HKMDB Daily News

March 24, 2013

Ripples of Desire (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , , , — dleedlee @ 1:37 pm

Ripples of Desire
3/23/2013
by Deborah Young

Despite its lurid English title, Ripples of Desire is more feminist romance than bodice-ripper. Set on a floating island populated by pirates and lepers off the shores of 17th century Taiwan, the costumer questions the status of women, in a tale of talented but doomed sisters who have become indentured courtesans in the House of Flowers. A break from her lesbian-themed films like Spider Lilies which won the 2007 Teddy Award in Berlin for best feature, and with hetero erotic touches, it could earn Taiwanese filmmaker Chou Zero a broader fan base among festival goers and Asian film lovers.

Enwrapping melancholy Chinese lyricism in a dream-like atmosphere, Chou navigates the cruel horrors of the day, which include murder, leprosy, kidnapping and abject betrayal. Though potentially beautiful to watch, the exotic pleasures are sometimes marred by a narrative that is opaque in key scenes. Audiences will need to leap over these gaps to enjoy a haunting and original film.

More graceful that any geisha when she performs on stage at Madame Moon’s, White Snow (Michelle Chen, You Are the Apple of my Eye) enchants an audience of pirates and sea-faring travelers with her melancholy songs and heavenly voice. Singing love duets with her sister White Frost (Ivy Chen, the popular star of Hear Me), who wears a mask and dresses as a man, they are the top attraction for at the establishment of businesswoman Moon (bewigged Hong Kong actress Sandra Ng).

Though their after-show activities are glossed over, as trained courtesans they are a bare step up from common brothel personnel. (“Folk music is just an ornament for prostitutes,” says Snow sadly.)

Moon still has feelings, as well as carnal relations, for her old but still burning flame, Master Hai. This larger-than-life figure, played by veteran actor Simon Yan of The Thieves, has rebelled against a Ming dynasty decree that forbids sea trading and is defiantly holed up with a motley crew aboard his outlawed ship. Though his pirate-like men don’t hesitate to kill for him, they have qualms about it afterwards, even his loyal henchman Scarface (model/pop singer Jerry Yan, costumed like an Asian Johnny Depp without the eye makeup.)

One day, naïve young music teacher Wen (TV star Joseph Cheng) arrives at Flower House to teach the girls new opera songs, and is brought to tears by Snow’s song about her childhood, how she and Frost were shipwrecked and were unable to save their father when the waves swept him off their raft. Afflicted by leprosy, his rotten hand comes off in Snow’s, as the little girl desperately holds on to it. Her piercing song makes the sensitive Wen fall in love with her on the spot.

What he doesn’t know is that the sisters guard a terrible secret: the first signs of leprosy have appeared on Snow’s fair skin. Madame Moon replaces her with Frost as her stage star, and cruelly suggests she can cure herself by infecting a man, thereby regaining her own health. This strange idea is one of the film’s required leaps of faith. Meanwhile, Frost has been meeting platonically with her childhood friend Scarface. Though she dreams of being in his arms, their potential romance is thwarted by the obvious problem of her being available to the highest bidder.

Chou’s screenplay neatly introduces a fourth couple, the lustful nobleman Sir Li and his beautiful, rich wife Lady Jen. Again the theme is love and loyalty versus trickery and betrayal, with women’s freedom to choose her own life at stake.

The cast is well-chosen and Michelle Chen and Ivy Chen (unrelated, but who also played sisters in Hear Me) are both intriguing on screen. The film’s cinematic qualities, shot by cinematographer Liu Hoho, could just be glimpsed on the DVD screened at Filmart. Chen Ming-Zhang’s notable score uses traditional Taiwanese folk music along with more modern sounds.

