HKMDB Daily News

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)

June 19, 2010

June 19, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:52 pm

Charlie Young presents award to Jiang Wenli

Jury member Charlie Young

CF: ‘Lan’ Wins Big at Asian New Talent Awards

“Lan” is a heart-felt drama about a young girl named Lan, who lives with her grandfather and dreams of becoming a gymnast. Jiang has said the film is a tribute to her childhood and her late grandfather.

CF: Here Comes Will Smith!

Will Smith and his son Jaden promote “The Karate Kid” at the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival.

Hong Kong Film Archive presents “Look Back at Memories” tracing Hong Kong cinema in 1980s and 1990s

No ‘fight for fight’s sake’

John Woo on Reign of Assassins, Tigers and supporting young directors

In the Yao Po attack case, actress Li Xiaoran implies in her blog that the 10 arrestees are not the true culprits.

“I only want the murderers arrested as soon as possible! Evil with evil, if not reported, I will hold you in hell had used a knife waiting for you! Remember, my gravestone will be covered with flowers, and your tombstone will be stained with people revile your saliva! Remember!” A friend of Li Xiaoran said the actress is living in fear and hiding the whereabouts of her location. The friend posted photos of her dining out but the next afternoon another friend of  Li phoned on her behalf and asked her to delete the name of the restaurant for fear of being tracked. So she deleted the photos and the complete post entry. (Xinhua)

Cantopop singer George Lam caught dating another woman

Sammi Cheng and Shawn Yue rumoured to be dating

Edison Chen and family

Edison’s family and friends helped open a new Causeway Bay shop to mark the 6th anniversary of his CLOT brand. Earlier in the week, (Edison’s parents are divorced) his father brought a male friend resembling Frankie Lam to a family lunch feeding longstanding speculation about his sexuality. Edison described him as an old family friend while the press characterized him as a ‘boyfriend’. I’m just saying…

Longtime girlfriend Vincy Yeung was absent, Edison explained that she was overseas but lending spiritual support.

Vivian Chow

Vivian Chow attended an event to promote a TV program about cats.


(Yakov Smirnoff voice): “In America, they make movies called Star Wars. In China, they make lightsabers.”

Working ‘lightsaber’ can set fire to your skin from Wicked Lasers.

April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 12:10 pm

CF: Tao Hong Fulfills Her Promise

[Death Dowry] tells the story of a poverty-stricken woman who travels to a new place with her mentally retarded son to seek a living. After suffering a number of difficulties, she meets a man who changes her fate.

Taipei Times: Au Revoir Taipei

Variety: To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey

Hollywood’s postwar Asian superstar, Nancy Kwan, acts as tour guide around her personal and professional history in the solid if pedestrian docu “To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey.”

CRI: Cast of “Ocean Heaven” (formerly Ocean Paradise) Attend Autism Awareness Day Event in Beijing

The movie is about the relationship between a terminally ill man played by [Jet] Li and his autistic adolescent son played by rising actor Wen Zhang. Actress Kwai Lun-Mei stars in the film as a clown who performs at the aquarium and meets the father and son.

Actress, director Jiang Wenli

John Woo

Stanley Tong

Gu Changwei, John Woo, Jiang Wenli, Woo’s wife, Jiang Wen

Chinese actress Jiang Wenli on Sunday invited her celebrity friends for a special screening of her directorial debut film, “Lan”. (Sina)

CRI: Echoes of the Rainbow stills

Sandra Ng, Simon Yam

A celebration banquet was held in Tsimshatsui by the cast and crew of Echoes of the Rainbow. (Sina)

Chrissie Chau attending screening of Barbara Wong’s Break Up Club (Sina)

Karen Mok was one of many stars to help Andrew Lau celebrate his 50th birthday in Sai Kung yesterday.


