Saturday, February 26, 2011

Show Luo's New Release Dominates Album Sales

Taiwan's King of Dance Music, Show Luo (罗志祥, pinyin: Luó Zhīxiáng), released his latest album Only For You (独一无二, pinyin: Dúyīwúèr) on February 18, and it has achieved a domination of sales that has rarely if ever been equalled. The G Music charts, which measure album sales in Taiwan, showed that it had a staggering 74.6 percent of the share of Chinese language record sales for the week 18 to 24 February. That means three out of every four records sold was Only For You, way way ahead of the second biggest selling album, Will Pan's 808. Even looking at the figures for all record sales, including Western releases, Show Luo's sales numbers are still stunning. Just under half of all records sold (48.4 percent) in Taiwan last week were Only For You.

Only For You's success follows on from that of his previous release, Rashomon, which was Taiwan's biggest selling album of 2010 (including ten weeks as the number one seller). The previous year he had the number two selling record with Trendy Man. All of which begs the question: can Show Luo now be hailed Taiwan's biggest pop superstar, ahead of previous claimants to the position like Jay Chou, Jolin Tsai and S.H.E?

Only For You is the 31 year old singer's eighth studio album since he first released his debut record in 2003. Before that he was a member of two boy bands, the Four Heavenly Kings and Romeo. Ironically, considering he's now one of the hottest properties in Mandopop, no record company wanted to sign him after Romeo was disbanded in 2000. He had to wait three years until Avex took a chance on him and signed him up. But it has been first EMI Music and now Gold Typhoon who have benefitted most from having him in their record company stable.

First single from Only For You was, uncharacteristically, a ballad, What Am I Fighting For? (拼什么?). But he was back in familiar territory with the release of the title track, a blistering dance track, as the second single. A third single has been released, the cutesy and boppy Touch My Heart, which currently holds the number one spot on the MTV Taiwan singles chart. The Only For You single also made MTV's number one, while What Am I Fighting For? reached number 3.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chinese TV Series Palace A Ratings Hit

Mainland China's first big idol drama of the year, Palace (宫, pinyin: Gōng) has been a major hit for its producers, Hunan TV. It gained an impressive ratings figure of 1.99 for its opening episode on January 31, which translates into 8.24 percent of the viewing audience. This figure betters the ratings for the premiere of another smash hit idol drama, Meteor Shower in 2009.

Palace combines the soap opera elements (and storylines) of Taiwan-Korea idol dramas with the costume dramas so beloved by Hong Kong TV, and also throws a bit of time travel into the mix. The heroine of the story, played by 24 year old Yang Mi (杨幂), is a simple-hearted modern girl (as they so often are in these idol dramas) who by accident is thrown back into 18th century Imperial China where she winds up in the court of Emperor Kangzi. Much palace intrigue then ensues with our heroine using her knowledge of the future to her advantage. There are also several romantic twists and turns as she first rebuffs one of the Emperor's sons (Zhong Fengyan), falls in love with another son, played by Mickey He (何晟铭, pinyin: Hé Shèngmíng) before discovering his true (evil) nature, and makes an enemy of a third son, played by Feng Shaofeng (冯绍峰), before discovering his true (good-hearted) nature and falling in love.

The two leads, Yang Mi and Feng Shaofeng, were already well-known TV stars in China, though this series has lifted their stardom to another level. Yang came to prominence in the 2006 TV series Return of the Condor Heroes, and appeared in recent blockbuster shows Chinese Paladin 3, Dream of the Red Chamber and Schemes of a Beauty. The 32 year old Feng gained fame in the Mainland-Hong Kong co-production The Drive of Life in 2007, and also starred in Schemes of a Beauty. Palace also stars well-known Hong Kong TV stars Maggie Shiu and Sonija Kwok.

