HKMDB Daily News

November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009

Divaasia: Vivian returns to her roots

Actress Vivian Hsu will soon start work on the new Taiwanese movie Seediq Bale, directed by Wei Te Sheng, who also directed last year’s Cape No 7.

Vivian plays the lead role in the movie that portrays the Wushe Incident, a 1930 Seediq uprising led by Mona Rudao against the Japanese when Taiwan was colonised.

The Seediq are Taiwanese aboriginal people who, along with the Truku people, were previously classified as the Atayal tribe.

She said: “I won’t be speaking any Mandarin in the movie at all. Instead, I would have to speak Japanese and Seediq.”

The movie is due to film for half a year and will be completed in 2011.

It is budgeted at $21 million.

Treasure Hunter poster featuring Jay Chou

(HunanTV)

Bodyguards and Assassins main poster

The difficulty in fitting all the cast took three months before finalizing the poster.

World premiere will be in Nanjing Nov. 12 where Sun Yat-Sen’s mausoleum is located.

(HunanTV)

THR: Tang Wei returns in ‘Manchu’ remake

‘Lust, Caution’ actress coming off ban, stars in English film

“Full Autumn” in Korean — by Kim Tae-yong (“Family Ties”) will start shooting later this month in Seattle, and will travel to other cities across the United States, the Korean producer said…

THR: Hong Kong movies make a dramatic showing at the boxoffice

Four local films got into the top 10 in the summer: the Shaw Brothers’ comeback “Turning Point” (HK15.7 million), “Overheard” from the “Infernal Affairs” team (HK15.5 million), Edko’s Aaron Kwok thriller “Murderer” (HK11.7 million) and period comedy “On His Majesty’s Secret Service” (HK8.8 million). Only two made the cut last summer…Although the number of local releases rose slightly in 2009, what’s staggering is the upcoming Chinese New Year public holiday slot, which will see 10 Hong Kong/Chinese-language high-profile projects competing in three weeks in February. It’s something the which hasn’t been seen since the 1990s….

THR: AFM Special Report: Hong Kong

Boxoffice may be up, but the outlook is troubled

“If there (were) enough films to make in Hong Kong, I’d rather not go anywhere else,” says [Herman] Yau, the hugely prolific Hong Kong director who works with three crews simultaneously — even while many technicians have followed the helmers to the mainland. “Although a large number of Hong Kong filmmakers are now working in China,” he says, “they can’t bring all the film crews with them, so there’re still a lot of local crew members stranded here, unemployed.”

THR: ‘Bodyguards and Assassins’ sells at AFM

Cinema Popular also is shopping its action-romantic comedy “The Return of the Incredible Wu Xia Couple,” directed by Vincent Kuk, and Dante Lam’s period actioner “Flying Guillotines” at AFM.

Screen Daily

THR: Jung to star in ‘Rain of Swords’

Film co-stars Michelle Yeoh, co-produced by John Woo

Screen Daily: TF1 buys Media Asia’s Chen Zhen for France

Hong Kong’s Media Asia Distribution has sold The Legend Of Chen Zhen, directed by Andrew Lau and starring Donnie Yen, to France’s TF1.

Leading Hong Kong action star Yen plays Chen Zhen in the film, a folk hero who fights the Shanghai mafia and occupying Japanese. Shu Qi and Anthony Wong also star…Meanwhile, Dream Movies also took rights for Australia and New Zealand to Pang Ho-chueng’s Love In A Puff, a comedy starring Miriam Yeung and Shawn Yue, and Johnnie To’s new project, Death Of A Hostage, starring Lau Ching Wan.

Zhang Yimou’s remake of Blood Simple [Amazing Tales: Three Guns] has bought its release forward from December 18 to December 11, while Hong King Universe’s The Storm Warriors has shifted its release to December 10. Jay Chou-starring Treasure Hunter will be released on December 9 instead of mid-month as originally planned, and Ning Hao’s road movie Wu Ren Qu [No Man's Land] will move back its release by three months to March next year…

Variety: CineAsia honors Zhou Xun

Actress to receive star of the year kudo

Variety: The Laughing Policeman (Japan)

Wheat (長平大戰之麥田)

What first might appear to be another tiresome period costumer about one of the millions of battles in China’s history turns out to be something rather different. Two deserters from the Qin army in the Warring States period lucklessly find themselves in an enemy town whose men are away fighting. Their lies and ingratiations with the women gradually wear thin — especially as others arrive with contradictory news. This meticulously photographed drama-comedy is structured around elemental themes, of which wheat, the local crop, is prominent. Directed by He Ping (何平), who made The Swordsman in Double Flag Town

Meat Grinder

(雙旗鎮刀客).

