HKMDB Daily News

May 19, 2013

Bends (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , , , — dleedlee @ 11:38 am

Bends

5/18/2013
Maggie Lee

“Driving Miss Daisy” this ain’t, but a wealthy Hong Kong woman and her mainland Chinese chauffeur do make a small, indefinable connection as they go through their own financial meltdowns in “Bends,” Hong Kong helmer Flora Lau’s observation of China-H.K. relations. Aesthetically, Lau’s debut is beautifully assembled by a top-pedigree production crew, but it remains a modest accomplishment in scope and impact. Although the film radiates festival appeal, its lack of strong dramatic incident will hinder it from making a dent in the domestic market, even with A-list leads Aloys Chen Kun and Carina Lau onboard.

Fai (Chen) is a mainland Chinese immigrant who has obtained Hong Kong citizenship. Due to the intricacies of Hong Kong law, however, his pregnant wife, Tingting (Tian Yuan), has no right of abode; she cannot live with him and is ineligible for healthcare. She and their young daughter, Haihai, shuttle secretly between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. As Tingting’s delivery draws near, she and Fai find themselves between a rock and a hard place, threatened by a hefty penalty for forfeiting the one-child policy in their homeland, yet unable to afford hospital fees in Hong Kong.

Fai’s employer, Anna (Lau), is the bored, pampered wife of rich businessman Leo (Lawrence Cheng), who one day disappears without a trace. Beginning with suspended credits cards, frozen bank accounts, her daughter’s unpaid boarding-school tuition, and finally the sale of their tony apartment without her knowledge, Anna falls into a downward spiral (made frighteningly real by Lau) that serves as a suggestive allegory of the city’s surface glitter and shaky foundations.

Anna’s attempts to make ends meet are deliberately paralleled by Fai’s scramble to finance his wife’s delivery through an illegal birthing service in China. Anna sells stocks, spiritual charms and antiques, while Fai hawks spare parts from Leo’s Mercedes and has them secretly replaced with cheap Chinese knockoffs. A more experienced helmer might have jazzed up the narrative with a bit of black humor or developed more meaningful exchanges between the two protags before building up to the moment when their fates finally intersect.

Although she’s been given little character depth or personal background to play, Lau exudes pathos and grace, whether in her insistence at keeping up appearances with her high-society friends, or in her pathetic superstitions. Gorgeously bejeweled and outfitted by Miriam Chan, with style advice from William Chang, she’s impossible to take your eyes off. As a result, her pain registers more acutely than that of Fai’s, even though his situation is more dire; Chinese heartthrob Chen never quite convinces as the meek working-class lad, and Tian likewise projects only moods, without a trace of personality.

Christopher Doyle’s luminous, fluid lensing offers visions of spacious rooms and empty highways rarely seen in crowded, bustling Hong Kong, reinforcing Anna and Tingting’s loneliness and isolation. Sparse dialogue and haunting music lend an alienating effect; other craft contributions are also excellent. The original Cantonese title translates as “Crossing the Border,” with the implied double meaning of “Crossing the Line.”

Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 18, 2013. Running time: 95 MIN. Original title: “Guo jie”
Production
(Hong Kong) A Shadow Puppet Prod., Film Development Fund of Hong Kong, A Priori Image, Bago Pictures, Love Streams Agnes B. Prod., Post Production Office presentation of a Bends production. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris. Asian sales: Gaga, Tokyo.) Produced by Nansun Shi, Yu Tsang. Executive producer, Albert Tong.
Crew
Directed, written by Flora Lau. Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Christopher Doyle; editor, Lau, Alexis Dos Santos, Aq Lee; music, Patrick Jonsson; music supervisor, Shin Yasui; art director/set decorator, Jean Tsoi; costume designer, Miriam Chan; sound (Dolby Digital).
With
Carina Lau, Aloys Chen Kun, Tian Yuan, Lawrence Cheng, Stephanie Che. (Cantonese, Mandarin, English dialogue)
Variety

May 18, 2013

Bends (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:15 pm

Bends

5/18/2013 by David Rooney

Carina Lau and Chen Kun star in Flora Lau’s melancholy drama about a Real Housewife of Hong Kong and her personal driver, both facing crises.

