The 35th Toronto International Film Festival (9-19 Sep 2010) will host the world premiere of Wu Ershan’s anarchic action-comedy The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman [ previously Legend of the Kitchen Knife here] in its Midnight Madness section.
The film is the first feature from Daniel Yu’s Beijing-based production company First Cut Features, founded in June 2008. Yu previously produced the Focus First Cuts series, including Crazy Stone.
In Butcher, a lowly pork vendor tries to steal the heart of a top courtesan, a mute learns how to cook to avenge the death of his father and a warrior attempts to become the world’s number one, all with the help of a magical blade.
The martial-arts comedy stars Ando Masanobu, Ben Chang You and Kitty Zhang.
With the expiration of her eight year contract with Filmko last year, Karena Lam has effectively withdrawn from the movie business. She has declined to appear for publicity events for her most recent film Don Quixote which she worked on under a tacit agreement. According to friends, Karena has been studying photography, ceramics and architecture in Canada and France. After the expiration of her contract, she rarely appeared in public and last month she dismissed her assistant of many years. Even though Filmko was willing to extend her contract, Karena was unmoved. Now 31 years old, Karena grew up in Canada and at the age of 15 signed a 5 year development contract in Taiwan as a singer against her parents wishes. After being put on ice after a falling out, she went to Hong Kong in 2001 where she made her first film, July Rhapsody, and won Best Supporting Actress. Karena made twenty films in 5 years but her career subsequently stalled. (Xinhua), (21cn)
Guangzhou premiere press conference for Stool Pigeon
Miao Pu, Nick Cheung
Audience favorite, Liu Kai-Chi won HKFA’s Best Supporting Actor in 1993 for his role in Cagemen and was nominated three more times for Internal Affairs 2, SPL and Beast Stalker. (Sina), 2
Liu Ye as young Mao Zedong
Li Qin plays Mao’s second wife, Yang Kaihui
Liu Ye and Li Qin
The Founding of a Party (tentative title) held a low key opening lens ceremony. Filming is scheduled for 5 months with a 2011 release. (Sina), 2
Jiang Wen and Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro recently visited the Shanghai World Expo and was unnoticed by the public. Later, De Niro visited Jiang Wen in Beijing and watched an early preview of Jiang Wen’s Let the Bullets Fly. Afterward, even though the special effects and music has not been completed, De Niro praised the film as thrilling, funny and fantastic. He offered his own people to provide the subtitling because if he wanted to attract American audiences native English speakers would be preferable. The following day, in honor of De Niro’s 67th birthday, Jiang Wen held a banquet complete with the Godfather theme. He also gave De Niro a handwritten scroll with the character ‘Warrior’. (Sina)
Once the most celebrated actress in China, award-winning Chinese screen legend Liu Xiaoqing will return to film in Hong Kong director Dennis Chen’s drama “37,” in a role that rendered her unrecognizable,
Mike He, Alfred Cheung
Mike He and Alfred Cheung promote Love At Seventh Sight at Tuen Mun Town Plaza in Hong Kong. (Sina)
Director Zhang Yimou will begin shooting a heart-wrenching romance set in China in the 1970s.
Adapted from a 2008 bestselling novel “Hawthorn Tree Forever”, the story revolves around a great unfulfilled love in around 1975 between two “zhiqing,” or young, educated urban people sent to the countryside for re-education during China’s decade long “cultural revolution.”
Zhang will embark on a Nanjing massacre-themed film following “Hawthorn Tree,” the report said.
The demure 23-year-old actress revealed her tendencies to quarrel with Stephen during filming due to their differences in personality. Despite that, she expressed her utmost respect for the latter and shared that she is filled with awe and admiration for him.