29th , 2003
of the Day
or "Why I put up with crap"
another year is over. In that time, LoveHKFilm.com
has upped its ranking from the 956th most popular HK Cinema
website to the 472nd, meaning we're really climbing that ladder.
If we can get to 234th place by 2005, we'll officially be
on a tear. Let's all clap facetiously. I'd like to thank my
parents, the rest of my extended family, and the multitudes
of people who visit this website for their periodic fill of
Hong Kong Cinema related crap. Those who DO NOT stop here
will receive absolutely no well-wishes, but are encouraged
to drop by the LoveHKFilm.com
offices in sunny Los Angeles to pick up a free DVD, the caveat
being that if they actually do stop by this page their claim
to the free DVD will be null and void. So to get your free
DVD you CANNOT read these words. Woohoo! Loophole!
Yes, there's a catch to everything.
And as I've certainly learned this year, the catches can suck.
The Life with Kozo columns/diatribes have been
a constant fixture of this site for over a year, but since
that fateful day in August where the site hit 1000 reviews,
the column has gone completely to hell, only to be replaced
by a deafening silenceor worse, anti-Miramax screaming
from the masses who are STILL upset over Shaolin Soccer,
a movie we've all seen like 50,000 times. Real life committments
and fatigue got in the way of running this site, and the catch
for that was absolutely no Life with Kozo columns.
Even worse, the site has only logged
42 new reviews since August, which is even more alarming in
light of the site having clocked 900 reviews by March of 2003.
That means March to August, a span of 6 months, gave us 100
reviews. However, August to January, a span of 5 months, produced
only 42, 5 of which are arriving with this very update. The
sum total of all of these figures is this: we're simply not
able to do what we used to do. Or rather, I'm not able to
do what I used to do. Time has grown short, days have grown
shorter, and the impending future threatens our very existence.
Basically, it's not going to
get any easier.
This is not a new thought. Instead,
it's something that's been kicking around for quite a while.
Anyone who's read a previous Life with Kozo
knows this: if we aren't making fun of Ekin Cheng, we're grousing
about how much time it takes to run this wacky web site. Such
grousing is usually followed by a few positive "Cheer
up, pal!" e-mails and some "Stop yer bitching!"
gripes from those who don't like webmasters who bitch. After
all, I get to meet lots of cool HK celebrities, get free DVDs,
and am rich and powerful beyond my wildest dreams. But there's
a catch: none of that is true. LoveHKFilm.com
gets nothing free, I don't know any HK celebrities (SO STOP
ASKING ME HOW TO CONTACT THEM. EVEN IF YOUR REASONS ARE NOBLE
OR HEART-WRENCHING, I CAN DO NOTHING.), and I'm only rich
and powerful in the world of online gaming. And, to be honest,
I'm a nameless schmoe there too.
But the site is still here.
It all starts with love. The
name of this site implies some sort of affection, and in fact,
I have frequently professed to "loving" Hong Kong
Cinema. Such a declaration is actually not easy to come by.
After all, this is an industry who's given us such fine cinematic
wonders as China Strike Force, Para Para Sakura
and My Dream Girl. There's also nearly the entire filmography
of Wong Jing to consider, and the multitudes of crappy Category
III "movies" which serve absolutely no purpose,
not even as coasters for your coffee table. To be able to
watch all those filmsno, to make it your personal responsiblity
to see and write about films of such inept cinematic quality
as Feel 100% 2003 would imply that one either loves
the stuff, or is simply a glutton for punishment. I prefer
to think the former reason, but the latter is gaining ground.
Proof of my masochism lies NOT
with my choice of films (though that could be a whole other
column right there). Proof lies in other things, for example:
why do I put up with the crappy e-mail I get? Aside from the
usual e-mails asking me to stop making fun of Ekin Cheng,
or asking how to contact Shu Qi, there are also the mail requesting
some sort of favor, i.e. "send me all the pictures you
have of [insert celebrity here]", or my new fave: "Where
can I download Hong Kong movies for free?" Let's get
this straight: if I love HK Film, why would I actively promote
the pirating and theft of it? In every way, the downloading
of pirated HK Cinema is WORSE than our pals at Miramax slicing
up our favorite films and then sitting on them for years on
end. Sure, what Miramax
does also sucks, but debating that point is useless by now.
If they want to get all possessive over their films, that's
fine. My suggestion: go get the original DVDs or VCDs anyway.
No matter how much Disney kicks and screams, there will be
a way for you to get a legitimate, uncut version of the film
you want to see. Just pay for it, for gods sake.
Then there are the suggestions,
which sometimes request far more than a simple film to be
reviewed. Some people want different code implented, sweeping
format changes, or simply the re-evaluation of a film which
they liked, but we hated. Requests for "partnership"
aren't much better, because they inevitably come down to this:
"Link to our site and/or give us permission to use your
content/reviews. In return, we will give you...a link!"
That's right, in exchange for the content stored within, I
will receive even more traffic, which leads to more e-mail
and probably more headaches when I discover my review for
Sex and Zen 2 (a poorly-written fluff piece penned
when I was 22) stored on some porn site as advertisement for
a download of the same film.
But hey, I guess that's the
catch. I put this site up because I love HK Film and I love
to writeor at least string a bunch of words into semi-coherent
sentences. I don't really feel like quitting, though the "responsibility"
I have to my readership and the Internet at large can be tiresome.
But keeping the site up invites people to write in and ask
for this, and ask for that, or call me out for my poor treatment
of their favorite idol, or request advertisement for their
new line of Infernal Affairs-inspired cotton swabs.
Or maybe they want my help to sell more DVDs on their website.
In return I will get a free DVD SOMEDAY. That DVD is subject
to approval by x-retailer's governing board, and may not necessarily
be a new film, or even a film. As a result, I expect a free
DVD of "Railroaded: Train Crashes and Collateral Damage
on the World's Wildlife". Yay, just what I wanted.
Still, they're right about one
thing: I should quit my bitching. If I don't want the attention,
or the annoying e-mails, or the weirdos wanting to contact
x-popstar ("Because I love him and am a big fan, and
I want to thank him for bringing so much to my life!"),
I should just shut the whole works down and do something more
constructive, like design fishing lures or studying the fine
art of color coordination. Sadly, the site's current Internet
ranking means we're going to get e-mail, and numerous requests
to help sell DVDs or a special pill which will help "power
up" for the ladies.
Yep, I lied at the opening. LoveHKFilm.com's
HK Cinema site ranking is actually MUCH, MUCH higher than
956 (think barely double digits), and to be honest, ranking
that high can be somewhat gratifying. I can take solace in
the knowledge that even though I get paid zippo, I may have
actually accomplished something. Yeah, the actual accomplishment
is as valuable as a paper car, but it's something not everyone
could do. I may die poor, alone and with a lot of crappy DVDs,
but hey, my web site is popular.
And the catch is I have to put
up with crap.