Writer-director Flora Lau’s debut feature Bends is a slow-moving but ultimately affecting mood piece about two people at opposite ends of the economic spectrum, each navigating difficult crossroads. Distinguished by understated lead performances from Carina Lau and Chen Kun, and by the coolly elegant visuals of cinematographer Christopher Doyle, this is a quiet film that reflects in human terms the uneasy symbiosis of Hong Kong with mainland China.

The action takes place on either side of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border. Anna Li (Lau) is a stylish housewife who has put her humble roots behind her, living in luxury since marrying a powerful businessman. With her daughter away at boarding school, she spends her time lunching with other well-heeled wives or organizing charity events. But the precariousness of that existence is exposed when her husband disappears under a cloud, unhelpfully canceling her credit cards.

Across the border in a shabby Shenzhen housing block, Anna’s driver Fai (Chen) faces a dilemma as his pregnant wife Ting (Tian Yuan) nears the birth of their second child. Rather than risk heavy fines for violating China’s One-Child Policy, Ting is forced to hide in the apartment out of sight of their neighbors, while Fai struggles to find financial and logistic solutions to get his wife across to Hong Kong and into one of the overbooked maternity hospitals.

Director Lau’s storytelling sense sometimes lacks clarity, making the audience do more guesswork than perhaps is necessary. But the parallel situations of the two protagonists are effectively balanced, each of them intuiting something of the other’s distress without ever articulating it.

As Ting turns sullen with cabin fever, Fai grows more desperate. He tries his luck at gambling and then starts selling off parts from his employer’s Mercedes, substituting them with cheap replacements. Anna resorts to superstition, hiring a feng shui consultant to rearrange the apartment in the hope that it will bring order to her house. Gradually, she is forced to face reality and begin cashing in her valuables.

The scenario could easily have turned schematic, but the director handles it with delicacy, and her two main actors convey a lot in performances with remarkably few outward displays of emotion. The ever-magnetic Carina Lau is particularly lovely. Anna puts a brave face on things in her chic dresses and expensive accessories, but her designer shades can’t mask the fear and humiliation in her eyes as the façade crumbles.
While it bears little resemblance in tone or subject matter to his work, Bends is perhaps influenced by Wong Kar-wai in its languorous rhythms and in the prowling grace of Doyle’s crisp camerawork. A prominent credit thanking Wong’s regular production designer William Chang indicates that he likely had a hand in shaping the look of the film, with its sharp distinctions between the two worlds.

Venue: Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard)
Cast: Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan
Production companies: Shadow Puppet Productions, Film Development Fund of Hong Kong, in association with A Priori Image, Bago Pictures, Love Streams Agnes B. Productions, Post Production Office, Tomson International Entertainment Distribution
Director-screenwriter: Flora Lau
Producers: Nansun Shi, Yu Tsang, Melissa Lee, Ken Hui
Executive producer: Albert Tong
Director of photography: Christopher Doyle
Production designer: Jean Tsoi
Music: Patrick Jonsson
Costume designer: Miriam Chan
Editors: Flora Lau, Alexis Dos Santos, Aq Lee
Sales: Distribution Workshop, Hong Kong
No rating, 97 minutes.
THR

Bends (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:08 pm

Bends
8 May, 2013
By Tim Grierson

Delicately rendered but thin dramatically, Bends brings together two characters from different economic backgrounds who share emotional similarities that neither one of them realses. The feature directorial debut from Hong Kong filmmaker Flora Lau engages our sympathies even if it never quite evolves beyond a simple, heartfelt message about our dependence on one another, no matter our station in life.

