The 50th Golden Horse

Did I spend hours watching every single clip Golden Horse let out of the treasures of the industry in celebration of its 50th birthday?!  Betcha.  I can see so many of my beloved at the Award ceremony in a few days.  Happy fangirl is happy!!!

I got teary when Tony Leung KaFai got emotional rewatching his first time getting the award, crying and thanking his wife.  This is a brilliant actor who was banned in Taiwan because he worked in collaborations with PRC playing Qing’s Xianfeng Emperor superbly in Burning of the Imperial Palace and Reign Behind the Curtain back in the early 80s, his outlook so dire to the point casting him means the work would not be distributed in Taiwan, a market HK cinema most reliant on then.  He stopped getting any gigs and resorted to be a street vendor, but he took it as an eventful time instead of woe is me, golden for observing every walk of life.  His wife fell for him around this time, when he was nobody, married him when he had only $8000HKD/$1000USD under his name.

He made a visit recently at TsingHua University in Beijing and reading the fan accounts moved me to tears.  The students mentioned one of their most beloved movie out of his 100+ is 东城西就/Eagle Shooting Heroes (It is much more popular amongst the C audience than in HK, I guess wuxia and its familiar heroes and tropes made the HK unique brand of slapstick/moleitau  much more approachable and the draw of the congregation of all the uber A-listers),  Tony sang and danced a bit of the audience’s fav number in the movie 双飞燕, stopping abruptly, insisting he could not remember more.  His best partner  was no longer with us, but he did a final twirl saying it was in Leslie’s honor.  Oh my tearducts.

Though I have not seen every selection in competition, and 天注定/A Touch of Sin is my most anticipated movie in 2013, I can not see anyone surmounting how my mind is blown by both the Tony Leungs this year.  I have just ‘rewatched’ Grandmaster, this time the HK cut in authentic dialects (again, it takes a FKING MORON to dub a Tony Leung to begin with) and it seems like watching it anew.  I can’t possibly put how overwhelmed I am again to words, ever.  I am now torn between both Tony Leungs, imo KaFai is STILL underrated, lets give him all the awards, yet no matter how freaken awesome it’s hard to imagine anyone beating Tony Leung ChiuWai in a WKW.

It is such a joy to see that same old boyish twinkle in Tony’s eyes through the years whenever he is talking about his craft.  He mentioned there was a time when he scared himself so immersed in character, everyone would look at him weirdly even his mommy told him straight up he was strange and not himself and he got so confused on whether he was leading his life as his character and where was Tony Leung.  I bet it was genuinely frustrating at that time, but when he said it, that insatiable excitement, the passion for what his craft can take him to an unimaginable ‘fantasy’, how purely awesome and enjoyable it is for him ‘even more so than real life’ is what makes him uniquely a Tony Leung and no one else can.

Another favorite of mine 黄渤/Huang Bo is just consistently shockingly kickass, I hope he gets a Golden Horse for supporting actor.  He is the reigning box office darling in many top money making machines.  He has an ugly face, there is no way around it, but he can do magic with his odd face like a… Benedict Cumberbatch. *yes I lub BC like any fangirl/boy, but strictly speaking, BC’s face is weird, I could put it nicer as not conventionally handsome. But XDDD*.  HB has made himself attractive to someone as shallow as me when he is required to be in character.  He majored as a voice actor in Beijing Film Academy and his voice will do things you have no control over.   If you are looking for flicks memorable and entertaining AND decently terrific in C cinema, randomly pick from his body of work, a few are the most groundbreaking of the best C movieland has offered last decade: take Crazy Stone (2006) and Lost in Thailand (2012), nothing we have seen before prior.  He is the best ‘worst’ nightmare for the leads in supporting roles, absolutely scenery chewing.  I loved the 2012 brainchild of Stephen Chow, his take on the classic 西游降魔篇/Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons offers a new vantage point, sharp, thought provoking with an innovative clarity.   It is obvious Stephen Chow has a very deep inspiring understanding and fondness of JtoW in particular, he has let us peek into his inner philosophies on life, shown ‘uncharacteristic’ depths with all three of his visionary JtoW, or just the fact a honcho as disinterested in repeating himself last decade made a third installment with a tight thematic coherence to his previous 2 volumes should be very telling on the psyche of the esoteric, withdrawn Mr. Chow.  What gave me the extra push into the Huang Bo fandom is his job in sorry PoCs: managed to still do a fine job in Black and White the movie and Say Yes with Lin ChiLing was what do me in.  He did the unthinkable of romancing convincingly with a LinChiLing, a feat failed by arguable the greatest working actor in Asia, Tony Leung, and I credit him making LCL tolerable for once on screen even when the movie itself is unsavageable.