The series has continued to build on its strong ratings debut, climbing episode by episode. By episode 16 of the 39 episode series, it had a rating of 3.23 or 11.2 percent. Although the nationwide ratings for the remainder of the series are yet to be published at the time of writing, ratings figures for 27 capital cities have been released. They show it had a phenomenal 16.75 percent audience share for the final episode screened on 21 February. (Ratings figures have been taken from Wikipedia's Chinese-language entry for Palace, which I can't link to unfortunately).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Zhao Benshan Spring Festival's "King of Comedy" for 13th Time

Arguably the most watched program on Chinese TV is CCTV's New Year's Gala (中国中央电视台春节联欢晚会). It's broadcast every year on the eve of the Chinese Spring Festival, and attracts an audience of over 700 million people, boasting ratings figures of over 90 percent. The biggest names in Chinese entertainment jostle with starry-eyed newcomers for a chance to appear on the program, and many a successful career has been launched via an appearance on the show.

On the fifteenth day of the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival Gala is held, also on CCTV, and winners are announced for the most popular comedy, singing, dancing and other performance acts of the Gala show, as voted by viewers. Comedian Zhao Benshan (赵本山), who has been appearing on the New Year's Gala since 1987, this year won his 13th award. The 52 year old veteran (pictured accepting his award) and his co-performer Xiao Shenyang (小沈阳) were awarded for a crosstalk (or stand-up comedy) routine they performed together. Crosstalk is one of the staples of the Gala show - for more information about this uniquely Chinese style of entertainment, see this post.

In the longer comedy sketch category, the award went to another veteran comedian Feng Gong (冯巩) and actress-singer Song Jia (宋佳). The 53 year old Feng, known for his mournful hang-dog face, is another Spring Festival regular. Song Jia, also known as Xiao Song Jia or Little Song Jia to distinguish her from an older actress of the same name, is at 30 years old a newcomer making her New Year's Gala debut this year.

Most popular singer was Song Zuying (宋祖英), arguably China's most-renowned soprano, who sang Deep Blue Sky (天蓝蓝) at the show. A member of the Miao ethnic minority, Song was born in the Miao Autonomous Region in Hunan, central China, in 1966. She began her singing career in the Chinese Navy (she actually holds the rank of Rear Admiral, believe it or not), and has performed several times previously on the New Year's Gala. She has been nominated for a Grammy, performed in concert houses the world over, and sang a duet with Placido Domingo at the Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremony. And for lovers of salacious gossip, she has also long been rumoured to have been the mistress of former Chinese president, Jiang Zemin.

Chinese magician Fu Yandong (傅琰东) won the award in the "Other Performances" category. His magic act was not without controversy; it involved getting half a dozen fish in a tank to swim in formation, seemingly at his command. The act however received complaints from animal rights activists, who contended that to create the illusion the fish were either fed or implanted with magnets.

Finally there were Special Awards given to three acts who represent "grassroot performers", or performers from humble origins who are given their opportunity at the Gala to showcase their talents. This year featured two acts that first came to public attention when videos of them were shown online. Xuri Yanggang (旭日阳刚, roughly translated as Masculine Sunshine) are Wang Xu and Liu Gang, a duo of migrant workers, former farmers that had moved to the city for work. Last year an amateur video of them singing a cover version of the ballad In the Spring became an online sensation. Then at the end of last year they won a reality TV show, I Want to Perform on New Year's Gala (我要上春晚), earning them a spot on the Gala show. Ren Yueli caught the public eye in much the same way. She's better known simply as Xidan Girl (西单女孩), from an online video of her busking at Beijing's Xidan subway station that earned millions of hits when it was posted on the net in 2009. (For comprehensive background on Xidan Girl, see this China Smack post.) A hip hop dance group from Shenzhen also shared the Special Awards with their act, Let the Workers Have the Power.

