HKMDB Daily News

November 23, 2010

November 23, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 2:56 pm

CRI: Documentary “I Wish I Knew” Wins Kino Pen Award

Director Jia Zhangke’s documentary about Shanghai “I Wish I Knew” (”Hai Shang Chuan Qi”), won the Kino Pen Award at the 13th Montreal International Documentary Festival.

Zhao Tao - I Wish I Knew (Sina)

FBA: Wind Blast (西風烈) (5/10)

Dusty, desert-set action movie is drained by a scrappy script and lack of cumulative drama or tension.

Yan Ni and Jiang Chao in the 2011 martial arts comedy My Own Swordsman

Jiang Chao (Sina)

The comeback Hong Kong actress’s imaging shots and personal photos were stolen along with three computers from her management company.

Cecilia Cheung’s management office was recently burgled and had three computers stolen. The computers contain Cecilia’s publicity photos, private family photos and file including personal information and confidential contract-related files. Ms Chow, Cecilia’s agent was travelling with Cecilia while she has been shuttling between Hong Kong and the mainland filming Alls Well Ends Well 2011 and Lady Generals of the Yang Family. The company office and neighboring offices were broken into when investigating police called Ms Chow to ask if she knew of the break in. When Ms Chow returned to the management office to assess the loss, she found that three computers were missing. Cecilia’s lawyers have already warned against publication of any materials found in the computers. (Xinhua)(Sina)

Computer with Cecilia Cheung’s confidential files stolen

Ethan Ruan - Golden Horse’s best leading man almost quit acting

MSN: Selina Jen asks for compensation for filming accident

Selina Jen’s music label releases official account of her injuries

Considering that Jen made almost 30 million yuan (S$5.9 million) annually before the accident left her hospitalised indefinitely, and that any compensation would definitely have to factor in her lost income as a result of the accident, Jen’s payout is likely to be huge.

MSN: Selina Jen’s fiancé pens a touching note on her recovery state

CNNGo: Sandy Lam and her penchant for jazz

The queen of Cantopop opens up about her journey to becoming the musician she is today

Lin Chi-Ling - She’ll pursue her dream man

RTHK: Trial of TVB boss set for June

TVB’s General Manager, Stephen Chan, and two other defendants have denied corruption and fraud charges. They will stand trial next summer, when a number of TVB stars are expected to give evidence.

June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 3:47 pm

THR: Jiang Wenli wins SIFF new talent award

Chinese actress-turned-director Jiang Wenli and her debut film “Lan” won the Best Asian New Talent Film award at the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival on Friday.

Director Jung Ki-Hoon was named best director for the mother-daughter movie “Goodbye Mom.” The Jury prize went to the Korean film “The Executioner,” and “The Pawnshop,” from the Philippines, won the Students’ Choice award.

FBA: Bruce Lee biopic set to start

Jennifer Tse to play Bruce Lee’s girlfriend, Gong Mi, the Cecilia Cheung look-alike, is also cast.

FBA: Lan (我們天上見) (6/10)

Assured directing debut is an affecting, semi-autobiographical tale of a lonely teenager.

FBA: Vegetate (我是植物人) (7/10)

Whistle-blower drama, centred on a woman in the pharmaceuticals industry, is sustained by two fine central performances.

FBA: The Double Life (A面B面) (6/10)

This madcap comedy on modern-day “lunacy” marks a partial return to form by director Ning Ying.

FBA: Ocean Heaven tops Shanghai Media Award (June 19)

CCTV Movie Channel Media Awards 2010
Best Film: Ocean Heaven (海洋天堂)
Best Director: ZHANG Jiarui (章家瑞) for Distant Thunder (迷城)
Best Actor: Wen Zhang (文章) for Ocean Heaven (海洋天堂)
Best Actress: Lu Liping (呂麗萍) for City Monkey (玩酷青春)
Best Supporting Actor: Yip Chun (葉准) for The Legend is Born: Ip Man (葉問前傳)
Best Supporting Actress: Li Bin (李濱) for City Monkey (玩酷青春)
Best New Director: XUE Xiaolu (薛曉路) for Ocean Heaven (海洋天堂)
Best New Actor: Guo Xiaoran (郭曉然) for Distant Thunder (迷城)
Best New Actress: Na Zhiye (娜芝葉) for Deep in the Clouds (碧羅雪山)
Jury Prizes: Good Earth (大地), My Beloved China (可愛的中國), A Joyous Story Along the Yellow River (黃河喜事)
Media Award: Heaven Eternal, Earth Everlasting (80′后)

