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January 10th, 2005

The Kozo Moves to Hong Kong Q&A
or Restraining orders are unnecessary

     In the wake of the last Life with Kozo column, Night and Day and the Loss of Words, the home office received numerous e-mails containing congratulations, well-wishes, and the occasional "Stop yer bitching" comments. Thankfully, comments were more congratulatory than caustic, and were very appreciated by the Webmaster AKA Kozo AKA Me. At the same time, many of the e-mails contained questions pertaining to my upcoming move, and some questions got asked by more than one reader. Even though this isn't really a FAQ, I thought that a minor edition of Life with Kozo might be a good idea to clarify certain things glossed over and/or ignored in that last column. It also gives me more excuses for snarky, inappropriate commentary, but that's a given where this website is concerned.
     I do hope to reply to all those e-mails personally, though the actual carrying out of those plans is not a guaranteed one. Nevertheless, I'll try my best, and if a personalized response is slow in arriving, I apologize in advance. Also, please note that if your e-mail was derogatory or just plain mean, you will be bumped to the back of the pack, if not ignored entirely. I would apologize for that, but I probably wouldn't mean it.
     Here we go:

  • You're moving to Hong Kong!!! What the hell are you whining about?
    Once upon a time I was accepted into New York University. At the time I was stoked beyond reason and thought the move from the West Coast to the East Coast would be the greatest thing to happen to me—ever. Well...I was wrong. Most of the blame is obviously mine, since at the time I was a snot-nosed teenager with the emotional maturity of a soggy tissue. I guess the lesson there—aside from "stop being a snot-nosed teenager"—would be "try to be realistic" or "hope for the best and prepare for the worst". My whining = preparing for the worst. My hoped-for best: complete domination of Hong Kong, with an eye towards the rest of Asia. I figure it'll take me two years to accomplish that.
  • You can't speak Cantonese? Why not?
    My parents are Taiwanese; ergo, they don't speak Cantonese. Moreover, I'm atrocious at learning new languages, as my reliance on stuff like irony, sarcasm, and pretentious wordplay translates like crap. That said, I hope to actually learn conversational Cantonese, though I doubt I'll ever be able to fully understand Stephen Chow's earlier comedies. If you think that means I'm not qualified to review Hong Kong movies...congratulations!
  • You have thousands of readers? Since when?
    My assertion that I have "thousands" of readers was maybe a little presumptuous. While site polls and correspondence lead me to believe that the readership is close to the hundreds, daily visitor totals are roughly 8000, with a monthly tally of close to 250,000. Whether I can use that number to assume "thousands" read the site every week is debatable, especially since my knowledge of how the Internet works is spotty at best. Maybe it's just people looking at pictures.
  • Can we expect more "Kozo in Hong Kong" movie location features after you move?
    I would like to say "yes" automatically, but there are issues: 1) Time. 2) Screencaps. I'm not dragging my entire library of HK DVDs with me, so even if I find the location of the "Riverdance" car crash pileup from Para Para Sakura, I won't be able to provide any backup. 3) Saturation. If you live in Hong Kong, you'll know this: HK movie locations are EVERYWHERE. I may have to start picking and choosing, or I could have a camera permanently glued to my face. Besides, is the location where Sammi Cheng lost her "love amulet" in Needing You really a newsworthy event? Speaking of which, I do have that photo, and it'll be featured on the site in a future update.
  • Can we expect more personally-themed, expatriate-flavored "Life with Kozo" columns?
    I suppose this is possible, and considering my penchant for long-winded self-reflection, I'll certainly have the material. The main reason I'd be afraid of turning Life with Kozo into a regular blog is that people (presumably) come to this site for film reviews, and not info about some guy who insults their favorite stars. Sure, a few people do enjoy the Life with Kozo columns, and I'm grateful to hear from them. However, at this time, I believe that "a few" is the operative term.
  • I don't come to LoveHKFilm to read about you! Why are you writing these long columns when you could be writing more reviews?
  • Which stars will you stalk?
    None. The only reason I will ever follow a celebrity is if they drop their wallet/purse and I happen to pick it up.
  • Don't you want to meet any Hong Kong celebrities?
    I wouldn't particularly mind meeting any Hong Kong celebrities, but I'd only want to do it if it made sense. I'm not going to bother a celebrity for an autograph, or wait in line for a glimpse of them. Basically, they're people too, so if I bump into one in Hong Kong Park, I'm going to leave them alone. If, for some reason, I get introduced to one, I'll be glad to shake their hand—or, in the case of Edison Chen, chuck my copy of Gen-Y Cops at his head. Then I'll ask if he's "balling".
  • Will you make an effort to have a peace summit with Ekin Cheng?
    If there is a celebrity I will make an effort to meet, it's Ekin Cheng. I assume he's never heard of this site, nor cares if he has. Either way, a photo of he and I together would be the crowning achievement of If it ever happens, I'm going to close the site down immediately and retire like Michael Jordan did after threepeating with the Bulls.
