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Taiwan actors, films receive ofGolden Horse Awards

Top 3 most nominated films are Hong Kong drama and 2 Taiwan features

Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards 2021, which takes place on Saturday (Nov. 27), will announce the winners online and at the in-person ceremony at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

The Golden Horse Film Festival executive committee said there are 573 submitted films and noted that there had not been a decrease in movie submissions despite the pandemic.

The most nominated film is a Hong Kong drama titled “Drifting,” while Taiwanese movies “The Soul” and “Till We Meet Again Movies” have received the second and third most nominations, respectively.

The film “Drifting” has made it into 12 categories, including Best Director, Best Leading Actor, and Best Cinematography. Written and directed by Jun Li (李駿碩), it is an adaption of a real-life court case in the Kowloon area starring Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) who plays a homeless man.

The two Taiwanese films “The Soul” and “Till We Meet Again” are nominated for 11 categories.

The nominees for Best Director, are Cheng Wei-hao (程偉豪), Clara Law (羅卓瑤), Chung Mong-hong (鍾孟宏), Jun Li, Ho Wi-ding (何蔚庭), and Hu Chih-hsin (胡至欣).

Meanwhile, Taiwanese actors Cheng Jen-shuo (鄭人碩), Chang Chen(張震), Roy Chiu (邱澤), Kai Ko (柯震東), and Francis Ng are nominated for Best Leading Actor.

One of the best supporting actor nominees, Lung Shao-hua (龍劭華), has been nominated after 22 years with the feature “Gatao: The Last Stray.” The actor passed away on Sep. 14, 2021, at the age of 68.

Taiwanese actress Alyssa Chia (賈靜雯) and Gingle Wang (王淨) are nominated for Best Leading Actress with the roles of mother and daughter in “The Falls,” while Karena Lam (林嘉欣) and Caitlin Fang (方郁婷) are also nominated in the same genre as the mother and daughter in “American Girl.”

Renowned Taiwanese musicians Stella Chang (張清芳), Eve Ai (艾怡良), Waa Wei (魏如萱) and rock band EggPlantEgg will perform at the award ceremony. This is Chang’s come-back gig after her last concert six years ago.

Singaporean actor Mark Lee (李國煌), Bai Ling, and Sinje Lee (李心潔), will participate in the ceremony as awards presenters. Lee participated in the event last year as a nominee for role in the comedy movie “Number 1” which supports the LGBTQ+ community.

Bai Ling made headlines with her outstandingly sexy handmade red carpet look called “love and peace” last year. Recently, the celebrity finished her two-week quarantine in Taiwan and her fans left messages on social media saying that they are looking forward to seeing her ceremony outfit.

Till We Meet Again is a must-watch bittersweet love story with a fantasy twist

Director Giddens Ko, also known as Jiubadao, is back again with another film adaptation of his novel, Till We Meet Again. His previous notable works include You Are The Apple Of My Eye (2011), and Cafe Waiting Love (2014).

Till We Meet Again follows the story of Ah Lun, who is struck dead by lightning, and loses his memory of his previous life. While taking on the job of the god of love with Pinky — binding couples together with red strings — he remembers the love of his life, Xiao Mi. Ah Lun then realises that his biggest task is to tie the red string on Xiao Mi and someone who can be by her side.

Here’s why you shouldn’t miss this fantasy romance film:

1. It stars eye candies Kai Ko, Vivian Sung and Gingle Wang.

Kai Ko, who’s also known as Ko Chen-tung, plays the role of Ah Lun, alongside Vivian Sung as Xiao Mi, and Gingle Wang as Pinky. Till We Meet Again marks the third time Kai Ko has worked together with Giddens Ko, after You Are The Apple Of My Eye and A Choo, which was filmed in 2014, and shelved due to Kai Ko’s drug scandal in the same year. A Choo was later released in 2020 after Kai Ko’s father reportedly bought the rights to the film.

Since his drug scandal, Kai Ko seems to be trying to make a comeback. Till We Meet Again may just be his ticket to return to the limelight. He has delivered an impressive and dazzling portrayal of Ah Lun, making you sway with the emotions he imbued in the character, especially the scene when Ah Lun remembers Xiao Mi.

Vivian Sung also presents yet another superb performance, after starring in Cafe Waiting Love and Our Times (2015). While her attractive looks are enough to keep your eyes glued to the silver screen, it is how she brings out the complicated feelings of the character that keeps you engrossed in the story.

The dark horse is definitely Gingle Wang, who recently starred in More Than Blue: The Series. She plays the role of a hot-tempered pink-haired woman, who died at around the same period as Ah Lun. From hostility towards Ah Lun to developing unrequited feelings for him, Wang shows how the character develops over time in an expressive manner.

2. It covers multiple themes in a way that doesn’t overcomplicate the story.

Apart from the love story between Ah Lun and Xiao Mi, the film also features a subplot about a malicious ghost who has escaped into the human world. This sinister part of the story is also where great make-up and visual effects come into play. They may not be as stunning as a Hollywood production’s, but they are enough for a fantasy romance film like this. Watch out for the film’s comical renditions of Toshio from Ju-On and Sadako from The Ring.

Till We Meet Again also has many layers to the story that are fascinating. On one hand, there are the relationships between Ah Lun and Xiao Mi, Pinky and her ex, Ah Lun and Pinky, Xiao Mi and a potential partner. On the other hand, there are thrilling scenes where the malicious ghost is out for revenge. There is even a seemingly unimportant side story about Ah Lun’s and Xiao Mi’s beloved pet dog Ah Lu!

It is quite admirable how Giddens Ko weaved all these together coherently within slightly more than two hours (128 minutes) of runtime, while maintaining the charm of the story. There is no doubt why Till We Meet Again was nominated for 11 categories at the 58th Golden Horse Awards, including Best Narrative Feature and Best Cinematography, and won in the categories of Best Visual Effects, Best Make-up & Costume Design, and Best Sound Effects.

3. The credits scene packs a touching tribute to pets.

Towards the ending, Giddens Ko reveals an amusing concept: the ghosts need to accumulate 20 white beads (black beads are bad karma) to reincarnate as a human, 19 to reincarnate as a dog, and 21 to reincarnate as a cat. Although it was not explained why, it is likely because a dog is a man’s best friend, and well, humans are the slaves to our cat masters.

As the credits start rolling, photos of the cast’s and staff’s pets started appearing. On the surface, it looked like they were just sharing their love for their pets. But upon deeper inspection of the photo captions, you’ll find something more than a simple love, and may even be able to relate to some of the messages.