THR: Italy, China take top awards at SIFF (June 20)

Golden Goblet/Jin Jue Award winners:

Best Feature Film

“Kiss Me Again,” directed by Gabriele Muccino, Italy;

Jury Grand Prix

“Deep in the Clouds,” directed by Liu Jie, China;

Best Director

Liu Jie for “Deep in the Clouds,” China;

Best Actor

Christian Ulmen in “Wedding Fever in Campobello,” directed by Neele Leana Vollmar, Germany, Italy;

Best Actress

Vittoria Puccini in “Kiss Me Again,” directed by Gabriele Muccino, Italy;

Best Screenplay

Gabriele Muccino for “Kiss Me Again,” Italy;

Best Cinematography

Christopher Doyle for “Ondine,” Ireland;

Best Music

Giong Lim for “Deep in the Clouds,” China.

FBA: Italy and China share SIFF goblets

Christopher Doyle said that his trophy for best photography was the only award that he’d ever received in China. Doyle stated that he couldn’t have made Neil Jordan’s Ondine without the experience of having made so many Chinese films. On receiving the best director prize, Liu Jie said that it was the first time that he’d come on stage to receive an award in his homeland.

Zhao Wei at the SIFF closing ceremony red carpet

John Woo leads the jury onto the red carpet

Compared to the star-studded opening ceremony, the closing ceremony red carpet stars seem dim. Zhao Wei  was undoubtedly the star of the evening. (Sina)2

Ruby Lin - Driverless

Wang Luodan

Zhang Yang’s press conference for Driverless was peppered with questions about actress Li Xiaoran even though she was absent. Zhang parried the reporters and tried to steer the focus back to the film but ultimately he was unsuccessful. In the end, the photographers settled for an upskirt photo of Wang Luodan. (Xinhua)

In the wake of Li Xiaoran’s blog posting that director Yan Po’s true attackers had not been arrested, she now writes that director Lu Chuan has received threatening telephone calls. (Xinhua)

I Wish I Knew poster (21cn)

Jia Zhangke - I Wish I Knew

Jia Zhangke held a press conference in Shanghai for his oft-delayed documentary I Wish I Knew to announce a July 2 release. A June 14th conference and screening was planned during the SIFF but abruptly cancelled. He denied that the film had been banned because of controversial remarks by Han Han, a writer and rally car driver, rather a technical issue translating the Shanghai dialect into Chinese and English subtitles caused the delay and misunderstanding. The film will be 10 minutes shorter than the version screened at Cannes. Jia said he hoped to re-edit a TV version later. The film is based on historical recollections of Shanghai from 18 interviews out of an original 80 personal interviews. (Sina)234

Karen Mok turns 40 ahead of next week’s Golden Melody Awards


Huang Xiaoming

Yu Dan, Song Zuying, Huang Xiaoming receiving International Charitable Celebrity Awards. (Sina)

Tang Wei was lauded for being thrifty by taking home leftovers after late night dining.

Tang Wei (June 19)(Xinhua)

May 25, 2010

May 25, 2010

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

Welcome to Shamatown poster features Sun Honglei


Variety: I Wish I Knew

Treasurable images from Chinese cinema and moving personal histories from the people of Shanghai lend potent human and aesthetic dimensions to “I Wish I Knew,” Jia Zhangke’s lengthy survey of the city’s eventful past and ever-changing present.

CRI: ‘Chongqing Blues’ Set for June 8 Release

CRI: “If You Are the One 2″ to Be Shot in Sanya

The sequel’s story continues from “If You Are the One” (2008). Renowned Chinese mainland actor Ge You and Hong Kong actress Fanny Shu [Qi] will co-star the new film as they did in the previous one. [Elsewhere, Shu Qi has said she would not participate due to a schedule conflict with filming Andrew Lau's Beautiful Life.]