Bends will cater to art houses and film festivals, relying on both positive reviews and audience interest in the movie’s exploration of the relationship between Hong Kong and China, which is dramatised through its central characters. The presence of acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle may also help boost the movie’s international profile.

Bends stars Carina Lau as Anna, a wealthy housewife living in Hong Kong whose driver Fai (Chen Kun) lives in Shenzhen in China. Anna doesn’t know much about Fai’s life, consumed as she is with hiding any evidence from the outside world that her absent husband has refused to get in contact and that her finances are quickly evaporating. Meanwhile, Fai has very different problems: His wife (Tian Yuan) is pregnant with their second child, but he can’t take her across the border to a good hospital in Hong Kong for the delivery because she’s a Chinese citizen.

Working with Doyle (a frequent lenser for Wong Kar-Wai), Lau has crafted a drama that’s both visually and emotionally lovely. Incorporating an understated, gentle tone, the filmmaker clearly cares about her two characters, opting not to portray Anna as a spoiled, aloof villain but, rather, as a woman only slowly coming to the realisation that her lavish lifestyle is fleeting. Much of the poignancy in Anna’s story comes from her unwillingness to let on to anyone that she’s in financial trouble, making it difficult to know if her brave face is a calculated act or a genuine denial of her situation.

As for Fai, he doesn’t resent Anna for her wealth — she actually treats him rather well — but his need to arrange for a hospital bed in Hong Kong for his wife requires him to raise money any way that he can, even if it means from underneath his employer’s nose. Still, Lau never tips her hand regarding which of these people we should be rooting for. In fact, the film’s generosity is such that the writer-director subtly argues that neither of these people needs to suffer — and that perhaps if they helped one another, both would be better off.

The parallel storylines going on in Bends would seem to be a metaphor for Hong Kong’s uneasy connection to China, a union fraught with tension. But despite the movie’s hopeful tone, the story’s underlying problem is that it works more as a metaphor than as a gripping piece of cinema.

There’s a drawn-out, repetitious quality to both Fai’s and Anna’s dilemma, with little surprise or escalation of the stakes. Granted, major plot twists might have clashed with the movie’s generally tranquil, melancholy tone, but Bends never quite builds — it simply arrives at its climactic moment, which is the question of whether Fai can sneak his wife into Hong Kong to give birth.

While there isn’t much of a narrative here, the two leads are effortless at portraying worried souls who, through no real fault of their own, find themselves in very different binds. Carina Lau is impressively composed despite the growing chaos in Anna’s personal life, while Kun radiates a calm assurance no matter how dire Fai’s home life becomes.

Through their equally compassionate performances, they underline the film’s strongest point: Both of these characters are perhaps too wrapped up in their own woes to recognise and appreciate the agonies experienced by the other person, even though they spend so much time together. That sentiment isn’t quite enough to make for an engrossing film experience, but it suggests a filmmaker capable of deep emotional sensitivity.

Production companies: Shadow Puppet Productions Limited, Film Development Fund of Hong Kong, A Priori Image, Bago Pictures, Love Streams Agnes B. Productions, Post Production Office, Tomlinson International Entertainment Distribution LTD, Bends Limited

International sales: Distribution Workshop, dw@distributionworkshop.com

Producers: Nansun Shi, Yu Tsang, Melissa Lee, Ken Hui

Executive producer: Albert Tong

Cinematography: Christopher Doyle

Production designer: Jean Tsoi

Editors: Flora Lau, Alexis Dos Santos, Aq lee

Music: Patrick Jonsson

Main cast: Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan
ScreenDaily

April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 12:21 pm

CF: ”Full Circle”: No Home for Old Men

The film and its Chinese title somehow pay tribute to Miloš Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”; but instead of slavishly following the dark theme of Forman’s classic, Zhang has managed to produce a bittersweet family drama.

CF: Latest Poster and Stills of “11 Flowers”

CF: Mainland Box Office Chart in the 15th Week of 2012

“Painted Skin 2″ will premiere in Chengdu, Sichuan June 15th ahead of the national release on June 28.

