Beijing Pops: What’s the Worst Chinese Film of 2020? Ask the Golden Broom!

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Winners of 2021 Golden Broom Awards announced, only one winner shows up
For any film industry professional, there's no greater honor than winning a coveted award. In China specifically, actors and directors dream of taking home the holy trinity that is a Golden Rooster (Chinese mainland), Golden Horse (Taiwan), and Golden Lady (Hong Kong). Unfortunately, however, not all awards are created equal. Just ask the recipients of China's dreaded Golden Broom.

The 金扫帚奖 jīn sào zhou jiǎng Golden Broom Awards – akin to the Golden Raspberry Awards in the States – is something of a joke award given to films that performed particularly badly in the previous year. Its inaugural event was held in 2009 in Beijing, and four categories including Most Disappointing Film, the Most Disappointing Director, and Most Disappointing Actor and Actress in a Leading Role, were presented, complete with a ridiculous broom-shaped trophy.

Why the broom, you ask? According to the sponsor, it signifies the idea that these films were “swept out” by media and audiences. What’s more, brooms also symbolize “bad luck” in some Chinese contexts. For instance, if people call someone a "扫帚星 sào zhou xīng broom star," it means he or she is believed to be a jinx who brings bad fortune to those around them. Therefore, it's no surprise that throughout the years, many Golden Broom winners – from time to time, everyone one of them – pretends to be unaware of the "honor," and never shows up to collect their star-crossed trophy.

However, according to Cheng Qingsong, founder of the Golden Brooms and chief editor of movie magazine Youth Film Handbook, the aim of the award is “to improve China’s booming film industry” and “shine a light on movies that only care about scoring big at the box office,” and not necessarily creating a film Hall of Shame in China. His intention sounds good, but based on the annual low turnout at the ceremony, it's safe to assume that most people, especially those who win, aren't buying it. Nevertheless, it's not entirely uncommon for one or two good sports to show up. At this year’s ceremony, which took place in Beijing on Mar 26, the sole recipient to make an appearance was vice president of China Century Film, Qiang Ge, one of the investors of Wild Grass 荞麦疯长 qiáo mài fēng zhǎng, which took home an astounding three Brooms: Most Disappointing Film, Most Disappointing Director, and Most Disappointing Actor. 

Below is the full list of 2021 Golden Broom Award winners, with links to the film's trailers. No need to click them, unless you’re too bored and don’t mind wasting two minutes of your life!

Most Disappointing Film:

The Story of Hay Bo 喜宝 xǐ bǎo 

Wild Grass 

Oversize Love 月半爱丽丝 yuè bàn ài lì sī 

Most Disappointing Director: 

Guo Jingming, The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity 晴雅集 qíng yǎ jí

Xu Zhanxiong, Wild Grass

Most Disappointing Scriptwriter:

Wang Danyang and Liang Lulu, The Story of Hay Bo

Most Disappointing Actress: 

Guo Caijie, The Story of Hay Bo

Most Disappointing Actor:

Li Xian, The Enigma Of Arrival 抵达之谜 dǐ dá zhī mí and Soul Snatcher 赤狐书生 chì hú shū shēng

Huang Jingyu, Wild Grass and Oversize Love

The most disappointing streaming media film: 

Monkey King 孙悟空大战盘丝洞 sūn wù kōng dà zhàn pán sī dòng
Hot online drama propels actress Jing Tian back into the spotlight
33-year-old actress Jing Tian is back in the public eye thanks to the unexpected success of online drama 司藤 Si Teng Rattan, in which she doubles down as a beautiful rattan monster, who splits into two incarnations – the kind and determined Si Teng; and emotional and cruel Bai Ying – in a fierce conflict dating back 70 years.

The drama follows the story of Si Teng's rebirth in modern society after she was killed in a conflict with Bai Ying. The story's hero Qin Fang (played by Zhang Binbin) accidentally awakens Si Teng deep in a mountain and subsequently becomes both her servant and lover as they set out to exact revenge on Bai Ying. The show wrapped up last week, amassing more than 3 billion views. What's more, Si Teng's stunning costume design quickly became an online fashion sensation, with sales of the same style garment tripling over the past month.

Having graduated from Beijing Film Academy in 2011, Jing Tian is fairly accomplished. She played the daughter of kung-fu star Jackie Chen in Police Story, worked with Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, and Willem Dafoe in 2016's The Great Wall, and reached international audiences in Hollywood blockbusters such as Kong: Skull Island (2017) and PacificRim: Uprising (2018). Unfortunately, however, her performances were generally regarded as subpar, and Jing was even given the title of “Bad Film Queen” by netizens.

Given that her acting career has been less than stellar, her romance with former national table tennis player Zhang Jike in 2018 wound up being more dramatic than any show she’s ever starred in. The couple made it public on Weibo in March 2018 and promptly broke up a year later. Needless to say, no one quite knew what brought them together in the first place, nor what led to their eventual separation.
Vietnamese fans purchase an estate for Beijing idol as a birthday present
Beijing-born idol Zhao Xiaotang celebrated her 24th birthday on Apr 2, receiving tons of blessings and gifts from stars and fans including happy birthday ads in subway stations, bus stops, shopping malls, and even elevator screens. But without a doubt, the most eye-catching present was an estate bearing the title "Lady of Glencoe" from Vietnamese fans.

The estate – measuring one square foot – is on a hill known as Keil at Glencoe Wood in the Scottish Highlands. In fact, the area is part and parcel of a charity project founded in 2006 by a fellow of the Zoological Society of London and his daughter. Their mission was “to restore land that had been devastated by centuries of farming and unsympathetic commercial forestry,” which they fulfilled by selling off pieces of land priced at RMB 490 (USD 75) per square foot. Admittedly, the gift isn't too terribly expensive, however, news of it quickly went viral online and stoked heated debate, with some giving a thumbs-up to its innovation, and others criticizing the decision as a waste of money.

No matter how you feel about the gift, it's a testament to the sheer popularity of Zhao. The young dancer shot to stardom during last year’s girl survival show Youth With You 2, ultimately taking seventh place in the final and securing a spot in the show-generated girl group THE9.

A graduate of Beijing Dance Academy – known as the “cradle of terpsichoreans,” Zhao caught the attention of the show's producers and audience thanks to her excellent dancing skills. Besides being a dancer, she’s also an actress and made her debut in the drama 北京女子图鉴 běi jīng nǚ zǐ tú jiàn Women In Beijing in 2018. On the heels of that performance, she starred in the suspense series 青春警事 qīng chūn jǐng shì Caught In The Heartbeat. Her newest comedy-drama featuring cross-talk group Deyunshe started shooting in February and is expected to air later this year.

READ: Beijing Pops: Boys' Love Drama "Word of Honor" Hits Amazon Prime

Images: Weibo, Douban
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