The Magnolia Awards are here, and it’s another year of wishing that my favourite shows, or at least recipients deserving of the accolades, take home the awards. It’s always a delicate balancing act when it comes to giving out the awards, but I’m happy to report that there were no major surprises tonight (apart from the fact that Liu Lin didn’t win…again). Best Actress was the closest race this year, and Tong Yao edged out Reyizha to take home the award.
Judges include director Liu Jin (White Deer Plain), director Fu Dongyu (The Thunder), Tao Hong (A Little Reunion), Tong Dawei (A Love For Dilemma) and screenwriter Zhang Lei (Chinese Style Relationship).
It’s here! The much anticipated The Long Night stars Bai Yu as an upright prosecutor who is found dead in a suitcase. Liao Fan and Tan Zhuo costar. [Character descriptions]
iQiyi’s mystery thrillers have all been messed up by censors to some degree (apparently Sisyphus went back and forth between the editing room and SARFT 8 times), so I’m trying to keep my expectations low for this one.
The 12 episode drama will be English-subbed on the iQiyi app.
One of my most anticipated thriller series, The Journey Across the Night 我在香港遇见他, has finally released a trailer. I’m going to be honest, the trailer was too scary for me to finish since I need to get to the ending of anything scary in one sitting. On the other hand, the fact that the trailer is scary is good for a thriller, right?
The series is directed by Ju Xingmao (SoulFerry) and stars Zeng Shunxi and underrated actresses Cherry Ngan (Original Sin) and Huang Yao (The Crossing) . It looks like it’ll be streaming on Youku soon-ish.
Director Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine, Forever Enthralled) returns to the Peking Opera troupe for inspirations in this stylized short film directed and written by him for variety show Attention Actors 演员请就位. Zhao Wenhao (Sacrifice) puts on imo the best performance of the show as a disgruntled former actor who fulfills his dream of acting as the hero Xiang Yu on stage by channeling him in real life to protect his beloved. The film co-stars Huang Yao (The Crossing) and Yu Xiaotong (Dream of the Red Chambers).
Watch the skit on Youtube below (should start at 2:03:43):
From classics like Daming Palace/Palace of Desire and Chinese Paladin to recent films like The Legend of Demon Cat and Cry Me a Sad River, Tencent’s new acting competition Attention, Actors 演员倾就位 combines the best of I am an actor and Phantastic by capturing the actors for a TV performance rather than on stage while still maintaining an one-take rule. Featuring directors Chen Kaige, Li Shaohong, Vicki Zhao Wei, and Guo Jingming, the resulting segments are on average far more watchable than the other two.
Plus, they have some great stills and posters that are better than many dramas and film posters that are wallpaper-worthy. You can watch episode two English subbed here. Zhang Yunlong and Chen Xiaoyun act out Romance in the Rain:
Streaming giant iQiyi has bought the adaption rights to two more novels written by Zi Jinchen, the screenwriter and original author of critically acclaimed thriller Burning Ice无证之罪. Both web dramas have already started filming, and will have twelve 60 minute episodes.
The Hidden Corner / The Bad Kids 隐秘的角落 is already in production, and stars QinHao, Wang Jingchun and Zhang Songwen.
A long-suffering live-in son-in-law (Qin Hao) hatches up an elaborate murder plot to kill his cheating wife and her family after she demands a divorce. His actions are recorded by three children playing nearby, yet he soon discovers that he was actually set up by the three young children. Consequently, he begins to work out how and why a thirteen-year-old boy is able to twist the truth to his advantage.
Coming-of-age story about “a schoolgirl’s rite of passage as a rookie smuggler”, The Crossing 过春天 will be screening in the usual overseas spots this week.
The directorial debut of Bai Xue is the produced by veteran director Tian Zhuanzhuang. I don’t know what it is, but the trailer looks very different from all the other Chinese films. It reminds me a bit of the best Thai coming-of-age films. Newcomers Huang Yao, Sun Yang join Carmen Soup to star in the film.
“Only by traveling through the night can one reach dawn.” – tagline
Soul Ferry director Ju Xingmao has began work on another supernatural mystery series. Titled The Journey Across the Night 我在香港遇见他 (literally translation : In Hong Kong, I met him), the series stars Zeng Shunxi (Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber), Cherry Ngan (Original Sin), Huang Yao (The Crossing) and Zhou Cheng’ao ( My Huckleberry Friends). Synopsis below.
After both his mother and his brother were diagnosed with schizophrenia when they were twenty-four, young Li Jia ( Zeng Shunxi) goes to Hong Kong for his graduate studies to study hereditary mental illness in hopes that he will be able to save himself before time runs out. There, he and fellow student Shi Cheng are sent to apartments all across Hong Kong by their housing agent Zhang XX (Cherry Ngan), where the trio meets a series of mysterious strangers and neighbors…