This week's Asian Cinema Scene travels to Hong Kong and Los Angeles, showcasing recent and upcoming films.
Hong Kong Film Awards. Wilson Yip's galvanizing martial arts biopic Ip Man won the Best Film award at the annual ceremony held on Sunday, according to China Daily. Donnie Yen stars as a respected Wing Chun master who ultimately is forced to use his martial arts skills to defend his country's honor against the invading Japanese in the late 1930s. Sammo Hung and Tony Leung Siu-Hung deservedly won the Best Action Design award for their work on the film. (My capsule review and the trailer.)
The other big winner doesn't feature any martial arts or big battle scenes. Low-budget drama The Way We Are won for Best Director (Ann Hui), Best Actress (Bau Hei-Jing), Supporting Actress (Chan Lai-Wun), and Best Screenplay (Lui Yau-Wah). Edmund Lee in Time Out Hong Kong sniffed that it's a "crowd-pleasing film that, lamentably, is a contrived attempt at social commentary," while Lunapark6 was more impressed: "Ann Hui ... creates a quietly moving arthouse film ... to show life as it is for at least some of the Hong Kong regular folks." The trailer is embedded below.
Nick Cheung was honored as Best Actor for his haunting portrayal of a murderous child stealer with his own emotionally-wrenching back story in Dante Lam's Beast Stalker. Liu Kai-Chi took Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the same film. (My capsule review.) John Woo's big budget Red Cliff received five awards in the technical categories. The complete list of winners and nominees can be found at LoveHKFilm.com.
After the jump: Highlights of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, which starts tomorrow.