25 de dez de 2008

To new beginnings...
Let us start fresh, right now,
To make this the very best year ever.
A very Happy New Year to all of us!

26 de out de 2008

Warai no Daigaku (filme, 2001)

University of Laughs, or Warai no Daigaku, in japanese, is a wonderful film! If you didn´t see it yet, don´t miss the opportunity of watching it on dvd. I´d love to see Hwang Jeong-min in this play! Actually I was thinking that this story could be played with sucess at any stage of the world, since most of the countries had to go through some obscure period of censorship in their history. And many artists learned that when an artist is forced to work within censorship, they can sometimes create something better than they ever could when having complete artistic freedom.

Hwang Jeong-min to Star in New Play

Korean movie actor Hwang Jeong-min will star in a new play, "University of Laughs", comedy based on the story of an artist's freedom of expression when faced with censorship, set in 1940 Japan. The play was written by Japanese dramatist Koki Mitani.

A young playwright (Hwang) comes up against a government censor (Song Yeong-chang ) to put a comedy on stage. The censor's job is to prevent anything political or taboo from getting into the pre-war media, but this particular censor has a thing against comedy, too.

The play was originally performed at Parco Theatre in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan in 1997 to high acclaim. It was also made into a film which was then released in 2004 by Toho Studios, and directed by Hoshii Mamoru.

Hwang began his acting career in theaters, as a musical actor in Subway Line No. 1 (1994), Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats and Nine.
"I think a movie is the art of a director but the play is the art of an actor", he said.

The play will be shown in Korea for the first time as the ninth work of the Yeongeuk Yeoljeon 2 (Best Plays Series) programmed by veteran actor Jo Jae-hyeon. The play will be staged at Dongsoong Art Center in central Seoul Oct. 24 to Nov. 30.

Hwang Jeong-min Filmography
The Waikiki Brothers (2001)
A Good Lawyer's Wife
Bloody Tie
You are my Sunshine (2005) * best actor award at the Blue Dragon Film Festival
Black House (by Shin Tae-ra, 2007)
Happiness (by Heo Jin-ho , 2007)
A Man Once a Superman (by Jeong Yoon-cheol, 2008)

Warai no Daigaku (University of Laughs/ Escola do Riso)/ Japan/ 2004/ 121 min/Comedy
Director: Mamoru Hoshi
Writer: Koki Mitani
Producer - Yumiko Shigeoka
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Goro Inagaki
Cinematographer - Hiroshi Takase
Editor - Masaki Yamamoto
Sound/Sound Designer - Yasushi Tanaka
Music Score - Yusuke Honma
Production Designer - Takeshi Shimizu

Based on 1996 play by Koki Mitani, Mamoru Hoshi's comedy Warai no Daigaku (University of Laughs) is set in 1940, during Worls War II, wen an naive playwright, Hajime Tsubaki (actor Goro Inagaki, from j-pop group SMAP), try to get his play, Romilet and Julio, past the censorship from Mutsuo Sakisaka (actor Koji Yakusho, Yudan Taiteki). A censor that proudly describes himself as “a man who has never laughed”.

15 de out de 2008

Choi Min-sik is Back with "Himalaya"

Choi Min-sik is Back with Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells

“I felt like I was riding a new car just out of a warehouse, starting from zero mileage. Now my heart is full of all sorts of ambiguous emotions - I’m proud, relieved and empty, as if a passionate love is over.” Choi Min-sik made his appearance at the open talk session during the Pusan International Film Festival, last Monday, after three years of absence (Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, 2005).

Choi stars in Jeon Soo-il´s “Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells.

In the movie, Choi (the only Korean in the film) is fired from his job, and is enlisted to help his factory-owning brother to visit a village in the Himalayas, in order to deliver the remains of a Nepalese migrant worker who died in an accident in Korea, to his family.

“I was thirsty, and I was hungry,” he says. “I felt both scared and ecstatic in front of the imposing mountain range,” he recalled of the shoot. “It was an extremely difficult task, but I was happy to endure that hardship. No matter what the outcome may be, I am glad I chose this film.”

Sources: chosun.com, varietyasiaonline.com

Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells /Barami mumoonun got, Himalaya
(South Korea, 95 min., Korean, English, Nepalese dialogue)
Directed, written by Jeon Soo-il (The Bird Who Stops in the Air).
Produced by Kim Dong-joo, Jeon Soo-il, Show East, Zonbo Media, Dongnyuk Films
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Tsering Kipale Gurung, Tsering Sherpa.
Camera (color), Kim Sung-tai; editor, Kim In-soo, Noh Bong-seo; music, Kim Hyung-suk; production designer, Cho Youn-ah.
Presented at the Pusan Film Festival (Korean Panorama)
To be released in Korea next spring.

