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The 2016 Golden Horse Awards Live Blog (NOW COMPLETE)

Welcome to our 2016 Golden Horse Awards live blog! Unfortunately, I’ll be flying solo tonight.

You guys know how this works: The latest post will be on top, so scroll to the very bottom if you want to read from the beginning. Just reload the page for the latest updates.

23:55 - And that’s another live blog finished. Thank you all for following for the last 5 hours. And see you in April for the Hong Kong Film Awards!

23:49 - Hong Kong and China are the big winners. A Taiwan film got the most nominations, but it only came out with four awards tonight.

Also, yay, young people! New director wins best film. Two HK directorial debuts won big awards.

23:47 - Very interesting results this year. Either Ann Hui’s jury saw many films deserving of awards or didn’t see one film that was particularly deserving of winning more awards than others. Would love to see the jury explain their choices, but I don’t think they do that at the Golden Horse Awards.

23:45 - And the Best Feature Film Award goes to………THE SUMMER IS GONE. The night’s full of surprises.


23:42 - Finally time for Best Feature Film. Last year’s ceremony ended at 23:32. It’s already 23:42.

Jury president Ann Hui and Golden Hore Chairwoman presenting.

23:34 - Ma Sichun: “I want to thank Dongyu…”

Zhou Dongyu: “Oh I forgot to thank you.”

Ma: “I want to thank Dongyu, because I wouldn’t be here without her. But then again, maybe Dongyu wouldn’t be here without me, either.”

23:33 - “No one else in my family is in the movies, so I think I’ve really done my family proud!” - Zhou Dongyu.

23:32 - First thing that Zhou Dongyu does is talk about how cold she is. She does go on to thank Zhang Yimou.

23:28 - (Holy crap, that SOUL MATE clip for Zhou Dongyu has a MAJOR spoiler)

And the winner of the Best Actress Award is………Zhou Dongyu AND Ma Sichun for SOUL MATE. I really didn’t see THAT one coming.

Is this the first double acting award ever for the Golden Horse?

23:26 - Feng Xiaogang now gives the Best Actor speech that he wasn’t able to give last year (Guan Hu gave a speech on his behalf).

23:25 - Feng Xiaogang (as last year’s Best Actor winner) and Gwei Lun Mei on stage now to present Best Actress.


23:15 - (Love that the clip they show from GODSPEED is the only scene in which Michael Hui speaks Cantonese)

And the winner for Best Actor is…….Fan Wei for MR. NO PROBLEM. This is his first Golden Horse nomination and win.

23:13 - Chang Chen and Karena Lam now on stage to present Best Actor.

23:10 - Even though BOVARY now has Best Director, Best Feature Film is still up in the air. TRIVISA also getting love from the jury.

23:08 - ANOTHER commercial break.

23:06 - This is Feng’s first Golden Horse as director. He previously won Best Adapted Screenplay for WORLD WITH NO THIEVES and Best Actor for MR. SIX.

23:02 - Time for Best Director now. The winner is………..Feng Xiaogang for I AM NOT MADAME BOVARY. Feng won Best Actor last year for Mr. Six.

That circle really paid off.

“My Mandarin isn’t very good. Can I speak Cantonese?” - Feng Xiaogang.

23:01 - “I’m sure that most of the audience knows what she’s saying, but I have to translate for Hou Hsiao Hsien” - Matilda Tao.

“No need. We worked a film together. We didn’t talk to each other, but we didn’t need to talk. That’s how we finished so quickly” - Hou Hsiao Hsien.

22:59 - Wait, Hou Hsiao Hsien speaks French????? Never mind, they’re speaking English. HHH seems to have forgotten his lines. He’s staring at his notes while Juliette Binoche fills in. This is hilarious.

22:58 - Back to giving out awards now. Hou Hsiao Hsien and Juliette Binoche now on stage to present Best Director.

22:54 - OK, Coco Lee is totally better than Stephanie Sun tonight. No contest.

22:48 - We’re not getting the Best Director award yet because they have to fit in a Coco Lee performance. Guys, it’s getting late.

22:42 - The major MAJOR awards left now. Expect one commercial break per award just to draw things out.

22:39 - Time for Best Original Song. The winner is………OLABOLA. (Arena Cahaya by Zee Avi)

22:33 - Ann Hsu and last year’s Best Original Song winner Suming Rupi on stage now to present Best Original Score.

And the winner is……..Lim Giong for CITY OF JADE. This is his fifth Golden Horse Award.

22:29 - Technical awards all out of the way now. Two music awards, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Film left.

22:26 - Time for Best Art Direction. The winner is………GODSPEED, for its first award of the night.

I think this is the first win for a Taiwan film tonight.


22:23: And the winner for Best Makeup and Costume Design is…DETECTIVE CHINATOWN, for the second win of the night.

22:21 - Joseph Chang and Rhydian Vaughan on stage now to present Best Makeup and Costume Design and Best Art Direction.

22:20 - By the way, we’re in hour four now. The end is in sight!!!

22:17 - Nan Zheng Bei Zhan on stage now to perform the Best Original Song nominee from DETECTIVE CHINATOWN.

22:13 - “All I can wait for is a Lifetime Achievement Award” - says one of the lighting guys.

22:10 - Now a montage that highlights people who work behind the scenes in the movies, from camera operators to makeup to art directors to lighting people.

22:08 - Did Matilda Tao just say that Shu Qi is pregnant? Even she got caught off-guard by that.

22:02 - “Midi Z snuck into Taiwan, right? Oh, he came as a student.” - Asked Hou Hsiao Hsien on the Midi Z introduction clip.

22:01 - CROSSCURRENT, TRIVISA and MAD WORLD now tied at two awards each. Yay, Hong Kong.

21:58 - Shu Qi now on stage solo to present the Taiwan Filmmaker of the Year award to Midi Z. He has two films nominated this year: ROAD TO MANDALAY and CITY OF JADE.

21:57 - Wong also thanks his teacher Patrick Tam (he went to City University).

21:56 - “A script is a film’s soul, and she is my soul” - Wong said about his screenwriter/girlfriend. (Quote corrected)

21:54 - Eric Tsang produced a short film for Wong before taking his award-nominated role in MAD WORLD for no pay. Wong previously participated in the Fresh Wave Short Film Festival and is a co-writer of THE WHITE STORM.

21:53 - The trio is presenting Best New Director (Tsang isn’t nominated for this because of his previous co-directorial credits)

The winner is…….Wong Chun for MAD WORLD.

21:51 - “It seems like everyone who’s been on stage tonight ends up losing. Michael Hui’s in trouble!” - Eric Tsang.

21:49 - Eric Tsang, Bowie Tsang and Derek Tsang (or the Tsang Family) on stage now.

21:45 - Baobu Badulu performing the Original Song nominee from HANG IN THERE KIDS!

21:38 - “There are people in the film industry who had a much harder time than me. I hope the Golden Horse Awards would recognize the people who work behind the scenes more in the coming years.” - Chang Yung Hsiang.

21:37 - Chang says that he can see from the award staff that there are more young people in the industry now.

21:33 - Chang Yung Hsiang takes the stage now, greeted by a standing ovation.

21:31 - Chang is the first screenwriter to win the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Horse Awards.

21:29 - Li has worked on over 30 films with Chang.

21:28 - Kevin Chu and Li Hsing go on stage to present the Lifetime Achievement award to five-time Golden Horse-winning writer Chang Yung Hsiang.

Chang has written over 120 screenplays. I caught one of them - EXECUTION IN AUTUMN - last week in Taipei.

21:26 - Juliette Binoche just got caught yawning on camera.

21:23 - It’s great that the Hong Kong screenwriters are trying to speak Mandarin, but seriously, it’s OK to speak Cantonese.

21:21 - TRIVISA and CROSSCURRENT now tied at two awards each.

21:20 - And the winner of Best Original Screenplay is……..TRIVISA

21:18: CROSSCURRENT is the first film of the night to win more than one award.

Now it’s time for Best Original Screenplay.

