HKMDB Daily News

September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: — dleedlee @ 7:23 am
Louis Koo
Richie Ren
Han Yuqin
Lam Suet
Michelle Ye
Han Yuqin, Johnnie To
Han Yuqin, Michelle Ye

September 8, 2009

Accident (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 9:27 am

Accident (Yi Ngoi)
By Fionnuala Halligan

Dir. Soi Cheang. Hong Kong, China, 2009, 86 mins.

Accident is a tricksy, fantastical Hong Kong hit-man film from Soi Cheang and the Milkyway Creative Team, produced by Johnnie To and bearing all the hallmarks of that label. Kicking off with an impressively well-edited sequence which will ensure audiences never view an accident in quite the same way again, its three main set pieces are enough to see this film break out in Asian markets and be a strong ancillary performer for Media Asia – even if they ultimately become mired in something of a narrative fog.

Running to a snappy 86 minutes, Accident is anchored by its three pieces and easily the most impressive is the opener, set in the busy streets of Hong Kong where a driver is stuck in traffic. A thoroughly enjoyable, high-impact sequence of events follows in which a chain of seemingly accidental occurrences lead to his death with shards of glass impaled in his neck.

This was no ordinary man, however, but a Triad boss, however, and his death was no accident. The Brain (Louis Koo) and his team – consisting of Uncle (Feng Tsiu-fan), Fatty (Lam Suet) and a nameless character played by Michelle Ye – are hitmen with unblemished records who specialise in making their assassinations look like complete accidents. It’s established early on that The Brain is unhealthily paranoid, however, even bugging his own team HQ.

As they go about setting up their next hit – another great sequence involving tramtracks and a wheelchair-bound old man - things start to go spectacularly wrong. Brains is convinced that somebody has taken a hit out on him, firstly suspecting his team members, and then an accountant Fong (Richie Jen) whom he ultimately believes to be behind it all.

Accident is – unsurprisingly, given its pedigree - far more successful and sure-handed when it comes to the action elements, but much footage of Brains’ paranoia and Koo’s stiff-jawed depiction of the hitman can allow the tension to leak. Notably, this is a Hong Kong actioner with no guns and gore is kept to a minimum.

Stylistically, Cheang is a less-flashy operator than his mentor To, using a lot of available light and evidently shooting on the hoof in crowded cityscapes. He turns in some very attractive work, especially in the night sequences, and action involving an eclipse. The soundtrack lends a jazzy mood to the proceedings.

Production companies
Milkyway Image

International sales
Media Asia Distribution
+ 852 23144288

Johnnie To

Szeto Kam Yuen
Nicholl Tang

Milkyway Creative Team

Fung Yuen-man

David Richardson

Production designers/costumes
Silver Cheung
Stanley Cheung

Xavier Jamaux

Main cast
Louis Koo
Richie Jen
Feng Tsui-fan
Michelle Ye
Lam Suet
Han Yuqin
Monica Mok

Accident (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 8:08 am

The Accident
By Natasha Senjanovic

Bottom Line: Original and moody thriller from action master Soi Cheange.
Venice International Film Festival, Competition

VENICE — A moody, minimalist thriller, “The Accident” is not what one would expect from this Soi Cheange-Johnnie To collaboration. It features little action but is a brilliantly conceived paranoid spiral of a professional hitman. Both Cheange and To have a loyal following worldwide, and this film in particular should broaden international theatrical horizons. “The Accident” is also tailor-made for a remake.

Working with a crack team, Ho Kwok-fai (Louis Koo), who goes by “Brain,” commits perfect murders that are actually elaborately staged accidents. The film’s opening scenes are pure ballet: A Triad boss is killed after a series of choreographed, seemingly casual events that to the police could only be accidental.

Their next client hires the team to off his elderly father. On the night they do, one of Brain’s crew is himself killed in an accident and someone breaks into Brain’s apartment. Suspicious by nature and by profession, he begins following the client, who leads him to a mysterious insurance agent (Asian heartthrob Richie Jen).

Brain wiretaps the agent’s apartment, moves in underneath him and spends his days following or listening to the man’s every move. Brain even begins doubting the rest of his crew, which he has already been bugging for some time.

In the beginning, we also assume Brain’s partner was murdered, but could it have been just a freak accident? Are the events Brain strings together related or just everyday movements interpreted by the paranoid mind of a man in mourning?

