Welcoming the Rat, Beyond our Ken

Another year gone and I am now back from India almost 1.5 years now. India was like a dream, sometimes a nightmare but sometimes also a sweet dream, especially so the first hand experience of life and work there and to feel the economic boom that is happening at neck-breaking pace. It was a truly golden opportunity to see first hand how economics well managed can have such a great impact on people’s life. India has always been said to be the world’s largest democracy but true economic freedom, a true free market, did not happen too long ago. Whenever I ponder on economics, I cannot help but admire the genius of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and gang. Yes, even Marx and Engels whom I believe are geniuses whose ideas have been (wrongly) politicized, much like how Islam has been (wrongly) politicized, in my opinion. For example, Engels have long foreseen the problem with central planning by this now famous question: “..what guarantee we have that necessary quantity and not more of each product will be produced, that we shall not go hungry in regard to corn and meat while we are choked in beet sugar and drowned in potato spirit, that we shall not lack trousers to cover our nakedness while trouser buttons flood us in millions?” Afterall, economics is all about the efficient distribution of scarce resources which have alternative uses.

On another front, the hottest news now is of course the Edison Chen scandal, involving and damaging the lives of so many people. Again, I think this whole scandal is beyond what is commonly coined as stupidity. I feel that there are a lot of politics behind it as well and the rivalry between the two entertainment groups (Emperor and China Star) is common knowledge and is widely regarded as the powers behind the making of these scandals. Well, these are just speculations and I just hope that there are no more sacrificial lambs but alas! I think this whole episode won’t end so easily. Some heads must roll.

Now, some interesting stuffs re Hong Kong. Yes, the nominations for the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards is out and PROTEGÉ received 15 nominations followed by THE WARLORDS with 13 nominations. Ann Hui’s THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT, received 9 nominations followed by EYE IN THE SKY and MAD DETECTIVE with 8 nominations each. The top line nominations looks like this:

BEST FILM

* THE WARLORDS
* PROTEGE
* THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT
* MAD DETECTIVE
* EYE IN THE SKY

BEST DIRECTOR

* Peter Chan Ho-Sun (THE WARLORDS)
* Derek Yee Tung-Sing (PROTEGE)
* Ann Hui On-Wah (THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT)
* Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Wai Ka-Fai (MAD DETECTIVE)
* Yau Nai-Hoi (EYE IN THE SKY)

BEST SCREENPLAY

* Xu Lan, Chun Tin-Nam, Aubrey Lam Oi-Wah, Huang Jianxin, Ho Kei-Ping, Kwok Jun-Lap, Jojo Hui Yuet-Chun, James Yuen Sai-Sun (THE WARLORDS)
* Derek Yee Tung-Sing, Chun Tin-Nam, Lung Man-Hung, Go Sun (PROTEGE)
* Li Qiang (THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT)
* Wai Ka-Fai, Au Kin-Yee (MAD DETECTIVE)
* Yau Nai-Hoi, Au Kin-Yee (EYE IN THE SKY)

BEST ACTOR

* Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing (THE DETECTIVE)
* Jet Li (THE WARLORDS)
* Andy Lau Tak-Wah (THE WARLORDS)
* Lau Ching-Wan (MAD DETECTIVE)
* Simon Yam Tat-Wah (EYE IN THE SKY)

BEST ACTRESS

* Teresa Mo Shun-Kwun (MR. CINEMA)
* Zhang Jingchu (PROTEGE)
* Siqin Gaowa (THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT)
* Rene Liu (KIDNAP)
* Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin (SIMPLY ACTORS)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

* Charlie Lam Chi-Kin (EXODUS)
* Arthur Wong Ngok-Tai (THE WAROLORDS)
* Venus Keung Kwok-Man (PROTEGE)
* Kwan Pun-Leung, Yu Lik-Wai (THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT)
* Cheng Siu-Keung (MAD DETECTIVE)

BEST EDITING

* Oxide Pang Shun, Curran Pang Jing-Hei (THE DETECTIVE)
* Lee Tung-Chuen (THE WARLORDS)
* Kwong Chi-Leung (PROTEGE)
* Tina Baz (MAD DETECTIVE)
* David Richardson (EYE IN THE SKY)

BEST ART DIRECTION

* Anuson Pinyopotjanee (THE DETECTIVE)
* Alfred Yau Wai-Ming (BLOOD BROTHERS)
* Yee Chung-Man, Yi Zhengzhou, Pater Wong Ping-Yiu (THE WARLORDS)
* Yee Chung-Man, Kennerth Mak Kwok-Keung (PROTEGE)
* Yank Wong Yan-Kwai (THE BESIEGED CITY)

BEST ASIAN FILM

* SECRET
* THE SUN ALSO RISES
* LUST CAUTION
* TOKYO TOWER: MOM & ME AND SOMETIMES DAD
* GETTING HOME

above list thanks to The House Where Words Gather

In the 14th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards which precedes the Hong Kong Film Awards, the best film went to THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT. However, the two awards do not really mirror each other. Here are their respective awards in the past 5 years:

Hong Kong Film Critics Awards

2006: Election 2
2005: Election
2004: McDull, prince de la bun
2003: Infernal Affairs II
2002: Chinese Odyssey 2002

Hong Kong Film Awards

2006: After This Our Exile
2005: Election
2004: Kung Fu Hustle
2003: Running On Karma
2002: Infernal Affairs

My personal Hong Kong movie viewing is such that it is in a state of disarray with me forgetting what movies I saw over last year. Perhaps I should really start to keep a notebook like what YTSL did. How else can one keep track of the literally hundreds of movies that have been seen? Many of the Hong Kong movies last year were just crap but some are really good. Of those nominated for Best Film for the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards above, I have seen all and found that all of them are pretty damn good. The weakest I felt was EYE IN THE SKY while THE WARLORDS is a superbly made movie. My personally little heart favourite? Well, it’s MAD DETECTIVE and I found that the movie is really cool and the idea of actually showing the different personalities on screen and how they interact rather interesting. Plus I liked the whole look and feel of the movie. Some “smaller” films which I loved: HOOKED ON YOU and MR. CINEMA.

Non-Hong Kong movies: Wow! Just too many to talk about; ATONEMENT which just won at the BAFTA, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, LA VIE EN ROSE, PERSEPOLIS, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, etc. were all good films which I loved. There are just so many. Well, in the context of the Hong Kong Film Awards list above, I have seen all except for TOKYO TOWER which is on the way to my house now but my love goes to GETTING HOME. Just a brilliant piece of under-stated work. Of course, LUST, CAUTION is the favourite to win here.

This post can go on and on but I think I will stop here. There are just so many movies to talk about and I have not even started on the DVDs that I have seen plus the hundreds of screeners for the channel. Maybe I should really start a log book. Not should. I must start a log book. There is really no way to track all the movies. This blog included since I am now a lazy pig and seldom posts ;-)

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