The award winners are listed here, but in Chinese.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Merry-Go-Round A Surprise No 1 on HKFCA List

The Hong Kong Film Critics Association (HKFCA), not to be confused with the better-known Hong Kong Film Critics Society, has released its Top Ten Chinese Films of 2010. The list was published back in January, however I've only just stumbled upon it. The HKFCA has a reputation for sometimes eccentric judgement. Its annual Golden Bauhinia Awards, after all, were suspended after 2007 partly because of the ongoing controversy over its award choices (although more because most of the winners didn't turn up to the ceremony). HKFCA's choice of number 1 film for 2010, Merry-Go-Round (东风破), will again have some people scratching their heads.

Merry-Go-Round is an arthouse drama with two intermingled storylines - one set in the present, the other in the 1930s. It stars some pop star actors like Ella Koon, Laurence Chou, Denise Ho and Wilfred Lau, alongside a few Hong Kong veterans including Teddy Robin Kwan (currently experiencing a career renaissance) and Nora Miao. It was jointly directed by Yan Yan Mak (who also wrote and produced it) and Clement Cheng, the man behind 2010's surprise hit, Gallants. From critics (other than, presumably, the Hong Kong Film Critics Association) Merry-Go-Round earned some praise for its cinematography and warm nostalgia, but was also panned for its screenplay and intrusive soundtrack. An example is this review at Film Business Asia.

Number two on the list was the detective story set in China's Tang Dynasty, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, a Best Film nominee at the upcoming Hong Kong Film Awards. At number three is Pang Ho-cheung's sharp-tongued romantic comedy Love in a Puff, starring Miriam Yeung and Shawn Yue as white-collar fugitives from Hong Kong's indoor smoking bans.

The rest of the list provides mostly predictable choices, including mainland China's biggest-grossing film of 2010, Aftershock, the Taiwan gangster film Monga, the martial arts spectacular Reign of Assassins, and the aforementioned Gallants, winner of Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Critics Awards. Barbara Wong's hit-and-miss romance Break Up Club is the surprise addition to the list at number 5. A success at the Hong Kong box office, it also divided critics, some praising it for its fresh inventiveness, while others condemned it for being insubstantial and too clever for its own good.

The full list is as follows:
  1. Merry-Go-Round (东风破)
  2. Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (狄仁杰之通天帝国)
  3. Love in a Puff (志明与春娇)
  4. Under the Hawthorn Tree (山楂树之恋)
  5. Break Up Club (分手说爱你)
  6. The Stool Pigeon (线人)
  7. Aftershock (唐山大地震)
  8. Reign of Assassins (剑雨)
  9. Gallants (打擂台)
  10. Monga (艋舺)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Now There's a New Naked Chef...Literally

UK TV chef Jamie Oliver first rose to fame with his TV series The Naked Chef in which he, happily, did not appear naked but did preach the virtues of simple cooking. However someone in Hong Kong has taken the Naked Chef concept literally. Jessie Au, producer of Hong Kong's version of Naked News, has come up with an idea for a cooking show with a difference. The TV chef, Flora Cheung (张静思, pinyin: Zhāng Jìngsī), will cook in the nude...well, almost - a transparent cooking apron will protect her from nasty spills.

Watch out for batter splashes!

The show will screen on NOW TV's adult pay TV channel Ice Fire, and will screen twice a month. It's expected to make its debut later this month. The show's creators hope Naked Chef (not officially it's English title, if in fact it has one) will get more male viewers interested in cooking. Although the show's in Cantonese, as hostess Cheung helpfully explained, viewers should still be able to follow what's going on.

Flora Cheung is a 26 year old model with little previous hosting experience and no professional cooking experience. She's probably best known as a former Miss Hong Kong contestant who created a scandal when it was revealed she had taken part in a nude photoshoot.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Della Ding's Soul Mate At Number 1

Mainland-born singer Della Ding (叮当) has climbed to the top of Taiwan's G Music album charts with her new release Soul Mate (未來的情人). In the first two weeks of its release it was the number 2 selling album in Taiwan, but this week managed to edge past the previous number 1, Wilbur Pan's 808, in sales. According to G Music Soul Mate had 21.23 percent of album sales for the week 4 February to 10 February, while 808 had 20.37 percent, ending Pan's three-week stay at the top of the charts.

