective Hunter Zhang being told why LOVE IS…PYJAMAS should’ve been nominated for Best Picture
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:
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.
This entry covers two major messes going on in the Chinese film industry, and a Golden Broom to sweep it all up.
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:
“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.
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.
- 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)
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.
This is it. The 30th HK Film Awards live blog starts here at 19:30 Hong Kong Time!
19:27 - The party starts now. Heavy rain on red carpet. Stars still arriving and getting soaked. Heard Conroy Chan saying “WHAZZAAAPP” loudly to red carpet host Jerry Lamb.
19:34 - Technical difficulties solved for now. Coverage being brought to you by Splashtop Remote
19:38 - That’s it, Conroy Chan is official craziest man on the red carpet.
19:40 - I have decided to never live-blog on the iPad anymore. Tonight is gonna be tough.
19:42 - ATV not doing a pre-show this year. Leaving the duties to Jerry Lamb and Chiang what’shername on the red carpet. Now TV has their own thing set up with Icy Wong and other hosts
19:45 - With red carpet winding down and the show not starting for another 20 minutes, it’s a little quiet now. Hey, tell me your predictions on Twitter @TheGoldenRock using the hastage #HKFA30
19:47 - Due to technical difficulties, tweeting will be a little slow tonight. Less, but longer bits throughout, I hope.
19:49 - Tonight’s Hong Kong Film Awards coverage is brought to you by ATV HD Channel
19:51 - For the latest bits from the awards, just click reload on http://www.lovehkfilm.com/blog/thegoldenrock/?p=1068 . That’s the dedicated page for this entry
19:56 - Dropped Now TV’s coverage to ATV. Now they’re just repeating footage from the red carpet. 13 minutes to go!
20:00 - 5 minutes to go. ATV counts down with…..a music video. Not, not movie-related at all.
20:02 - Tonight’s hosts are Teresa Mo, Vincent Kuk, and Lawrence Cheng. Eric Tsang he will also make an appearance in the opening and ending, plus present an award with some action actors.
20:05 - Showtime! Typical montage about how important the awards are, blah blah blah.
20:06 - Shirley Kwan and Kay Tse open the show with a medley of Hong Kong film theme songs. Kwan obviously having a tough time with this audio mix. Can barely hear her voice.
20:08: Montage showed a clip from AFTER THIS OUR EXILE, even though it’s clearly supposed to be AH YING
20:10 - Was just reminded that Joey Yung can’t appear on the show because Emperor is still friendly with TVB (exclusive contract). Show is on competitors ATV and Now TV.
20:12 - Film theme songs medleys are great and all, but can we get on with the show already? It just shows how much film theme songs suck now in HK cinema. Oh, yay, fireworks.
20:14 - What the hell is Hou Hsiao-Hsien doing in the audience, and why does he look like a migrant worker?
20:16 - Eric Tsang monologue. Of course, he brings up how hard the 2003 show was to do because of SARS, etc etc.
20:17 - Yeah, keep on going about doin’ it for HK cinema….then finish filming your movie in China. Go on, hypocrites.
20:19 - The 3 hosts enter the stage. Wait, is that orchestra gonna just sit there the whole time?
20:20 - What, is the theme tonight all about “For Hong Kong cinema” and all that? Notice how all five Best Picture nominees tonight are co-productions?
20:21 - Vincent Kuk - “Finally, Arthur Wong isn’t nominated for Best Cinematography this year. How fresh!”
20:22 - Wong Jing and Ann Hui on stage together to present the Best New Director award…wait, are they coming out? Um….anytime now……
20:23 - Removing orchestra delayed the two directors’ entrance.
20:24 - Wow, not only is this kinda cool because of Hui and Wong’s past feud, they’re also the first people to come down on that weird dolly thing on stage.
20:25 - OH NO, Wong Jing joked he will make 3D THE FRUIT IS RIPE. I hope he’s joking.
20: 27 - First up, Best New Actor. I predicted Dennis To. Winner is….HANJIN TAN FOR BRUCE LEE MY BROTHER. Wow, no one saw THAT coming.
20:27 - Hanjin Tan is best known as a musician and sometimes blatant plagarizer of western music in Cantopop. He played one of Bruce Lee’s buddies in the film.
20:29 - And now, Best New Director. I expected Ivy Ho, but I have a feeling it’ll be another upset.
