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Showing posts with label Johnnie To. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Johnnie To. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thoughts on 31st Hong Kong Film Awards / Ode to Lau Ching Wan

The 31st Hong Kong Film Awards was held on Sunday night. I was following the results on Facebook and Twitter because I didn't know where else can I catch a live telecast of it in Japan.

A SIMPLE LIFE by Ann Hui ended up as the big winner of the night, winning Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and probably a few others I didn't count.

I haven't seen it, so there's not much I can say.

But I ended up writing my thoughts about each of the acting award winners on Facebook, which I'm going to share here. (and I will expand on what I wrote if I can)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Films I saw at Dubai International Film Festival 2011 (Part 1)

This is my last night in Dubai. The past week had been a blur. I didn't get to camwhore that much. Just one photo at the red carpet of a red carpet event that I didn't really attend.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Exhalation's World Premiere

Okay, I'm back from Dubai, but I'll still have to give a quick recap on the very first screening of EXHALATION.

So here's a quickie.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dubai International Film Fest 2010 Opening Ceremony

So, I'm now at Dubai. Today, my film EXHALATION will finally have its world premiere at the Dubai Film Fest.

But this will chronicle my first day in the place.

Here are some pretty photos of me right before the opening ceremony on the 12th of December, courtesy of Indonesian documentary filmmaker Daniel Rudi Haryanto.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I was Crossing Hennessy in Hong Kong

Arrived at Hong Kong two days ago, staying at an interesting hotel at Wan Chai called MINGLE BY THE PARK. Here's dad.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Attending HK auteur Johnnie To's Master Class In PIFF 2009

Johnnie To has long been one of my heroes. Of course, in truth I grew up watching his films from his studio days, ALL ABOUT AH LONG was one of the most painful films I ever seen as a child, I was traumatized when I saw what Chow Yun-Fat's Ah Long character endured during the climatic motorbike race. Then there was the funny EIGHT HAPPINESS, an ensemble film in the vein of ALL'S WELL ENDS WELL (comedies that revolve around members of a single family), this year's ALL'S WELL ENDS WELL 2009 cemented my realization that they don't make films like them anymore. Then there was also some of Stephen Chow's biggest comedies in the early 90s, like JUSTICE MY FOOT, or the HEROIC TRIO (and its much darker sequel THE EXECUTIONERS) starring Anita Mui, Michelle Yeoh and Maggie Cheung, I miss the vibrant energy of such films.

Then Johnnie To started his Milkyway company in the mid 90s, directing landmark films like THE MISSION, PTU, ELECTION 1 and 2 etc. At the same time, he balanced it with commercial comedy hits with the Andy Lau - Sammi Cheng pairing like NEEDING YOU and LOVE ON A DIET. There are some misfires, of course, but I always marvel at how prolific and versatile he is, something I myself as a filmmaker would hope to emulate.

So when I knew that Johnnie To was giving a master class at the Pusan Film Fest, I signed up without any hesitation and headed straight to the first row.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Running into Hong Kong actor Nick Cheung and director Dante Lam

This happened on the 9th of February, the day before I saw snow for the very first time in Berlin. I was hanging out with the Singaporean filmmaker Michael Kam.

With Singaporean filmmaker Michael Kam

We were walking around at the main area of the Berlin Film Fest, Michael wanted to buy some souvenirs. But as we walked towards the Berlin Palast, I noticed a very familiar face.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Megumi Yokata photo exhibition, TOKYO FILMeX Opening Ceremony + Tony Leung Ka Fai's 5 greatest roles

Originally, I've intended to write about both the TOKYO FILMeX opening ceremony, and then my thoughts on the opening film co-directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas, LINHA DE PASSE (really good film). But I'll write my review in my next post.

I headed to Yurakucho rather early today because it's the opening of the TOKYO FILMeX and I wanted to make sure I can get tickets for LINHA DE PASSE. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there would be an opening ceremony before the screening of the film. Being one of the first to buy tickets at the door, I managed to secure two nice seats for myself and my friend, Mahmoud the Tunisian director. (Four rows from the screen)

Then as I waited for Mahmoud to come, I saw that there was a photo exhibition being at the next hall, so I went and had a look. It was a photo exhibition of Megumi Yokota, a Japanese girl abducted by North Korea in 1977.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Interview with 'Thoughts On Films'

Earlier this week, I sat down (in front of computer) for an (email) interview with Fikri of 'Thoughts On Films'. Things I spoke about include: filmmaking, videoblogging, my role in Greenlight Pictures and the company's previous productions, the theatrical distribution of local independent films in Malaysia.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Thoughts On The 27th Hong Kong Film Awards

Though I didn't get to catch the live telecast of the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards, I was eagerly following the results on Yahoo! Hong Kong. So here are some brief thoughts on the results. (list from Lovehkfilm.com)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mad Detective 神探

Lau Ching Wan in Mad Detective

In MAD DETECTIVE, the second film I saw yesterday, my director hero, Johnnie To reunites with co-director Wai Ka Fai and Lau Ching Wan in a cop thriller that sort of revisits genre conventions and previous Johnnie To/ Milkyway Image films.