14 de out de 2008

The 13th Pusan International Film Festival

The 13th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF Awards)

The Awards

New Currents competition section(this year shared between two films):
Land of Scarecrows (Korea) and Naked of Defenses (Japan)

Scarecrows, directed by Roh Gyung-tae, is a collection of stories of isolated people including one about a transgender woman who wants to become a man. The jury said “a very powerful film about somebody who's trying to find the sexual identify. It’s a touching film about a woman who wants to be somebody else in the modern world that influenced her with pollution around her. It´s a very truthful picture and items about the pollutions and sexuality. You can’t define the character’s own self or way out of things because strong vision to search of identify and such was a fresh for us.”

Naked of Defenses (by Ichii Masahide) portrays a female worker at a plastics factory and delves into her past memories. The jury said “is about childless woman who meets pregnant woman in the factory. It is well directed and acted with realistic and identifying characters. It´s a film that comes from a heart. It also a well narrated and realistically portrayed about two women and has an unusual style.

The Jury also made two special mentions, one for Baek Seung Bin's Members of the Funeral (South Korea) and the other was for Yang Jin's Er Dong (China).

Other Winners

Sonje Award

Girl by Hong Sunghoon (South Korea) – “While the film has a precise and subtle mise en scene., it lets the audience free flowing into the secret of human heart.”

Andong by Rommel Tolentino Milo (Philippines) – “The director has excavated a truthful story from the midst of the city dumpsite and told it with witty humor and brilliant performance.”

PIFF Mecenat Award

Old Partner by Lee Chung-ryoul (South Korea) – “This film portrays land and labor, aging and death, and friendship between human and animal through the relationship between an old farmer and a bull who have lived together for 40 years. It is the film’s purpose to obtain the meaning of existence of the daily lives in a farm village with precise camera.”

Mental by Soda Kazuhiro (Japan) – “To draw the curtain between normality and what normality calls abnormality is the purpose of this film. But more than that, the curtain is drawn upon a beautiful theater, Yamamoto’s office, where beautiful characters slowly enlarge the world with their joyful sadness.”

Fipresci Award
Jalainur by Ye Zhao (China)

Members of the Funeral by Baek Seung-bin (South Korea) – “For its excellent structure, unforgettable characters and ironical life situations – hinting at the complexity that lies beneath contemporary Korean society.”

Treeless Mountain by Kim So-young (South Korea/U.S.) – “The filmmaker perfectly captured the feelings of abandonment by parents we have all experienced one time or another, creating a heartfelt story.”

KNN Movie Award (Audience Award)
"100" by Chris Martinez (Philippines)

The complete list: http://www.piff.org/

28 de set de 2008

56th San Sebastian International Film Festival

San Sebastian International Film Festival, Spain


The New Directors award went to chinese director Cao Baoping, for the film
Li mi de cai xiang (The Equation of Love and Death) (China/HK, 96 min.)
Cast: Zhou Xun, Deng Chao, Wang Baoqiang, Zhang Hanyu, Wang Ning

Production: Wang Zhong Lei, Siu Ming Tsui, Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, Beijing Shunyi Tian Zhu Wenyu River, Lon Tai Duan
Coproduction: Sundream Motion Pictures Limited

Actress Joan Chen has presented the Altadis New Directors Award

Limi is a cab driver who has been trying to find her fiancé, Fang Wen, since he disappeared when her parents broke off their pending marriage. Qiu Shuitian is a small-time crook from the countryside who comes to the big city with hopes of getting his hands on some booty to take home with him and finding his true love. Lastly, Feifei is a recovering drug addict who has found support in her lover and business partner, Ma Bing. A mysterious death and its subsequent investigation suddenly intertwine the lives of these characters, gradually revealing the bizarre connection between them.

Director and screenwriter

A graduate from the Beijing Film Academy in 1989, Cao Baoping taught screenwriting for years before shooting his first film. In 1990, he started writing and directing films for television, such as Absolute Feelings (2001). In 2004, he wrote, directed and produced his first feature film, Trouble Makers. In 2005, he also directed the TV drama 10 Months of Pregnancy.

