HKMDB Daily News

October 16, 2009

October 16, 2009a

HK Magazine: Shawn Yue Man-lok interview

bd magazine talks to Herman Yau - A Different Split

HK Magazine and bc Magazine Film Reviews

The Message

Seeing “The Message” makes one realize just how strong mainland cinema has become in recent years, and also makes you worry about whether Hong Kong cinema can keep up.

The end result is a propaganda film that is more embarrassing than patriotic. I would have preferred to be brainwashed than to see this piece of crap.

Chrissie Chau proves she has more potential than just as a seducer of teenage boys with her life-size cushion.

The film suffers from very slow pacing and, at over two hours, has probably managed to successfully alienate its intended demographic. It is genuinely surprising that the film’s producer, acclaimed filmmaker Ann Hui, didn’t have a quiet word in her protégé’s ear to suggest that if the film lost half an hour, it would stand a far better chance of being appreciated by those who will benefit most from it.

It’s easy to roll your eyes and dismiss this film as yet another popular Japanese romance weepie, but the truth is it’s a dramatic interpretation and enactment of a real person’s last days, a young woman given the short end of the stick by Fate.

HK PICKS

The Warrior and The Wolf

(China) An army commander during the Han Dynasty falls in love with a beautiful widow while stranded in the desert, with disastrous results. Directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang. Starring Maggie Q, Joe Odagiri. Opens Oct 22.

Poker King

(Hong Kong) Another local gambling-themed romantic comedy except this time they’re playing Texas Hold’em in Macau. Directed by Chan Hing-ka, Janet Chun. Starring Lau Ching- wan, Louis Koo, Stephy Tang. Opens Oct 22.

Astro Boy

(USA) The popular Japanese manga gets a slick, 3-D facelift in this animated feature. Directed by David Bowers with an all-star voice cast including Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Charlize Theron and Samuel L. Jackson. Opens Oct 23.

bc magazine’s HKAFF Preview

The Warrior and the Wolf

The opening film is a large scale historical epic, starring Japanese navel-gazing superstar Odagiri Jo and originally Tang Wei – her with the hairy armpits in Lust, Caution. But since being banned from appearing in Mainland productions, the infinitely more attractive, though perhaps not as talented Maggie Q, steps into the fold. Directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang – not a New Romantic band, but rather the highly acclaimed director of films like The Horse Thief and Springtime in a Small Town, as well as the elegant snoozefest, The Go Master. This looks bigger, louder, faster and sexier, so here’s opening the festival opens with a bang.

At the End of Daybreak

The closing film this year comes from Ho Yuhang, the award-winning Malaysian director of Sanctuary and Rain Dogs. The film details a secret relationship between a simple working class lad and a wealthier schoolgirl, a tryst that turns sour leading to blackmail and far worse. Examining their fractured family lives, the lack of parental control, class divisions and broader criticisms of society, At The End of Daybreak continues to cement Ho’s reputation as one of the most important filmmakers in a region of ever-increasing relevance.

Breathless

Actor Yang Ik June turns Writer, Producer and Director in this bold, brutal and uncompromising tale of domestic violence and self-destruction. Picking up a slew of awards on the global festival circuit, Breathless is the largely autobiographical tale of a brutish, deeply disturbed debt collector, who crosses paths with an equally abrasive schoolgirl, only for this mismatched pair to strike up an unlikely friendship. The cutting edge of Korean Independent Cinema.

Mother

Highly acclaimed and internationally successful director Bong Joon Ho (Memories of Murder, The Host) has, by all accounts, turned in another masterpiece. Controversially centring this tale of murder, corruption, justice and revenge on an aging female protagonist, the film follows the titular matriarch as she sets out to clear the name of her handicapped son, accused of murdering a schoolgirl and coerced by authorities into signing a confession. Mother is slated to be Korea’s official entry into next year’s Academy Awards and promises to be an intelligent, yet thrilling experience.

