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Archive for the ‘Hong Kong’ 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 - THE GRANDMASTER Review Edition

(Below are thoughts on the film that I wrote down just hours after seeing the film for the first time with only Chinese subtitles and without considering the complex philosophies behind the film. For a more detailed and thoughtful take on the film, I would recommend Kozo’s upcoming review on LoveHKFilm.com and Maggie Lee’s review on Variety)

 grandm1.jpg

For a while, Wong Kar-wai’s THE GRANDMASTER had an “s” at the end of the title, and it’s easy to see why from the final product. Originally envisioned as the biography of Ip Man - the Wing Chun master best known as Bruce Lee’s master - THE GRANDMASTER is and isn’t the story of Ip Man. Ip is simply one of the major players in Wong’s epic about “Wu Lin”, or what one may call the martial arts world. The story covers part of Ip’s life from 1936 to 1960 (his death is also expressed in intertitles), but its scope is far wider than just one man’s life. This is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a contemporary wuxia film, and it is indeed every bit as arty AND as exhilarating as anyone can expect from a (real) wuxia film by Wong Kar Wai.

In ASHES OF TIME, Wong used the world of Jin Rong’s wuxia novels to examine themes like longings, regrets and unrequited love, going to the lengths of even taking out action scenes when he revisited it for the REDUX version. While THE GRANDMASTER visits such themes once again, they are not the focus in what is first and foremost a film about the “Wu Lin” world. Specifically, it’s about the different philosophies and traditions held by the schools that occupy it. In one breathtaking sequence, the masters of several northern style martial arts each spar with Ip Man (Tony Leung) to show him how to take on Gong Bao Shen, the retiring chairman of the Chinese Martial Artists Union in Foshan. With this sequence, not only does Tony Leung show how well he has acquaint himself with the style of Wing Chun, Wong Kar Wai also shows off his (and his collaborators - including martial arts scholar Xu Haofeng) dedication in faithfully depicting the various forms of martial arts in his film.

THE GRANDMASTER is indeed about Ip Man’s road to become the last one standing, but Wong never indulges in the glamorous myth-making that Tsui Hark did with Wong Fei Hung in ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA or Wilson Yip did with his IP MAN films. Ip Man here is not unlike the Chow Mo Wen character in IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and 2046 - introverted, contemplative, cool in the face of any situation, and a man who finds himself caught in circumstances beyond his control. As a result, Ip Man isn’t a particularly interesting character if not for his skills in Wing Chun.

zzygrandm.jpg

 

Instead, THE GRANDMASTER will be remembered for Zhang Ziyi, who plays Ip’s rival Gong Er, also Gong Bao Shen’s daughter and the heir to her family’s 64 Stance move. A strong-willed female martial artist out to reclaim her family honor despite her father’s rejection, Gong Er is such a strong character (thanks to Zhang Ziyi’s performance) that her story alone could’ve easily been made into a separate film. Wong has always been great at creating strong female characters, and Gong Er is definitely one of the best he has ever written.

At the same time, that shift in focus is ultimately THE GRANDMASTER’s major weakness. From the parallel narratives and Chang Chen’s brief, but memorable appearances, one can tell that Wong was trying to make a film that shows the contrast in the philosophies of the three masters/martial art styles: Leung’s Ip Man (Wing Chun), Zhang’s Gong Er (Baqua Quan), and Chang Chen’s Yi Tian Xian (Baji Quan). Each of the narrative would’ve been strong enough to become an individual film, but the film feels loose and not cohesive enough when put together in its current truncated form. There are parts of the film that are simply gorgeous and/or breathtaking, but those parts are ultimately greater on their own than the film as a whole.

An even bigger weakness? Chang Chen only shows up in three scenes that have no bearing on the two main stories. Yet, he is so good here (especially in his bloody fight scene in the rain towards the end of the second act) that you may wish the film is half an hour longer just so WKW could fit him in.

As a result, THE GRANDMASTER isn’t a film that will send anyone out of the cinema fired up. There’s no Bruce Lee or teeth-grinding foreign villains here to excite anyone. It’s a film about lamenting a bygone era, the price of pride and honor, and - being a Wong Kar Wai film - it also becomes a film about longings, regrets, and unrequited feelings. It is a beautiful art film a la Wong Kar Wai, but it is also a great martial arts film as well, though not in the traditional shallow way. Each of Yuen Wo-Ping’s moves is as intricately calculated and breathtaking as Wong Kar Wai and cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd’s shots, but the choreography is simply part of what Wong and his co-writers are trying to express. THE GRANDMASTER is a martial arts film on both a physical and a spiritual level; a true examination of “Wu Lin” and how martial styles apply to life instead of just simple action escapism that most martial arts film fans would usually look for. In other words, as long as Wilson Yip sticks to his usual formula for IP MAN 3, he has nothing to worry about.

