News Links - 5/16/08

Dennis Lee's Daily HK cinema news archive

News Links - 5/16/08

Postby dleedlee » Fri May 16, 2008 1:32 pm

Jet Li to Send Relief Materials to Sichuan

Jackie Chan Arrives in Quake-Hit City
Jackie and singer Sara

Hong Kong ups visual f/x profile ... =3057&cs=1
Polybona: Eyes on stock ... =3057&cs=1
J.A. Media: High-profile action
"Miao Mia" and Stephen Fung's "Jump" on slate ... =3057&cs=1
Huayi Brothers: Private-sector success ... =3057&cs=1
Shanghai Media Group: Looking long term ... =3057&cs=1
Enlight Pictures: Filling the pipeline - targeting global partners ... =3057&cs=1

Edko backing comic book adaption "Dance Subaru" featuring Momoi Kaori ... 85772&cs=1

James Hong profile
From Clark Gable to Kung Fu and Seinfeld
Image ... 5hong.html

Run Run in talks to sell his Shaw stake
Trading suspended ... con_type=1
Run Run leads way as hearts and wallets open to disaster victims ... con_type=1
Shaw actor Wong Yupassed away of pneumonia (Thanks, Fan) ... 221419.asp

Singapore Redux
Interview with three filmmakers ... 87,00.html

Kung Fu Panda review
Po and Shifu dueling with an instant classic. ... 10,00.html
"Kung Fu Panda" a martial arts masterpiece ... =0&sp=true
Kung Fu Panda reviews ... ryID=38856

Shanghai International Film Festival turns spotlight on co-production ... &Category=

Sam Lee in Hung Yun Yun's "Broken Net"
(5/10/2008) Sam Lee Chan Sam and model Janice Man Wing San yesterday
attended a Disney product press conference. They even tried their hands
on graffiti and put Mickey Mouse in graffiti art.

Even though his fashion business is doing well, Sam has not
forgotten his film career. In days he will head to China to continue work
on the film POR MONG (BROKEN NET), the first action film for director
Xiong Xin Xin (Hung Yun Yun) since his return from Hollywood. The female
lead Chiang Luxia was a Beijing wushu academy student and has been called
China's Tony Jaa. Sam joked, "Although she and I have a lot of scenes
together, she is responsible for protecting me so I don't have to fight."

Herman Yau's "Classmate" features Shawn Yue, Ada Choi, Ella, Chapman To

(5/8/2008) The film TUNG MOON (CLASSMATE) two nights ago held a
production start ceremony in Sham Shui Po. Director Herman Yau Lai To
and actors Shawn Yue Man Lok, Ada Choi Siu Fun, Elanne Kong Yeuk Lam, Ella
Koon Yun Na and Chapman To Man Jat attended. Because the film would be a
mob film, the film company held a street red wine banquet as the cast
boldly drank. Choi Siu Fun who has not made a film for a long time
explained that she returned to film because she has always wanted to work
with director Yau Lai To. She believed that her acting would be on
display in this film. Later she would head to Thailand for location

"The Moss" with Shawn Yue opening this month

(5/8/2008) Shawn Yue Man Lok and Bonnie Sin Sik Lai's new film THE MOSS
(CHING TOI) will be released at the end of the month. Lok Jai in the
film would play an undercover cop. Although in recent years he has been
productive he has never played this type of character. He said that he
resembled a Wise Guy more than a cop. He had to play a cop who was very
glad to do his job with the prostitutes, which was not easy to play but
was very refreshing.

Isabella Leung's contract dispute hampering "Missing" promos

(5/6/2008) Isabella Leong Lok Si due to Emperor's contract dispute has
skipped all of her jobs, including her film with Angelica Lee Sinjie, SUM
HOI CHUM YUN's promotional poster shoot. The film will be released on
June 12. Its film company Mandarin felt helpless because the contract
stipulated that the poster must have Isabella's photo, otherwise the
contract would be violated. Thus the film company still has not been
able to release a film poster and had next to zero promotion.