Venue: Hong Kong Filmart, Mar. 20, 2013.
Production company: South Island Film Inc.
Cast: Ivy Chen, Michelle Chen, Jerry Yan, Joseph Cheng, Simon Yan, Sandra Ng, Mao Zi-Jun, Li Xiao-Ran
Director: Chou Zero
Screenwriter: Chou Zero
Producer: Wang Mimi
Director of photography: Liu Hoho
Production designer: South Island Creative Team
Costumes: Jessie Dai
Editor: Chen Powen
Music: Chen Ming-Zhang
Sales Agent: Serenity Entertainment international (world), TC-1 Culture Fund (Asia)
No rating, 121 minutes.
THR

March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

ScreenDaily: Zombie 108 review

FBA: All’s Well Ends Well 2012 revivew

Latest instalment of the Hong Kong New Year comedy franchise is less brash and more charming.

CF: ”Guns N’ Roses” Portrays Ning’s Style

CF: ”Design of Death” to Hit Cinemas in April

Huang Bo, Simon Yam

Huang Bo (Sina)

CF: ”An Inaccurate Memoir” Stars in Black and White

Huang Xiaoming

Zhang Xinyi

Zhang Yi (Sina-gallery)

CF: 7 Blockbusters from Huayi Bro. to be Released in 2012

CF: Cast and Crew Talk about “Full Circle”

CF: Youku Plans to Shoot 12 Microfilms

Stills of Mo Xiaoqi (Monica Mok) and Jing Gangshan in a passionate scene from “Blood Stained Shoes”

Jing Gangshan plays a carpenter in the film (Sina)2

Photos from launch conference in Taiwan for “Westgate Tango”

Anthony Wong

Dylan Kuo

Amber An Xin-Ya

She’s a popular Taiwan fan boy “sex goddess” appearing in her first film

(Sina-slideshow)

TimeOutHK: Shu Qi interview (The Second Woman)

Titled “Returning to the basics”, the actress thanked those who have hurt her and expressed that the incident has allowed her to learn and improve.

“The past is not a scar but something to be proud of,” she wrote.

CNA: HK artistes applaud Privacy Commissioner’s report on tabloid misconduct

MSN: Jay Chou to scout for fresh face for his new movie

The Taiwanese singer’s move implied that rumoured girlfriend Hannah Quinlivan will not star in his upcoming film

MSN: Cecilia Cheung spotted with younger son Quintus

A1: Wang Lee-hom to carry torch for 2012 Olympics

CF: Wax Figure of Actress Sandra Ng Unveiled in HK

Sandra Ng (left)

With Peter Chan’s father and Sandra Ng’s parents (Sina)

February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011

Variety: In search of that mainland market

The refocus on the greater China market has meant a change in the kind of films that Hong Kong directors are making. Hong Kong directors have to learn to live with censorship rules. This means no ghost stories and the cops all have to be good guys - some of Hong Kong’s finest movies have focused on the antics of hyperactive ghosts and corrupt officers of the law.

Eyeing Chinese market, Hong Kong’s Johnnie To shoots second straight romance (ABCNews)

The film, called “High Altitude Romance II” in Chinese, doesn’t have an English title yet.

To also revealed that he will start shooting a third movie geared at the Chinese market in July or August — a comedy starring Sammi Cheng and superstar Andy Lau.

To is juggling a third project, a thriller starring veteran Hong Kong actor Lau Ching-wan and Taiwanese actor-singer Richie Jen. To said that movie, called “Lethal Gold” in Chinese, has been delayed because the actors have other commitments, but he still aims to finish it by the end of the year.

WSJ: ‘Shaolin’ and Director Benny Chan

FBA: Vampire Warriors (4/10)

Disappointing modern vampire movie gets some heft from Mainland action queen Jiang Luxia.

FBA: Amazons added to JJ’s Berlin slate

Legendary Amazons new title for Lady Generals of the Yang Family

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart fight scene between Louis Koo and Daniel Wu

Opening Mar. 31 (Sina-slide show)

New billboards promoting Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmasters appeared in the streets of Berlin prior to the upcoming film festival. The festival begins today and run until the 20th.

(Sina) (2)

Tang Wei arriving in South Korea, Feb. 8, to promote Late Autumn.

Sandra Ng family photos

Sandra Ng recently released nostalgic photos from the past (Sina)2

Shu Qi spent the holidays shooting a watch advert in Paris, later she went to Geneva and visited at Peter Lam’s nearby villa with a view of Mont-Blanc.