Della Ding is also known as Della Wu, also known as Ding Dang, and also known simply as Della, and though it sounds like a criminal's rap sheet, she's actually a petite 28 year old from Zhejiang province. She ran away from home at the age of 18 with dreams of becoming a professional singer. For five years she sang in bars, took singing and dancing lessons, then made the big move to Mandopop headquarters, Taiwan. She released her first album in 2007, appropriately named Run Away From Home, on the record label Rock Records, Taiwan's biggest independent record label.

She is best known for her love ballads, especially on her early records, although she included more dance numbers on her third album, Night Owl released in 2009. She has also collaborated with record label-mates Mayday on several songs, and sung the theme song to the popular TV drama Autumn's Concerto. Her career appears to be going from strength to strength, with a successful concert tour in 2010. Soul Mate, her fifth studio album might just be the record that propels her to superstar status.

Helping out on the album are Mayday, again, UK dance music producer Pete Martin, and Golden Melody winning songwriter Chung Cheng-Hu. Singles released so far are One Half (一半), a slow tempo ballad, and Cold Blooded Creature (冷血動物) which has been used in an online computer game (阿洛斯) and also featured in the Korean drama series The Queen Returns.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Detective Dee Most Nominated for HK Film Awards

Nominees for the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards were announced on 8 February, and the action fantasy Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (狄仁杰之通天帝国) leads the way with 13 nominations. It was a golden year for action films with two other big budget martial arts actioners earning multiple nominations. Reign of Assassins (剑雨) earned 11 nominations, and Ip Man 2 (叶问2) has been nominated in 10 categories. In fact all five nominees for Best Film are action films, with the above three joined by the police drama The Stool Pigeon (线人) and the retro-martial arts film Gallants (打擂台). Gallants has already won Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Critics Awards announced last month.

Last year's Best Actor winner Nick Cheung (张家辉) is up for the award again, for his portrayal of a police detective suffering pangs of conscience in The Stool Pigeon. His co-star, Nicholas Tse (谢霆锋), who plays an informant in the movie, is also in the running, having already picked up a Hong Kong Performing Artists Guild award at the beginning of the year. Hong Kong superstars Chow Yun-Fat (周润发) and Jacky Cheung (张学友) are other nominees, Chow for his portrayal of Confucius in the biopic of the same name, and Cheung for his performance in the romantic comedy Crossing Hennessy.

Another Hong Kong big name Tony Leung Ka-Fai (梁家輝), a three-time Best Actor winner, has been nominated in two categories. As well as another Best Actor nomination for Bruce Lee, My Brother, Leung is also a Best Supporting Actor nominee for Detective Dee. He will face strong competition in the Supporting Actor category from Teddy Robin Kwan (泰迪罗宾) in Gallants, who won Best Actor award at the Hong Kong Film Critics awards for his performance.

The Best Actress category has several strong nominees. HK Film Critics winner Miriam Yeung (杨千嬅) leads the nominees for her performance in Love in a Puff. Fiona Sit (薛凯琪), who won a HK Performing Artist Guild Award for the romantic comedy Break Up Club, is also nominated. Carina Lau (刘嘉玲), who is now approaching veteran status after a career spanning more than 25 years, will be sentimental favourite. She has been nominated for her performance as the Tang Dynasty empress Wu Zetian in Detective Dee. It is her sixth Hong Kong Film Award nomination, an award that has so far eluded her. Other nominees are Josie Ho (何超仪) in the dark comedy/slasher film Dream Home, and mainland actress Tang Wei (汤唯) in Crossing Hennessy.

All the directors of the Best Film nominees are up for Best Director. They are Tsui Hark (Detective Dee), Derek Kwok and Clement Cheng (Gallants), Yip Wai-Shun (Ip Man 2), Su Chao-Pin (Reign of Assassins), and Dante Lam (The Stool Pigeon).