Wind Blast poster unveiled (Sina)


A two and a half hour rough cut edit has been completed. Of the four, Wu Jing’s character is that of  ’speed king’, Ni Dahong is the sharpshooter, Zhang Li and Duan Yihong are strength and wisdom, respectively.  Xia Yu and Francis Ng are slated to appear at the next press conference. (Xinhua)(HunanTV)

Eric Tsang has been filming Seven Little Lohans, a Chinese version of Home Alone, at the Shaolin Temple. Actually, there are eighteen little martial artists. Each one has a different personality and shortcoming which plays into the comedy. The movie will be released this summer.


CRI: Jackie Chan and the Karate Kid

Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith attended “The Karate Kid” screening in Miami, Florida on Monday.

Cecilia’s mother (Sina)

Lucas and grandma, Ceci’s mother - 2008 (Xinhua)

Hong Kong media claimed Deborah is preventing Cecilia from meeting her Chinese-British mother due to the Cheungs’ complicated background.

This year, she will take her [mother] on a two-week cruise vacation in Northern Europe. For that, Mrs Leon Lai is expected to miss out on engagements which could have brought in an estimated income amounting to a seven-figure sum.

May 24, 2010

I Wish I Knew (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 8:14 pm

I Wish I Knew
Shanghai chuanqi

(Documentary — China) A Shanghai Film Group Corp., Xstream Pictures, NCU Group, Star Art Vision and Bojie Media presentation. (International sales: MK2, Paris.) Produced by Wang Tianyun, Yu Likwai, Meg Jin, Lin Ye, Xiong Yong. Executive producers, Ren Zhonglun, Chow Keung, An Gang, Li Peng, Li Peng. Co-producer, Xu Jie. Co-executive producer, Zhu Yonglei. Directed by Jia Zhangke.

With: Zhao Tao, Lim Giong, Chen Danqing, Yang Xiaofo, Zhang Yuansun, Du Mei-ru, Wang Peimin, Wang Toon, Chang Ling-yun, Lee Chia-tung, Chang Hsin-i, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Zhu Qiansheng, Huang Baomei, Wei Ran, Wei Wei, Barbara Fei, Rebecca Pan, Yang Huaiding, Han Han.

Treasurable images from Chinese cinema and moving personal histories from the people of Shanghai lend potent human and aesthetic dimensions to “I Wish I Knew,” Jia Zhangke’s lengthy survey of the city’s eventful past and ever-changing present. Originally commissioned to open the Shanghai World Expo before post-production delays put it on course for Cannes, this beautifully lensed work reps a shift from the docudrama experimentation of 2008’s “24 City” into a purer nonfiction vein. Despite some structural lapses, the result is Jia at perhaps his most accessible, boasting especially rich incentives for Asian film buffs on the fest circuit.

The signing of the Treaty of Nanking first opened Shanghai to international trade in 1842. Today, it’s China’s largest metropolis and most important cultural and commercial center, a fact Jia quietly sidesteps in favor of a rich if hardly comprehensive appreciation of the city’s history — specifically, the centrality of Shanghai to such painful passages as the second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War and the Cultural Revolution.

Thus, some knowledge of the history is essential for proper appreciation of the film, especially since the interviews follow no strict chronology. But the emotion expressed by some of the 18 individuals featured here is universal enough to lend “I Wish I Knew” a human interest and impact not always as immediately available in his other work.

The specter of parental death looms over a number of the stories, including that of Wang Peimin, who describes how her communist father was executed by the nationalist Kuomintang in 1948, only eight months before his party came to power. The rise of communism spurred thousands of Shanghai citizens to flee to Hong Kong and Taiwan, among them actress Wei Wei and director Wang Tung, who recount their experiences here.

