Entries in Golden Horse Awards (8)
Wedding bells. Congratulations to Chen Chang (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Grand Master) who married his girlfriend of 4 years Monday in Taipei.
She passed the bouquet to Chens second most famous onscreen romantic partner Qi Shu (Three Times). Awwww. The starstudded guest list was conveniently already in town since the 50th Annual Golden Horse Awards take place tomorrow. TFE Reader Tony is calling tomorrow's event "the red carpet to end all red carpets" as far as Chinese-language cinema goes. Over 40 past Best Actor and Best Actress winners are expected to attend.
Could you imagine how fun that would be at the Oscars? I would say we'll have to wait until Oscar's 100th anniversary (February 2028!) but since they care so little about their own history these days that's unlikely.
[Left: with Crouching Tiger lover Zhang Ziyi promoting The Grandmaster]
Who will win the Golden Horses tomorrow?
Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster (an Oscar submission) is the nomination leader but Chen who has never won the Golden Horse is not one of them. His co-stars Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Zhang Ziyi are nominated, though. The Grandmaster will have to fight off significant threats to win though. The lineup is a strong one including critical hits Stray Dogs and A Touch of Sin, Johnnie To's Drug War and Ilo Ilo (Singapore's Oscar submission).
Here's Maggie Cheung's commercial (filmed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien) for the Golden Horse awards to be held on November 23rd in Taipei. I have it on good authority that she's saying...
50 years Golden Horse, happy birthday
I wish I could speak Mandarin and Cantonese.
I also wish I could create sparkler-like effects by waving my arms around.
Chinese speaking readers should also check out these promos. See, to celebrate their big 5-0 the Golden Horse Awards are interviewing past winners about their classic performances/films. And for those who missed the announcement the Best Picture nominees this year at the Golden Horse Awards are the following features:
DRUG WAR (Johnny To)
THE GRANDMASTER (Wong Kar Wai) Hong Kong's Oscar Submission, Dan's review which is likely the frontrunner given the huge amount of nominations (11) and the Maggie Cheung-adjacent legends involved
ILO ILO (Anthony Chen) Singapore's Oscar Submission Chen was not nominated for director, replaced by Mong-Hong Chung who directed Taiwan's Oscar submission Soul, but he's up for "New Director" instead
A TOUCH OF SIN (Jia Zhang-Ke) Glenn & Jose's review
STRAY DOGS (Tsai Ming Liang) Venice winner
What's the last Asian film you saw and are you rooting for any of the Asian entries to win a Best Foreign Film nomination in the Oscar race this year (a lot more on that category coming up soon)
AV Club what if you could hit "pause" on pop culture -- what would you catch up on?
Daily Beast an uninhibited interview with the stars of Blue is the Warmest Colour on working with "fake pussies" and watching the movie with their families
Glenn Dunks enters Interior. Leather Bar
Cinema Blend on Zach Snyder's continued defense of Man of Steel's insane body count -- which ruined the movie for a lot of people, my friends at Panel Culture included, because... seriously, what kind of hero is that?
Pajiba wants to get away from The Getaway
The New Yorker on the list as the signature form of our time "a comic nightmare of futile enumeration"
Ultra Culture on an important underreported piece of info from that Lars von Trier Uma Thurman Nymphomaniac clip
Awards Daily Sasha reviews Gravity which she calls a masterpiece. Here's the thing about festivals. They are both a blessing and a curse on the world. One wants to avoid the movies that have upcoming release dates but then you end up being the last person to see them -- i haven't read this for fear of spoilers I'm just saying a lot of reviews are out there now floating in space. How to resist seeing it at TIFF when there are movies that I'm much less likely to get the chance to see next month?
In Contention on a Marilyn Monroe Bruce Dern prophecy that's coming true with Nebraska
LA Times Jason Reitman's Labor Day premieres - sucks that it isn't in theaters now during, uh, Labor Day.
Oooh, Maggie is staring at you.
That's one version of the new poster for the 50th annual Golden Horse Awards. It looks like a delicious VIP ticket, yes? Basically Maggie Cheung's eyes are the selling point on each poster. The Golden Horse Awards are Asia's oldest film awards and still its most competitive. Nominations will be announced on October 1st and will see how well this year's hot titles like Stray Dogs, A Touch of Sin, and The Grandmaster do. The awards ceremony will be held in late November. Ang Lee, who has won two Golden Horses as Best Director (Lust Caution, The Wedding Banquet) and two Oscars for Best Director (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi), is president of the jury this year.