The scenes take place either in broad daylight or in nighttime shadows, where faces are half-exposed in yellow lamplight. The suspense mounts as Brain tries to unravel what has happened, but not everything in life is controllable or controlled — like the car accident that killed Brain’s wife that may or may not have been an attempt on his own life.

Too much time is spent watching Brain listening to the agent, however, and towards the end “The Accident” seems to be imitating Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece “The Conversation.” But the finale neatly, and tragically, connects the pieces of the puzzle.

Production companies: Milky Way
Cast: Louis Koo, Richie Jen, Michelle Ye, Suet Lam, Monica Mok
Director: Soi Cheange
Screenwriters: Kam-Yuen Szeto, Lik-Kei Tang
Producer: Johnnie To
Director of photography: Yuen Man Fung
Production designers: Silver Cheung, Stanley Cheung
Music: Xavier Jamaux
Editor: David Richardson
Sales Agent: Media Asia Distribution
No rating, 86 minutes

September 6, 2009

Venice and Vancouver

Michelle Ye Xuan

Han Yuqin
Louis Koo
Soi Cheang Pou-Soi
Richie Ren’s wife, Tina
Richie Ren, wife Tina, Soi Cheang, guest, Louis Koo, Michelle Ye, Han Yuqin
Venice: Accident Red Carpet (Zimbio)

Louis Koo

Richie Ren

Michelle Ye Xuan

Han Yuqin

Accident defies Hong Kong thriller genre

Variety: Tetsuo the Bullet Man (Japan)

Vancouver Fest Announces Dragons & Tigers (more summaries)
THE COW (Guan Hu) North American Premiere
The sole survivor of a Japanese attack in WWII, shock-haired Chinese farmer Nie Er becomes an unlikely resistance hero, along with his companion, an indomitably loyal milk cow. Guan Hu’s picaresque black comedy packs a delightfully absurd punch, with stunning images illustrating a touching magic-realist fable.

OXHIDE II (Liu Jiayin) North American Premiere
One of Chinese cinema’s boldest experiments in narrative fiction is also the funniest Chinese film of the year. Liu Jiayin’s story of making dumplings with her parents structures this formally daring, wryly amusing look at family dynamics, economic burdens and the ethics and aesthetics of cooking from scratch.

NIGHT AND FOG (Ann Hui) North American Premiere
Based on a true incident, Ann Hui’s harrowing drama captures domestic violence in all its dramatic complexity. When a pregnant mainland woman marries a violently jealous unemployed Hong Konger, economic and cultural differences prove explosive.

An elegant, tough, unconventional film noir from Malaysia. Probing beneath unquiet surfaces, Ho Yuhang’s luminous images and stunning montages catch quiet passions erupting into unpredictable, shocking action: between two young lovers, between husband and wife and between mother and son.

YANG YANG (Cheng Yu-chieh) North American Premiere
This vibrantly alive coming-of-age story of a young Eurasian woman in Taipei follows glamorous Yang Yang from high-school athlete to aspiring actress. Director Cheng Yu-chieh’s intimate camera captures the precise articulation, via sex, scandal and heartbreak, between adolescence and adulthood.

September 5, 2009

Accident (Variety Review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 7:44 pm

Yi ngoi

(Hong Kong) A Media Asia Films presentation of a Milkyway Image production. (International sales: Media Asia, Hong Kong.) Produced by Johnnie To. Executive producer, John Chong.
Directed by Soi Cheang. Screenplay, Szeto Kam-yuen, Nicholl Tang,

With: Louis Koo, Richie Jen, Feng Tsui-fan, Michelle Ye, Lam Suet, Han Yuqin, Monica Mok, Chan Mong-wah.

After a decade as one of Hong Kong’s least-known maverick helmers, Soi Cheang takes a confident step onto the international stage with hitman puzzle-caper “Accident.” Clearly benefiting from the creative discipline of working with Johnnie To’s Milkyway team, Cheang has ironed out his usual rough edges and scripting weaknesses without losing his natural smarts as a genre director. Result, tagged to To’s name as producer, looks set for robust fest play, warm theatrical in friendly territories, long life on ancillary and remake possibilities.

With its high concept of a bunch of assassins who disguise their kills as accidents, the pic is the ultimate demonstration of To’s favorite mantra for his own films: “Expect the unexpected.” “Accident” takes that idea one step further by making the killers themselves victims of accidental (or maybe not) forces.