Zhao Wei

Stills of Chen Kun in the battlefield

(Sina)2

TaipeiTimes: Pop Stop

Isabella Leong, Edison Chen, Jay Chou et al

Kelly Chen and Riley

MSN: Kelly Chen’s newborn son meets the media

MSN: Are wedding bells ringing for Mark Chao and Gao Yuan Yuan?

MSN: Yang Mi refutes rumours of her dating Nicholas Tse

Did she dump Harwick Lau, son of HK veteran actor Lau Dan?

SGYahoo: Donnie Yen, porn actor?

Needless to say, this latest controversy reached Yen’s ears, and he responded by posting two lines of lyrics from Sam Hui and the late Leslie Cheung’s song “Silence is Golden”, which was, “Let people laugh and scold as they like, be a carefree person.”

December 3, 2011

December 3, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

Another “catch up” post, after a few eventful days at the local cardiothoracic unit. No, not for me, thankfully.

THR: Ge You Signs Three-Picture Deal with Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Pictures(CF)

Emperor Motion Pictures signed a five-year, three-picture deal with Chinese box office king Ge You to develop tailor-made vehicles for the actor-director-producer to star in, which he might also direct and produce if he chooses to. EMP has agreed to invest not less than $78 million into the three projects.

Ge You, Albert Yeung

Charlene Choi

Gillian Chung

Twins (Sina-gallery)

THR: Tang Wei to Pick Up Third Best Actress Award for ‘Late Autumn’

CF: ”Dear Enemies” Wandering on the Street

The romance movie “Dear Enemy”, dedicated to this year’s Christmas, is due to hit the national screens on December 23. A batch of new still photos was released today in the run up of its release. Lead actress and director of the movie Xu Jinglei and lead actor Stanley Huang were featured in the pictures wearing bathrobes and standing on the street.

In “Strawberry Cliff,” a supernatural thriller about a young woman who can foresee people’s deaths, director Chris Chow was able to break from formulas and plot conventions that he typically sticks to in his screenwriting work.

It also stars Eason Chan, one of Hong Kong’s most popular actors, as a Hong Kong bartender who shares a soul with both an American man and a French woman. For Mr. Chan, best known for Cantopop ballads and comedic roles, it’s a both a weightier-than-usual part and his first in English.

Mr. Chow currently is working on screenplays for a few films, including one with director John Woo. “Flying Tigers,” which Mr. Woo says he plans to begin shooting next year, is about the group of American combat pilots who fought with the Chinese military against the Japanese during World War II.

SARFT released a document named “On Promoting the Coordinated Development of Movie Making, Publishing and Releasing.”

“The Flowers of War” international poster

Nie Yuan plays a Chinese Army soldier (Sina-gallery)

CF: The Leading Actress of “The Flowers of War” Finally Removes Her Veil

The lead actress’s name, Ni Ni, is listed on the poster alongside that of Hollywood star Christian Bale; indicating the girl’s importance within the project.

(Sina)

CF: ”The Flowers of War” Pair Cover Hollywood Reporter Magazine

Also, the premiere of “The Flowers of War” was moved ahead one day to Dec. 15 to get a jump on Tsui Hark’s “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate”. (Sina)

Reportedly, Zhou Dongyu, Joe Chan and Dou Xiao are all dubbed by professionals in the Cantonese edition.

New “first tear” poster for “Allure of Tears”, now scheduled for Dec. 22 release

Aarif Lee, Zhou Dongyu

Barbara Wong coaxes tears from Zhou Dongyu (Sina)2

Chen Kun will portray a nefarious eunuch with high level kung-fu skills, going up against Ming Dynasty general Chow Wai-On, played by Jet Li. Newly released still photos, showcasing Chen’s unique make-up and luxurious costumes, give audiences a glimpse of the character that Chen is set to portray.