Mandarin boss Raymond Wong Pak Ming after discussions with his
lawyers decided to sue Emperor. "During the contract signing Emperor
requested the additional condition of Isabella must be on the film
poster and the size of the photo must be the same as Lee Sinjie's.
Isabella also had the exclusive right to sing the film theme song.
Earlier for the film poster shoot, Isabella originally agreed to show up
but finally skipped out. The film will be released on June 12, now even
the film poster still has not been released. We can only used a woman's
back for the promotional poster. In additional Isabella didn't sing the
theme song, We can only find someone to make music for the film and lost
the karaoke promotional opportunity. Ultimately we couldn't do a lot of
promotion. I understand that Emperor and Isabella are in the midst of a
lawsuit, I too want to settle the matter privately; but after the lawyers
saw the contract they told me to file a lawsuit as protection. Because we
are ultimately a public company we have to answer to stockholders. The
impact on the box office definitely is very impacted. If we knew it would
turn out like this, initially we wouldn't approach Isabella and would get
another for the female lead."


The World of Zhu Shilin is an important study program of Hong
Kong Film Archive and the Hong Kong International Film Festival this
year. Its run continues until May 12.

Zhu Shilin (1899-1967) was a previous generation famous director.
During the turmoil before and after World War II he became the mainstream
pillar of the Shanghai and Hong Kong film industry. 41 years after his
passing he finally had a more official retrospective exhibition,
unfortunately it was not complete; especially missing was his work
during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai -- the background where LUST,
CAUTION (SIK, GAI) took place and remains sensitive and controversial
even until now.

Although it is not the whole picture, this time is still a very
rare screening opportunity that can confirm when he came from Shanghai to
following few years, his creative quality was the best.

Yet, is Zhu Shilin is a film master? Honestly, the more I watch
his films, the more questions I have. Back then Chinese film overall has
many restrictions of technique, ideas and subjects. He occasionally made
good films but even more ordinary ones. His artistic achievement
obviously cannot compare to famous Japanese masters of the same
generation Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu.

MARRY? are the best among Zhi Shilin's work that can rival famous films
around the world that year.

Since then he made the career and residence issues of Hong Kong's
poor and feeble with a lot of real life feel. As for his descriptions of
the low to middle income family couple comedy films they tend to be
superficial and studio styles. THE THREE PEARLS' concubine storm remained
real in the 50s, but today it seemed very outdated.

The 1964 GARDEN OF REPOSE was his final film, which was made
entirely in the old studio style that adapted Ba Jin's famous work GARDEN
OF REPOSE into something dead and dull, not as good as his earlier
adaptation of Cao Yu's work THUNDERSTORM.

Zhu Shilin's late style was very conservative, luckily back then
the Hong Kong film industry had a flood of new blood (including his
Phoenix and Great Wall descendants) that raised a wuxia action new wave
that transformed Hong Kong film.

GARDEN OF REPOSE was not great but represented Zhu Shilin's
nostalgic sorrow, difficulty of forgetting the lost nation and old dreams,
and guilt of the nation's troubles. It could be said that the older
generation's sorrowful farewell work during a turbulent new era.

Bao Fang in GARDEN OF REPOSE played a fallen father who confessed
to have failed his family and died a tragic death. The film foretold the
future. Several years later Mao Zedong sentenced SORROW OF THE FORBIDDEN
CITY as a treasonous weed. Upon learning the news Zhu Shilin passed
away that night in Hong Kong. Many celebrities during the Cultural
Revolution had to admit that they were guilty.


In my impression, these two are Zhu Shilin's best made films.
Lately I have caught up and rewatched many of his work and still I feel
these two films are the best.

The 1948 SORROWS OF THE FORBIDDEN CITY was renowned on its own,
later due to Mao Zedong's personal verdict it also took Zhu Shilin's life.
This black and white film has good set up and strong drama. The Beijing
Forbidden City was built in Hong Kong Wing Wah film studio. The set,
costumes, lighting and camera adjustments are excellent. It is very
influential to Li Han-Hsiang's Qing Palace films.

SORROWS OF THE FORBIDDEN CITY has already been talked in every
aspect, this I have to mention set designer Bao Tianming who was from
Shanghai. I once worked at the Cathay era's Wing Wah studio and stumbled
to become one of Bao Tianming's last assistants. Occasionally I heard
how serious and difficult that production was and it sounded legendary.