And the winner is….Felix Chong for ONCE A GANGSTER
20:30 - Chong has already won one HKFA for Best Screenplay as the co-writer of INFERNAL AFFAIRS. ONCE A GANGSTER is his first solo directorial work.
20:31 - Ugh, I’m already 0 for 2 for tonight. This year’s awards are very hard to predict.
20:32 - What the hell? New segment this year - showing best awards moments from past years
20:35 - These are good moments and everything, but can we get on with it already?
20:36 - That was quick. Time for Best Supporting Actress, presented by Liu Kai Chi and Michelle Ye. Ye NOT in the crazy dominatrix costume from HI, FIDELITY.
20:38 - I predicted that Bau Hei-Jing will win Best Supporting Actress. At least don’t let CITY UNDER SIEGE win anything.
And the winner is - Susan Shaw for GALLANTS. Wow, GALLANTS may have a fighting chance tonight!
20:41 - Hou Hsiao-Hsien: Seriously, I know you’ve been to those nice European awards and all, but you really gotta dress better at these things.
20:42 - Sa Dingding and Wu Ching-Feng now perform the nominated theme song from REIGN OF ASSASSINS. Twitter time!
20:45 - As Sa and Wu sing with the flipping acrobats, all I can keep thinking is “don’t move”
20:48 - Is it time for Best Screenplay already? Kuk and Cheng banter about scriptwriters.
20:50 - Time for Simon Yam, Kate Tsui, and some former Golden Harvest guy named To to present the Best Screenplay award.
I predicted BREAK UP CLUB will win, though I wanted LOVE IN A PUFF. Might GALLANTS have a chance?
And the winner is: Pang Ho-Cheung and Heiward Mak for LOVE IN A PUFF! Yay!
20:55 - HKFA finally giving Pang Ho-Cheung some love. Pang gives a hilarious story about how he pitched the film to Media Asia’s Peter Lam
21:01 - And we return from commercial break with the Most Fashionable Award. But first, some banter with hosts and nominees. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………..
And the winner is: Daniel Wu for the man and Janice Man for the woman. Hou Hsiao-Hsien got robbed!
21:04 - Angelababy, Raymond Wong, and Fong Ho-Yuen present Best Cinematography and Best Editing.
Best Cinematography up first. I predicted Peter Pau based on respect alone. Wanted Jason Kwan to win for gorgeous MERRY-GO-ROUND look.
And the winner is: Peter Pau for CONFUCIUS, as expected. My first correct prediction.
Next up is Best Editing. I predicted IP MAN 2. I wanted DETECTIVE DEE.
And the winner is: Cheung Ka-Fai for IP MAN 2. No, not Nick Cheung.
21:13 - Time for the Professional Achievement award for Willie Chan, dubbed “the golden manager”
21:15 - Chan’s accomplishments: He introduced Jackie Chan into the film industry and served as his manager for 30 years. He also served as manager for Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Jacky Cheung, etc etc.
21:17 - Willie Chan enters on…….a boat. An entrance as flamboyant as the man.
21:20 - Willie Chan obviously a very major player in the HK film industry. Got a standing ovation. Stanley Kwan, Daniel Wu, Terence Yin, Maria Cordero, Jackie Chan, Simon Yam, all on stage.
21:21 - Jacky Cheung offers “My Way”. Um, shot during his concert rehearsal.
He also said “The awards people asked me to sing this song.”. Um, probably shouldn’t have said that.
21:26 - Presenting the actual award to Chan - Golden Harvest founder Raymond Chow.
21:30 - Back to the awards. Kuk interviews Nicholas Tse about the post-production facility he invested in and how he wants HK films to keep post-production in Hong Kong. Did anyone know about this?
21:32 - Aarif Lee and Janice Man present….whattheaudioflub?
Time for Best Sound Design. I predict IP MAN 2 because MR. TWISTER IS SOUND DESIGN!!!!!!!!!!
The winner is….DETECTIVE DEE. Yay, anything not with Kinson Tsang.
21:35 - Co-winner Zhao Nan accepts the award and clears up that she is not Mr. Zhao Nan. And quite attractive MS. Zhao Nan.
Now, time for Best Visual Effects. I predicted DETECTIVE DEE for CGI, but want DREAM HOME for the make-up.