Chen Kun

(Sina)

At the 24th Tokyo International Film Festival, which took place from October 20-30, the director revealed that the film would be released on the mainland, and beared this in mind during the filming process. “I’ve prepared backup materials for the sensitive content that may be disapproved by the Film Board,” he said in an interview. So, there is no need for movie fans to worry about losing the original flavor when watching Ko’s latest creation on mainland cinema screens.

The perfect kung fu duo—Tsui Hark and Jet Li—pose for a photo shoot for “GQ” magazine to promote their new wuxia martial arts flick “Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate 3D” slated for release on December 16.

CF: Leni Lan Yan Covers the For Him Magazine

Lan Yan poses for a sultry and seductive photo shoot to cover the For Him Magazine (FHM).

Many fans, however, were less than thrilled with a crude joke actor Eric Tsang made about the film You Are the Apple of My Eye. Tsang cohosted the ceremony with his daughter, Mando-pop singer and actress Bowie Tsang.

The Chinese title of the sweet-natured comedy, which is about a group of high school friends engaged in a romantic rivalry, literally translates as “Those years, we chased the same girl.” The film has set box office records in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong and a single off its soundtrack, Those Years (那些年), has become a major hit.

The movie is so influential, Tsang declared during the ceremony, that Hong Kong director Wong Jing, a prolific director with infamously crass sensibilities, wants to make his own version. The title? “Those years, when we raped the same girl”.

“That sounds a little scary,” Bowie Tsang responded to her father as their celebrity audience giggled nervously.

Lin Chi-ling probably wishes the media had some boundaries, too. The supermodel celebrated her 37th birthday last week, which led to yet another round of tabloid speculation about when she will finally find a husband…Gossip reporters were horrified by the idea of Taiwan’s top model becoming a 40-year-old spinster. “I feel like everyone asks me the same question every year,” said Lin with a giant smile plastered across her face. “I never have a different answer. It makes me feel depressed.”

Baby, baby, baby…

Soon after Andy Lau’s admission that he is going to be a father, fellow “Heavenly King” Leon Lai hinted that he may well be next, during the premiere of his new film “White Vengeance” on Tuesday, reported Hong Kong media.

Benny Chan recently shared a piece of happy news amidst all the negativity he’s been getting due to his improper behaviour towards 19-year-old actress Rose Chan.

Previously, a tabloid claimed that Benny paid Rose HK$1 million as a form of compensation. Commenting on the report, the actor said, “Today’s my two queens’ birthday. Let’s not talk about that.” (Sina)

Chan’s wife, Lisa Jiang, a Chinese former-model, was due to give birth in mid-December but delivered her daughter earlier via Cesarean section because the baby’s umbilical cord was coiled around its neck.

“Because this day is my wife Lisa Jiang’s 26th birthday and is also the day my daughter is born, it is especially memorable,” Chan told reporters.

October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

CF: ”East Meets West 2011″ Holds Press Conference

The director of the film revealed that 60 popular Chinese stars, including Karen Mok, Ekin Cheng, Jaycee Chan, William So, Yang Mi, Jonathan Lee and Alan Tam will be involved in the film, as well as those in attendance at the event.

Huang Yi

Stephy Tang, William So, Eason Chan, Jeff Lau, Kenny Bee, Huang Yi, Tan Weiwei (Sina-slideshow)

Topping the domestic box office chart on its third week on the screens, Jet Li’s latest fantasy action movie “The Sorcerer and the White Snake (Its Love)” grossed an estimated 200 million RMB (about $31.4m) and still has a strong hold on the international box office charts, remaining at seventh place.

On the sidelines of the event, an exhibition was also launched to showcase the film’s production process. The exhibition consists of the pictures of the scenes, character modeling, and victims shot by an American journalist with Time magazine in 1942.

