Ah, back in KL. Have been quite pre-occupied with some stuffs which resulted in me not being able to write a few lines of comments re the recent Hong Kong Film Awards. Some short notes:
1. Hong Kong Film Awards
Peter Chan is a great director. I adore his movies, HE AIN’T HEAVY, HE’S MY FATHER, HE’S A WOMAN, SHE’S A MAN, COMRADES: ALMOST A LOVE STORY (one of my all time favourite movie), PERHAPS LOVE (a movie which I love and had its soundtrack playing and repeating in my car stereo for week after week) etc. Re WARLORDS, I have watched in the cinemas alone three (3) times and thought that it is a very well directed movie. But for the Hong Kong Film Awards, I really thought MAD DETECTIVE should win as it has an unmistakable Hong Kong feel to it versus the very China feel that Warlords is. Maybe it is just plain nostalgia but without nostalgia, a lot of things that we love will disappear before our very eyes.
MAD DETECTIVE got the award for best screenplay which it deserves. Story wise and idea wise, actually it is not too fresh but as I have said before, the plain execution o the movie is just superb. There is not much of a fresh story, just cops trying to solve some cases (which in this case, the story in THE DETECTIVE starring Aaron Kwok is a lot better) and the idea of using different actor/actress to play different personalities is not new either (say, for example, in 1977 Bunuel used that devise in THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE). But the style of the movie, Lau Ching Wan’s acting, the pace etc. are just simply marvelous.
Best Actor for Jet Li? Now that was really unexpected. I have always thought Lau Ching Wan will grab his second one in a row. But Best Actress for Siqin Gaowa is what I have expected. I cannot imagine any other actresses nominated can beat her performance in THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT. Best Action for FLASHPOINT? Definitely!! Best original song not going to the song from MR. CINEMA? Inconceivable! Both songs were performed during the awards show and it is just plain obvious which is the better song.
Well, it is not much of an award show anyways. It is getting more and more amateurish year after year.
2. French Film Festival in Jakarta
This is currently going on in Jakarta. The Kuala Lumpur version will be next month but mind you, I don’t think these guys talk to each other. Just look at the programming for the Jakarta side versus the Kuala Lumpur one. The Jakarta one is just so much more superior. Hands down.
Managed to finally watch Hou Hsiao Hsien’s FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON. Before going inside the cinema, I was tired like hell and just wanted to sleep and was very much afraid that I will actually fall asleep. But that movie just woke me up and as I watched, I get more and more interested and forgot about sleep. It is typical Hou with excellent, as usual, acting from Juliette Binoche. Simple storyline but is true to the heart. Hou is surely a master director.
The website is on but am still writing stuffs to put up. So far, there is a review on Amir Muhammad’s rather burlesque THE LAST COMMUNIST, Ho Yuhang’s rather cinema verite SANCTUARY and Bong Joon-ho’s comedic social-satire BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE. I plan to put up more stuffs this weekend, on some Iranian movies plus some notes on the new Korean films and industry.
Well, that’s all for now.