31 de ago de 2007

Jet Li News

- Director Peter Chan´s new movie The Warlord tells the story of brotherly betrayal, revenge and murder set in China riven by civil war in 1860. Featuring three of Asia's hottest male leads Andy Lau, Jet Li and Takeshi Kaneshiro, and rising mainland actress Xu Jinglei.

"It’s a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on “The Assassination of Ma,” a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about the killing of general Ma Xinyi." The film is scheduled to hit Asia at December 2007.

The story isn´t new and has been filmed several times. One notable version was Hong Kong director Chang Chek's Ci Ma or The Blood Brothers in 1973.
official website: http://www.warlordsthemovie.com/

I´m the Mummy
- Actress Michelle Yeoh and action star Jet Li will star in the third episode of "The Mummy" series, Mummy: Curse of the Dragon. Yeoh will play a wizard, and Li plays the mummy guy. In this episode, the mummy is China's first Emperor of Qin, a shape-shifting entity who was cursed by the wizard centuries ago. However, the wizard will try her best to defeat the mummy and his troops, who were unearthed by a father and son. Actor Brendon Fraser is back as the american hero, with Maria Bello and Isabella Leung as co-stars.

Jet Li and Jackie Chan´s KingdomAction stars Jet Li and Jackie Chan are worried they are too old to pull off fight scenes, and are warning audiences not to get their hopes up about their new film.Li, 44, and Chan, 53, are starring together in The Forbidden Kingdom, marking the first time the martial arts legends have been paired up for a movie. Li says, "When Jackie Chan and I first wanted to work together 15 years ago, our passion was at its peak. "Our desire to succeed was very strong. Now we joke that when we watch the The Forbidden Kingdom our combined age is 100.”

- A Westernized take on the classic "Journey to the West" tale, the new version is about an American teenager (Michael Angarano) discovers a staff which transports him to ancient China where he joins in a quest to return the staff to the Monkey King. Jet Li plays the dual role of the Monkey King and Silent Monk while Jackie Chan will play a kung fu master named Lu Yan. Forbidden Kingdom is directed by Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little) for a 2008 release; the film also stars Collin Chou, Li Bingbing, and Liu Yifei. Yuen Woo-ping will choreograph all the action.
more at: http://www.jetliuk.com/ and and http://http://www.alivenotdead.com/


28 de ago de 2007

Venice Film Festival 2007

Venice Official Selection

Following are the 22 films selected for competition at this year's Venice film festival, to run from Wednesday through September 8.

"Atonement" by Joe Wright (Britain, United States).
"The Darjeeling Limited" by Wes Anderson (United States).

"Sleuth" by Kenneth Branagh (Britain, United States).
"Heya Fawda" (Chaos) by Youssef Chahine (Egypt).
"Redacted" by Brian De Palma (United States).
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" by Andrew Dominik (United States).
"Nessuna Qualita agli Eroi" by Paolo Franchi (Italy, Switzerland, France).
"Michael Clayton" by Tony Gilroy (United States).
"Nightwatching" by Peter Greenaway (Canada, France, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Britain).
"En la Ciudad de Sylvia" by Jose Luis Guerin (Spain).
"In the Valley of Elah" by Paul Haggis (United States, Morocco).
"I'm Not There" by Tod Haynes (United States).
"Taiyang Zhaochang Shenqi" (The Sun Also Rises) by Jiang Wen (China, Hong Kong).
"Bangbang Wo Aishen" (Help Me Eros) by Lee Kang Sheng (Taiwan).
"La Graine et le Mulet" by Abdellatif Kechiche (France).
"Se Jie" (Lust, Caution) by Ang Lee (China, United States).
"It's a Free World" by Ken Loach (Britain, Italy, Germany, Spain).
"L'Ora di Punta" (Rush Hour) by Vincenzo Marra (Italy).
"Sukiyaki Western Django" by Miike Takashi (Japan).
"12" by Nikita Mikhalkov (Russia).
"Il Dolce e l'Amaro" by Andrea Porporati (Italy).
"Les Amours d'Astree et Celadon" by Eric Rohmer (France, Italy, Spain)