Two unnamed Hollywood actors familiar to domestic audiences have also been cast. (Sina)

Movie review: The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (SG)

Publicity stills of Kathy Chow preparing for battle in “The Legendary Amazons”

And Cheng Pei-Pei

(Sina)2

Lin Chi-Ling in Chengdu to promote “Love on Credit”

Lin Chi-Ling, Super Girl Liu Xin, Leste Chen (Sina)

Yesterday, in Shanghai:

Lin Chi-Ling, Chen Kun

Leste Chen, Lin Chi-Ling

(Sina-slideshow)

New poster for “Harpoon”

Zhao Ming is one of the torture victims when a group on a tour of Hainan goes awry

The film will be released in early December. (Sina)

Returning to Hong Kong from Rome, Tang Wei spoke with reporters to compensate them for arriving late.

She acknowledged having spoke with 007 director Sam Mendes but was otherwise cagey about whether starring in an action movie was in her near future.

(Sina)

Gigi Leung and husband, Sergio returned to Hong Kong today to visit her parents

“Did I mention, Hong Kong is crowded?” (Sina-gallery)

Zhao Wei sings the festival theme song, “A Dream Comes True”, to close the opening ceremony for the 30th Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival last night.

Zhao Wei (Sina)234

Jay Chou, A-Mei, Frankie Kao

The former TVB actress was said to have approached her friends to join her

Free-to-air television owner Ricky Wong has declared war on TVB by poaching its talents for his new TV station.

September 22, 2011

September 22, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 8:17 pm

‘1911′: Jackie Chan Takes Serious Turn in First Trailer (Video)

The film’s wordless first trailer is straightforward with battle scenes and explosions taking up most of the action. The tagline show between cuts is: “When an empire is torn between power and corruption a revolution begins.”

CF: ‘China, 1911′ Film Marks Centenary of the Nationalist Revolution

If your appetite for history, as viewed by the Communist Party of China, was not sated by the summer movie “Beginning of the Great Revival”, you’ll be eager to learn about the imminent arrival of the (somewhat unimaginatively titled) China, 1911, starring Jackie Chan and Li Bingbing.

Jackie Chan’s career first sex scene?

(Sina)

CF: Qin Lan Nominated as Best Actress in CIFF in London

Starring Qin Lan, Wang Pei and Alex Fong Chung Sun, the movie [Be A Mother] approaches the sensitive social topic of surrogacy. A girl, played by Qin, becomes a surrogate mother for an infertile couple (played by Wang Pei and Alex Fong Chung Sun) in order to receive a large sum of money for the family. Ultimately, the three people end up becoming emotionally entangled.

Be a Mother posters

CF: ‘Starry Starry Night’ Unprecedented “gentle” Film, HY Bros Claim

Adapted from well-known Taiwanese illustrator Jimmy’s illustrations of the same title, Starry Starry Night tells of a 13-year-old girl’s beauty and inner pain, through her daily adventures. The film, shot mainly in Taiwan with post-production in Beijing, is being called a proper Taiwan-mainland co-production for its mixed casting, production team and investors.

CF: Wang Xiaoshuai Takes ‘11 Flowers’ to Spain

CF: Chen Kun in “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D”

Director Tsui Hark’s newest Kung Fu movie, “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D,” released a batch of new still photos featuring Chen Kun. (Sina)

FBA: Hong Kong makes it Simple

A Simple Life, which recently enjoyed success at the Venice International Film Festival, has been selected as Hong Kong’s contender for the foreign-language Oscar.

Chrissie Chau has reportedly joined the cast, in a small role, of Derek Kwok and Stephen Chow’s New Journey to the West. Tentatively, the cast includes Huang Bo (Monkey King), Shu Qi, and Show Luo. (Sina)

Oxide Pang meets the press in Beijing to introduce the new trailer for Sleepwalker in 3D. The film will be released worldwide Oct. 27.

Oxide Pang

Angelica Lee

Angelica Lee, Calvin Li Zonghan, Huo Siyan

Li Zonghan, Huo Siyan, Angelica Lee, Oxide Pang (Sina-gallery) (Sina)2

Publicity stills of Chen Kun in the biopic of Qian Xuesen, the rocket scientist

Chen Kun

(Sina)

Photos from the cocktail party following the LV Maison opening in Singapore.