As the interviews progress, a portrait emerges of Shanghai as a seat of significant political, criminal and artistic activity. It’s the latter aspect of the city that seems to most interest Jia, who fills the second half with testimony from additional film bizzers, accompanied by clips of their key Shanghai-set films: Taiwanese helmer Hou Hsiao-hsien (”Flowers of Shanghai”); actress Barbara Fei (daughter of “Spring in a Small Town” helmer Fei Mu); and Zhu Qiansheng, a crew member on Antonioni’s “Chung Kuo — Cina.” (Oddly, while Shanghainese actress Rebecca Pan discusses her role in Wong Kar Wai’s “Days of Being Wild,” Wong himself, the world’s most famous living Shanghai-born director, is glaringly absent.)

Pic feels as though it could have been edited down (as it may yet be for broadcast purposes) or continued indefinitely. Easily excisable is a recurring strand of footage in which Jia’s regular muse, Zhao Tao — presumably a living embodiment of the spirit of Shanghai — silently wanders the city’s streets (this becomes unintentionally amusing when it starts to rain, making Zhao’s white shirt virtually see-through). It feels like a distracting attempt by Jia to place his authorial signature on the film, which, apart from these interstitial indulgences, plays like a straightforward documentary.

The city’s grandeur is ably conveyed in the film’s pristine images (lensed on 35mm by Yu Likwai instead of the ultra-sharp HD the helmer usually favors) of the sprawling metropolis, which often looks awe-inspiring but never exactly picturesque. Throughout, Jia’s shot choices — focusing especially on slums and construction zones — implicitly question the human toll exacted by such splendor. (Shanghainese, Mandarin, Taiwanese dialogue)

Camera (color, widescreen), Yu Likwai; editor, Zhang Jia; music, Lim Giong; art director, Zhang Xiaobing; assistant directors, Dai Xiaolu, Xu Li; sound, Ren Jiajia, Li Danfeng; sound designer, Zhang Yang; line producer, Wendy Chan; associate producers, Xu Wei, Zhang Dong, Maria Jin, Li Jingyi, Liu Xiaodong. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 16, 2010. Running time: 136 MIN.


May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

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

Screen Daily: Fortune Star sells package deals

  • Hong Kong-based Fortune Star, owned by regional broadcaster Star, has sold two separate packages of library titles to Thailand’s EVS Entertainment and Media International Pictures (MIP) for the Middle East.
  • EVS has taken 29 titles including My Father Is A Hero and Hitman, both starring Jet Li; Johnnie To’s Running Out Of Time, and Tsui Hark’s The Legend of Zu. MIP acquired 20 titles including Jackie Chan’s City Hunter, John Woo’s Bullet In The Head and Hitman.
  • Fortune Star recently expanded its portfolio by adding more than 100 titles acquired from Hong Kong-based production company China Star Group.

Takeshi Kitano

Hollywood Reporter

“Outrage” a bona fide yakuza film

As violent, amoral and misanthropic as a Jacobean play, “Outrage” is Takeshi Kitano’s first yakuza flick since “Brother” (2000). (Cannes press conference - audiophotos)

Takeshi Kitano unleashes “Outrage” at Cannes

“Puff” a lively sketch of Hong Kong smoking culture

A eulogy to lung pollution, “Love in a Puff” makes sharing a pack of cigarettes look sexier than sharing a bed as it chronicles how two chain smokers fall in love over a week in the wake of a government crackdown on tobacco in Hong Kong.

“I Wish I Knew” offers mosaic view of Shanghai

“I Wish I Knew,” Jia Zhangke’s documentary on Shanghai, commissioned to commemorate the World Expo taking place in the city this month, is a patchwork quilt with too many fabrics and patterns.

Screen Daily: Toei plans 3D version of cult thriller Battle Royale

The 3D version of the original will be ready for market screenings in October and released in Japan on November 20. Like the original, the 3D version will have an R-15 rating in Japan.

Cartoon reaction to films like Don Quixote rushing to join 3D bandwagon. (Sina)

Alex Fong Chung-San (Xinhua)

Alex Fong, Zhang Yu, Qin Lan, Li Chen (Sina)

CRI: China’s Classic Love Film to Have Sequel

A sequel to the 1980 Chinese film “Romance on Lushan Mountain”, which heralded the rebirth of the country’s romantic movie genre, is on the cards, reports.

