HKMDB Daily News

March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:34 pm

Deanie Ip - Best Actress (”A Simple Life”), again

Asian Film Awards (Sina)2

Best New Artist - Ni Ni (”The Flowers of War”)

Ni Ni (Sina)23

Ann Hui and Lifetime Achievement Award (Sina)

Zhang Jingchu was one of the presenters Monday night

(Sina)2

Hong Kong-mainland production Wu Xia, a martial-arts thriller directed by renowned Hong Kong filmmaker Peter Chan Ho-sun, won the best cinematographer, best production designer and best composer honours. Another martial-arts epic and the world’s first such 3-D flick, The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate by Tsui Hark, won the best visual effects and best costume designer awards.

THR: Song of Silence review

A quietly moving if not cutting-edge family drama a welcome narrative change from China.

ScreenDaily: Love in the Buff review

Love In The Buff is still a relentlessly entertaining romancer that should please more than a few viewers from any culture.

FBA: Harpoon review

A well-directed low-budget slasher that’s light on real thrills.

FBA: The Floating Shadow review

Impressively acted psychodrama centred on two women, a female prisoner and a police officer. 

Above-average biopic of the father of China’s missile programme. 

Hong Kong Filmart: Emperor Readies Firefighter Drama (THR)

Emperor Motion Pictures will back an as-yet-untitled firefighter drama to be directed by award-winning helmer Derek Kwok and starring Nicholas Tse.

FilmMart 2012: Pang Brothers to Unleash ‘Inferno’ (THR)

Scheduled to begin filming in mid 2012 for release at the end of 2013, the producers describe Inferno as the first of its kind. “There is yet to be a fire disaster film in 3D made anywhere in the world, we have the courage to try,” said producer and Universe COO Alvin Lam

FilmMart 2012: Powerful Asian Alliance to Fund ‘Micro Movies’ (THR)

Micro movies refers to the small budget of the productions, targeted to average at around $1 million for each film.

The film will feature a who’s who of Korean and Hong Kong stars, including Kim Yun-seok (Punch), Kim Hye-soo (Tazza: The High Rollers), Lee Jung-jae (The Housemaid), Gianna Jun (My Sassy Girl), Simon Yam (Ip Man), Derek Tsang (Dream Home) as well as Hong Kong-based Malaysian Angelica Lee (The Eye).

CF:”The Unfortunate Car” Hits Cinemas on April 1

[T]he film documents the hilarious story of four strangers who meet one another when buying a car. The film touches upon a number of hot issues within modern society, including the license plate lottery, car-sharing, the odd/even license plate restriction plan and online shopping.

CF: Famous Photographer Works on “Guns N’ Roses” Poster

Guei Lun-Mei arriving for the Asian Film Awards (Mar.19)

(Sina-gallery)

MSN: Donnie Yen meets Keanu Reeves in Hong Kong

MSN: Andy Lau names soon-to-born daughter

THR: Jeremy Lin Linsanity Prompts Canada’s First All-Mandarin NBA Telecast

Canadian broadcaster Omni Television has hired former Chinese national basketball team player and basketball commentatorWeiping Zhang to call its first-ever NBA game in the Mandarin language whenJeremy Lin and the New York Knicks play the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

Song of Silence (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — dleedlee @ 4:08 pm

Song of Silence
3/19/2012 by Elizabeth Kerr

It is the rare Mainland film these days that does not pivot on a provincial laborer forcing his girlfriend into prostitution in the big city or disenfranchised youth overwhelmed by the rapidly changing country. And so, Chen Zhuo’s Song of Silence, a naturalistic and semi-autobiographical drama about the uneasy bonds of family and rediscovering personal humanity, is a welcome breath of fresh air. Asian-focused festivals looking for something vaguely fresh from China should be drawn to the film, though any theatrical audience will be limited to the art house crowd, predominantly in Asia-Pacific.

Teenaged Xiao Jing (Yin Yaning) lives in a tucked away town in Hunan Province, isolated by both geography and her deafness. Her only real emotional connection is with her uncle, an artist that she occasionally poses for. That slightly awkward hobby gives rise to a minor scandal involving the uncle, which results in Jing being packed off to the city to live with her resentful father, cop Haoyang (Li Qiang). Rounding out the makeshift family is Haoyang’s pregnant girlfriend Xiao Mei (Wu Bingbin), an aspiring rock star. Though the couple is far from welcoming, the fragile family slowly gels, with Jing and Mei eventually finding a comfortable middle ground when Mei proves something of a peer for Jing, and Jing proves not to be a brat. But it’s a Chinese drama, which means there’s an inevitable tragedy to deal with that repositions the minor scandal with the uncle as a much bigger one, but also forces Haoyang to finally display a semblance of fatherly behavior.