Chow Yun-Fat

Chow and wife, Jasmine

Vivian Hsu

Zhao Wei

Yves Carcelle, Zhang Jingchu

Zhang Jingchu, Yves Carcelle, Cate Blanchett, Chow Yun-Fat, Jasmine Chan

Jasmine Chan, Ana R., Lisa S. Chow Yun-Fat

Vivian Hsu

Zhao Wei

March 20, 2011

March 20, 2011

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — dleedlee @ 7:56 pm

AP: Hong Kong film festival opens, mood subdued because of Japanese disasters

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is part of [Johnnie] To’s recent push into the mainland Chinese market with blander fare than his signature crime thrillers, which are often too violent or gritty to pass mainland censorship. But the movie’s story of a playboy Hong Kong trader and an earnest Canadian-Chinese architect pulling all stops to win the heart of a mainland Chinese financial analyst reads like political commentary on China’s growing geopolitical clout.

To didn’t attend Sunday’s opening ceremony, but his co-director denied any political overtones in the movie.

ScreenDaily: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart review2

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart is a delight to sit through.

Gao Yuanyuan - HKIFF Opening Ceremony

Johnnie To delayed filming and waited 5 months for Gao Yuanyuan because her mother was ill. (Sina)

THR: ’Factory Girls’ to Get Feature Treatement

Chinese migrant worker story optioned by Hong Kong-Dutch director.

Reel China: Targets an elusive film fan — the Chinese American (LATimes)

October’s “Aftershock,” about a devastating 1976 earthquake, was one of the highest-grossing films ever in mainland China but brought in just $61,000 in limited North American release. In December, “If You Are the One 2″ grossed a respectable $427,000, while the Chinese remake of “What Women Want” sold about $130,000 of tickets in February. The movies all premiered in about two dozen theaters.

THR: 5 Films Not to Miss at the Hong Kong International Film Festival

Hi, Fidelity

Making its world premiere at HKIFF is Hong Kong filmmaker Poon Yuen-leung’s Hi, Fidelity, which follows the sexual exploits of three spurned Hong Kong housewives who cross the border to China, only to discover they’ve all fallen for the same gigolo. The film will likely be a big draw because it marks the comeback of iconic Hong Kong actress Patricia Ha (An Amorous Woman of Tang Dynasty), who makes her first appearance onscreen in eight years.THR: Everything You Need to Know to Survive Filmart

THR’s guide to Asia’s largest film market

3D Sex and Zen

3D doesn’t get more rousing than 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, a stereoscopic reinterpretation of an erotic Chinese novel, repped by One Dollar Distribution. The film occupies its own booth at Filmart 2011, with an invitation-only market screening of the full 3D version off-site on March 22.

Kung Fu Panda 2, which adds the voice of Pan-Asian superstar Michelle Yeoh to a cast that brings back Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu, is all but certain to be released in China on May 26, simultaneous with its North American debut.

Chinese shingle Huayi Brothers has announced a long-term co-operation deal with Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung’s Hong Kong-based indie production house Diversion Pictures.

Jay Chou is in Jordan shooting Dante Lam’s new film (lit.Against War).

Jay Chou

With a fan (Sina)2

Shibuya Tenma (Ip Man, Cow) is the latest actor to join the cast of Nanjing Heroes (Sina)

Deadly Will a comedy, thriller opens April 7.

Guo Tao plays a detective

Cecilia Han Xue

(Sina)

Chen Kun

Chen Kun at the recent launch ceremony for Qian Xuesen (Sina)

Huang Yi, Chen Kun and Dong Jie

Montblanc opening in Shenyang

Huang Yi (Sina-slideshow)

Zhao Wei in short skirt at Beijing Versace store event

Zhao Wei

(Sina-slideshow)

Andrew Lin on the Catwalk

(Sina-slideshow)

December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010

ScreenDaily: The Warrior’s Way

Variety: The Warrior’s Way

A surreal film that suggests a martial-arts pic co-directed by Sergio Leone and Federico Fellini.