As for the 1951 black and white film SPOILING THE WEDDING DAY, its
renown is no match for SORROWS OF THE FORBIDDEN CITY and style drastically
differs, but I like this romantic comedy in poverty even more. In the
film the romance between the trumpet player and the factory girl is lively
and interesting, full of the realism of the Mainland immigrants in Hong
Kong then. They in order to wed work part time selling wonton noodle.
They also have to find a place, build a wooden home, all are very
intimate and are the collective memory that is gradually lost but should
not be forgotten.

Zhu Shilin is always shooting small business, middle class and the
worldly, but SPOILING THE WEDDING DAY is about the lower class laborers
yet it is unusually energetic and fun. Perhaps he and his younger
co-director Bai Chen have set off spark?

Han Fei and Li Lihua gave performance that was full of life and
comedy. Li Lihua's young and simple female worker image was even rarely
brilliant. The film's teahouse, shared rooms, facotry, wooden house
areas and streets are full of solid flavor.

In the following years Zhu Shilin's reality reflections like THE
MOON all described poor, small employee romance in narrow living
conditions and all were variations of SPOILING THE WEDDING DAY. Living
conditions once were old Hong Kong films' important and frequently made
subject. Zhu Shilin has contributed a lot in this area.

Bai Chen later returned to Mainland to write and direct, Ren Yichi
who played the young left wing "progressive" female worker in SPOILING THE
WEDDING DAY was one of Zhu Shilin's students. In this retrospective , the
Ren Yichi, Chen Jingbo co-directed (Zhu directed), Zhu Hong and Gao Yuan
starred PRECIOUS LITTLE MOON was then a refreshing, straight lace
secondary school girl's basketball team youth comedy.

PRECIOUS LITTLE MOON had left wing education, stressing group
cooperation and opposing individualism. Fortunately it had a lot of
actual locations, healthy and simple, a viewing today would be cute.

Tian Zhuangzhuag's "The Warrior and the Wolf" poster

Ivy Ho's "Claustrophobia"

Cannes Film Festival summary

Ting Che / Parking (Taiwan) ... 02546.html
Ocean Flame (China) ... /2008.html
My Magic (Singapore) ... /2008.html
24 City (China) ... /2008.html
The Chaser (South Korea) ... /2008.html
Tokyo Sonata (Japan) ... /2008.html
The Good, The Bad, The Weird (South Korea) ... /2008.html
Ashes of Time (Hong Kong) ... /2008.html
August 15th (China) ... /2008.html

Taiwan Pop Stop
Vivian Hsu, Stephen Fung, Jaycee Chan
Image ... 2003412028

Shu Qi, Jose Ho, Patty Hou in Beijing
ImageImageImage ... 9193.shtml

Woman charged for murder of elderly
Image ... 80516&fc=8
Last edited by dleedlee on Fri May 16, 2008 3:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby dleedlee » Fri May 16, 2008 2:53 pm

"Red Cliff" is one of several Cannes two-part pics
releasing it as one single movie in the West is important, and a lot of the characters will have to be sacrificed

Shinjuku Incident poster

"Battle of Red Cliff" on Hollywood Reporter cover

A Taste of Tsui Hark's "Missing"
Guo Xiaodong
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Sat May 17, 2008 2:56 am

Wow! Nice work today, Dennis!

Here's one more:

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Re: News Links - 5/16/08

Postby joena » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:56 am

How does a film festival work? Silly question I suppose..OK, ordinarily we go to a place like Random Cinema 12, pay $8, grab a popcorn, watch a 90 minute movie, and go home. So how does a film festival differ from this? Can somebody give me a snapshot of a film festival?
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Re: News Links - 5/16/08

Postby dleedlee » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:39 pm

joena wrote:How does a film festival work? Silly question I suppose..OK, ordinarily we go to a place like Random Cinema 12, pay $8, grab a popcorn, watch a 90 minute movie, and go home. So how does a film festival differ from this? Can somebody give me a snapshot of a film festival?

I'm sure each festival operates a little differently. One difference from your standard movie going experience is that a) the schedule is printed in advance, b) you can pre-order tickets or buy festival passes allowing you to see n number of films at a reduced price, c) often times, the films revolve around a specific theme and/or a specific artist is retrospected, d) new films get premiered, prizes are awarded, e) director/actors often appear and conduct Q&A sessions,f) there are opening/closing parties where you can mingle with the stars! Of course, the bigger the festival, the splashier it can be.

I'm sure I've missed some obvious stuff, but that's what jumps to my mind at first thought.
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