Andy Lau gets emotional at Southwest drought relief fundraiser in Beijing (Sina)

ESWN: Gigi Leung Microblog Post Censored

CRI: Jackie Chan Records Song for Those Affected by Drought

Zhang Ziyi was not invited to Harper’s Bazaar’s upcoming Charity Night in Shanghai. On the invitees list were celebrities John Woo, Lin Chi-Ling, Zhang Hanyu, Carina Lau and many others. The eighth annual gala will be held on Apr.25 the eve of the opening of the Shanghai World Expo. (Xinhua)

CRI: Pop Queen Faye Wong to Start Concert Tour In Oct

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

Carina Lau desperate trying to get pregnant

Eason Chan spotted with unknown female companion

Andy Lau: “no regrets” having kept his 24-year romance a secret

1970s screen siren Cleopatra Wong looking to film a movie

March 25, 2010

March 23, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 2:18 pm

THR: Q and A: Andy Lau

His production outfit Focus Films, which made its name with the “Focus: First Cuts” initiative from 2005 that featured debuts of new directors across Asia including Ning Hao’s “Crazy Stone” (2006), now launches the HK$50 million ($6.4 million) six-film initiative “Focus Fight” with Derek Kwok’s “Gallants,” showcased in this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Screen Daily: Monga

Monga is a dynamic and powerfully impressive Taiwanese gangster film set against the stunning backdrop of Taipei of the 1980s as a group of teenagers become men as they fight to survive amongst the gangs that run the old Monga quarter of the city.

Variety: 1428

The title of Du Haibin’s striking documentary refers to the exact time (14:28) on May 12, 2008, when a massive 8.0 earthquake rocked China’s Sichuan province. Pic proceeds with virtually no exposition, except for the words supplied by survivors as they scramble to build a makeshift existence on the ruins. Visiting a devastated village 10 days and then 210 days after the quake, Du depicts, with immediacy and casual artistry, a wide range of human reactions to the natural and political aftershocks. Fascinating, beautifully crafted Venice prizewinner fully warrants an arthouse run.

4th Asian Film Awards 2010: Glitz, glam, and awkward moments

CRI: South Korean Film Named Best Asian Picture

CRI: Snapshots from the 2010 Asian Film Awards

CRI: Jia Zhangke’s Hometown Trilogy in Print Form

Lynn Xiong and Donnie Yen attend press conference for Ip Man 2

Donnie Yen

Lynn Xiong (Xinhua)

WSJ:Bruce Lee’s Mentor Gets Second Biopic (Ip Man 2)

CRI: Hong Kong Int’l Film Festival to Mark the 70th Anniversary of Bruce Lee’s Birth

China launches official English language film website
The Chinese government has announced that it will launch an official English-language website to provide information on Chinese-language films and the Chinese film industry.

The website is co-established by the Film Bureau under State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and Chinese Radio International (CRI), a state-owned radio broadcast company which broadcasts radio programs globally outside of China.

China Film Promotion International (CFPI), a state-owned promotion and sales company under the China Film Group, and CRI website will be operating the website.

The website offers information such as news, reviews, interviews, industry information on Chinese-language films and Chinese film policies. Most of the industry information is about mainland Chinese companies or institutions while film news covers the greater China region including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. In the future, CFPI also plans to provide online Chinese film screenings, online forum, and a database on the website. (Screen Daily), the first foreign-language website of the Chinese mainland for promoting Chinese films, was officially launched at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on March 23.

Lan poster

Lan to Debut in April

November 4, 2009

Lan (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 12:02 pm

Women tian shang jian

(China) A Beijing Asian Union Culture & Media Investment Co. production. (International sales: Asia Union, Beijing.) Produced by Dong Ping, Jiang Wenli. Executive producer, Liu Xiaolin. Directed, written by Jiang Wenli.

With: Zhu Xu, Yao Jun, Zhu Yinuo, Ma Sichun, Hu Qiuyan, Liu Ye.
(Mandarin dialogue)

At age 40, mainland Chinese actress Jiang Wenli (”And the Spring Comes,” “Lost Indulgence”) makes a smooth segue behind the camera with autobiographical coming-of-ager “Lan.” Cultural Revolution-set tale of a young girl, whose dream of becoming a champion gymnast is scuppered by the realities of everyday life and family background, is handled with grace and feeling, and is notably light on the political cliches besetting stories of the era. The audience-award winner at this year’s Pusan fest, this unabashedly old-school movie (in the best sense) is ripe for festival and Euro TV exposure, with some limited theatrical potential as well.

Stylistically, the film is like a less arty version of “Peacock,” directed by Jiang’s husband, lenser-helmer Gu Changwei. But that takes nothing away from Jiang’s accomplishments here: Every setup is beautifully composed and lit, never pushed beyond an average viewer’s patience, and the movie has a refined sensibility that doesn’t shy away from emotion or occasional flights of fancy. It’s a sure crowdpleaser at fests.