Air Doll

Hirokazu Koreeda’s latest film, after a string of critical hits including Nobody Knows and Still Walking, seemed at first glance to be a controversy-baiting piece of poorly judged titillation, casting Korean star Bae Doo Na as a sex doll that miraculously comes to life. What has emerged, however, is a different beast entirely. Air Doll is a delightful tale of unrequited love examining what it means to be human and the loneliness of urban life, while putting a decidedly Japanese spin on the old Pinocchio story.

Face

Always a talking point, the films of Taiwanese director Tsai Ming Liang often defy description. This is especially true of his latest French co-production, Face. Purportedly about a Taiwanese filmmaker (Tsai’s regular cohort Lee Kang Sheng) travelling to Paris in order to stage an adaptation of Salome at The Louvre, Face is a bold, challenging spectacle, brimming with beautiful imagery and even the occasional show tune. Some have loved it, some have hated it, some have been bored to tears – but everybody who has seen Face has come away with a strong, opinionated response.

Crows: Zero II

Whether he is making depraved horror films like Visitor Q or Audition, or big budget family-friendly fare such as The Great Yokai War or Yatterman, a new Miike Takashi movie is always worthy of attention.

This clumsily titled sequel to 2007’s Crows: Zero (which played at last year’s HKAFF) guarantees fisticuffs galore as he continues to adapt Takahashi Hiroki’s school gang manga for the big screen. Expect fighting, swearing, wonderful accessorising of militaristic school uniforms and, this time out, an entire army of skinheads. Not particularly highbrow, but sure to be lots of fun.

The Housemaid

Widely hailed as one of the greatest Korean films ever made, this 1960 psychodrama tells the tale of a regular family torn apart after their newly-hired maid turns out to be a sexual predator with her own increasingly evil agenda. Largely unknown outside of Korea until the 1990s, this is a revelatory piece of work that had the Global Film Community finally looking East to the Han Peninsula.

HK Magazine: G.E.M. interview

Coco Lee’s take on fame and music

June 26, 2009

June 26, 2009


Memorial service held for Sek Kin

Mourners in attendance included Connie Chan, Nancy Sit, Alan Tang, Chow Chung, Kenneth Tsang, Wu Fung, Joe Cheung Tung-cho, Lau Kar Leung, Lau Kar Fai, Ng Man Tat, Ng See Yuen, Ken Lo and the Seven Little Fortunes
http://paper.wenweipo.com/2009/06/26/EN0906260002.htm
Connie Chan and Nancy Sit
Wu Fung and Kenneth Tsang
Alan Tang
Fortunes Yuen Bo and Yuen Ting/Ng Ming Choi
http://ent.sina.com.hk/cgi-bin/nw/show.cgi/2/3/1/279390/1.html
English version
Slide show

Liu Kai-Chi, Leon Lai
Richie Ren
Fire Dragon - slide show

Chen Kuan-Tai, Aaron Kwok
Murderer - Chen Kuan-Tai, Aaron Kwok

Glamorous Youth (明媚時光) director explores home truths

Philip Yung, a former film critic, makes his directorial debut with the Hong Kong-based drama Glamorous Youth.

Glamorous Youth review




Visual design of The Message revealed

Webcasts
Lu Chuan and His Humanity Care Trilogy
Chinese Animation: Where are we?

“Old Fish” Review – 2009 New York Asian Film Festival

Taipei film festival opens with Yang Yang
Taipei Film Festival shines the spotlight on Berlin

Changes to Taipei Awards stir controversy

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

Audemars Piguet Antique Pocket Watches Give Historical Flavor To “Bodyguards and Assasins” Movie


Cherie Chung wearing Stella McCartney and Cartier
Cherie and Ferrari
Cherie Chung appearing for a medical center

Still loves movies but would rather watch
More
Additional photos
Video

Video: Lin Chi-Ling Longines appearance reacting to news of Michael Jackson’s death

Michelle Yeoh, Frank Nuovo co-creators
Michelle Yeoh opens flagship store for luxury personal communications (cell phones) in Taipei 101

Chinese censors tinker with ‘Transformers’

Police raids nab 2 million pirated DVDs in Manila

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