With its twisting plot and multiple betrayals (perceived or otherwise), plus regular To actors and technicians, the movie has the strong imprint of a Milkyway production, even though it’s a totally gun-free zone. There are few traces of Cheang’s wild early works (”Diamond Hill,” “Horror Hotline…Big Head Monster”) or his recent over-the-top actioners (”Dog Bite Dog,” “Shamo”), but the pic does have its own signature in its noirish, jazzy interludes and the main character’s growing paranoia.

Dubbing himself an “accident choreographer,” the coolly methodical Ho Kwok-fai, aka “Brain” (Louis Koo), leads a small team (Feng Tsui-fan, Lam Suet, Michelle Ye) who specialize in planned “accidents” for money. Post-titles setpiece in a crowded Hong Kong street cleverly introduces the assassins and their methods with a mixture of suspense and black comedy, as one thing triggers another apparently by chance.

Post-op, however, it’s clear there are tensions within the group (Brain even bugs his own HQ) that feed into the subsequent story. Their next client, Wong (Chan Mong-wah), who wants his father killed, challenges them to come up with an elaborate scenario that, after several aborted attempts, almost goes wrong.

One of the team is killed, and Brain just escapes death himself. Convinced it was an “accident” planned by another party, Brain follows Wong to a meeting with a businessman, Fong (Taiwan’s Richie Jen), and becomes increasingly suspicious that not only Fong but even his own teammates are plotting against him.

There’s more than a touch of classic Brian De Palma in the corkscrew plot and setpieces, even though Cheang & Co. don’t try to emulate De Palma’s single-take trademark. And as Brain’s brain becomes progressively screwier, doubts emerge about whether what one is seeing is the truth or an interpretation of it.

Unlike many Milkyway productions, the pic doesn’t temporarily run out of steam at the 70-minute mark. Apart from an off-kilter coda following the clever finale, the script runs smoothly from start to finish, in a single arc.

As the whiz kid whose own tables are turned against him, Hong Kong star Koo gives a cold, expressionless perf that Cheang supplements emotionally via production design and supporting characters. Among the other cast, Feng gets the meatiest part as the sickly, forgetful “Uncle”; co-star Jen, smooth as silk, has little more than an extended cameo.

Tech package is strong, with a moody, nocturnal-bluesy score by Frenchman Xavier Jamaux that’s a neat fit with Fung Yuen-man’s voyeur-like widescreen lensing.

Milkyway Creative Team. Camera (color, widescreen), Fung Yuen-man; editor, David Richardson; music, Xavier Jamaux; production designers/costume designers, Silver Cheung, Stanley Cheung; sound (Dolby Digital), Leung Chung-wai, Martin Chapell; action choreographer, Jack Wong. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (competing), Sept. 4, 2009. (Also in Toronto Film Festival — Vanguard.) Running time: 85 MIN. (Cantonese, Mandarin dialogue)

Accident cast in Venice

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 12:51 pm

Accident Photocall


Michelle Ye Xuan
Near accident!
Han Yuqin, Michelle Ye
Soi Cheang Pou-Soi
Han Yuqin
Richie Ren


Chinese media give the film lukewarm reviews (6-7.5/10) after viewing press screening.

August 14, 2009

August 14, 2009

Kungfu Cyborg designs - more

Movie opens August 20

Talks of Stephen Chow’s retirement dispelled

HK director offers mix of violence, creativity
Soi’s thriller ‘Accident’ nominated for Golden Lion at Venice

Movie aims to rein in China’s Online Mob
“Invisible Killer,” produced and co-written by Xie Xiaodong, is the first movie to broach the subject of Internet vigilantism and dramatize the pitfalls of having a mobilized and motivated online mob administering its own brand of justice.
Variety: Invisible Killer review

Zhang Ziyi, So Ji-Sub
Zhang Ziyi and So Ji-Sub promote Sophie’s Revenge in South Korea

Korean Actor So Ji-sub to Court Zhang Ziyi Onscreen

Ziyi: Break-up rumours are baseless

Zhou Xun

Maggie Cheung

Shu Qi
Zhou Xun, Maggie Cheung and Shu Qi featured in upcoming Vogue spread

Taiwanese tycoon’s 9 heirs duke it out in NJ court

August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

Michelle Ye in Cheang Pou-Soi’s Accident (formerly Assassins)

Hong Kong art-house director Stanley Kwan tackles science fiction film

Zhang Yimou’s Three Guns story summary
The comedy-thriller is about the owner of a Chinese noodle shop whose plan to kill his cheating wife and her lover “spins out of control after the introduction of a gun into the lives of characters more accustomed to knives and swords,” Sony Pictures Classics said in a statement sent to The Associated Press late Friday.