Jiang Xiaolan (Yao Jun) is a young girl in an unnamed railway town on the southern bank of the Huai River, the traditional dividing line between North and South China. Branded as “rightists,” her parents have been sent to a labor camp in remote Xinjiang, so she’s raised by her grandpa, Tang (Zhu Xu). Because of her family name (the same as that of KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek), she’s teased by other schoolkids as a “bastard of counterrevolutionaries.”

Though the politics of the Cultural Revolution are aways in the background, they’re sensed rather than made explicit, and the pic is almost entirely free of the usual banner-waving scenes. Portrait of everyday life is remembered by the main character — her childhood dreams, home life with grandpa, etc.

Grudgingly admitted into the local gymnastics club, she’s kept apart from the official athletes but continues to be inspired by local champ Jiang Shaoyi and Romania’s Nadia Comaneci. Meanwhile, her grandfather makes her a leotard like the other girls’ and builds a bar in the garden for her to practice on.

The old man also keeps the fiction alive that her parents will one day return from their patriotic work “turning the desert into fertile land,” and also entertains her with tales from his youth as a train driver. But as the Cultural Revolution nears its end in 1976, and Xiaolan (now played, seamlessly, by Zhu Yinuo) enters puberty, he succumbs to old age, with Xiaolan caring for him and taking on more adult duties.

Pic is full of memorable images that aren’t especially new in Chinese cinema, but fit together into a beguiling portrait. A sequence in which Xiaolan imagines herself flying above the town sounds too cute on paper but plays absolutely right dramatically.

Jiang’s controlled direction and the delicate, staccato score by Evgueni Galperine (”The Warrior and the Wolf”) keep the movie free of sentimentality, as do the perfs by veteran Zhu (an old hand at such roles) and the two young Xiaolan thesps. Supporting players are equally well drawn, especially Ma Sichuan as Xiaolan’s older neighbor and Hu Qiuyan as Xiaolan’s mom. Mainland star Liu Ye cameos as Li’s b.f.

Chinese title means “We’ll Meet in Heaven.” English subtitles on print caught badly need revising, including converting the names into Chinese style.

Camera (color), Lin Liangzhong; editors, Yang Hongyu, Liu Jiami; music, Evgueni Galperine; production designer, Feng Ligang; art director, Song Zhen; costume designer, Xiang Honghui; sound (Dolby Digital), An Wei, Ye Dan, Li Shuo, Shen Jianqin; special effects, Wang Hongli; visual effects, China Film Post; visual effects supervisors, Xu Xin, Li Liping; assistant director, Qi Dagang. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (New Currents), Oct. 10, 2009. Running time: 89 MIN.

October 16, 2009

October 16, 2009

CRI: ‘The Message’ Trilogy on Agenda

“The Message” closes nine-day-run Pusan film festival

“The Message” joins Pusan Int’l Film Festival

Zhou Xun

Zhou Xun had to endure rope burns for these torture scenes. Her thighs suffered and were injured in the process since the costume was very thin for realism. (

Peter Chan

Tony Leung Ka-Fai


Bodyguards and Assassins: 8 minute show reel previewed in Beijing

No fear of competing against Zhang Yimou’s Three Guns

CRI: Jiang Wenli’s Debut Film Wins Award at Pusan Film Fest

Actress/director Jiang Wenli’s “Lan” won the Audience Award at the Pusan International Film Festival on Friday.

LATimes: New York, I Love You

Maggie Q enjoys her ‘New York’ minute

Maggie Q New York premiere - slide show

Screen Daily: At The End of Daybreak (Malaysia/HK/South Korea)

Screen Daily: Taiwan’s Zeus set to produce triptych love story Juliet

Taiwanese producer Khan Lee is lining up a portmanteau love story, Juliet, as the second installment in its Pushing Hands initiative, designed to support new talent.

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

September 29, 2009

September 29, 2009

Fan Bingbing will turn the table in an adaptation of Three Smiles/Flirting Scholar when she becomes the pursuer instead of the pursued. Guo Degang directs the Lunar New Year comedy.(

Simon Yam makes a pair of shoes for Sandra Ng to promote their new film Echoes of the Rainbow (lit.1969 A Space Odyssey) in which Simon plays a shoemaker. However, he only had time to make one shoe.

Simon Yam

Sandra Ng


Jiang Wenli

Jiang Wenli’s Lan is screening in competition at the Pusan International Film Festival. Jiang wrote, directed and produced the film. (

Bottom Line: Dated drama of growing pains during the Cultural Revolution enhanced by superb elderly role.