Masato Arada has presented the Golden Shell for Best Film to Pandora´s Box, by Yesim Ustaoglu

Source: all photos from the website http://www.sansebastianfestival.com/

23 de ago de 2008

Maboroshi no Hikari ( filme 1995)


Maboroshi no hikari
País: Japão
Duração: 110 min.
Gênero: Drama

Direção: Hirokazu Koreeda
Roteiro:Teru Miyamoto (novel); Yoshihisa Ogita (screenplay)

Elenco: Makiko Esumi, Takashi Naitô, Tadanobu Asano, Gohki Kashiyama, Naomi Watanabe, Midori Kiuchi, Akira Emoto, Mutsuko Sakura

Um jovem comete suicídio sem motivo aparente, deixando viúva e filho recém nascido desamparados. Depois de um tempo, ela aceita um casamento arranjado e se muda para o litoral. Lá ela lutará para esquecer o passado e encontrar a felicidade e a paz de espírito.
"A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant. She marries agains with a nice man, but struggles to forget the past and find happiness."

A Face (filme, 2004)

Face 페이스/ A Face
País: Coréia do Sul
Duração: 91min

Direção:Yoo Sang-gon


Antropólogo forense ajuda a polícia a desvendar a identidade da ossada de uma possível vítima de um serial killer. O cientista viúvo enfrenta a angústia de criar sozinho a filha doente, resolver um crime com a ajuda não desejada de uma bela jovem colega, e como se não bastasse, ser assombrado por fantasmas.

21 de ago de 2008

Tell Me Something / Into the Mirror (South Korea)

Tell Me Something (South Korea, 1999, 118min.)
Título no Brasil: Partes de um Segredo
Gênero : Thriller , Suspense
Diretor: Jang Yun-hyeon
Elenco: Han Seok-kyu, Shim Eun-ha, Chang Hang-sun, Yeom Jung-a, Yu Jun-sang, Kim Jung-hak, An Seok-hwan, Park Chul-ho

O detetive Cho (Han), do departamento de homicídios de Seul, investiga o macabro aparecimento de corpos desmembrados, em diferentes partes da cidade. A descoberta da identidade dos homens mortos leva a uma jovem artista (Shim), que pode ser a próxima vítima de um obcecado psicopata.
Han Seok-kyu estrelou o blockbuster Shiri, e contracenou pela primeira vez com Shim Eun- no drama romântico Christmas in August (1998).

Geoul sokeuro/ Into the Mirror/ Espelho (South Korea, 2003, 113 min)
Diretor e Roteirista: Kim Seong-ho
Produtor: Kim Eun-Yeong (Keyplus Pictures)
Distribuição: Cinema Service
Fotografia: Jeong Han-Cheol
ição: Kim Seon-Min
Direção de arte: Lee Hyeong-Ju

Música: Mun Dae-Hyeon
Ji-tae Yu,Myeong-min Kim, Hye-na Kim, Ju-bong Gi, Myoeng-su, Young-jin Lee, Eun-pyo Jeong

Woo (Yu Ji-tae) é um jovem ex-policial que trabalha como guarda de segurança na loja de departamentos de seu tio. Quando estranhas mortes de funcionários da loja envolvem uma investigação policial, Woo deve confrontar seus ex-colegas e provar que não perdeu seu talento de detetive.

"Woo (Yo Ji-tae*) is the ex-cop who works as security guard at his wealthy uncle´s mall. When strange deaths of the shop´s employes involve the police investigation, Woo will have to confront his ex-colegues and prove that he didn´t lost his detective skills."

*Yo Ji-tae ficou conhecido internacionalmente por seu papel (como inimigo de Choi Min-sik) no brilhante filme de Prk Chan-wook, Oldboy.
Into the Mirror teve um remake nos EUA, estrelando Kiefer Sutherland.

O mercado do cinema asiático no Brasil

Para os fãs do cinema asiático, a frustração é grande, quando se acompanha os lançamentos de filmes naqueles países, que é variado e de alta qualidade, e que não é acompanhado nem de perto pelas distribuidoras brasileiras.
Aqui, os filmes são lançados com pouca freqüência, e num sistema que nos parece aleatório, sem critérios como relevância, qualidade, premiações em festivais, bilheteria internacional, etc.

Os principais problemas com as distribuidoras de filmes são de infra-estrutura. Não há conhecimento do mercado e do material que está sendo oferecido ao público. Com raras exceções, não parece que as pessoas envolvidas tenham qualquer conhecimento sobre cinema que não seja o norte americano.
Por que as distribuidoras pequenas, que não conseguem vender seu produto fora do eixo Rio-São Paulo, não criam lojas virtuais em seus websites? Aliás, não existe uma empresa do ramo que possua um website interessante. Todos são difíceis de navegar, carecem de informações mais precisas sobre locais de venda, datas de lançamento, etc.

Muitos filmes são lançados em dvd para locação, mas não são vendidos ao público em geral; parece-nos estranho, não querer ganhar dinheiro?!