(Sina)2

Zhang Ziyi spotted in Tokyo during Spring Festival

New boyfriend or just a shopping buddy?

Zhang Ziyi turned 32 years-old yesterday (Feb.9) (Sina)2(Xinhua)

Recovering mom, Michelle Reis (Xinhua)

Cousin Ayden meets JM (Jayden Max)

JM also happens to be initials of parents Julian and Michelle

Ayden is Michelle Reis’ sister’s baby boy (Sina)

MSN: First look at Michelle Reis’s son (Sina)

MSN: Sandy Lam and rumoured boyfriend performed in Australia

Jay Chou rumoured to have a new girlfriend

The new ‘J girl’ is said to be a 17-year-old Australian Taiwanese

January 27, 2011

January 27, 2011

FBA: Shaw to sell stake in TVB

FBA: Seven Days in Heaven (6/10)

Original, low-key black comedy set during the week-long Taoist mourning process for an average small-town father.

‘Mr. & Mrs. Incredible’ and Sandra Ng (WSJ)

All’s Well Ends Well 2011: A Lunar New Year Laugh-in (WSJ)

Fiona Law, who teaches a class on Hong Kong cinema at the University of Hong Kong and has done extensive research on the phenomenon of the Chinese New Year movie, says the first known example was “Bloom and Prosper,” a 1937 comedy from mainland director Tang Xiaodan. No copy is believed to survive, but Dr. Law says it involves a familiar theme for the genre: winning the lottery and easy fortune.

Tsang and Leung lead CNY movie pack in I Love Hong Kong

I Love Hong Kong poster

The film features over 100 HK stars (Sina)

Posters for The Lost Bladesman

Various aspects of General Guan Yu depicted

Alan Mak and Felix Chong direct Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen in the costume epic.(Sina)2

PETA ad targets Gong Li (Xinhua)

MSN: Ronald Cheng and Charlene Choi given probationary divorce

August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010

THR: Korean ‘Tomorrow’ gets Venice screening

Remake of John Woo classic invited to honor director

CRI: Latest Stills of Chinese Horror Film ‘The Island

Chinese horror film “The Island” (”Jue Ming Dao”), in which a billionaire sets up a deadly game on a Southeast Asian island in attempt to save his son who needs a heart transplant, has released several stills.

FBA: Colette Koo has passed away

From My Name Ain’t Suzie, 1985

(Aug.21) Tang Wei’s appearance at Tengchong airport drew screams of recognition whereby the actress had to hastily don  her sunglasses.

Tang Wei will reportedly play Donnie Yen’s wife in Peter Chan’s adaptation of the One-Armed Swordsman film, Wu Xia. The leads arrived early in Tengchong County to acclimate themselves to highlands high altitude atmosphere which is 3000m above sea level. Peter Chan selected Tengchong as a location because of the beautiful scenery; there are terraces, ancient villages, waterfalls consistent with the ‘retreat’ concept of the film.  Despite the rainy season not quite at an end, filming is to begin in September because Donnie Yen’s schedule is full with Monkey King scheduled to begin shooting in December. During an interview at the Hong Kong Film Awards, Peter Chan said Wu Xia is about a sword master, played by Donnie Yen, in seclusion for years. Detective Takeshi Kaneshiro is curious and his scepticism leads to trouble. Chan said Wu Xia will combine action, science, medicine and special effects. Tang Wei reportedly beat out Gong Li, Zhao Wei, Li Xiaoran for her role. (Xinhua)2

Stills of Barbie Hsu and Wang Xueqi in a passionate scene from Reign of Assassins

(Sina-slide show)

Stephen Chow has been confirmed as among the cast of The Founding of a Party. Besides Hong Kong artists John Woo, Chow Yun-Fat, Daniel Wu, and Andy Lau, mainland artists Liu Ye, Chen Kun, Zhou Xun, Zhang Hangyu, Zhang Guoli and Dong Jie are among the reported cast members confirmed so far. Zhao Benshan is also said to have agreed to join. (Sina)

Vivian Chow and Sandra Ng wear Max Mara in an upcoming Jessica Code magazine feature

(Xinhua)

Sending this one out to loyal reader, Glenn

Cecilia Cheung flacking Stool Pigeon featuring hubby Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung.