21:14: Tian and Lee’s first award: Best Cinematography. (Chung Mong Hong’s nomination clip for extra cheers)Mark

And the winner is….CROSSCURRENT (Mark Lee).

This is Mark Lee’s seventh Golden Horse win. Lee’s younger brother accepts the award on his behalf.

This is also the second consecutive year for Lee to win, after he picked up the award for THE ASSASSIN last year.

21:11 - Tian Zhuangzhuang and jury member Angelica Lee now on stage to present the next awards.

Tian is one of the stars of Sylvia Chang’s recently wrapped film.

21:07 - Another commercial break as we go into hour three now.

21:05- Lin and Song stick around to present Best Animated Short Film. There’s no Best Animated Feature film nominee this year, by the way.

And the winner for Best Animated Short Film is…….Redic Hsu’s WANDER IN THE DARK

21:02 - Ying says that he based his film on two short stories by the same author, but he was unable to list the source material in the credits “due to the situation in Hong Kong.”

21:00 - Ariel Lin and Song Seung-heon on stage now to present Best Live Action Short Film.

Ariel Lin showing off her Korean skills. Nice.

And the winner is……..Ying Liang’s A SUNNY DAY.

This is Ying Liang’s first short film shot in Hong Kong.

20:57 - A quick recap of last night’s winners: THE SUMMER IS GONE for the FIPRESCI Award and I AM NOT MADAME BOVARY for the Audience Award.

20:55 - The Golden Horse Awards received over 500 submissions this year, setting a new record. The jury stands up for their time in the spotlight. Ann Hui is the jury president.

20:51 - Leah Dou (Faye Wong’s daughter) on stage now to perform the theme song from SOUL MATE, nominated for Best Original Song tonight.

20:43 - An hour and a half in, and no film has won more than one prize tonight. A really interesting race this year.

20:42 - Time for Best Supporting Actor now. The winner is…..Lin Po Hung for AT CAFE 6. Did not see that one coming, either.

Lin was a contestant on singing competition A MILLION STARS, which Tao hosted.

20:36 - Mei Feng is co-writer Huang Shi’s teacher at the Beijing Academy of Film. MR. NO PROBLEM is a teacher-student collaboration.

Mei Feng last won the Golden Horse for SPRING FEVER.

20:32 - Time for Best Adapted Screenplay. Sandra dares Peter Chan to just say SOUL MATE.

The winner is……MR. NO PROBLEM.

20:31 - “Only 12 people in Taiwan has seen it [he means the jury], because SOUL MATE can’t be distributed here - unless Derek Tsang wins Best Director tonight.” - Peter Chan. Films that win the Best Director or Best Film award at the Golden Horse can bypass the annual quota for Chinese films in Taiwan.

20:28 - Tao makes an effort to go shake the hands of the performers. Nice.

Next up are Peter Chan and Sandra Ng.

Chan’s production SOUL MATE has seven nominations. “How many people in Taiwan has seen it?” - Sandra asks in a hilarious Beijing-accent Mandarin.

20:24 - Zee Avi and Alvin Wee performing the theme song from OLA BOLA now.

Damn, I forgot to look for that OLA BOLA DVD when I was in Taiwan last weekend.

20:21 - With a few more technical awards on the way, we may not know which film is the frontrunner for some time.

20:20 - Another commercial break.

20:17 - And now the in memoriam segment, with an instrumental version of A BETTER TOMORROW’s theme song playing in the background.

20:15 - Elaine Jin is in tears. The last time she won a Golden Horse Award was 22 years ago for Edward Yang’s A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION.

20:14 - And the winner of Best Supporting Actress is….Elaine Jin for MAD WORLD.

20:11 - Fan presents another award. She recalls how she couldn’t make it to the ceremony the last time she was nominated and won Best Supporting Actress for THE MATRIMONY.

Fan now presents Best Supporting Actress.

20:08 - In case you’re keeping count. CROSSCURRENT at one, TRIVISA at one, LE MOULIN at one, MOJIN THE LOST LEGEND at one, DETECTIVE CHINATOWN at one, and THE SUMMER IS GONE at one.

20:07 - Fan is presenting Best Sound Effects.

The winner is…….CROSSCURRENT

20:05 - Nadow joins Tao on the stage now to introduce the next presenter: Fan Bingbing. Nadow runs up to escort her to the microphone.

Fan is nominated for Best Actress tonight for I AM NOT MADAME BOVARY.

20:00 - Second commercial break now.

19:59 - Producer of LE MOULIN gives a shout out in support of legalizing same sex marriage on stage, then reads a speech written by Huang, who’s not at the ceremony tonight.

19:58 - I don’t think I’ve ever seen Michael Hui more nervous when he was trying to say “Best Documentary” in Mandarin.

19:56 - Hui sticks around to present Best Documentary.

And the winner of Best Documentary is…..LE MOULIN by Huang Ya Li. Sorry, Umbrella Movement movie.

19:55 - “Thanks to the director for giving me a chance to become famous”– Kong Weiyi

19:54 - Hui needs a little help pronouncing the winner’s name in Mandarin.

And the winner of Best New Performer is……Kong Weiyi for THE SUMMER IS GONE. Kong gets a cute little pedestal to speak.

19:52 - Hui is present Best New Performer tonight. WEEDS ON FIRE clips included a Cantonese cuss word, by the way.

19:50 - “I was nominated for the Golden Horse and lost to Li Hsing. I thought i would get a lot of nominations, but then I waited for 38 years. How was the last 38 years for you guys?” - Michael Hui.

19:49 - Nadow goes on stage to get rid of some chairs so Tao can speak to Best Actor nominee Michael Hui.

Tao invites Hui onstage to present an award.

19:47 - Joseph Chang, Rhydian Vaughan and Gwei Lun Mei are sitting together. Mind blown.

Performance over. Best Supporting Actor nominee Nadow speak to Tao now.

Nadow is best known in Taiwan as a comedian, which is why he didn’t even expect to be nominated tonight.

19:44 - By the way, tonight’s award ceremony is taking place in Taipei’s Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. No real reason to bring it up. Just killing time.

19:39 - Back from commercial break. Stephanie Sun now on stage to perform.

Sun doesn’t seem to be on her A game with her tonight.

19:33 - First commercial break of the night. It’s time for more pizza.

19:32 - Winner, action choreographer Wu Gang, reveals that Wang Baoqiang had to spend the entire shoot on an injured leg.

Wu Gang was a second generation member of Jackie Chan’s stunt team.The team is now in its 8th generation.

19:31 - And the winner of Best Action Choreography is….DETECTIVE CHINATOWN. Didn’t see that one coming.

19:30 - Ren and Lam stay around for their third award: Best Action Choreography.

Lam Suet jokes that he never has to do any action because he’s always the supporting actor.

19:28 - No one’s getting played off the stage, because Golden Horse is cool like that.

19:23 - Ren and Lam stay to present the Best Visual Effects awards.

And the winner for Best Visual Effects is……MOJIN - THE LOST LEGEND.

19:21 - David Richardson isn’t present tonight. Co-nominee Allen Leung accepts the award and gives his speech in Cantonese. Yau Nai-hoi stands at his side and gives a short speech on David Richardson’s behalf.

Richie Ren: “I don’t have to translate, right?”

19:19 - Best Film Editing is the first award of the night.

And the winner is……TRIVISA! Totally deserved in my book.

19:17 - Tao connects as many dots as possible with a very professional, eloquent introduction, skipping the over-the-top jokes.

Lam Suet and Richie Ren presenting the first award of the night.

Lam Suet asks Ren to bring out some vases for the judges - That’s a TRIVISA joke.

19:16 - Johnnie To didn’t make it to the awards, despite being nominated. His TRIVISA directors are present at the ceremony, though.

19:15 - Eric Tsang and Peter Chan are just separated by a set of stairs. Chan produced SOUL MATE, Derek Tsang’s solo directorial debut. Of course, Eric Tsang and Peter Chan have worked together for years.