The full list of nominees can be found at this CRI English article. The awards will be announced on April 17.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taiwan's HitFM Top 100 Singles of 2010

Hit FM, one of the most popular music radio stations in Taiwan, has been releasing its annual Top 100 Singles since 1998. The results are based on weekly charts, sales volume and online polls, and the 2010 edition was announced last month. At number one was Taiwan's unofficial Queen of Pop, Jolin Tsai (蔡依林, pinyin: Cài Yīlín, pictured right) with the electronic dance number Honey Trap (美人计). The single was the first released from her Myself album, and came with an impressive music video by Korean MV director Cha Eun Taek.

It's the third time Jolin has had the number one song of the year; she also achieved the feat in 2007 (Sun Will Never Set), and in 2006 with her duet with David Tao, Marry Me Today. Jolin had another two songs in this year's top 100: Nothing Left To Say (无言以对) at number 20, and Love Player (玩爱之徒) at number 55.

Jay Chou (周杰伦, pinyin: Zhōu Jiélún) had to settle for the number two spot, with his single Superman Can't Fly (超人不会飞 - and another song with a great video). The Chairman, who finished top of the singles charts in 2002, 2004 and 2005, has now had a song in the annual top three an amazing nine times in the past ten years. He was also the only artist in 2010 to have more than one song in the top ten. Rain Falls All Night (雨下一整晚) was placed at number 10. A third song, the title track from The Era album (跨时代), came in at number 39.

Justin Bieber was the highest-ranked foreigner on the Top 100, with the ubiquitous Baby, and Korean superstar boy band Super Junior also finished in the top five with Bonamana (Beauty). Sandwiched between them at number 4 is the Taiwan-born, Canadian-raised Elva Hsiao (萧亚轩, pinyin: Xiāo Yǎxuān) with the ballad Wrong Man (错的人). The song was from her Miss Elva album, another album to provide three songs to the top 100 - the other two were Miss Cool (潇洒小姐) and Rhapsody (狂想∙曲).

The top 10 were as follows:
1. Honey Trap (美人计) - Jolin Tsai
2. Superman Can't Fly (超人不会飞) - Jay Chou
3. Baby - Justin Bieber
4. Wrong Man (错的人) - Elva Hsiao
5. Bonamana - Super Junior
6. All The Things You Never Knew (你不知道的事) - Leeholm Wang (王力宏, pinyin: Wáng Lìhóng)
7. SHERO - S.H.E
8. Love The Way You Lie - Eminem and Rihanna
9. The Leading Role (爱的主场秀) - Show Luo (罗志祥, pinyin: Luó Zhīxiáng)
10. Rain Falls All Night (雨下一整晚) - Jay Chou

The full Top 100 can be found here, but only in Chinese.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Show Luo's Rashomon The Number 1 Selling Album in 2010

There were no surprises with the announcement by the PMW Music website that Show Luo (罗志祥, pinyin: Luó Zhīxiáng) had the biggest-selling album in Taiwan in 2010 with Rashomon (罗生门). The studio album, his seventh, spent a record-equalling 10 weeks on the top of the Taiwanese album charts and sold over 150,000 copies in Taiwan. The album also sporned five hit singles, three of which made Taiwan's Hit FM Annual Top 100 Singles Chart. PMW bases its annual rankings on both album sales and digital downloads, making it a more accurate barometer of album popularity.

The 31 year old Show, dubbed Asia's Dance King because of his dancing skills and predominant style of music, has been riding a wave of success over the past couple of years. In 2007 he won the prestigious Golden Melody Award for Most Popular Male Artist, and in 2009 his album Trendy Man was the second-biggest selling album of the year. That accolade was tarnished slightly with accusations that his record company had inflated sales of the record. However last year there was no dispute that his was the dominant record of the year, even ahead of superstars like Jay Chou (周杰伦, pinyin: Zhōu Jiélún) and Jolin Tsai (蔡依林, pinyin: Cài Yīlín).

