Zhang Yimou’s extremely stylized interval epic “Shadow” was the numerical winner at Sunday’s Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong. It bagged four technical awards. But the major prizes went to Japanese and Korean filmmakers.
Kore-eda Hirokazu’s “Shoplifters,” a Japanese drama about a family surviving on shoplifting, was named best picture. The film had been the surprise Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes festival last year, but has since won wide acclaim and achieved record scores at the Japanese and Chinese box office.“Shoplifters” also won best original music with Japanese music pioneer Hosono Haruomi’s score.
South Korean director Lee Chang-dong (“Secret Sunshine,” “Peppermint Candy”) won the best director prize for the psychological drama “Burning”, which Lee also co-wrote as an adaptation of a Murakami Haruki short story. Going into the ceremony, “Burning” was the favorite, having been nominated in eight categories. Lee was also presented with a lifetime achievement award, to which Lee responded that he did not deserve the title, and that he was still very young.
Japanese actor Yakusho Koji (“Babel,” “Memoirs of a Geisha”) was the media’s darling at the event held at the TVB studios. Yakusho was mobbed by the media the backstage after winning best actor for his role in crime thriller “The Blood of Wolves” and a special prize for excellence in Asian Cinema. He said he was surprised by the big win and jokingly said he would use the two awards as dumbbells to train his arm muscles.
More to follow.