19:14 - [About Derek Tsang] “He started in catering and worked his way up for 15 years. No one gets into the Golden Horse using their fathers.”

19:13 - “This year is about passing the torch. There were 85 new directors in the submissions this year.”

19:11 - Matilda Tao, the host for tonight’s ceremony takes the stage. She’s an old-school veteran television host. Very professional.

19:09 - Now a montage of the nominees.

19:06 - The awards begin with Chang Chen on stage speaking about his experience on Edward Yang’s A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY

A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY was his first film. 2016 marks its 25th anniversary.

The cast and crew of the film now join Chang on stage.

19:03 - Shu Qi being oddly awkward on the red carpet, not really answering anything for some reason.

Oh, look it’s Juliette Binoche.

19:00 - Here we go! The 53rd Golden Horse Awards has officially begun….and we’re still on the red carpet.

Shu Qi making her way down the red carpet now.

18:57 - Star Movies Chinese here in Hong Kong has TRIVISA lined up as the post-awards movie. I really hope that it does win something.

18:53 - I neglected to mention one film in my preview: SOUL MATE. The friendship drama has been gathering some traction locally and may pick up a surprise award or two. Zhou Dongyu is really great in it.

18:50 - 10 minutes away. Be sure to take a look at the list of nominees to follow along tonight.

18:40: And we’re off! Star Chinese Movies is still showing DETECTIVE CHINATOWN, but some of the awards have already been decided:

The Audience Award goes to I AM NOT MADAME BOVARY
The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to scriptwriter Chang Yung-Hsiang

The Golden Rock 2016 Golden Horse Live Blog - Preview


November is here, and that means it’s time for the Golden Horse Awards again! With no festival friendly front-runner this year, that means everything is up for grabs. As we have done over the years, we will be following the whole thing from our headquarters in Hong Kong and bringing the latest results to you live, filtered for political correctness (come on, we still have to make a living here).

As per tradition, the live-blog will be super low-tech and likely the last time this blog will see an update this year. All you have to do is come to this blog (, click on the live blog post, and reload it to see the latest updates. If it’s too hard for you to figure it out, then talk to your doctor to see if the internet is right for you.

If you need a refresher, here is the list of nominees. We have Chung Mong-hong’s GODSPEED leading the way with 8 nominations. Despite a fantastic performance by Michael Hui, it doesn’t have the critical acclaim of TRIVISA or Midi Z’s ROAD TO MANDALAY or Feng Xiaogang’s I AM NOT MADAME BOVARY. I predict that there won’t be a sweep, just as the jury chose to spread the awards evenly between ASSASSIN and THANATOS DRUNK last year. Ann Hui and the rest of her jury have really tough choices to make this year.

As always, the show starts at 19:00 Hong Kong Time (That’s GMT+8, go to World Time Server if you need some help with the time difference). The blog will start around 18:50 Hong Kong Time and run for about 4 and a half hours.

I’ll try to be on Twitter when I’m not frantically trying to find English names for things or doing research, so follow me @TheGoldenRock. Use the hashtag #GH2016 to comment on the winners, losers and people who just happen to show up without being nominated for anything.

Hope to see you all on Saturday night!

How Netflix can save Hong Kong cinema



Last month, Netflix announced that it was finally expanding worldwide, ending months of speculation about when the company’s expansion to Asia will happen.

Unfortunately, the excitement lasted for only about five minutes.

I briefly ranted on East Screen West Screen about people (including journalists for local media) who immediately complained about what’s not on Hong Kong Netflix (including this article with one of the dumbest headlines I’ve ever seen from said paper) because only a few old shows exist within their narrow eyesight. I asked for audiences to give existing Netflix shows like Master of None, Making a Murderer, Bloodline and Narcos a chance and to not give up on them just because they don’t see Sherlock.

But never mind that for a second.

In addition to the #NetflixAnywhere announcement at CES, Netflix also said that they are working with local storytellers to develop local content. The company has already created two original shows in Japan in association with partner Fuji Television: a new season of reality show Terrace House and series Underwear (or Atelier, as it’s known elsewhere). Asian countries included in the announcement were Korea and Cambodia.

So what about Hong Kong?

The Hong Kong entertainment industry may have been self-sufficient in its golden days, but it became the influential industry that it was because it reached out to audiences beyond Hong Kong. Even when it was successful in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, Hong Kong creators and companies made their content according to their rules and pandered to audiences their own ways. Unfortunately, the money from those two regions eventually dried up, local box office revenue dropped significantly, and the number of productions dropped from under 200 to just roughly 50 a year.

And then came the China Money.

Hong Kong-China co-productions were able to bypass import quotas, which means Hong Kong filmmakers can bring their crew into China and work with the budgets that they have always dreamed of. They were making glossy films with big budgets for potentially hundreds of millions of people and make back the money that they thought they’d lost. We can go on and on about doing it for the art and the fans, but Hong Kong cinema has always been first and foremost an industry driven by profits. In an industry, its labor force can’t work with tight wallets for their entire lives.

What’s the price of the China Money? Pandering to a new group of audiences that not all filmmakers know how to pander to. Working in a system that has rules that can be bent for them or against them at any time. Of course, directors in a commercial filmmaking industry will never have 100% creative freedom. Peter Chan even insinuated in interviews that studio interference in Hollywood is just as bad as Chinese censorship.

But that doesn’t mean that every Hong Kong filmmaker should succumb to the China market, and it doesn’t mean that co-productions automatically spell success. Raymond Wong’s attempts at reviving his comedy brands for China didn’t spell big box office in China, and Mabel Cheung’s A TALE OF THREE CITIES became one of the biggest bombs in recent memory. For every China-made film that does well in Hong Kong, there are three more that flop because Hong Kong audiences ignore a film when they get a whiff of the China Money. LOST IN HONG KONG, MOJIN THE LOST LEGEND, DRAGON BLADE, WOLF TOTEM were all buried at the Hong Kong box office.

Last month, Chief Executive CY Leung announced that building more cinemas would help save the Hong Kong film industry. Perhaps CY meant saving the part of the film industry that serves the real estate market, because this measure only makes sense if Hong Kong instills a protectionist quota that forces these new cinemas to show local films. Until that happens, it’s all Hollywood, all the time.

And now we come back to Netflix.

Netflix is footing a US$50 million bill for a Bong Joon-ho film. It paid US$12 million to distribute Beasts of No Nation. It offered US$20 million to buy Birth of a Nation (It didn’t get it, but it was at least willing to pay that much). Spending only half that money on a film would be considered a major production in Hong Kong. Less than half the money produced Infernal Affairs!

(To be fair, half that money would not produce Infernal Affairs today because the China Money has inflated all the stars’ salaries.)

Netflix may have expanded globally, but it can’t shake the reputation that it’s a distribution platform for American shows. If Netflix truly wants to be a global network, then it has to carry more diverse content that it offers now.

I’ve defended the reason for Netflix’s less-than-perfect selection is because that the company has yet to convince enough content owners to provide global rights. That was the network’s entire reasoning for producing its own content in the first place. And this is where Hong Kong’s established entertainment industry can help.

Not every Hong Kong filmmaker or storyteller wants the China Money. They want the money, sure, but they may not want to pay the price for it. Netflix offers an alternative for those creators, and it doesn’t even have to pay a lot for it. It can get a decent local production for a fraction of what they’re pay for films in the US thanks to a proper local infrastructure for film productions, and creators get a chance to transmit Hong Kong stories to the world without the anxiety of censors breathing down their neck.

In other words, Netflix can save the Hong Kong film industry. Or the Taiwan film industry. Or the Singapore film industry. For the interest of this blog, let’s just say Hong Kong for now.

What does Netflix have to do? Provide the budget in return for global rights, give creators freedom (surely it can’t be 100%, but as much as it can afford) to tell the stories they want to tell, and promote the films at a reasonable scale when the time comes. Netflix wants subscribers, and promoting diverse content - especially original content made by well-known creators in the region - will help Netflix’s reputation as a content provider, not as some website with American TV.