Despite what seems to be a muted praise, THE GRANDMASTER is still an excellent film – the technical aspects are top-notch, the actors are excellent (especially in their fight scenes), the dialogue are as quotable as ever, and its philosophical approach to martial arts will be appreciated by many wuxia fans. It also suffers from usual WKW weaknesses – the storytelling can be muddled at times, and most of the characters simply embody ideas rather than becoming real characters (Think Chang Chen or Song Hye Kyo, who has only one line and 5 minutes of screen time as Ip’s wife). It’s not a ground-breaking film in the genre, but it’s refreshing as a film that recognizes martial arts as a way of life rather than a nationalism tool. THE GRANDMASTER will certainly remain as one of the top Chinese films of 2013, and it was definitely worth the wait.

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Me getting to the subway station after watching THE GRANDMASTER

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 - April 23, 2012 Edition

Note: Edited on April 25th with additional information and new English titles. 

The Beijing International Film Festival kicks off this week, which may be why the big Chinese film studios are rushing to announce their slate this week. Just a day after Huayi Brother announced their 2012-2013 lineup, Enlight Pictures (MURAL, LEGEND OF THE FIST, AN INACCURATE MEMOIR) announced their own 2012-2013 slate - and they’re looking to impress.

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Photo from Sina Entertainment

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The Golden Rock - April 22, 2012 Edition

Note: Entry edited on April 23 to add additional information, as well as clear up information about Doze Niu’s film. 

In March 2011, major Chinese independent studio Huayi Brothers (DETECTIVE DEE, SHAOLIN, ASSEMBLY) announced a large slate of films dubbed “Plan H”. Surprisingly, Huayi managed to complete most of the projects on that slate, having released Doze Niu’s LOVE, Tom Lin’s STARRY STARRY NIGHT, and Tony Chan/Wing Shya’s HOT SUMMER DAYS. Wuershan’s PAINTED SKIN II, Stephen Fung’s TAI CHI 0, Ronny Yu’s SAVING GENERAL YANG, Feng Xiaogang’s 1942, and Jackie Chan’s CHINESE ZODIACS have all finished shooting and getting prepped for release.

Which means it’s time for round 2. On April 22, Huayi Brothers announced their latest Plan H line-up, as well as the release dates for their 2012 slate:

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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:

vzhaoemail.jpg

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.

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- 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 - February 17th, 2012 Edition

 

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The biggest story in Hong Kong entertainment these last several days is not any movie or celebrity gossip, but rather the image breakdown of a man named Henry Tang.

For more about who Henry Tang is, you can read his wikipedia page. The simple explanation is that he is one of the several people running for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive position. He’s been behind in the polls, but his unpopularity goes all the way back before he quit his job as the Chief Secretary to run for his boss’ job, including an antagonistic attitude towards young critics of the government and other public speaking gaffes (all detailed in Wikipedia). He was also involved in an infidelity scandal that broke out (and almost forgotten) just several months ago. However, he is still a heavy favorite due to backing from Hong Kong’s tycoons.

But now, his campaign seemed to have been dealt the ultimate blow due to a 2,400 square feet basement in his luxury home.

How, you ask? Let us go back to half a year ago, when the government decided to crack down on illegal structures built in/on Hong Kong houses.

What constitutes as illegal structures, you ask? When you build a house in Hong Kong, you’re supposed to submit plans to the relevant authority, who would then go by its criteria to decide whether you’re following building codes or not. However, many house owners tend to build extra structures on their home - like a balcony or a shack on the roof - without obtaining government approval, thus running the risk of violating building codes.

When the government had its crackdown, the media discovered that several high-ranking officials also have such illegal structures in their homes, which prompted a whole lot of wrist-slapping and promises to take down the illegal structures. Tang was not one of the people who admitted to having built an illegal structure in his home at the time.

Just when everyone though the illegal structure controversy was over in the government, this happened this week. 