And the winner is…DETECTIVE DEE
21:39 - Tsui Hark accepts the award for the Korean special effects team. Says that the effects house is now into computer animation instead.
21:42 - This song is actually pretty good. I keep thinking how it would sound if Mavis sang it herself……….
21:48 - Back from commercial break 2, for more old clips.
21:50 - Time for Best Supporting Actor. Lawrence Cheng makes fun of Teresa Mo’s exaggerated laugh after Mo makes fun of Cheng being nominated only once.
Gigi Leung and Angelica Lee present the Best Supporting Actor. I predicted and hope for Teddy Robin. It’ll be a pretty big upset if he loses…….Then again, we did name the overacting award after Liu Kai Chi.
21:55 - And the winner is TEDDY ROBIN FOR GALLANTS!!!!!!
21:57 - Actually, Teddy Robin for Supporting Actor is fine with me because he’s not the protagonist of the film - Chan Kuan-Tai, Bruce Leung, and Wong Yau-Nam are.
22:00 - Time for tribute to Hong Kong action choreographers with a fight display on stage. Whooooo.
22:02 - Shotgun and explosive squibs onstage. Impressive.
22:03 - Eric Tsang now present clips of impressive stunt men with the stunt guys present.
Tsang: “How could you jump that high past that car?”
Stunt man: “The guy was going fast, and I had to jump above it, or I would get hit.”
22:05 - Tsang “Why did you do two takes of that stunt?”
Cheung Wah: “Because the company had two vases”
22:07 - Chow Yun Fat leads the standing ovation for the stuntman. Classy.
Time to present Best Action Design. I predicted IP MAN 2, but wanted DETECTIVE DEE. Either way, a win for Sammo Hung.
And the winner is……Sammo Hung for IP MAN 2. They didn’t even say the name of the movie he won for, but Raymond Wong heard the music and went up.
22:12 - Raymond Wong refers to Mr. Twister as “gweilo”. Oh, naw, he didn’t.
22:13 - Now the lifetime achievement award for Ms. Terry Lai, the founder of Intercontinental Films. One of the first executives to send kung fu films abroad with English subtitles. IVL also easily now the biggest HK film distributor of foreign films.
22:15 - She head the anti-piracy movement, but please don’t credit her with saving HK films. Bittorrent as widely used as ever, and Mainland co-productions “saved” HK films, mm-kay?
22:22 - Lawrence Cheng says you only need two words to succeed in Mainland Chinese films : “Xing” (Sure!). “Mei Wen Tiiiii” (No problem).
“Will this movie make 200 million?” “Mei wen ti”
“Can my girlfriend be in the movie?” “Xing”
22:25 - Jun Kung now performs his MERRY-GO-ROUND best theme song nominee. Suddenly leaning towards LOVER’S DISCOURSE winning now. Jun Kung has a fine song, but suddenly come to like the other one better.
22:34 - Back from commercial break 3. Clips from 2003 awards. Really tough year: SARS, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung.
22:34 - Oh, no, Mr. and Alan Tam performance. Yay, another break.
22:36 - oh, great, Alan Tam x Mr. was the in memoriam sequence, but they totally covered the screen. Another cinematic crime by Alan Tam.
22:38 - And now, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design presented by Wyman Wong and Fiona Sit. Whoa, Wyman Wong in a dress.
Pointless banter between Fiona Sit and Wyman Wong. Get. On. With. It.
Finally. First up is Best Best Costume Design. Predicted CONFUCIUS, but DETECTIVE DEE may end up having a chance winning.
The winner is……DETECTIVE DEE. Namsun Shi accepts the award on his behalf and reads an acceptance speech from him.
22:43 - Next up is Best Art Direction. I predicted CONFUCIUS. And CONFUCIUS will probably win.
And the winner is….DETECTIVE DEE. Wow, 4th award for the film, but all technical awards so far.
22:47 - Now, Li Yuchun and Tsui Hark present the Best Original Music award. What an unlikely match.
22:49 - Time for Best Original Score. I predicted Ip Man 2 for pure bombardment. I wanted LOVE IN A PUFF, but not nominated. Would like GALLANTS for nostalgia.
And the winner is…..GALLANTS!!!!! This is not only the film’s third award of the night, it’s also Teddy Robin’s second HKFA of the night.