What do Hong Kong creators have to do? Drop the notion that a film is only valuable when it’s been shown in the cinema. Get it shown in Hong Kong cinemas or at film festivals around the world before letting it go to VOD, but don’t let them be the reason to NOT consider the Netflix model. Remember that #NetflixEverywhere means an untapped global audience that wouldn’t otherwise see your film (if Netflix holds up its end of the bargain with a decent promotional effort). Drop all old notions of how cinema should be distributed and embrace the video-on-demand revolution.

As for television? Content owners - and that includes HKTV - need to drop their fantasy of having everyone go to their platform purely for their content. No, I don’t want to download Clickplay just to watch one company’s films and download an HKTV app to watch HKTV’s programming. Ad money is important, but getting distribution is equally important to sustain a television station. Of course, before that even happens, TV stations  has to first raise its game to the level of its counterparts in the west. Hell, I’ll even take counterparts in Asia.

So can we finally stop worrying our VPNs and start worrying about what Netflix can really do for us?


Why Ten Years is the most important Hong Kong film in years



In the past three weeks, one film has been at the tip of young people’s tongues in Hong Kong, and it ain’t Star Wars.

Produced by Ng Ka Leung, Ten Years is an omnibus film featuring five shorts centered around a single question: What will Hong Kong be like ten years from now? In one film, a taxi driver struggles to keep his living after Mandarin becomes the dominant language. Another film peels back a mystery surrounding the identity of a self-immolation protester outside the British consulate. Another about ta grocery store owner whose son has joined the red scarf-wearing youth brigade.

In case you can’t tell by now, the shorts clearly highlight a certain anxiety over Hong Kong’s political situation; anxiety over losing Hong Kong’s unique culture, anxiety over “mainlandization”, anxiety over the death of Hong Kong as we know it. It’s activist cinema filtered through the perspective of the Umbrella Movement generation.

Despite the misfortune of opening in one cinema on the same day as Star Wars, the intensely political film has been playing to sold-out shows for the past three weeks. It has since spread to five screens and made HK$2.2 million - astonishing for a release of such limited scale.

What sets Ten Years apart from the countless speeches and satiric videos we’ve seen from liberal (or Pan-Democrat) activists, politicians and artists? One word: Storytelling.

As effective as a great speech can be, didactic lectures appeal only to those who are already subscribing to what you’re selling. The same goes for satire - sure, it’s funny to people who know what’s being made fun, but it’s not going to win the hearts and minds of those who haven’t been won over.

What Ten Years takes advantage of is mankind’s most important tool. The art of storytelling is how we learn our history, our sense of morals, our beliefs. Our love for storytelling has exploded into art forms that can be bought and sold. Billions of dollars are made from storytelling in various formats, from books to films and even to music, because it is our most effective form of communicating ideas to one another. Remember how Han Solo won over the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi? C3PO’s storytelling skills.

By projecting the anxiety of liberal Hong Kong into these stories, the filmmakers make a strong, emotional case for what Hong Kongers should be worried about in the future - forced assimilation into China, loss of civil liberties, the ongoing re-colonization of Hong Kong. In other words, Ten Years may have what it takes to bring people over from the other side. The film shows a scary situation, and the film may just be what’s needed to wake people up.

Hong Kong cinema began as a commercial industry, and it has always been driven by commercial needs. There may have been a period of artistic innovation in the 80s, but young filmmakers now face an entire generation of gatekeepers with plenty of excuses to maintain status quo.

Hong Kong cinema has been limping for years, struggling - and failing - to find another critical success that would put it back in the global spotlight. Meanwhile, local audience drown in the waves of nostalgia, still clinging to films with stars of the past as the local entertainment industry fails to build up a new generation of talents worthy of take the torch.

That’s why Ten Years come as a breath of fresh air. It’s a socially and political relevant film that’s mostly well-made. It doesn’t cover itself with schmaltzy sentimentality. It holds up a binocular in front of Hong Kong and tells them this may be what they see on the other side. If the filmmakers can get enough people to look, Ten Years may one of the most important film Hong Kong has made in years.

See Kozo’s review of the film here.


The Golden Rock 2015 Golden Horse Awards Live Blog (Complete)

Welcome to our 2015 Golden Horse Awards Live Blog! This year, we’re once again joined by special guests Dana Fukazawa and Coco Shen for commentary. They’ll be identified as D and C throughout the night.

The blog will be updated throughout the night. To see the latest update, just reload the page. The updates go from bottom to top.

23:32: And we’re wrapped for the night! A long night, lots of surprises, and a few films to catch up on. Thanks for following us tonight, and thanks to special guests Dana Fukazawa and Coco Shen. See you next March for the Hong Kong Film Awards!

23:30: This is the first time a Hou Hsiao-Hsien film won Best Picture at the Golden Horse Award.

23:29: The Best Picture Award goes to: THE ASSASSIN. Five awards total. Top winner of the night.

23:26: Jury president Chen Kuofu and TOUCH OF ZEN star Xu Feng now on stage to present Best Picture.

23:22: Final award Best Picture after this commercial break. I hope.

23:17: Finally. The Best Actress Award goes to: Karena Lam for ZINNIA FLOWER.  

23:15: We were supposed to be passing this award out 15 minutes ago. It hasn’t happened yet.

23:11: Finally time for the Best Actress award. Chen Shiang Chyi and Lee Kang-Sheng presenting.

23:08: And now a performance by Jonathan Lee dedicated to the nominees before the Best Actress Award.

23:05: We’re in our fifth hour now, and we start with a montage of the Best Actress nominees.

22:57: “Actually, I should be receiving the Best New Actor award.  Now that I’ve won Best Actor, I won’t have a chance at that award anymore.” - Feng Xiaogang’s speech.

22:56: Guan Hu said that he forced Feng Xiaogang write an acceptance speech this afternoon. Guan now reading it from his phone.

22:53: The Best Actor Award goes to: Feng Xiaogang for MR. SIX! The sole nominee that didn’t show up.

22:50: Lin Chiling reminds me that she acted in a Japanese drama as she serves as Tsumabuki’s translator. That was a bad memory.

22:49: Satoshi Tsumabuki now on stage to present Best Actor.

22:46: Three awards to go. Time for Best Actor.

But first, some hosts banter. Lin Chiling picks Mickey Huang up in her awkward dress.

22:40: HHH says he would like to keep shooting films set in the Tang Dynasty, now that he’s done it for THE ASSASSIN.

22:39: “I haven’t received this in a while.” - Hou Hsiao-Hsien. He forgets the name of his crew.

22:38: The Best Director Award goes to: Hou Hsiao-Hsien for THE ASSASSIN. 

They sure kept him sweating, though.

THE ASSASSIN and THANATOS, DRUNK now tied at four awards.

22:37: Ang Lee: “Who’s your favorite director?”

Shu Qi: “The one that I haven’t worked with.”

Shu Qi has not worked with Ang Lee. She was supposed to be in CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, but couldn’t do it.  

22:35: Time for Best Director. Shu Qi and Ang Lee presenting. Will HHH get his day on stage?

Ang Lee asks Shu Qi whether she has to wear such tall shoes.

22:33: The Best New Director award goes to: Bi Gan for KAILI BLUES.

22:32: Back and we have Chen Jianbin on stage to present Best New Director. 

22:25: Before stepping into the major awards, we get the in memoriam segment.

22:20: Time for Original Music Award for Best Film.

The Original Music Award for Best Film goes to: THANATOS, DRUNK for its fourth award. Things are really looking up for THANATOS.  

22:15: The award for Best Original Film Song goes to: WAWA NO CIDAL/PANAY

22:14: Stone and Ann Hsu now on stage to present the two music awards.

22:11: Lin Chiling: High school girl, award show host, and now lip-syncing for Eason Chan. Can’t say she’s not hardworking.

22:09: Time for the fifth Best Original Film Song. Eason Chan will NOT be singing the song from OFFICE. Instead, it’s Lin Chiling.

Lin Chiling is not actually singing. She’s just lip-syncing.