(Sina)

SG: Cecilia Cheung’s Facebook shout-out

Charlene Choi in an Adidas shoot

(Xinhua)

Vivian Hsu

Vivian Hsu posted this funny picture of herself on her Weibo. Her caption said that she ate too much in Japan and now had to diet. No explanation on how she created the effect. (Xinhua)

Sammi Cheng’s Guangzhou concert

(Sina-slide show)

CRI: Fan Bingbing Helps Children Fight Heart Defects

SG: Aaron Kwok and Lynn Hung cohabiting?

SG: Andy Hui and Sammi Cheng can hide no more

SG: Michelle Reis expecting baby boy

SG: Sandra Ng expecting her second child

When reporters asked Sandra about the rumours of her late pregnancy, Sandra stuttered and mumbled her way out of the situation, neither confirming nor denying the rumours.

August 12, 2010

August 12, 2010

NYTimes: Filmmaking in a Climate of Caution (Aftershock)

CRI: ”I Phone You” Promoted at the Brandenburg Gate

The film is a love story between a Chinese girl and a German guy. Their relationship is mainly over the phone at the beginning. Then the girl travels to Germany with the money she saved from working in a flower shop.

Part of the film was shot in Chongqing, the southwestern Chinese city on the bank of the Yangtze River, where the love story starts.

Jiang Yiyan was known by the German media as “The Most Beautiful and Real Oriental Girl” for her great appearance and acting in her previous films.

Jiang Yiyan (Sina-gallery)

Lead actors show up one by one in the 75-second trailer which follows the assassination plot targeting a retired murderess.

“The theme of the film is not about assassins and revenge but about love, which is the core message of my films. People should search for a way to get along with each other instead of hate and grudge,” John Woo was quoted by Sina.com.cn as saying.

Chief villain - Wang Xueqi (Sina)2

Haunted-fetus horror movie has some squirmy moments but is shackled by a confused script.

FBA: HK Summer opens with Love

Vivian Chow’s comeback film premieres in HK

Vivian Chow, Sandra Ng attend the HKSIFF screening of All About Love

Jo Koo, Joey Man, Vivian Chow, William Chan Wai-Ting, Ann Hui

Joey Man Yee-Man, Simon Yam (Sina)2(Xinhua-slide show)

Jennifer Tse Ting-Ting endorsing lip gloss for Estee Lauder (Sina)

Ekin Cheng and Lynn Xiong attend a Body Shop event

Lynn Xiong

Ekin Cheng - no marriage plans

He denied reports that he and Yoyo Mung registered for marriage in Japan during a recent holiday with his parents in Hokkaido.

Yoyo Mung

Yoyo, for her part, was reportedly very unhappy in Hokkaido as she had no alone time with Ekin and was constantly stalked by paparazzi.

(Sina)2(Xinhua-slide show)

Shu Qi

Shu Qi is the new regional face for Emporio Armani replacing Zhang Ziyi for Fall/Winter 2010. She will be appearing in new billboard ads that were recently shot in New York City. Shu Qi was lauded for her professionalism during the photo shoot in 100+ degree heat. (Xinhua)

SG: Miriam Yeung chooses concert over wedding

According to reports, the star appears to be more concerned about her concert and was said to have set a three-month abstinence from ‘bedroom activities’ with Real as she concentrates on concert preparations.

To make things worse, Real was seen hanging out with an unnamed hot babe when Miriam was out in Japan filming a music special.

December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009

All’s Well Ends Well 2010 Hong Kong Banquet

Raymond Wong

Sandra Ng

Ronald Cheng

Louis Koo

AngelaBaby

Lynn Xiong

Lee Heung Kam, Louis Koo

AngelaBaby, Lynn Xiong

Lynn Xiong, Louis Koo

Ronald Cheng, AngelaBaby

(Sina)

Time: China vs. Disney: The Battle for Mulan

China is moving to take back one of its own — even if it is legend. Mulan is the Middle Kingdom’s gender-bending heroine, its Joan of Arc. The character from folktale is a daughter who disguises herself as a male soldier to take her father’s place in the conscription army. The problem for the Chinese is that, since 1998, the definitive version of the story has been Disney’s.