Hong Kong cartoon piglet debuts - McDull
CCTV video in English

Nick Cheung – a late bloomer
CCTV video version (English)

Tangshan Earthquake represented on big screen
CCTV video in English
 Huayi Bro. Denies ‘If You Are the One’ Sequel in the Pipeline
Feng Xiaogang has decided that following his current project “The Tangshan Earthquake”(formerly named “Aftershock”), he will film a comedy but he has yet to choose a story.

Hollywood Reporter: Meat Grinder — Film Review
Thanks to “Meat Grinder,” Thai cinema now boasts its own Sweeney Todd in the form of a female psychopath who grinds her victims into meatballs for noodle soup

NY Times: Chasing Society’s Hidden Dragons - Ang Lee

Venice Launches 3D Film Prize, Ang Lee Heads Jury Panel

‘Talentime’, Yasmin’s final masterpiece?
[Related note: iTunes Store has three free podcasts available with interviews/discussions with Yasmin Ahmad and Sharifah Amani]

Actress Lee Sinje bags beauty ambassador role
Lee Sinje in Singapore as SK-II beauty ambassador - photos

Andy LauGong Li
Patrick TseKelly Lin, Simon Yam
Kenny BeeJordan ChanAndy On, Jennifer TseJet LiLau Ching Wan
Stars open Lan Kwai Fong Hotel in Macau promote child adoption - photos

More photos

Aaron Kwok Taipei concert

Photo gallery

SCMP: Gillian Chung interview with subtitles
Plays Carmen Mok in remake of Neil Simon’s I Ought To Be in Pictures

July 31, 2009

July 31, 2009

Storm Warriors limited editon posters released at Anime Festival

Ekin Chen, Ma Wing-Shing (original manga illustrator, writer), Aaron Kwok

Variety: Coweb review

Variety: Chaw review

Yu Shaoqun, Liu Yifei Tapped for another ‘Chinese Ghost Story’

bc Magazine: Overheard reviewed

Taipei Times Film Review: ‘Empire of Silver’ short changes audiencesThe world of finance is barren ground for a good story in ‘Empire of Silver,’ a big-budget period drama about the Wall Street of imperial China

Taipei Times Film Review: Sons are for fathers the twice-told tale in How Are You, Dad
Best known for directing Hoklo and Hakka films, Chang Tso-chi shot a movie in Mandarin as a response to his late father’s wishes

Two Chinese Films to Vie for Golden Lion
Venice Film Festival unveils lineup
Hong Kong helmer Yonfan’s “Prince of Tears,” set in Taiwan during the 1950s anti-Communist period known there as “White Terror.
Cheang Pou-Soi’s thriller “Accident,” [previously Assassins] produced by Johnnie To
Yonfan’s Prince of Tears to compete at Venice Film Festival
[see May 19 entry for additional background]

‘Taking Woodstock’ Premieres in New York

Premiere photos

From farmer to A-lister: Wang Baoqiang’s unchanged smile
Blind Shaft earned him 1,000 yuan ($146), and a Best New Performer award at the Golden Horse Awards.

Star-studded film to open for 60th anniversary of PRC

Children Of Workers: 24 City

Life in China through a foggy lens

Meng Yao, Nick Cheung and Monica Mok attend launch ceremoney for To Live and Die in Mongkok

Korean stars take their shot at Hollywood
Supporting roles seen as opening door to larger parts

Li Bingbing Denies Rumors of Foreign Boyfriend

Taipei Times: Pop Stop
Eason Chan, A-Mei and so much more

Zhao Wei reported to be marrying Singaporean businessman

Kelly Chen ruffles mother-in-law’s feathers

Shu Qi ambassador and Hou Hsiao-Hsien executive director attend press conference for 2009 Golden Horse awards

Zhou Xun shampoo advertising photos

Zhao Wei

New Zhao Wei pictures

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