22:00 Moving right along as we enter the 4th hour. Gwei Lun-Mei presents Best Film Editing.

The award for Best Editing goes to: THANATOS, DRUNK, for its third award. Now it’s tied with THE ASSASSIN.  

Chang Tso-chi is the winner, but clearly he can’t make it. Two actors from the film go on stage.

21:58: The Best Action Choreography Award goes to: THE MASTER.

21:57: Gwei Lun-Mei now on stage to present Best Action Choreography. She seems amazed that she played an action girl in FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE.

21:55: As we near our 4th hour, another montage for women doing martial arts (?)

21:52: The Best New Actor Award goes to: Lee Hong-chi for THANATOS, DRUNK. The second win for the film tonight.

21:50: Eason Chan now on stage to present Best New Performer.

21:44: Doze Niu brings out the statue for Hou Hsiao-Hsien.

HHH: “This is the first time I brought my wife to the Golden Horse Awards.”

21:41: Of course, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year Award is for THE ASSASSIN, so it’s going to be a bit awkward when it doesn’t win the major awards, right?

21:38: D: “HHH must be thinking, ‘why did they ask Kevin Chu to give this to me?! Ang Lee is sitting right there. Wang Tong is here too!’”

21:37: Li leaves the stage without giving a speech. Seems to not be in the condition to give one.

Next to Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year, going to Hou Hsiao-hsien. Award is presented by Kevin Chu and Sylvia Chang.

21:36: Li is pushed out on a wheelchair, met by a standing ovation.

21:34: Li Lihua has been in 130 films over 40 years.

21:33: Jackie Chan is presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Li Lihua, his godmother and his screen mother.

21:31: Jackie Chan on stage now. My guests wonder if Kai Ko ran into him backstage.

21:28: A few surprises tonight and still no clear indication of a ASSASSIN sweep yet. Interesting results.

21:26: ASSASSIN still the leader of the night with three awards.

21:24: The winner of Best Adapted Screenplay is: THARLO. Second ASSASSIN loss of the night

21:22: Giddens and Kai Ko still on stage, to present Best Adapted Screenplay.

21:19:  Time for Best Original Screenplay.

The winner for Best Original Screenplay is: MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART. 

21:18: Kai Ko and a crazy-haired Giddens on stage now.

21:17: Finally over. First costume change by the hosts as they try to decipher the Tang Dynasty Chinese in THE ASSASSIN. Chang Chen defers to Hou Hsiao-Hsien.  

21:13: And all three of us just wowed when they pulled out the Leslie Cheung song.

21:06: Stepping into the third hour. Eason Chan and Rainie Yang now on stage to sing a medley of film theme songs.

20:56: “I’ve worked with Hou Hsiao-hsien ten times, and I’ve won three Golden Horse Awards.

20:55: The Best Cinematography Award goes to: Lee Ping-Bing for THE ASSASSIN. Third award of the night.

20:54: Time for Best Cinematography. Will ASSASSIN takes its third award here?

20:50: Time for Best Sound Effects.

The Best Sound Effects award goes to: THE ASSASSIN for the second award of the night

20:49: Alec Su and Ruby Lin (formerly of MY FAIR PRINCESS) now on stage to present awards.

20:47: KAILI BLUES and MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART won the FIPRECI Award and Audience Award, respectively.

20:46: We come back from commercial break with some love for the jury, led by Chen Kuofu.

20:45: No film has more than one award yet tonight. No clear sweep in sight.

20:42: The whole PORT OF CALL team are in tears.

20:39: Michael Ning: ”I want to thank Aaron. I’m a nobody, but I got the chance to act with you. You didn’t look down on me, and you took care of me and supported me.”

20:37: Michael Ning is also nominated for Best New Actor tonight.

Michael Ning suddenly switches to Cantonese mid-way.

20:35: Time for Best Supporting Actor. 

The Best Supporting Actor award goes to: Michael Ning for PORT OF CALL. 

Tonight’s first win for PORT OF CALL

C: “Taiwan doesn’t have a Best Actor, but it has a lot of great Best Supporting Actors!” 

20:34: Did Ha Ji-Won beg Hou Hsiao-Hsien for a job?

20:33: Director Cheng Wei-Hao says he’s the last to speak so he can say that THE TAG-ALONG opens next month.

20:30: DEATH OF A SECURITY GUARD director Cheng Wei-Hao also directed the Golden Horse Film Festival’s closing film THE TAG-ALONG.

20:29: Chang and Ha’s first award is Best Short Film.

The winner of Best Short Film is: THE DEATH OF A SECURITY GUARD. 

20:27: Oh, this whole thing is in English. Poor Chang Chen has to translate everything Ha Ji-Won says.

20:26: Chang Chen and Korea’s Ha Ji-Won on stage now.

20:21: Ding Ke on stage now to sing the theme song for PORT OF CALL.

20:17: Another commercial break.

20:15: Lu Xuefeng will probably hold the record for the longest speech of the night.

“I hope that I’m only the first award for THANATOS, DRUNK tonight!”

20:13: Lu says that their lighting guy worked despite having gout. I feel for him, bro.

20:10: ”I was fortunate to encounter a hard-working team. Without Chang Tso-Chi, there wouldn’t be a Lu Xuefeng.”

20:09: D: “She spent the whole movie drinking and crying!”

20:06: The winner for Best Supporting Actress is: Lu Xuefeng for THANATOS, DRUNK.

Lu was last nominated for WHEN LOVE COMES, also by Chang Tso-Chi.

20:04: The second award for Aaron-Karena is Best Supporting Actress.

This is Elaine Jin’s fifth nomination at the Golden Horse. Jiang Wenli (THE MASTER) is competing with her niece Ma Sichun (LEFT EAR).

20:01: “This award is heavy. Heavy things are worth a lot of money.” says the winner for THE CHINESE MAYOR.

19:59: Their first award is Best Documentary.

The winner of Best Documentary is: THE CHINESE MAYOR

19:57: Golden Horse nominees Aaron Kwok and Karena Lam on stage now to present awards.

Karena: “Congratulations for your third nomination”

Aaron: “Fourth!”

19:56: C: “I’m glad that this performance shows that Taiwan has more than just the Taipei Chili Peppers!”

19:55: WAWA NO CIDAL is also known as PANAY. It’s the opening film of this year’s Singapore Film Festival.

19:51: Suming Rupi on stage to perform the theme song for WAWA NO CIDAL. TOUCH OF THE LIGHT’s Huang Yu-siang on the piano.

19:47: Another commercial break.

19:46: Winner Hwarng Wern-Ying has been working with Hou Hsiao-Hsien since GOOD MAN GOOD WOMAN.

19:44: Time for Best Costume Design.

The winner of Best Costume Design is: THE ASSASSIN. First win of the night.

19:43: Our guests are both happy about OFFICE’s win. That set was impressive.

19:41: Deng Chao’s first award is Best Art Direction.

The winner of Best Art Direction is: OFFICE. THE ASSASSIN’s first loss tonight.

19:39: Deng Chao now on stage to present two more prizes.

19:38: All three of us agree that the award has already gone on too long.

19:34: Back from commercial break with a musical performance. The theme song from THE LAUNDRYMAN, by some kind of Taiwan rock Jesus.

C: “Taiwan Chili Pepper!”

19:29: First ad break of the night. Half an hour. Only two awards given out. Long night ahead of us.

19:27: The winner of Best Animated Feature is: MCDULL ME AND MY MUM. 

19:25: Simon Yam stays on stage for the second award. The Best Animated Feature.

19:23: Best Visual Effects is the first award of the night. My guests think it’ll go to WOLF TOTEM or MONSTER HUNT.

The winner of Best Visual Effects is: THE TAKING OF TIGER MOUNTAIN 

19:22: Simon Yam now on stage to give out the first award of the night.

Simon Yam shows off his Taiwanese to show that he can speak all kinds of languages.

Still don’t know what award he’s giving out.