  • Don't you think living in Hong Kong will make you love its cinema even more?
    I certainly hope so. However, the impression I get from most Hong Kong people I've met is that the cinema is a distraction at best, and an embarrassment at worst. What happens if people start looking down on me for running such an elaborate site about something so frivolous? If pretty girls scoff at me for running the site, you can bet I'll rethink it's value. Either that, or I'll make them pay for dinner.
  • How did you get the YesAsia job? Did you approach them or did they approach you?
    They approached me. At one point, I might have considered asking them for a job, but not for one in Hong Kong. Honestly, I would never have actively pursued relocation, but once it was offered, I thought about it seriously. Then I said, "Why the hell not?" The rest is history.
  • Now that you're an employee of YesAsia, does that mean they own
    No, they don't own It still belongs to me, though the value of that will continue to be debatable.
  • What if you insult a movie YesAsia is trying to sell? Is that now taboo?
    Nope. Despite my job and the omnipresent YesAsia links, will continue to insult as many films and filmmakers as it possibly can. Of this, you have my solemn word.
  • I live in the United States. Can you tell YesAsia to sell me the Hong Kong version of a film? Miramax can't stop them from doing that, can they?
    Ugh. If any topic needed a whole series of columns about it, this would be it. The debate about what can and cannot be sold to the United States is a rather new one in this time of the Internet and its unparalleled access to products worldwide. Frankly, I'm all for allowing true fans to get their hands on whatever products, but the territorial pissing that goes on is something that may one day have to be settled in a higher court of law. I can see why Miramax, Tartan, Tai-Seng, or whoever might have a leg to stand on here, but the biggest loser in this whole argument is the fans. Repeat: the fans lose in this deal. I wish I could change that, but at this time I have no clue how to.
  • Can you get me a discount on YesAsia products?
    No. This has been the most frequently asked question since I announced my new job, which means that it automatically becomes the request that I will least likely fulfill.
  • I want to move to Hong Kong! Get me a job at YesAsia too!
    Uh...this is not really within my power, though who knows? If I fulfill my plan to take over Asia, I'll probably be able to do this for you.
  • I'm going to Hong Kong in [insert month here]. Can you show me around when I visit?
    Probably not. For one thing, I'm not the best person to show people around town, as my experience is largely given to urban areas and places with lots of McDonald's. For another thing, I'll be working a day job, which makes trips around town next to impossible. If you're planning on visiting Hong Kong, I would be glad to perhaps give you a couple of pointers, and even meet you for a cup of coffee. However, don't expect me to do the heavy lifting. I will not go to the airport to meet you.
  • Do you plan on breaking into the Hong Kong film industry?
    My dream is to get dumped by one of the Twins in a Hong Kong movie. Either that, or get killed by Roy Cheung in a triad knife fight. Hey, if someone thinks I can offer something to the Hong Kong film industry, they're welcome to contact me, but I have neither the talent nor the charisma to be a star. If you factor in looks, the possibility becomes even less. I'd be game to try my hand at writing a screenplay, but chances are nobody would want to make what I write. After I kill off Edison Chen in the first reel, the producers would fire me.
  • Hey, your experience moving to Hong Kong sounds like a great screenplay. Do you think you'll write it one day?
    I don't currently have plans to write a screenplay. My last attempt at a screenplay was probably worse than Wong Jing's work, though it was also written ten years ago. Currently I'm more of a prose guy than a screenplay guy. Does this mean my prose is better than my screenplay work? Absolutely not.
  • Will you get involved with triads?
    Only if I have to. I plan on avoiding eye contact with anyone who has a tattoo, or wears leather pants. If they have a tattoo AND wear leather pants then I plan on running away.
  • How long do you think it'll take before you get arrested for following Sammi Cheng?
    This will never happen. If I follow Sammi Cheng it will be because she dropped her wallet and I happened to pick it up. However, I could get arrested anyway because that would be a violation of the restraining order.
  • Hey, maybe you'll find Mrs. Kozo in Hong Kong. Whaddya think?
    Um...this is a topic that probably could take at least a couple of Life with Kozo columns, and if I ever chose to write them I'm sure I would lose approximately 50% of my readers. I'd like to meet Mrs. Kozo period, but my chances have never been great. And if I ever called her Mrs. Kozo to her face, that would be the end of my chances.

-- Kozo, 1/10/2005


Life with Kozo

The Featured Graphic
It's box office princess Miriam Yeung, cosplaying as Sayla Mass from the ever-popular
Mobile Suit Gundam Japanese anime. Why she's doing this is unknown, but the existence of this photo must satisfy a random fantasy of at least two or thre

e individuals in existence. We have no idea who those individuals are, but they've got to be out there. You know who you are.
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