22:53 - Directors Clement Cheng and Derek Kwok join Teddy Robin onstage. Cheng bows down in front of Robin.
22:54 - Tsui and Li return to present Best Original Song. I predicted Jun Kung, but now I lean towards LOVER’S DISCOURSE.
And the winner is……Jun Kung! Whooooooooooooooo
22:56 - Jun Kung previously acted in TIME AND TIDE, but is much better known as one of the most underappreciated musicians in Cantopop.
22:59 - Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Zhao Wei now present Best Asian Film. Alright, AFTERSHOCK, go get your award and make people crime.
Seriously, director Hou, please wear something nicer.
23:00 - Vicky Zhao - “Some day Asian films are getting more and more attention”. Seriously still saying that? It’s been only a few decades!
23:02 - Time for Best Asian Film. I root for CONFESSIONS, but it’s AFTERSHOCK’s world.
And the winner is……….CONFESSIONSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
23:06 - Happy from CONFESSIONS win. When the hell did t he HKFA jury grow taste?
23:08 - End of another commercial break. Time for the major acting awards. Yay.
23:11 - Chow Yun Fat takes the stage and talks to the hosts. Where is this all leading to?
23:12 - OK, so he’s giving Best Director. Strange line-up, Best Director coming before the acting awards.
Chow Yun Fat to Nic Tse: “The next 30 years of HK cinema depend on you now.”
23:13 - This is more Cantonese spoken by Chow Yun Fat than in all of his movies in the last decade. Please come back to Hong Kong, Fat Gor.
23:15 - Wong Hei-Wun co-present the Best Director award with Chow Yun Fat.
23:16 - Wong: “A director that can’t make money isn’t a good director!” Oh dear.
23:17 - Finally time for the award I predicted Wilson Yip to get his due, but want Tsui Hark for his spectacular comeback. GALLANTS might also have a chance.
And the winner is……Tsui Hark for DETECTIVE DEE. Welcome back to respectability.
23:21 - This is only Tsui Hark’s second Best Director award. I believe the term “relative best” applies here.
23:22 - DETECTIVE DEE’s chance for Best Picture just skyrocketed. Good night, IP MAN 2. Maybe a GALLANTS come back from behind? Ahhh, it’s all so exciting.
23:24 - Time for Best Actress. Oh, hosts first simulate Teresa Mo actually winning the Best Actress Award, and Teresa Mo not winning the award. latter “Happens all the time!” - says Lawrence Cheng
23:26 - Michael Hui and Kara Hui present Best Actress. Hui says he’s wearing the same hat he wore when he won his Best Actor award.
23:29 - Finally time after some bantering. Carina Lau has huge chance of winning, and will likely get it as a lifetime achievement thing. Really, quite a tough category this year.
The winner is……Carina Lau for DETECTIVE DEEEEEEEEE
23:31 - This is Carina Lau’s first Best Actress win. She says she’s more used to losing than winning.
23:35 - Time for Best Actor. Eric Tsang makes his 3rd appearance at the ceremony. Is it intentional so they can get Tsang to show up on ATV as much as possible?
23:36 - Please cut the banter and get on with the award already.
23:38 - Oh, Tsang isn’t giving out the award. Zhou Xun and Lau Ching Wan are.
23:39 - I am now convinced that Zhou Xun was a man.
23:40 - Lau Ching Wan takes the opportunity to lament his three losses of Best Actor award to Tony Leung Chiu-Wai.
23:42 - Time for the award. I predict Nick Cheung, Nicholas Tse might stand a chance?
The winner is…..Nicholas Tse for STOOL PIGEON. Tse cries manly tears.
23:44 - Nic Tse won the Best New Artist award when he was 18 years old. Nic also does an impression of his old man during his acceptance speech. Leads to a story about him telling his old man that he won a HKFA before him. WHOOOOOOOO
….oh, story of him pissing his dad off leads to apology to his dad.
23:47 - Carina Lau and Jackie Chan present Best Picture.
Jackie Chan: “Hong Kong action films never left!” Yeah, no thanks to you, Jackie.
23:50 - Here we go, time for Best Picture. I think it’ll be DETECTIVE DEE’s world.
And the winner is………GALLANTS!!!!!!!!!!
23:53 - I’m pretty sure that the GALLANTS award is for the spirit and what it stands for more than the actual film. I’m really, really happy for it, though. What a surprise!