Director and co-writer Chen has a relatively delicate touch, and manages to keep what could be lurid elements from informing the characters and the story. It’s a credit to Li, Ying and Wu’s performances, particularly Li as a man stuck on the outside looking in as his girlfriend and daughter form a bond he’s not privy to; it would be easy to give in to the temptation to take Haoyang into despicable monster-father territory. Instead he’s an average man with divergent wants and desires that makes Jing an obstacle in his eyes. Mei is a character that is traditionally a shrieking caricature whose self-interest often comes across as grating petulance (ambitious women are still punished for that in Asian cinema). Instead, she remains empathetic as an understandably motivated woman terrified of getting trapped in a Podunk town. Blessedly there are no teenaged histrionics from Jing, and her understated melancholy is always palpable but never reliant on Major Acting.

Song of Silence has a muted tone and pace that suggests domestic disquiet beneath the surface, which is helped along by cinematographer Shi Yue’s unfussy camera work. Shi and Chen allow the story to unfold organically, with Haoyang and Mei at the center of a personal journey to reconnect with their humanity. In some ways Jing is simply a foil, the catalyst that compels both to stop and prioritize that which they’d recently devalued. There’s nothing particularly cutting-edge about Chen’s use of space or startlingly novel imagery, but Song of Silence is ultimately a strong debut that explores an aspect of contemporary Chinese life that speaks to audiences outside the country’s borders.

Production companies: Beijing Tiger Entertainment & Media Co. Ltd., Harvest Films Production Co. Ltd
Sales: Harvest Films Production Co. Ltd.
Producer: Lai Yifan
Director: Chen Zhuo
Cast: Li Qiang, Ying Yaning, Wu Bingbin, Yu Xuan
Screenwriter: Chen Zhuo, Sung Yankui, Chen Haoyang
Executive producer: Chen Zhuo, Wang Chong
Director of Photography: Shi Yue
Production Designer: Zheng Xiaodi, Yan Ye
Music: Jiang Anqing
THR

Love in the Buff (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 11:56 am

Love In The Buff
19 March, 2012
By Edmund Lee

With 2010’s Love In A Puff, writer-director Pang Ho-cheung (Dream Home, Exodus) scored an unlikely triumph with a chain-smoking and very chatty rom-com almost with audience word-of-mouth alone. Latching on to its rapport with the audience, Love In The Buff is a Hong Kong-China co-production that partly forgoes its prequel’s quintessentially Hong Kong setting but more than makes up for it with its stream of callous yet laugh-out-loud humour; the profanities also remain.

The film opens the Hong Kong International Film Festival with its world premiere on March 21, before going on general releases concurrently in late-March in Hong Kong, mainland China, and various cities worldwide.

Starting off with an absurdly funny short story included presumably just to parallel the original’s narrative structure, the new film quickly delves back into the relationship between cosmetic salesgirl Cherie (Miriam Yeung) and advertising executive Jimmy (Shawn Yue), which began at the end of Puff with a mutual vow to quit smoking.

As Jimmy turns out to be an immature workaholic who has an eye for beauties - all beauties - and Cherie a fed-up girlfriend who decides to move back to her mother, the former jumps at his first job offer from China and the two’s affair fizzles out.

The action then shifts to Beijing, where Jimmy hits it off with a young and gorgeous air hostess (Mimi Yang) and swiftly moves in with her. Cherie will also move north - and chance upon a new admirer (Xu Zheng) - when her employer closes its Hong Kong business six months later.

The two will, of course, run into each other, and their story will settle into a monotonous pattern in which they repeatedly exchange text messages and meet up for romantic rendezvous behind the back of each other’s partner - a vicious cycle that the film dares its protagonists to break out from to find their happy ending.

Although there are, as in the first film, naughty usages of Chinese slang that prove impossible to translate for the English subtitles, and the movie’s three memorable cameos - of pop culture mainstays Ekin Cheng, Linda Wong and Huang Xiaoming - may not come across as funny for a foreign audience,

Love In The Buff is still a relentlessly entertaining romancer that should please more than a few viewers from any culture. The hilarious video that runs alongside this worthy sequel’s end credits, which documents Jimmy’s efforts to win back Cherie at the movie’s climax, has to be seen to be believed.

Production company: Making Film
International sales: Media Asia Distribution, www.mediaasia.com
Producers: Pang Ho-cheung, Subi Liang
Executive producer: John Chong, Shi Dongming
Screenplay: Pang Ho-Cheung, Luk Yee Sum, based on characters created by Pang
Cinematography: Jason Kwan
Production designer: Lok-Lam Ho
Editor: Wenders Li
Original music: Alan Wong, Janet Yung
Main cast: Miriam Yeung, Shawn Yue, Mimi Yang, Xu Zheng
ScreenDaily

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