A coming-on-middle-aged street vendor projects her madness and history of abuse onto (mostly) unsuspecting, sleazy men — and cooks up a storm. Surprisingly good reviews greeted this gory Thai drama, which is right up there with Hong Kong’s The Untold Story (八仙飯店之人肉叉燒包) as a boundary-pushing, gag-inducing Asian incarnation of Sweeney Todd; it’s also a perfectly timed essay for people who think US beef is the sign of the Devil. Abstruse political subtexts (it’s set during student riots in the 1970s) and class and gender commentary … or blood, guts and torture for their own sake? Take your pick. Taiwan’s censors have let this one through without cuts, though it isn’t clear if this is the version originally banned in Thailand. Either way, here’s the question: Why doesn’t Taiwan make movies like this?

4 new Three Guns images in HD (Sina)

CRI: Stefanie Sun Sings for Mulan

Let The Bullets Fly

Ge You

Carina Lau plays Ge You’s wife

(Xinhua)

CRI: ‘Bullets’ Go Stylish (HD version Sina)

Gong Beibi and Aaron Kwok

Oxide Pang has started shooting B+Detective, the sequel to C+Detective (aka The Detective) in Thailand. (HunanTV)

Li Xiaolu and Alfred Cheung (actor, director, writer)

Love At Seventh Sight (lit.Seven Days To Fall in Love)

(HunanTV)

All’s Well Ends Well 2010 costumes - Angelababy

Lynn Xiong (Sina)

Hot Summer Days - Daniel Wu

Vivian Hsu (Sina)

2 Comments

  1. “The difficulty in fitting all the cast took three months before finalizing the poster.”

    I hope they don’t expect us to believe that the entire cast had to be assembled at the same time to shoot that poster. That’s a photoshop job if ever there was one. I’m not even sure Donnie Yen’s head rests on his actual body. :lol:

    Comment by Brian T — November 12, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  2. RE: AFM Special Report: Hong Kong
    Boxoffice may be up, but the outlook is troubled

    I think it’s great that Hong Kong filmmakers are still looking for avenues that will help them maintain their utterly distinct local cinema. It is a shame to hear Yau’s comments about unemployed film people, though. I can imagine a person in that industry needs to have some other “day job” skills so they can make ends meet, otherwise they’ll go hungry, so to speak.

    I do hope investors in those other regions will find the cause worthwile. It’s a given that some money will come from China, but it often seems like that money comes with certain dictates that water the resulting films down (at least a bit) for mainland consumption. More money from other Asian territories would be a definite asset.

    Not to sound biased (well, OK, maybe a little), but HK filmmakers could do a lot worse than to look overseas for additional funding, particularly to Canada, where the Hong Kong-descended Chinese population is massive and thriving, and there is an abundance of millionaires currently pouring their money into real estate ventures they can’t fill with tenants and which subsequently bleed money (Chinese-centric business parks and shopping centers and the like-the population’s huge, but many are as likely to shop at or run business in regular “Canadian” structures and neighborhoods, as they are Chinese-built ones, as they can reach a larger market that way). Surely if they’re willing to throw money away on white elephants like those, they could be persuaded to funnel a little money back home to preserve the film industry. The cost of one mostly dormant business park in Toronto (and there are many) could fund a year’s worth of Hong Kong pictures at current output :lol:. Lord knows, the films Hong Kong currently churns out — as well as the oldies — sell like gangbusters over here. It’s just unfortunate that the numbers are rarely represented by legal purchases (though it does happen). The demand is here, that’s for sure, and there IS increasing revenue for sellers as our laws evolve (albeit slowly).

    Money from western countries might also provide an impetus for some filmmakers to broaden their scope to encompass diasporic issues in their films. Hong Kong used to attempt these kinds of pictures back in the day, but the movies (like IT’S A MAD MAD WORLD II and LOVE ME LOVE MY DAD) were rather chilly affairs made with an uncomfortable amount of ignorance (the latter not so much, but it was still a chilly, drab affair). I think there’s a more conscientious group of filmmakers in Hong Kong now (when they’re allowed to work!), and a new influx of cash might mean a more thoughtful broadening of scope.

    Just thinkin’ is all . . .

    Comment by Brian T — November 12, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

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