Hot Summer Days

Chinese romantic comedy is company’s first China pic

Set during a summer of record-breaking temperatures, “Days” tells six intertwined stories of love.

Screen Daily: ox, STAR, Huayi Brothers line up China rom-com Hot Summer Days

Huayi Brothers president James Wang said: “Huayi Brothers highly values the partnership with Fox. We admire Fox’s courage and decision in going into a mainstream romantic comedy. With a superb story, high production values and star-studded cast from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Hot Summer Days will sure become the hottest movie for the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day period.”

Zhou Xun - The Message

Huang Xiaoming brought his camera on set and acted the paparazzi to help the actors decompress and release suppressed emotions from the tension of the film shoot. Huang, Feng Xiaogang and Zhang Jizhong purchase shares and became majority shareholders in the recent Huayi Brothers IPO. (

Anthony Wong and Michelle Ye in Secrets of Yang Kwai Fai (

According to the company’s prospectus, top director Feng Xiaogang holds about 2.88 million shares, or 2.3 percent of the total current shares. Pop star Huang Xiaoming is also an owner, with 1.8 million shares.

The full interview, translated below, touches on the films that China Film Group has produced, and on the investments that Han Sanping has made, good and bad, including Crazy Stone (疯狂的石头) and Mobile (手机), to the hundred million productions such as Red Cliff (赤壁) and Hero (英雄)…

Lan (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 8:57 am

Lan — Film Review
By Maggie Lee

Bottom Line: Dated drama of growing pains during the Cultural Revolution enhanced by superb elderly role.
Pusan International Film Festival

BUSAN, South Korea — “Lan,” the debut by acclaimed Chinese actress Jiang Wenli (”Lost Indulgence,” “And the Spring Comes”), is a recollection of growing up under her grandfather’s fold during the Cultural Revolution. Unabashedly personal and dripping with nostalgia, “Lan’s” direction is polished in an old-school way. Yet the film doesn’t soar to a dramatic crest.

“Lan” feels like it belongs to the era of 5th or 6th generation directors, and would have caused more buzz then. It also spurs less favorable comparison with Jiang’s husband, Gu Changwei, and his more profound and visually sublime “Peacock,” which shares similar period setting.

Narrated in first person by protagonist Xiaolan, the first half describes her childhood in the ’60s. Her parents were “sent down” to a collective in Xinjiang, so she is raised by granddad Tang (Zhu Xu). Jiang portrays her cocooned existence with warmth and whimsy — shooting surroundings from the little girl’s eye level, framing her under a table or inside a wardrobe and revealing her attachment to Tang (”I became grandfather’s tail”) in bittersweet episodes.

In the second half, Xiaolan reaches puberty. Her preoccupation turns to frustrated aspirations to become a national gymnast and moody longing for her exiled parents.

Although the script follows a clear linear direction, Jiang overstretches herself as she runs Xiaolan’s inner life and personal growth as a parallel strand to the densely-detailed grandfather-daughter relationship. Nor can she strike a balance between fleshing out Tang’s backstory as a train driver to make him a fully-fledged individual, and filtering a chunk of modern Chinese history through him as some archetypal everyman figure. Moreover, she stirs in a subplot of doomed love between her neighbor and her P.E. teacher (Liu Ye) that never quite takes off emotionally.

Cinematography and music are classically composed, and brim with romantic feminine sensibility. This works best in non-dialogue scenes that evoke the melancholy of rainy, mossy Southern Chinese climes, like a fantasy sequence when Xiaolan, standing atop a building, takes to the skies with an oil-paper umbrella and glides over the river and railway.

Zhu Xu’s (”Shower”) rock-solid performance provides an anchor for the scattered memories and lengthy time span. Yao Jun and Zhu Yinuo play the childhood and teenage Xialan respectively. They are both fresh and natural, and the personality transition between the two phases is seamless.

Pusan International Film Festival — Asia New Currents
Cast: Zhu Xu, Yao Jun, Zhu Yinuo, Liu Ye
Director-screenwriter-producer: Jiang Wenli
Producer: Dong Ping
Director of photography: Lin Liangzhong
Production designer: Feng Ligang
Music: Dou Peng
Costume designer: .
Editors: Yang Yuhong, Liu Jiami.
Sales and production: Beijing Asia Union Culture and Media Investment Ltd.
No rating, 85 minutes

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