19:19: Hou Hsiao-Hsien and his “WTF am I doing here” face!  

19:17: Mickey Huang and a much taller Lin Chiling now back on stage as hosts.

19:15: Finally, the long-awaited nominee montage. Here we go!

19:14: C: “Why did they do this to the poor girl? Just get Hebe to sing it with her”

19:12: Best Actress nominee and OUT TIMES star Vivian Sung now sings the OUR TIMES theme song. 

C: “Probably to celebrate it making so much money!”

19:11: Darren Wang from OUR TIMES put in a cameo. Lin Chiling’s ex Jerry Yan (who plays the older version of Darren Wang’s character in the film) shows up on screen for the night’s first applause.

19:08: Eight minutes in. Alcohol opened. Sketch still not over.

19:06: The hosts are using “witty banter” to name all the nominees.

C: “These poor people have to fake their laughter!”

19:04: Lin Chiling walks on stage with a high school uniform. Still not the oldest Taiwanese actor to play a high schooler (That’s Takeshi Kaneshiro for THE CROSSING)

19:03: I guess we can never avoid starting an award show with one of these things. 

Huang: “It’s not easy to sing in front of Eason Chan!”

Sylvia Chang puts in a one-shot cameo.  

19:01: We’re off! Hosts Mickey Huang and Lin Chiling on stage with a song-and-dance sequence.

18:57: In case you need a refresher, here is the nomination list 

18:53: We’re seated and ready to go. Star Chinese Movies isn’t, though. They’re still showing the credits of KANO.

The Golden Rock 2015 Golden Horse Live Blog - PREVIEW


A book that I’m not getting because I’m not at the Golden Horse Awards

It’s that time again, when this blogger blows the dust off this blog space and checks in with yet another awards live blog. This time, we celebrate the best in Chinese-language cinema (mainly Hou Hsiao-Hsien) with this year’s Golden Horse Awards.

As we have done for the past several years, we will be doing a live blog during the course of the show. It will be a super low-tech one, with no auto reload. Instead, you just go into the blog page and reload it yourself. The button’s not hard to find.

This year, I will be joined again by two special guests, who will be adding in the commentary. It was a lot of fun with those two in 2013, and we’re hoping they’ll have fun this year, too.

In case you need a refresher, here’s the nomination list.

The show starts promptly at 19:00 Hong Kong Time (That’s GMT+8, go to World Time Server if you need some help with the time difference). The show ALWAYS go overtime, so expect to follow this thing for a bit more than four hours.

 As always, we will try to engage the readers on Twitter. Follow @TheGoldenRock and post your Golden Horse reactions with #GHA2015 through the night, and we’ll retweet, repost, like, or whatever you Twitter kids do these days when you see something amusing on the internet.

Hope to see you all on Saturday night!

The Golden Rock 2015 Hong Kong Film Awards Live Blog (Now complete)

This is the real thing! There’s only one way to see the latest post, and that’s reloading the page. Clearly, I win at the internet.

Scroll from the bottom up for easier reading, especially if you’re trying to follow four and a half hours worth of updates. Good luck.

22:55: One bottle of beer and two bottles of red wine later, we’re finished with another Hong Kong Film Awards live blog! Thank you all for following, and good night! Time to write my news story now!

22:53: And the winner of Best Film is: GOLDEN ERA. Five awards in total.

22:52: Leave it to Sandra Ng to make the universal suffrage joke.

22:48: Final Award of the night! It’s time for Best Film. Sandra Ng presenting solo.

“Give it to Peter! Give it to Peter!” DF chants.

22:46: She’s going to read all the names that she didn’t get to read at the Golden Horse Awards (she didn’t win AND she was shooting a film in the States).

22:43: The winner of Best Actress is: VICKI ZHAO for DEAREST.

My guests are convinced that Charlene Choi’s tears in SARA are CG’d.

22:42: “I wonder if she says ‘I let you ____ me’ when she argues with her boyfriend” - Nick Cheung

22:40: Sammi Cheng and Nick Chueng on stage now to present Best Actress.

22:35: We may actually make it to the end of this thing before 11 pm!

22:34: “Every time I take off somewhere on my spaceship…you always have a way to bring me back to Earth.” - Lau Ching Wan to his wife.

22:33: “We opened the New York Asian Film Festival last year with OVERHEARD 3. We clearly made the right choice!!!” - DF.

22:31: “I’m so happy that I have some female audiences now, but are you sure you didn’t mistake me for Louis Koo?” - Lau Ching Wan to the LITTLE BIG MASTER girls.

22:30: And the winner for Best Actor is: LAU CHING WAN for OVERHEARD 3. Third award for the film.

My guests were both supporting Huang Bo.

22:28: Each of the child chooses their ideal winner on stage.

22:27: Time for the Best Actor award. Miriam Yeung and the five LITTLE BIG MASTER kids presenting.

22:24: “Honestly, this award won’t make me that much happier, but this is an encouragement. The film may not be perfect, it may be flawed, this film represents a risk worth pursuing.”- Ann Hui

My guests are genuinely shocked. They think Peter Chan should’ve won.

“Community award!” - CS.

22:22: And the Best Director award goes to: ANN HUI for GOLDEN ERA. Fourth award for the film tonight.

22:21: I can’t really translate what Anthony Wong said, but brilliant as always. Best Director award now.

22:18: Last year, Anthony Wong gave a pretty inflammatory monologue. Looks like he’s going to be doing the same this year.

22:16: And we’re at Best Director now.

Anthony Wong (Chau-sang) on stage to present. Let’s see what he comes up with this year.

22:08: And the Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan goes to: COMING HOME. Representative from Edko Films accepted the award.

22:05: Sylvia Chang on stage now to present the Best Film from Mainland China and Taiwan award.

22:03: Richie Ren still on stage for Best Original Song. This may be Ivana Wong’s third win.

And the winner of Best Original Film Song is: ABERDEEN. Ivana Wong goes home two-for-three.

22:02: I’m a huge fan of Ellen Loo, so I’m happy to see her win.

22:00: “They gave it for Space Oddity la” - DF, about the Best Original Score award.

21:58: And the winner of the Best Original Film Score is: THE MIDNIGHT AFTER, the first award for the film tonight.

21:56: Richie Ren on stage to present Best Original Film Score. Speaking in Cantonese.

21:54: Hosts doing a slightly lame gag with old HK film theme songs.

21:53: James Wong tribute performers: Yoyo Sham, Aga, J. Arie and Phil Lam.

21:52: “Looks like Hong Kong music will die before Hong Kong cinema.” - CS, after the James Wong tribute.

21:49: And we just opened our second bottle of red wine.

21:43: Wong died in November 2004, so I assume this is for the 10th anniversary of his death.

21:41: James Wong’s daughter comes out to start the proceedings. Several musicians and singers will be covering his biggest hits.

21:40 Hour 3 starting with the tribute to James Wong.

21:39: Keeping count. The producers have cut off two live performances and two presenters’ speeches tonight.

21:35: My guests having a laugh that a certain producer still getting called a certain director’s wife. Ouch.

21:32: Lee Kwan Long was the props man on all Tsui Hark films. He’s an innovator in terms of robotics and props in HK cinema, including the underwater horse in YOUNG DETECTIVE DEE and the wires in ZU WARRIORS.

21:31: The directing panel messes up again, cutting off Tsui Hark’s speech. This is the second time this has happened.

21:29: Professional Achievement Award now, to be given to veteran props man Lee Kwan Long, a.k.a. “Props Dragon” or “Wire Dragon” or “Set Dragon” or “Special Effects Dragon”

Tsui Hark presenting the award.

21:23: Ivana Wong has the chance of winning all three categories that she’s nominated for. Best Original Song left.

21:21: And the winner of Best Supporting Actress is: IVANA WONG for GOLDEN CHICKENSSSS. This is her second award of the night.

21:20: CS: “Shouldn’t Dize Niu be in jail?!”

21:19: Time for Best Supporting Actress now. Doze Niu and Ethan Ruan on stage to present.