This film has some of the 'missing gun' plot we saw in PTU (2003), and a quirky misunderstood tragic hero who sees things that others cannot see like RUNNING ON KARMA (2003), insane shootouts in a room of mirrors like THE LONGEST NITE (1998), and some nihilism of the ELECTION films (2005 and 2006). But instead of feeling that the filmmakers were recycling their tricks ala John Woo, the original concept is executed so flawlessly that it's totally mindblowing and compelling to watch.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trying understand Tsui Hark's career arc

Dad had finally finished his conference, so he could finally join us (that's me + mom + Uncle Beau) on our Taipei exploration.

First place of the day we went to was the Guanghua Market, which is Taipei's equivalent of Low Yat Plaza or the Digital Mall (or Japan's Akihabara)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Triangle 铁三角 by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam and Johnnie To

Triangle poster

TRIANGLE is a wet dream come true for HK film purists. Three iconic Hong Kong directors, Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam and Johnnie To, working together on a film. They have known each other since their TVB days 30 years ago, and the idea of a story being handed to a director to develop and film separately came from Tsui Hark.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hooked On You 每当变幻事

HOOKED ON YOU is the second Milkyway Image production I saw in two weeks (the first one was the entertaining EYE IN THE SKY). This Miriam Yeung - Eason Chan starrer is produced by Johnnie To and directed by Lau Wing-Cheong (who did the surprisingly good 2 BECOME 1 last year,the one about Miriam Yeung with breast cancer), the poster made the film look like a generic romantic comedy. But having seen the trailer before few weeks ago, I knew the film would be larger in scope, and definitely more serious.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Eye In The Sky 跟踪 by Yau Hoi Nam

Simon Yam in EYE IN THE SKY

It has been a bad year for Hong Kong films (or Chinese cinema, for the matter). The last decent HK film I saw was PROTEGE, way back in February. Since then, all we got were clunker forgettable romantic comedies and silly star vehicles for talentless idols. And then, there's also the repulsively pretentious MING MING.

Hopes were high for EYE IN THE SKY, a Milkyway Image film produced but not directed by my hero Johnnie To. This film is the directorial debut of Yau Hoi Nam, longtime Milkyway Image screenwriter and Johnnie To collaborator. He was the one who wrote (or co-wrote) the smash hit romantic comedy NEEDING YOU... (2000), badass crime dramas like HERO NEVER DIES (1998) and THE MISSION (1999), award-winners like RUNNING ON KARMA (2003), PTU (2003) and the two ELECTION films (2005 and 2006).

The two reviews I read about this film, one at LoveHKfilm and one by Yvonne are pretty positive, obviously this will not reach the dizzying heights of Johnnie To's films, but I know it's going to be a solid film.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Derek Yee's Protégé 门徒

Protege, starring Andy Lau, Daniel Wu and Louis Koo

When I first looked at the poster of Protege, I had expected yet another stylish cop crime thriller in the vein of those Infernal Affairs films or perhaps something like director Derek Yee's previous foray in the genre back in 2004, the fabulous One Nite In Mongkok that roped him a Best Director award at the Hong Kong Awards. And based on the summary I read about the film, Andy Lau playing a big-team drug dealer, Daniel Wu being his apprentice (or protege) who is actually an undercover cop, I thought if this isn't a cop thriller, maybe it'll be like Johnnie To's Election movies, or maybe it might be more like this little-seen 2001 Daniel Wu film, Cop On A Mission, where an undercover cop who infiltrated a triad group gradually becomes a true scum.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Japan Sinks

Also known as The Sinking of Japan, Japan Sinks 日本沉没, the most expensive Japanese movie ever (I heard), is Japan's answer to Korean and Hollywood movies that usually appeal to international audiences. It is a soulless, propagandistic blockbuster that sang praises of Japanese culture (and the country), displaying the sheer Samurai-like courage of Japanese people and their subtle and ridiculously honourable approaches in romance for the not-too-intelligent audiences. The opening credits were played over various famous landscapes and sceneries of Japan, all my years of watching Japanese films and never have I ever seen that many Japanese landmarks crammed in one film, let alone one montage.