A longtime target of ridicule by netizens, Tang has finally given netizens the ultimate target, and over the last 24 hours, they have been having a field day filling the internet with memes that ridicule the situation.

This is where this blog comes in. Since many of the memes are photoshopped version of Hong Kong movie posters, I’m going to share several posters I found on the “Tang Earthquake” Facebook page (The Chinese title for AFTERSHOCK is “Tangshan Da Di Zhen”, and “Tang Shen” in Cantonese means “Mr. Tang”). This not only reflects Hong Kong cinema in pop culture; it also proves that creativity (especially in satire) is still alive and well here in Hong Kong:

(By the way, any woman you see that isn’t an actress would be Tang’s wife, who is shouldering the blame for this mess)

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Mr. Tang’s Earthquake

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Tang’s home is at 7 York Rd., hence the CAPE NO.7 reference.

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Henry Tang as Tony Leung

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The Tang Palace, in 3D

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No longer Laughing Gor

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You are the Basement of My Eye

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Ip Man—>葉問—>別問—–>Don’t Ask

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Produced by “Pig Dragon” - Tang was once asked how he felt about netizens saying that he looks like a pig. His answer: “I was born in the year of the dragon”

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I’d rather see this than the Jay Chou movie

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Stephen Chow is actually a Tang supporter, which adds extra comedic value to this poster.

 And while this one has nothing to do with films, here’s one to take us out:

 tang11.jpg

Who says Hong Kong cinema is dead? I’d say the art of satire is alive and well!

All the photos that have been used here can be found on the Tang Earthquake Facebook page, where many more memes can be found. The Hong Kong Film blog also has a post about the parody posters today, and webmaster Ryan has even taken the effort to put up side-by-side comparisons.

 

The Golden Rock - Haexagon Edition

Hate to have my first post of the Year of the Dragon to not be “real content”, but this is something that’s more timely and worth posting.

SQUATTERTOWN creator Marco Sparmberg is back, and he is making an ambitious sci-fi film called HAEXAGON. Along with that, he has formed his own production company for future trans-media projects. Since HAEXAGON is now in production, this is definitely something to post here.

I am posting this not only because I believe in the work Marco “Squattertown” Sparmberg is doing, but also because I am actually one of the co-founders of this company. So of course, I would be using this platform to promote it.

What is HAEXAGON and what is Haexagon Concepts? Read below:

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Hong Kong’s first  trans-media production company starts with a haexagonal SciFi ride

Hong Kong; February 8, 2012 - Five Academy of Film and Academy of Visual Arts graduates are creating the city’s first one-stop production company solely focusing on trans-media projects.

Named Haexagon Concepts, the company will execute high concept narrative ideas by combining video, advertising, internet, social media, press, and interactive gaming via a vast network of partnering artists and companies. The company’s first project recently entered the production stage and will prove that Hong Kong can also create and execute sophisticated science fiction ideas.

Haexagon Concept’s founding team comprises of three film school and two visual arts master graduates from the United States, Germany, Austria, Portugal, and Hong Kong, respectively. They will bring their diversified expertise and cultural backgrounds together to create unique, tailor-made media campaigns for clients. Co-founder Marco Sparmberg says, “Each team member comes carrying professional working experience in areas like film production, project development, press, visual arts and mobile/internet technology. It’s going to be very exciting when we see all that come together”.

For its inaugural project, Haexagon Concepts is currently producing the short film “Haexagon”, and it will be the most unique video endeavor to be created within Hong Kong in recent years. With an estimated budget of HK$ 300,000, this project centers around a post-apocalyptic short film that treads the grounds of science fiction, a genre that traditionally holds a large fanbase in Hong Kong but rarely explored by local filmmakers and artists.

Cinematographer and Haexagon Concepts co-founder Diogo Martins says, “The project will target a long vacant niche within Hong Kong’s media landscape while trying to augment its appeal to the busy lives of Hong Kongers. Haexagon will bring science fiction elements into a jungle environment mixed with ingredients of 1970s doomsday exploitation.”

And the short film is just the beginning. Its high concept narration will be later taken and turned into an extended trans-media campaign which will use the means of mobile and augmented technology for the benefits of the project sponsors’ promotions. Additionally, Haexagon Concepts plans to develop “Haexagon” into a feature film that will hit international film markets beginning of 2013.

“Haexagon” is currently in production. Principal photography will wrap in Hong Kong at the end of February 2012. However, the project is still in need for further financial support, as well as experienced crew members.

 
 
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