He is a muse of director/scriptwriter/actor/producer L’enfant terrible Ning Huo.  Their collaboration 无人区/ No Man’s Land or Western Sunshine with another soulmate from Crazy Stone, Xu Zheng, will finally see the daylight after being shelved since 2010.   Have a trailer:

Ang Lee is so adorable and cute in RL.  He talks about his first Golden Horse experience and the most  memorable moment happens in the loo when the lineup at the urinal has Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Tony Leung…and he is a fanboy of them all.  He makes it sound like he is a kid in a candy store (now no gutter thoughts, lets remind outselves it’s Ang Lee and he is a harmless, softspoken uncle!)

The most sensational appearance Taiwan is looking forward to is Brigitte Lin.  While I spent last few days feeding on an overload of  CN romance gossips, Brigitte has a reel to real love triangle with Chin Han and Charlie Lin spanning decades, her costars in so many of her classics including her Golden Horse winning Red Dust that pwn’d all Qiong Yao’s melodramas which made them the most popular idols in the 70s.  Many regard her one true love to be Chin Han, they are star-crossed since 1972 when he was a married man.  After a lot of bumps and boulders they were finally back together, played the memorable OTP in Red Dust (1991), a romance inspired by the real life of Eileen Chang, imo Brigitte’s best acting job.  They abruptly breakup in 1993 and Brigitte married her now husband after a whirlwind romance of a few short months.  Since then their paths have never crossed,  they have severed all ties so determinedly.  Golden Horse pitched them to make an appearance together.  Chin Han was game before knowing Brigitte was asked as well.  Now he cited he can’t make it.   I guess the most tragic of love story is when you loved someone so hard and it hurt so bad the wound so deep it never heals unless you never revisit the memory ever.

4 thoughts on “The 50th Golden Horse

  1. i always confused between both tony leung, since their complete name seldomly written in movie posters and i cannot read mandarin, so i always refer TLCW as the handsome one and TLKF as the other Tony, though i don’t think the latter is not handsome, but i luuuurrve TLCW since kindergarten days watching all those wuxia movies/dramas. i didn’t know TLKF had such sad story because as an actor i think he’s terrific and as you say still underrated. these clips are a nice watch, thanks for sharing mookie…

    1. 🙂 TLCW is fondly called Wai-Zai since the 80s or the little Tony. TLKF is the ‘big’ Tony being close to 180cm tall.

      TLCW is the ‘more popular’ star, making his name as a TV idol. I also am a fan since diaper days, he started out being a host in a popular TVB children’s show and then exploded to the biggest idol on TV in popular drama after drama. I do not recall TLCW ever having a low point of his career, unless we factor in the bigger climate of the withering of HK movies after the handover, but STILL, he reached a new ht of popularity with Infernal Affairs, the biggest crowd and critics favorite last decade plus. TLKF never acquired that fanbase, he went straight to movieland from drama school, then banned for a few years, who knows how even bigger a star he would be if his path was smoother. I can’t say I grow up watching TLKF, but I still retain the memory of seeing him in Imperial Palace and Reign Behind the Curtain as literally a toddler, he was convincing and naturally talented as a newbie, holding his own against established award winning actress like Liu XiaoQing.

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