For those of you who still miss Maggie Cheung (i.e. all people with good taste who've seen anything she's done) you should know that she's been named the Ambassador for the 50th anniversary of the Golden Horse Awards (one of three major Oscar-like awards for Chinese language films). She's a good choice since she's won five (!) of them (from six nominations, only losing for Dragon Inn from 1992), the most of any actor. Nominations are announced in October with a November 23rd ceremony in Taipei.
Since it's the 50th anniversary they're pulling out all the stops and famous actors and directors are talking about what the awards meant to your career. In this promo video you can see TFE favorite Tony Leung Chiu Wai (only one of the great living movie stars) as well as other recognizable faces like director Ang Lee and hotties like Aaron Kwok and Shu Qi (which...where's she been lately?)
The best news is that elusive Maggie has shot a one minute commercial (though we hope it's more like an abstract short film) with the acclaimed director Hou Hsiao-Hsien and cinematographer Lee Ping Bing (the cinematographer of In the Mood for Love!). It's not available yet but stay tuned...
Today's Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese-Taiwanese Oscars, spread the wealth. Superstar Andy Lau (A Simple Life, Infernal Affairs, House of the Flying Daggers) had the honor of presenting Best Picture. It went to Beijing Blues but Beijing hardly dominated. Every BP Contender took home at least one prize and some of them major.
I watched a bit of the ceremony live on the web even though I speak no Cantonese, Mandarin or Taiwanese. Awards shows are -- you'll never believe this -- a source of endless fascination to me. Yes, even if I have no clue what's going on.
I was told at one point though that the producers were asking the hosts to ad lib more since the ceremony was running short -- imagine it! Otherwise awards ceremonies speak a universal language. Consider the Best Actress category: silly presenter banter, 5 nominees, a mix of teary and elegant and 'why did they pick that?' clips, tense multi-camera grid as the winner is announced, and a tearful young beauty winning the big prize.
Also, just like it would happen at the Oscars, her equally pretty young male co-star (Joseph Chang) lost the counterpart male category to a mature and well respected character actor who'd paid his dues. The gender rules of awardage appear to be universal, too!
Best Picture Beijing Blues (pictured left) is a drama about a detective catching thieves
Audience Choice Gf*Bf (a popular youth-oriented romantic drama)
Best Director Johnny To Life Without Principle (Hong Kong's Oscar submission)
Best Actress Gwei Lun-Mei Gf*Bf
Best Actor Ching Wan Lau Life Without Principle
Best Supporting Actress Liang Jing Design of Death
Best Supporting Actor Ronald Cheng Vulgaria
Best New Performer Qi Xi Mystery
A complete list of winners and nominees can be found at the official Golden Horse site.
Subtitled fare always seems to consume me in September and early October as the Foreign Language Submission List for Oscar takes shape (it's not quite official yet but the submission deadline has passed). This is also the time of year when The Golden Horse, the preeminent Chinese/Taiwanese film awards, announce their nominations. Rather than a huge Academy vote, the Golden Horse is determined by a jury. Andy Lau who starred in Hong Kong’s Oscar submission A Simple Life last year and is best known internationally for two hits from the Aughts (The House of Flying Daggers and Infernal Affairs which was later remade into The Departed) is the president of this year’s jury.
Caught in the Web, China's Oscar submission, was apparently not eligible.
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES
- Beijing Blues -a police procedural
- Mystery - is the leader with 8 nominations. It's a thriller from Lou Ye, who is most known for erotic dramas like Summer Palace and Cannes hit Spring Fever.
- Life Without Principle - This Johnnie To film about a loan shark is Hong Kong's Oscar submission this year.
- Gf*Bf -a decade long love triangle between three intimate friends with some gay elements. I included the trailer below
- The Bullet Vanishes -a period piece and whodunnit
Flying Swords of Dragon’s Gate, which recently played in the states, won some technical nominations but none of the headline categories.
Nick Cheung – Nightfall
Ching Wan Lau – Life Without Principle
Joseph Chang - Gf*Bf
Chapman To –Vulgaria
Nicholas Tse –The Viral Factor
Baihe Bai –Love is Not Blind
Lei Hao - Mystery
Denise Ho –Life Without Principle
Lun-Mei Gwei – Gf*Bf
Sandrine Pinna –Touch of the Light
You can see the rest of the nominees at the official Golden Horse Awards site.