NYTimes: And Baby Makes Comedy When a Princess Is Taken West

CRI: Exhibition on Ruan Lingyu’s Works Held in Beijing

CRI: Rene Liu, Cecilia Cheung, Tang Wei Race Cars Together (Speed Angel, previously Dynamic Angel)

A press conference was held in Shanghai on Sunday, December 5, 2010 to offer a preview of the movie. The film centers on three young girls, who chase their dreams of becoming professional race-car drivers. Besides the three A-list actresses, it also features veteran actress Cheng Pei-Pei, actor and race-car driver Jimmy Lin and South Korean actor Han Jae-Seok.

Tang Wei

Tanaka Chie (Sina-gallery)2(Sina-slide show)

Hong Kong actor Chapman To, Taiwan actor Sun Xing, and mainland actresses Qu Ying and Ye Yiqian star in the film.

Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures has begun production of its first feature film. The move ends years of false starts and missed deadlines.

1920s Martial Arts Film Set, Shooting in Shanghai

As American shoppers pinch pennies this holiday season, a new documentary takes a personal look at the U.S.-China trade deficit of over $220 billion by challenging a California family to make Christmas happen without anything labeled “Made in China.”

Images of Dong Jie and Dou Xiao for Huo Jianqi’s White Flower in Autumn posted on Weibo look like old vintage photographs.

Dong Jie

Dong Jie

Shawn Dou Xiao, Dong Jie

On location

(Xinhua)(Sina)

Shaolin key cast members

Jackie Chan

Andy Lau

Fan Bingbing

Nicholas Tse (Sina)

Chen Kun in Let the Bullets Fly

(Sina)

Mavis Fan - Lovers Discourse

Eason Chan and Mavis Fan play a couple in the Derek Tsang, Jimmy Wan film.

The four segment film is based on the the themes of falling in love, unrequited love, secret love and bitter love. Lovers Discourse opens December 31.

(Sina)2(Sina-gallery)

Stanley Kwan and Fan Bingbing

Stanley Kwan who is currently working on plans for a new Peony Pavilion was spotted leaving a Beijing luxury hotel with Fan Bingbing leading to speculation that he is courting her for the lead role.

(Sina)

Maggie Cheung meets Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco

Maggie is a juror at the 10th Marrakech Internation Film Festival.

Opening ceremony

(Xinhua)(Zimbio)

August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 3:56 pm

CRI: Jaycee Chan’s ‘Break up Club’ Joins Toronto Festival

Siqin Gaowa

Siqing Gaowa will costar in a film, Let Love Come In, about women prison convicts and women prison guards. Cast includes Athena Chu, Wang Ji, Liu Xiaoqing, Cherrie Ying, and Hong Jiantao. (Xinhua)23

Who Killed Paul the Octopus? poster

Originally intended to be The Legend of World Cup, the film shot in South Africa and Beijing turned into a comic suspense film after Paul the match-predicting octopus gained worldwide notoriety. (Xinhua) [7.27.2010]

Empress Wu - Carina Lau in Detective Dee

Latest Detective Dee poster (Sina)

(Aug.30) Brigitte Lin visited the Taiwan Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo. Organizers welcomed her by playing the theme song to The East is Red.

Brigitte Lin (r)

(Xinhua)(Sina)

Chen Kun in a Rock ‘n roll themed photo spread for Hong Kong Men’s Folio magazine.

Chen Kun (Xinhua-gallery)

Zhang Ziyi and Zhang Zaifeng (Aftershock) tape a program promoting education for TV (Xinhua)

SG: Michelle Reis to give birth in Hong Kong

SG: Faye Wong rules the household?

Singer Vivian Hsu claims career frozen for past three years

Barbie Hsu went on secret matchmaking dates

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