Jay Chou's 10th studio album, The Era (跨时代), had to settle for second position instead. The record spent three weeks at the top position on the weekly G Music charts - a relatively disappointing result no doubt for the record company JVR Music. His previous album, Capricorn, had been the biggest selling album of 2008.

Another former holder of the biggest album of the year crown, Jolin Tsai, has the third-biggest selling album of 2010. Myself, her 11th studio album and released in August, spent four weeks in total in the top position of the G Music charts. Like Rashomon, the album is predominantly dance music. The previous year, her album Butterfly had been the biggest selling album of 2009. Although this year she had to settle for third place, she did have the number 1 single of the year according to Hit FM with Honey Trap (美人计), the first single from Myself.

In fourth place is singer-songwriter Kenji Wu (吴克群, pinyin: Wú Kèqún) with his sixth album, Love Me, Hate Me (爱我 恨我). The album marked a change of pace for the 31 year old singer, with more up-tempo dance numbers on display. But it wasn't all dance music that Taiwanese music fans were buying in 2010. The number five selling album of 2010 was by singer-actress Rainie Yang (杨丞琳, pinyin: Yáng Chénglín). Her fifth album, Rainie & Love...? (雨爱), is predominantly made up of Mandopop ballads, including four from the soundtrack of the romantic comedy TV series Hi My Sweetheart, which she also starred in.

The top ten albums of 2010, according to PMW Music are:
1. Rashomon - Show Luo
2. The Era - Jay Chou
3. Myself - Jolin Tsai
4. Love Me, Hate Me - Kenji Wu
5. Rainie & Love...? - Rainie Yang
6. Miss Elva - Elva Hsiao
7. To Hebe - Hebe Tien
8. Together - René Liu
9. SHERO - S.H.E
10. The 18 Martial Arts - Leehom Wang

Source: XinMSN

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January's Most Newsworthy: Selina Jen

Flavour of the Month is not the right term this time, but one person has dominated Chinese entertainment headlines over the month just passed. When Selina Jen (任家萱, pinyin: Rèn Jiāxuān) of one of Taiwan's most popular groups, S.H.E, sustained shocking burns in an on-set accident, it was arguably the biggest entertainment story in China of 2010. The accident happened on October 22, while Selina was filming an episode of the TV series, I Have a Date With Spring, in Shanghai. Selina and her co-star, mainland actor Yu Haoming, were filming a scene where they had to run from a burning building. But the scene went awry when explosions were set off at the wrong time, engulfing the two stars in flames.

Both Selina and Yu received third-degree burns, Selina to 53 percent of her body. Selina was hospitalised for over 90 days, much of it in intensive care, and underwent surgery and skin grafts. It has been the darkest of times for the 29 year old singer with the gentle nature; however last month she and her fans began to receive some good news. On January 17 she made her first public appearance, alongside her two other S.H.E bandmates. Already hugely popular, the 29 year old singer would have won over even more fans with the courage she displayed facing the media. In an emotional speech she showed bravery and determination, vowing that she would return to the group. She was finally released from hospital on 19 January, though spare a thought for Yu who remains hospitalised.

Initially after the accident there was a public silence from the television makers and the production company, Hunan TV, despite criticism over the lack of safety measures for actors. Hunan TV denied rumours that the pyrotechnics staff were at fault, instead blaming faulty equipment. The series director, Chen Ming-chang, issued an apology on his blog (incurring more criticism for not fronting the media directly). Then in a second apology Chen accepted the blame for not overseeing the filming properly. Meanwhile Selina's record company, HIM International Music, was in negotiations with Hunan TV over compensation. The good news continued for Selina when it was just announced that Hunan TV have agreed to a compensation package that includes all her medical and rehabilitation expenses, and a payment equivalent to one year's earnings. The production company also issued an apology.