That’s it for the live blog this year. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter @TheGoldenRock with the hashtag #HKFA30
The size tells you how much the awards really matter
We’re at it again - Yes, this blogger will be live-blogging this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards live once again as he watches from the comfort of his own home. I am grateful that Hong Kong ATV has once again picked up broadcasting rights and promised to show the whole thing live without one single cut. That means I will be reporting once again the victories, the #winnings, the celebrity fails, and everything else in between right here on this blog.
If you’re read my awards live blogs, you’ll know that the live blog consists of constant updates minute-by-minute, and the only thing you have to do to stay updated is to click the reload button. As I have turned off comments once and for all here on this blog to prevent spam (hasn’t worked), I will be using my Twitter as an interaction tool in addition to updates on the blog. To keep the interactions all in one search, please use the hashtag #HKFA30 when you tweet about the awards.
And now, the basics:
Date: Sunday, April 17th
Time: 19:45 (7:45pm), Hong Kong/Beijing Standard Time (adjust to your own time zone accordingly)
My job: Update on this blog and interact on Twitter
Your job: Read, click “reload” on the blog to follow the updates, and/or interact on Twitter.
Some time over the next week, I will be posting my own predictions, but you can make your own from the list of nominees.
Before I move on to regular programming, perhaps some (or none) are asking, “hey, where did you go?”
I ask myself the same question everyday.
As for the serious answer, I made an extremely awkward transition from my student life to my working life, which involved the two blending together, and then diving into the latter pretty much immediately, meaning I haven’t really had the time to adjust. Of course, that could sound like an excuse, but considering the other time I spend doing my weekly review job, recording East Screen/West Screen, plus real life crap, 24 hours doesn’t seem enough in a day. Also, Google Chrome is real crappy with this wordpress thing, which means I get a little confused when switching browsers, leading to all kinds of headaches and taking longer than usual to write an entry.
So what motivated me to start writing again now? First of all, Kozo keeps footing the bill for this space, which means it would go to waste if I keep letting it accumulate in spam, and that ain’t very nice. Second, I will be sadly writing less reviews than before, though that’s only because much of my work has shifted to a certain section of a website that starts with Y and ends with Asia. However, my motivation to start writing again is mainly because I want to do internet journalism right. As I mentioned on the latest episode of East Screen/West Screen, some sites have gotten away too long with spinning information the wrong way. I can’t say I never did the same with this blog, but at least I spun responsibly, and I own up to my mistakes. If the blog writing schedule goes right again, I hope to return to the old format that people (barely) read, but I will certainly no longer use the site I mention in the podcast as a serious source, but only to point out and correct their errors.
Here’s a little news for today, to get things started:
- As always, we start at the box office. At the Japan box office, Tetsuya Nakashima’s CONFESSIONS reign again for a third week, while the MASKED RIDER movie opens at second place, and the youth tearjerker PIECING ME BACK TOGETHER opens at ninth. Check the admissions ranking, and more when the numbers are out.
- Looking at the Korean box office, A MOMENT TO REMEMBER director Lee Jae-Han’s latest 71-INTO THE FIRE scores a huge opening with 1 million-plus admissions, while the period film SERVANTS has already earned 2 million admissions. STREETDANCE 3D opened at 6th place, and PRINCE OF PERSIA is approaching 2 million admissions, but not likely to get there.
- After several theaters backed out in Japan (including one in Shibuya, Tokyo) from showing the documentary THE COVE, the distributors have found another theater in Tokyo in the same neighborhood to take over the film. The Image Forum (which also runs a film school) will be showing the film after Theater N pulled out due to threats by crazy right-wingers. I’m guessing this will be another YASUKUNI situation, where the threats will continue until the film opens, then ntohing will happen.
The report also lists 21 other Japanese theaters that’ll be showing the film, so look for one near you, er….if you know how to read Japanese.
- In film production news, I wrote a few weeks ago that the new Bruce Lee biopic that will be covering his teenage life in Hong Kong, and as now Film Business Asia has confirmed that production will indeed begin on the Manfred Wong-produced, Raymond Yip-directed film WITH MC JIN….not as Bruce Lee. As I mentioned on East Screen/West Screen, this is the version of the Bruce Lee story that I look more forward to than the Hollywood bullying one that Filmko/Mandarin Films are planning.