Eleven films qualified for the festival's Horizons section:

"Sad Vacation," by Shinji Aoyama (Japan).
"Mal Nascida" by Joao Canijo (Portugal).
"Searchers 2.0" by Alex Cox (United States).
"Medee Miracle" by Tonino De Bernardi (Italy, France).
"Cochochi" by Laura Amelia Guzman and Israel Cardenas (Mexico, Britain, Canada).
"Geomen Tangyi Sonyeo Oi" (With the Girl of Black Soil), by Jeon Soo-il (South Korea, France)*.
"L'Histoire de Richard O." by Damien Odoul (France)

"Sugisball" (Autumn Ball) by Veiko Ounpuu (Estonia).
"Die Stille vor Bach" (The Silence Before Bach) by Pere Portabella (Spain)
"Exodus," by Penny Woolcock (Britain).
"Xiaoshuo" (The Obscure), by Lu Yue (China). 

*Starring world star Kang Su-yeon, in her first big-screen work in 20 years, it´s the story of a nine-year-old girl from a mining village in Gangwon Province and her views on her family and the world. Kang plays the girl's mother in the movie. Kang gained global acclaim in 1987 by winning the Best Leading Actress award at the festival for her role in Lim Kwon-taek's movie "The Surrogate Woman. Lim Kwon-taek's movie "Beyond the Years" will also participate in the festival in the non-competition category.

Another 11 films will vie for the Horizons Documentary Prize:

"Staub" (Dust) by Hartmut Bitomsky (Germany).
"Madri" by Barbara Cupisti (Italy).
"Kagadanan sa banwaan ning mga engkanto" (Death in the Land of Encantos) by Lav Diaz (Philippines).
"Man from Plains" by Jonathan Demme (United States).
"L'Aimee" by Arnaud Desplechin (France).
"San" (Umbrella) by Du Haibin (China).
"Andarilho" by Cao Guimaraes (Brazil).
"Wuyong" (Useless) by Jia Zhangke (China).
"Il Passaggio della Linea" by Pietro Marcello (Italy).
"Anabazys" by Joel Pizzini and Paloma Rocha (Brazil).
"Berlin" by Julian Schnabel (United States).

Heo Jin-ho´s "Happiness" in Toronto

Toronto International Film Festival
The Korean director Heo Jin-ho´s film "Happiness" starring Hwang Jeong-min and Im Soo-jeong has officially been invited to the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival, at the festival's Contemporary World Cinema category. “Happiness” depicts the ultimately cruel love story of a couple who first meet at a nursing home.The 2007 Cannes winner, Korean film “Secret Sunshine” was invited at the same category.

San Sebastian International Film Festival

GIDAM - The Korean horror flick 'Gidam' was invited to the 55th San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain, to be screened in the 'Zabaltegi' category of this year's festival. The 'Zabaltegi' category invites films that have received sound reviews in major international film festivals or films by up-and-coming directors worth noticing. 'Gidam' is a horror movie about a mysterious incident that took place at the Gyeongseong Ahnsaeng Hospital in 1942. The film has attracted a large number of moviegoers with its fresh story line, scenes that appeal to the aesthetic sense and the underlying sadness behind the prevailing horror.

Gidam (Epithaph)
In a modern hospital in 1941, doctors witness weird events and learn death is the sole healer. In 1979, Dr. Park receives an old photo album from his twenties in 1941 when mysterious things befell him and his colleagues. Park was bound by his parents to marry a girl whom he never met, but fell in love with a dead woman who happened to be his arranged marriage. Meanwhile, a little girl who was apparently the only survivor a car accident was haunted by ghosts every night. After two doctors (a married couple) involved in these two stories return to their hospital from Tokyo, a series of serial murders occurs around them.

San Sebastian loves the korean movies!
Korean films have done particularly well at the San Sebastian film festival.
In 2005, film director Kang Yi-kwan's 'Apple' was invited to the film festival, and he received the award for best new screenwriter. Director Kim Ki-duk's 'The Bow' also received good reviews) In 2002, 'The Way Home' was invited to the new director category and received a special jury prize and in 2003. And 'Memories of Murder' received awards for best director and best new director.