In more good news, some companies provided a show of support to Selina last month by expressing their intentions to have her endorse their products. HIM International Music announced that five companies had invited Selina to endorse products ranging from clothes to fruit juice to skin care products. The singer had earlier admitted to fearing that with minor burns to her face it might be difficult to relaunch her career again. Although those around her have been emphasising that her recovery will be slow and challenging, the positive news over the last few weeks has made the outlook much more optimistic than in the gloomy months after the accident.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

City of Sadness Named Greatest Chinese Film

The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, organisers of the prestigious Golden Horse Awards, have announced the 100 Greatest Chinese-language Films. The Taiwanese historical drama A City of Sadness (悲情城市) was voted number one. Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien (侯孝贤, pinyin: Hóu Xiàoxián), the film is set in 1947 (the year Hou was born) and depicts the events that followed after the defeated Kuomintang Government fled mainland China and arrived in Taiwan. The film focuses on the impact on one family of the "White Terror" wreaked by the Kuomintang.

The 100 Greatest Films was compiled through a survey of over 120 Chinese film critics, academics, producers, directors, actors and writers. Ironically, A City of Sadness failed to win the Golden Horse Award when it was released, although it did pick up the Golden Lion Award at the 1989 Venice Film Festival. Five years ago, when the Hong Kong Film Awards named their similar Best 100 Chinese Films, City of Sadness was at number 5. The Hong Kong Film Awards instead named the 1948 mainland film Spring in a Small Town (小城之春) at number 1 (which in turn is number 5 on the Golden Horse list).

A City of Sadness director Hou Hsiao-Hsien was a favourite with voters, three of his films being named in the top ten. Besides A City of Sadness, the 1985 autobiographical coming-of-age film A Time to Live, A Time to Die (童年往事) was ranked number 3, and its sequel Dust in the Wind (恋恋风尘) was at equal 7. In total, Hou had seven films in the top 100, more than any other director.

Just pipped for first place was the four-hour long arthouse favourite A Brighter Summer Day (牯岭街少年杀人事件) from 1991. The film is directed by Edward Yang (杨德昌, pinyin: Yáng Déchāng) who, like Hou Hsiao-Hsien, was one of Taiwan's New Wave filmmakers who came to prominence in the 1980s. Although the story centres on a murder case , gangs and a teenage romance, A Brighter Summer Day also has political overtones, depicting the social unrest of the time (the sixties).

Yang had six films in the top 100, and a second film Yi Yi: A One and a Two (一一) in the top ten. Other filmmakers with multiple entries in the top 100 were the mainland's Zhang Yimou and Hong Kong's Wong Kar-Wai - both with five apiece. Like Yang, Wong Kar-Wai had two films in the top ten, including the highest-ranked Hong Kong film, Days of Being Wild (阿飞正传). Taiwan's Ang Lee had four films on the list - the international blockbuster Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (卧虎藏龙) being his highest rated. Also with four films were Taiwan's Tsai Ming-liang and Hong Kong's Ann Hui.

The Golden Horse Top 100 is very much Taiwan-centric - seven of the top ten films are Taiwanese - just as the Hong Kong Film Awards list was heavily skewered towards Hong Kong films. However these lists are guaranteed never to please everyone. My personal top three Chinese films for example could only manage rankings of 18, equal 44 and equal 91.

The Top Ten is as follows:
1. A City of Sadness - Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan, 1989
2. A Brighter Summer Day - Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1991
3. A Time to Live, A Time to Die - Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan 1985
4. Days of Being Wild - Wong Kar-Wai, Hong Kong, 1990
5. Spring in a Small Town - Fei Mu, mainland China, 1948
6. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Ang Lee, Taiwan, HK, US, China, 2000
7. Yi Yi: A One and a Two - Edward Yang, Taiwan,
7. Dust in the Wind - Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan,
9. Dragon Gate Inn (龙门客栈) - King Hu, Taiwan, 1967
9. In the Mood for Love (花样年华) - Wong Kar-Wai, Hong Kong, 2000

The list in full can be found at this Film Business Asia article.
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