21:18: “Winning a Best Editing award for John Woo shouldn’t be called Best Editing. It should be best castration since his films are all cut in two now” - David Wu.

21:17: Is it a little embarrassing knowing that David Wu is not editing part two of THE CROSSING?

21:16: And the winner of Best Editing is: THE CROSSING PART 1. This is Wu’s second Best Editing win and 11th nomination.

21:14: Cheugn and Chan remain on stage for Best Editing.

21:13: CS: “Actually, everything with this film’s fine except for the writing and the directing!”

21:12: And the winner of Best Cinematography is: THE GOLDEN ERA, the third award of the night.

21:09: Alfred Cheung and Anthony Chan now on stage to present Best Cinematography.

21:06: Years ago, TVB cut to commercial in the middle of the in memoriam segment. Their handling of the awards led to them losing the rights one year until they promised to not do it again.

21:05: Aaaaaaaaaand TVB cuts off Anthony Wong, too.

21:04: Segway Fruit Chan is back!

21:02: Anthony Wong Yiu-ming on stage to perform ABERDEEN’s theme song. Is TVB going to cut him off, too? Oh, he’s not wearing a yellow ribbon. I think he’s safe.

21:00: And the winner of Best Costume & Make Up Design is: THE GOLDEN ERA, the second award of the night. First award win for Man Lim Chung in this category. Ann Hui crying in the audience.

20:58: Idy Wong and Arthur Wong remain on stage to present Best Costume & Make Up Design.

20:56: And the winner of Best Art Direction is: THE GOLDEN ERA. First win for the Ann Hui film tonight.

20:54: Idy Chan and cinematographer Arthur Wong on stage to present Best Art Direction. Of course, my guests are talking about Idy Chan and Chow Yun Fat.

20:53: Just heard that the main feed that produces the HKFA show was by TVB. So they cut off My Little Airport on TV.

20:50: The winner of Best Supporting Actor is: KENNETH TSANG for OVERHEARD 3.

First Supporting Actor win for Kenneth Tsang and second award for OVERHEARD 3.

Tsang is in tears during his speech. “This is for everyone working in Hong Kong cinema.”

20:49: Lam Suet now her co-presenter of this thing. He seems real caught off-guard.

OK, we’re getting on with this thing.

20:48: Carrie Ng inviting all five nominees to the stage. The nominees are all so confused.

20:47: Carrie Ng talking about her history with sex scenes. Now the two hosts leave her alone to present the award by herself.

20:45: Carrie Ng presenting Best Supporting Actor with Gordom Lam and Jordan Chan.

20:44: CS: “Man, there are a lot of dead bosses this year.”

20:41 - TVB forces copyright trademark on an image of a still even during the in memoriam segment.

20:40 - Children’s chorus singing Jacky Cheung’s “Blessings” as the in memoriam segment rolls on.

20:38 - Back from ad break. Miriam Yeung on stage now to introduce the in memoriam segment.

20:33: My Little Airport’s performance just got cut to a commercial break in the middle! My guests are sure it’s because the producers are afraid of My Little Airport saying something inflammatory.

20:31: Just biased. A film with my name on it has now won the HK Film Awards. I co-translated OVERHEARD 3’s subtitles.

My Little Airport now perform GOLDEN CHICKENSSS’ theme song.

20:30: Felix Chong: “This award is for Hong Kong and Hong Kongers.” I’m not exactly sure why.

20:28: The winner of Best Screenplay is: OVERHEARD 3. This is only the second time the OVERHEARD series has won a HK Film Award. OVERHEARD 1 won Best Editing.

20:26 - The producers just cut off the presenters’ banter and went straight to the nominees clip. Ouch

20:25 - Eddie Peng and Tang Wei on stage to present Best Screenplay. This will mostly be in Mandarin, much to CS’ relief.

20:23  - Lots of cheers in the house for David Lee’s win. DF is right: everyone likes him.

20:21 - Tony and Shu Qi remain on stage for Best New Director.

DF: “David Lee (Insantiy) is the most hard-working assistant director in Hong Kong”

The winner of Best New Director is: DAVID LEE for INSANITY

20:20 - Ivana has given the longest speech of the night - and she has two more categories to go. Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song.

20:19 - Technically, Ivana Wong is also a two-time loser of the HKFA already.

20:17 - The winner of Best New Actor is: IVANA WONG for GOLDEN CHICKENSSS

20:15 - Since Ivana Wong took 3 nominations, there are only two other nominees in the Best New Actor category: Candy Cheung for DOT 2 DOT and Jessica Choi for ABERDEEN.

Gordon Lam says CreateHK will give HK$100,000 for the Best New Director winner.

Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Shu Qi now on stage to present Best New Actor.

20:14 - The hosts now talking to Ivana Wong. “What happens if you don’t win anything tonight?!”

20:11 -  And now the best dressed award. Tony Leung Chiu-wai for the men and Sandra Ng for the women.

20:09 - Back from the ad break, but two Now TV hosts still talking.

Best New Actor coming up next. Ivana Wong has 3 NOMINATIONS in this category.

20:04 - First ad break means we’re opening up a red wine.

20:02 - Ivana Wong now performing her nominated theme song from BREAK UP 100.

20:01 - DF: “Oh, Jordan Chan is in sober mode. That’s why he can’t perform tonight.”

20:00 - Yuen Bun is the only one of the four winners to go on stage to receive the award.

19:59 - And the winner of Best Action Choreography is: KUNG FU JUNGLE

19:57 - CS and DF immediately get into Amber Kuo dating rumors. I won’t repeat them here.

19:55 -Amber Kuo and Chin Kar Lok now on stage to present Best Action Choreography.

Yay for CS as another Mandarin speaker shows up.

19:54 - CS is very sad that the only Mandarin speaker of the night is not present to give the speech.

19:53 - Yam and Hui remain on stage to give out Best Sound Effects.

And the winner is: THE CROSSING PART 1

19:52 - Another winner said that his father was the first generation of special effects maker - he was a paper doll maker.

19:50 - One of the winners headed up now-defunct special effects company Menfond.

19:49: And the winner of the Visual Effects award is: RISE OF THE LEGEND 

19:47 - CS: “Imagine all the Mainlanders in the audience. They’re not getting any of this banter!”

19:46 - First award of the night is Best Visual Effects. Director Ann Hui and Simon Yam presenting.

19:44 - Awkward host banter about how the Best Picture nominees are “disasters”. We’re not giving away awards for a while.

19:43 - CS: “High definition is such a cruel invention for the stars…”

19:42 - “Cinema Fantasia” is the theme of this year’s show. And I finally managed to convince DF that the show does not come with subtitles.

19:41 - A Fruit Chan-lookalike passing the stage TWICE with a camera on a segway.

This is Miriam Yeung’s first time hosting the show. Gordon Lam has hosted the show before.

19:40 - Host Gordon Lam introduces the show with a drone shot. Jordan Chan and Miriam Yeung also on stage now.

19:39: The show finally starting now with a montage of old HK special effects-packed films.

19:37: Like all big cultural event shows in Hong Kong, the HK Film Awards is starting late.

19:35 - We’re minutes away from the beginning of the show! DF and CS are WAH-ing at all the red carpet footage.

19:30 - We have an emergency. We’ve already finished most of our food with 4 hours to go!

19:22: CS, who doesn’t speak Cantonese, says “We’re here to judge people, not watch what they’re saying, so it’s OK to not have subtitles.”

19:18 - Now TV poll says audiences want Lau Ching Wan to win for OVERHEARD 3 or for INSANITY. But no one saw INSANITY.

19:17 - We’re still watching the red carpet coverage on Now TV. No more fashion talk!

Dana is already pissed. “Who’s this?! What is happening?!”

19:15 - Tonight, we’re joined by two guest commentators: Dana Fukuzawa (DF) and Coco Shen (CS). They’ll be providing all the snark.

17:53 - Technical test. Watching red carpet coverage now. Lots of fashion talk.