The sequel, provisionally titled “Romance on Lushan Mountain 2010″, continues the story, focusing on a love triangle involving the children of the characters in the 1980 film.Qin Lan, Li Chen and Alex Fong Chung-Sun will star in the sequel. Actress-turned-director Zhang Yu will also reprise her original role.

CRI: Film on Tangshan Quake to Screen in July

Feng Xiaogang’s new film “Aftershock”, which reflects the Tangshan earthquake in 1976, will be released on July 22. Release date moved up.

Pace Wu plays a Taoist nun in Reign of Assassins (Sina)

Fierce West Wind - Francis Ng

Wu Jing

Xia Yu

A 90 second teaser trailer for Fierce West Wind was screened at Cannes and received high praise. “Not Supermen, but real men!”  No plot could be determined, but director Gao Qunshu’s film is described as Hollywood-style hardcore action film full of high testosterone. Overseas studio and media interest in the film was high. Producer Peggy Chiao said the teaser was meant to give a quick flavor for the characters but not to reveal the story line. Veteran Hollywood reporters Stephen Cremin, Patrick Frater and Derek Elley were impressed by the development and progress of the Chinese action genre and felt the film was more Hollywood-like than Hong Kong-style. (ifeng)(Sina) (Thanks, to Valerie)

Ocean Paradise - Jet Li and Wen Zhang play father and son


Fan Bingbing wearing Elie Saab, she was dubbed the Eastern Swan Princess by local media

Red carpet for Biutiful from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

CRI: Fan Bingbing: The Swan Princess from China

Cannes cast portrait session (Zimbio)

Best Dressed Of The Week – Fan Bingbing In Elie Saab Couture & Dragon Robe By Laurence Hsu

I Wish I Knew (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 1:11 pm

“I Wish I Knew” offers mosaic view of Shanghai

By Maggie Lee

CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - “I Wish I Knew,” Jia Zhangke’s documentary on Shanghai, commissioned to commemorate the World Expo taking place in the city this month, is a patchwork quilt with too many fabrics and patterns.

Dipping into the historical, human and scenic through interviews and nomadic location shooting, it reveals what most films touching on modern Chinese history address: how wars and political unrest led to suffering and Diaspora.

The film suffers from information deficiency, so while Chinese can relate to most of their conversations yet find the content familiar, overseas audiences are adrift in a sea of non-chronological memories. Cinephiles who adore festival darling Jia would still lap up a section related to Chinese cinema, so widespread festplay and niche art house runs await.

Style-wise, there is minimal variation from his last documentary, “24 City,” despite the enormous differences in place, generation and the stories told. Jia’s regular cinematographer Yu Lik Wai’s mellow, impressionist images of old and new quarters of Shanghai, Taiwan and Hong Kong create a tone poem effect that is becoming routine in Jia’s oeuvre. Jia’s screen muse, Zhao Tao, gets the most gratuitous role in her career, roaming the city’s landmarks and neglected slums with a troubled expression.

Comprising a lopsided tripartite structure in which the dots and lines don’t connect, the first — as well as longest, most scattered section — interviews children of Shanghai residents during the swinging ’30s, the Japanese and civil wars in the ’40s pioneering industrialists, high-ranking KMT (ie. Nationalist) officials and executed underground Communists.

The most fascinating recollections come from Du Mei-ru, daughter of Du Yue Sheng — China’s biggest Mafioso. Nevertheless, the extent of his fame (or notoriety) is lost on non-Chinese. Since the interviewees were still young then, even though the personal experiences accounted are exceptional, they cannot quite convey a tangible sense of place or spirit of the metropolis.

About an hour on, the film takes a narrative bypass to focus on persons connected to films made or set in Shanghai. Some are tenuous — like Hou Hsiao Hsien talking about location scouting for “Flowers of Shanghai” only to end up shooting everything on set. Others are valuable if one is cognizant of Chinese cinema, like soprano Barbara Fei’s reminiscence on her father, Fei Mu, and the circumstances in which he directed “Spring in a Small Town” (regarded as the greatest of Chinese classics), or tragedies befalling the family of actress Shangguan Yunzhu.

The last section features a stock investor, a young man doing hip-hop dance and a writer obsessed with race cars. It feels like a blurry after-thought on Shanghai’s contemporary heartbeat.


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