Wang Baoqiang has a cameo role in Jackie Chan’s Big Soldier (Sina)

CRI: Li Bingbing: Acting Is Everything

Screen Daily: At The End of Daybreak

In case you were wondering about the film Kara Hui won the Golden Horse for Best Supporting Actress

B+ Detective cast and crew

Oxide Pang and Gong Beibi

Gong Beibi and Aaron Kwok

B+ Detective is now in post-production and Oxide Pang promises an unexpected ending (Sina)

Karen Mok (Sina)

Karen Mok, Jackie Chan

(Sina)

Gillian Chung

Jane Zhang

Stephen Fung dressed to the nines, or as the article relates, looking homeless

(Xinhua)

CRI: MTV Names the Most Stylish Chinese Entertainers of the Year

Vicki Zhao sparks pregnancy rumours

4-months pregnant Cecilia Cheung spotted shopping with her son and in-laws

Deborah Kerr?

Jay Chou is the 2009 top-earner [Taiwan] with S$27 million (2)

China’s Zhang Ziyi most “Googled” person in Taiwan

November 20, 2009

November 20, 2009

CRI: Li Yuchun Sings for ‘Bodyguards’ (video)

Rising pop singer Li Yuchun, who made her film debut in the new action thriller “Bodyguards and Assassins”, has been chosen to sing the movie’s theme song, “Fen Mo” (”Dust”).

With about 100 action films under his belt, kung-fu king Jackie Chan says he is not proud of all his movies.

Shu Qi turns down Zhang Ziyi film because of nude scene

Shu Qi has turned down a role in Chinese star Zhang Ziyi’s English movie “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”.

Younger sister of Nicholas Tse is the new “Jing Girl”

Jennifer Tse latest Wong Jing protege

Banned director brings romance film to Hong Kong

Forget ‘Twilight: New Moon,’ John Woo’s Chinese epic ‘Red Cliff’ is the biggest film on the planet

John Woo’s ‘Red Cliff’: An Epic Cut Down To Size

John Woo exporting Hollywood values to China

Taiwan director plans Chen Shui-bian assassination movie

Vivian Chow, Sandra Ng two nights ago, shooting Ann Hui’s ‘Leisurely Fried Rice’(literally) in chilly weather. (Sina)

Sandra Ng on breaks from All’s Well Ends Well 2010

The article says that due to newcomers Angelababy and Lynn Xiong there are numerous NGs and extends the shooting day which leads to many cellphone breaks. (Sina)

Sandra Ng, Louis Koo

Sandra Ng and Louis Koo are helping Angelababy along but is wearying for the senior actors like Lee Heung Kam (Sina)

CRI: Fan Bingbing as A Femme Fatale

Fan Bingbing graces the cover of the November 2009 issue of “Madame Figaro” magazine.

‘Wheat’ star Fan Bingbing graces the cover of November’s issue of ‘Madame Figaro’ (MF), China, a special issue themed ‘Femme Fatale.’

Hello Kitty jewellery collectables

Hello Kitty turns 35

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

October 25, 2009

October 25, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — dleedlee @ 8:49 am

All’s Well Ends Well 2010

Sandra Ng

Raymond Wong, actor/director

Lynn Xiong, Pan Yueming

AngelaBaby

1st NG - Lam Chi-Chung, Ronald Cheng

The official launch ceremony was held for the Lunar New Year comedy at Hengdian Studio.

Raymond Wong will direct as well as act. Louis Koo also returns. (Sina.com) (Xinhua)

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.(Sina.com)

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

(Sina.com)

Jiang Wenli

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

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. (Sina.com)

Anthony Wong and Michelle Ye in Secrets of Yang Kwai Fai (Sina.com)

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)…

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