The Golden Rock 2015 Hong Kong Film Awards Live Blog - Preview



It’s the same old song: Because of my busy schedule, I’m only able to come in and waste LoveHKFilm server space twice a year with my awards live blog. This time, it’s the Hong Kong Film Awards, and it’s bound to be another wild show. This year’s hosts are Miriam Yeung, Jordan Chan and Gordon Lam, with performances by My Little Airport, Anthony Wong (Yiu Ming, not Anthony) and Ivana Wong.

As we have done for the last however many years, we’ll be live-blogging everything happening over the course of the nights, from bad host banter to some actual award results.

Check out this year’s nominees list here.  

Once again, the live blog will be done as one single entry, and all you have to do is reload the page to see the latest updates. Yes, I know I can load those auto-refresh whatever code thingamajig, but it’s a one-man operation, and I’m going to ask you guys to make more of an effort while I’m typing furiously at the computer for 4 hours.

Here are the deets:

Date: April 19, 2015

Time: 7:30 pm Hong Kong Time (GMT+8) (go to World Time Server to find the time difference between your region and Hong Kong)

Length: Prepare to waste about 4 to 4 and a half hours on this baby.

I will start a new post that you should be able to enter from the main page, or find the link on my social media networks. If you don’t know what they are by now, you will never, ever, ever know me.

See you all on Sunday night!

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!”


20:14: Mickey Huang: “We should get our Tourism authority to sponsor the awards” after hearing the director saying that he was traveling to Taiwan for the first time.

20:13: If we’re playing the geography game, it’s currently: China - 6, Taiwan - 1, Hong Kong - 0

20:11: And the winner of Best Short Film is THE HAMMER AND SICKLE ARE SLEEPING by Geng Jun.

20:09: Lau Ching Wan and Gwei Lun Mei now on stage to present two awards. Best Short Film.

And Lau Ching Wan’s Mandarin….

20:08: For those keeping score: PARADISE IN SERVICE has 1,  BLACK COAL THIN ICE has 1, BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES has 1, and BLIND MASSAGE has 3

20:06: A lot of local support for KANO, but also rumored to be the film that got the awards a ban in Chinese media. I repeat that this is only a rumor.

20:03: Now, a performance of the Japanese-language folk song in KANO. Though it sounds more like Taiwanese.

Masatoshi Nagase shows up on stage as the couch. Stays around to introduce the Best Picture intro clip in Japanese.

20:02: BLIND MASSAGE opens in China next weekend on the 28th. Not sure if it’ll be an edited version, though.

20:01: And the winner of Best Sound Effects is: BLIND MASSAGE. That’s three consecutive awards for the film!

Winner Fu Kang was also nominated for his work on RED AMNESIA, so he did have a 40% chance of winning.

20:00: Dai and Chen around for a third award: Best Sound Effects.

19:59: The younger winner, who is the student of the older editor, is absolutely speechless. That must be how winning your first Golden Horse feels like.

19:57: If all those rumors about multiple cuts of NO MAN’S LAND is true, then that Best Editing award….

Anyway, the winner is BLIND MASSAGE, its second win out of seven nominations.

19:56: Dai and Chen now present the Best Editing Award.

19:53: And the Best Cinematography award goes to: BLIND MASSAGE. This is the first win out of seven nominations from the film.

Winner Zeng Jian is a second-time winner, but his first win was split among three cinematographers.

19:52: Leon Dai and someone who identifies herself as “not Gwei Lun-mei” (Best Actress nominee Chen Shiang-chyi) now on stage to present. Their first award is Best Cinematography.

19:51: However, another smaller media organization I follow on Weibo is updating live. So…..

19:49: There’s been no confirmation of a Mainland China ban on the Golden Horse award, but Sina Entertainment’s Weibo account has not updated anything since the red carpet. They used to post live updates of the ceremony.

19:48: Wan Qian makes a wish on stage: She says she hopes to return to the stage in the future as the Best Actress winner.

19:46: And the winner of Best Supporting Actress is: Wan Qian for PARADISE IN SERVICE.

PARADISE has now won one and lost one.

19:45: By the way, INSANITY has only been shown once publicly at the Golden Horse Film Festival. I don’t think it has a Hong Kong release date set yet.

19:44: COTTON was the film that took 8 years to shoot, by the way.

Chang and Lee back to present the Best Supporting Actress award. This is the PARADISE IN SERVICE competition, with two actresses from the film nominated in this category.

Trivia: Ivy Chen was nominated at both Golden Horse and the Taiwan equivalent of the Razzies

19:43: And the winner of Best Documentary is: COTTON

19:42: Their first award is Best Documentary. They point out that one film took 8 years to shoot. Another took 10

19:40: Angelica Lee and Chang Chen now on stage to present. Each team of presenters presents two awards.

19:36: I believe Lau Ching Wan and Rubber Band are the only representatives of THE WHITE STORM tonight. Feel free to correct me on Twitter if I’m wrong.

19:34: We’re back with a live performance of the WHITE STORM theme song performed by Rubber Band. In Cantonese!

19:31: First commercial break! That means I can order dinner now.

19:30: Video clip of actors remember their first song. Chen Bl-lin says “I think they used to play the national anthem”. That’s not gonna be well-liked to Mainland audiences watching.

19:28: Director Diao Yinan accepts the award on behalf of the winner, who is currently at work.

19:27: Ruan and Kuo stay to present Best Art Direction.

The winner is BLACK COAL THIN ICE. First win out of 8 nominations 

19:26: Winner dedicates awards to her colleagues

19:25: Star Chinese Movies adds a note on the top right corner, saying that it will be showing BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES. The film has not been shown theatrically in Hong Kong, but the China version DVD has English subtitles.

19:24: And the winner is: BROTHERHOOD OF BLADES. One out of five nominations won.

19:22: Kuo Shu-yao and Ethan Euan now on stage to present the first awards. First up: the Makeup and Costume Design award

19:21: Ella Chen of S.H.E. and TV hosts Mickey Huang are the hosts this year. They’re saying hi to the big guests, including a very confused Nagase Masatoshi

19:17:  Sorry for the delay. Don’t worry, it’s a 4-hour show, and we’re only at the hosts banter right now. 

The Golden Rock 2014 Golden Horse Live Blog - The Preview




Due to my professional and personal obligations (more former than latter, if you’ve seen my work), I haven’t had much time to update this blog. But there are two occasions each year that bring me back with no exception: The Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards. The difference: One speaks (mostly) Cantonese, the other one speaks Mandarin.


(just kidding - there are more Mandarin speakers at the Hong Kong Film Awards now)


November means that it’s time for the Golden Horse Awards! Celebrating the best and brightest in Greater China cinema, this year’s Golden Horse Awards is once again dominated by Mainland China films. Nevertheless, there is strong support in Taiwan for local darling KANO and Gwei “Gooey” Lun Mei, even though her nominated film is a Mainland China film.


As I have done in the past several years, I will once again live-blog the entire Golden Horse Award ceremony from beginning to end. Like last year, there will be less snark, but I guarantee that there will be just as much pointless narration of events happening at the ceremony.  And I once again guarantee that I will not understand 30% of what is said at the awards because of the Mandarin.


Once again, the Live Blog will be done in a single entry that is continuously updated throughout the night. You will have to manually reload the page to see the updates because I don’t have technology like those people who live blog Apple release events.


The awards starts promptly at 19:00 (that’s 7 PM for you lazy 12-hour clock people) Hong Kong/Taiwan time on Saturday, November 22nd. That’s GMT +8 (or just use World Time Server to figure that out).  Expect the awards to run over four hours, which is only one hour longer than THE GOLDEN ERA and about the same length as a Lav Diaz film. I promise it’ll be a breeze.


Depending on my typing speed, I will also be on Twitter throughout the night. Just tweet @TheGoldenRock using hashtag #GHA2014 and your comments may end up on this blog or retweeted by me. Yeah, I’m all up in this social media thingy.


The nomination list here, courtesy of our friendly neighbourhood Webmaster Kozo.


See you on Saturday night/morning/afternoon!



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