18 de ago de 2007

Join Security Area / Happy Christmas (filmes)

Double Pack – THC Recommends!

“Join Security Area” and “Happy Christmas”
Two excellet films that meditate on the unitility of the wars.

The European Union (EU) is a clear example of how the time heals the wounds and tranforms old enemies in allies – if you don´t consider the economic and not fraternal reasons that so many times surpass the political-ideological divergences.The question is – it´s easier to hit a faceless adversary – the stranger is feared or hated.

“Join Security Area”. Korea is a country separated by war, a recent wound in the asian continent history. So much more than an imaginary line divide the korean people, it has been years of suffering and alienation on both sides.

The Join Security Area is this military controled zone, the DMZ, where take place the film story. A young South Korean soldier, bored with the routine of guarding the frontier, gradually makes contact with two soldiers of the opposite side. The watchfullness nights turn into a secret friendship between this men – an uncertain attempt of catching a glimpse of one another lifes. They´re like brothers separated at birth. Nevertheless, tragically, the men will find out that the boundary between north and south is bigger than a small bridge, it´s an ideologic and emotional canyon.

“Happy Christmas”. The Great War, later known as the WWI, was perhaps the most cruel of the battles the Ocident ever saw. At that time, the principal strategy of the generals was to place the soldiers inside the trenchs, fighting hand to hand with the enemy, marching forward literaly over their bodies. It was a carnage.

As in JSA, the confrontation ends with a meeting of enemy soldiers, in this case in the middle of the batllefield. The slow progress of the troops, and the waiting for reinforcements, leaded to a situation of extreme human degradation.

It´s the european winter, the fields are covered with snow, the soldiers are cold and hungry, inside the insalubrious trenchs. Christmas Eve arrives with combat inside french territory. At one side we have the French and the Scottish men, at the opposite side the German invaders, leaded by Kaiser Wilhelm II. The German commanders, in a situation of superiority at that moment, did encourage their soldiers with christmas trees and food, while de French guys had to count even their gun bullets. But the little miracle happens when a truce is made to gather the dead soldiers at the frozen fields. Being face to face, a christmas spirit´s spark lights this sufferer men´s hearts. A modest party is improvised and the enemy get together to make a toast – a symbolical wish of future days of peace. And the peace would come, but at the expense of so many lives.

Read more about the true story of the Christmas Truce at:http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm

Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA
(DVD/ South Korea/ 2000/ 110 min)
Director: Park Chan-wook (Oldboy)
Screenwriters: Jeong Seong-san, Kim Hyeon-seok
Actors: Lee Yeong-ae, Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho, Kim Tae-woo, Shin Ha-kyun
Awards: Best Film at Blue Dragon Awards (2000); Grand Bell Awards 2001 (Best Film, Best Art Direction, Best Actor: Song Kang-ho, Best Sound: Kim Seok-weon, Kim Won-Yong); Best Film (Lotus award) at Deauville Asian Film Festival (2001); Best Foreign Language Film at Blue Ribbon Awards (2002).

Joyeux Noël (Happy Christmas)
“France 1914. A moment of humanity that made history. On Christmas Eve during world War I, the Germans, French, and Scottish are trying to make peace, so they bury their dead and play football.”
France / Germany / UK / Belgium / Romania/2005/116 min
Director/screenwriter: Christian Carion
Actors: Daniel Brühl, Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet, Gary Lewis, Dany Boon
Awards: Best Feature at Leeds International Film Festival (2005), FIPRESCI Prize at Valladolid International Film Festival (2005), Nominated to Oscar Best Foreign Language Film of the Year (2006).

14 de ago de 2007

"Cinema Quotes"

“You can see the trend for films all over the world to become more and more similar,” I want to see a diversity of films that reflect different cultures rather than copy Hollywood formulas… I want Asian films to be Asian. It’s important to express your own ideas and it’s sad films are becoming so commercial and so similar”
~ Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami

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