Tuesday, 1 October 2013


Before I proceed with the rest of tonight's post, I must apologise for the use of the *expletive* in the title.

I've been feeling outraged ever since I logged on to the 2013 Golden Horse Awards (GHA) website earlier on this evening  to check out the list of nominees and discovered with increasing dismay that Jay's The Rooftop was nowhere to be found.


I read through the list more carefully but it was clear:
The Rooftop had NOT been nominated in ANY category, not even for the music-related ones like Best Film Score or Best Song.
(My sadness over this was a little offset by my happiness that our local film, Ilo Ilo had received six nominations! Way to go, Anthony Chen, Chen Tianwen, Yeo Yann Yann and Koh Jia Ler!)

But it is really befuddling how The Rooftop could have been so rudely snubbed like that.
I know it was not that popular in Taiwan but that should not take away from what Jay has achieved with that movie viz a Chinese musical movie complete with original film score and songs.
Not to mention an original story with beautiful sets and cinematography,which brought the audience into the world of Galilee City.

I can only surmise that the movie just did not square with the jury's (preconceived) view or taste about what a movie musical should be.
As Jay himself had only a couple of days ago mentioned himself, whether the movie does well at the box office or wins any awards really depends on the taste of the audience.
Methinks that was, sadly, somewhat prophetic.

My only consolation is that, knowing Jay, this will not faze him and, instead, he will consider it a setback and chalk it up to experience.
I'm sure he would not have done The Rooftop any other way either, even if he had a chance to go back and redo it, as he felt really strongly about how he was putting the whole project together with all his heart and soul.

I remember him being asked at one interview how he would react if the movie did not do well or win any awards and his reply was:

"I'll just work harder on something else the next time."

Which, in essence, has been how he has reacted to his previous non-successes eg Pandamen and Mr J Channel.
At the end of the day, whatever he does, he does out of passion and to give his friends a chance to work with him, be it in a movie, a music video, a concert or a TV show.
Whether it is a success or not, he would have already had the joy that comes with that and in that sense, one can never truly have a 'failure'.

This also brings home another point about Jay:

He is human, after all!
He has his share of ups and downs too and no, he may be a Heavenly King, but he does not have the golden touch in everything that he does.

However, he has mentioned that he will be concentrating more on music for now and movie-making will take a back seat. (I can almost hear a collective sigh of relief from his fans!)
But somehow, I think the directing bug is still in him and I'm certain he will bounce back from this and astound us with something else in the near future.

I don't know Jay's reaction to this yet and when I do, I'll update or write a new post.

Whatever the case may be, I love The Rooftop very much and believe strongly that the jury has not shown the right judgement in ignoring it in this manner.
And the Taiwanese film industry will be all the poorer for this.


  1. Agree -- this is crazily sad. Sure, the movie was of uneven quality but generally the most fair-minded reviewers agreed it had its high points, namely the first two-thirds. And some of the songs and sequences were incredible, musically and aesthetically. The best quote was by the reviewer who said this was the sort of mistake that only a very talented person could make. In that sense, I think the movie *was* golden.

    Never mind -- as someone said of Alexander Pope, in the future his critics will only be remembered like flies in the amber of his greatness.

  2. I bet the jury were afraid that The Rooftop would blow all the other movies away if it was nominated. :P

    Anyway, what's done is done.
    Jay has plenty of other ideas in that creative brain of his.
    Thanks for the Alexander Pope mention. :)