Outra frustração é esperar pelo lançamento de um filme em dvd, e constatar a péssima qualidade do material oferecido: capas com fotos de baixa qualidade, diferentes das originais, ausência de extras, como making off, cenas deletadas, tela full screen, onde se perde parte da imagem, etc.; e o pior de tudo em nossa opinião, cópias dubladas, sem oferecer o filme na língua original! Sinceramente, não há desculpa para um descuido desses. Tem coisa pior que uma dublagem em inglês?

O que mais falta no país é uma empresa séria que distribua somente filmes coreanos, chineses e japoneses, a um público que aprecia o cinema asiático, e que pede um pouco de respeito, obrigado! Por enquanto só nos resta contar com a importação e o download pela internet.

Onde encontrar filmes asiáticos?

Procurar filmes em dvd é um exercício de paciência e determinação, já que as distribuidoras parecem fazer de tudo para “esconder” o produto dos clientes.

O “garimpo” deve ser começado na internet, mas é melhor não se animar demais, pois muitos lançamentos anunciados nunca são encontrados à venda, outros se esgotam rapidamente nas lojas virtuais, e muitos têm preços absurdos, levando-se em conta a baixa qualidade da mídia.

Depois de comparar preços e disponibilidade nos sites confiáveis, como os das grandes livrarias, por exemplo, é recomendado comprar pessoalmente na loja que ofereça o filme, ou como segunda escolha, encomendar pela internet. Mas não esqueça de checar o grau de segurança do site em que está efetuando a compra. Todo cuidado é pouco!

Como a quantidade de títulos de filmes em dvd vem crescendo bastante, seria bom se as listas de ofertas fossem mais organizadas, por gênero, país, data, etc. Infelizmente isso não acontece em nenhuma loja virtual.

Antes de adquirir um filme em DVD não esqueça de ler com atenção a ficha técnica, observando dados como idiomas e legendas, extras e formato de tela.

11 de ago de 2008

Filmes Asiáticos / Programação TV (agosto, 2008)

Filmes Asiáticos
Programação da TV (agosto)

After Life (Wandafuru Raifu,
Depois da Vida /Jap, 1998, 118 min.)
Dir.: Hirokazu Koreeda
Cast: Arata, Erica Oda
Canal Futura - Cine Conhecimento - 14/08 (quinta) 01:30

The White Dragon (Fei Hap Siu Baak Lung, Dragão Branco, HK, 2004)
Dir.: Wilson Yip
Cast: Cecilia Cheung, Francis Ng
TNT - 16/08 (sábado) 02:15

A Neve Que Cai (Jap)Canal Futura - Cine Conhecimento - 18/08 (segunda) 02:30
Cradle 2 The Grave (Contra o Tempo, US)
Cast: Jet Li
TNT - 23/08 (sábado) 19:50

Maboroshi No Hikari (Maborosi,Jap, 1995)
Dir.: Hirokazu Koreeda
Canal Futura - Cine Conhecimento - 25/08 (Segunda) 02:30

The Host (O Hospedeiro, S. Korea)
Dir.: Bong Joon-ho
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Bae Doona, Park Hae-il

 Telecine Premium - 25/08 (segunda) 17:55; 28/08 (quinta) 05:45

The Returner (O Retorno, Jap, 2002)
Dir.:Takashi Yamazaki
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Anne Suzuki
TNT - 30/08 (sábado) 01:10

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (O Tigre e o Dragão, China)
Dir.: Ang Lee
Cast: Chow Yun-fat
TNT - 31/08 (domingo) 17:15, 01:10

Warriors of Heaven and Earth (Guerreiros do Céu e da Terra, HK)
Dir.: Ping He
Cast: Wen Jiang, Kiichi Nakai, Xueqi Wang, Zhao Wei
TNT - 31/08 (domingo) 03:35

27 de jul de 2008

The X-Files: I Want To Believe

The X-Files 2


If you are a fan of the X-files tv series, don´t miss the new film. I did watch it yesterday, and it is great to see Mulder and Scully together again! The chemistry between the lead actors still shows on the screen, and if the film has the feel of a longer TV episode, we hope someday they´ll give Chris Carter real cash (to make a great film with $35 mil? only if you are a Korean movie director) to make a bigger adventure, and make happy the CGI fans.

official homepage: http://www.xfiles.com
read more at: http://www.xfilesnews.com/

16 de jul de 2008

The Divine Weapon (South Korea)

The Divine Weapon / Sin-ji-jeon (South Korea, 2008)

"Choseon, 1448. The King Sae Jong wants to make his land independent with a newly and secretly developed rocket. However, he must fight against those who won't let him succeed to free the people."

With Jeong Jae-young (Silmido, 2003), Ahn Seong-gi and Heo Joon-ho, Han Eun-jeong.

1 de jul de 2008

45th Daejong Film Awards

The 45th Daejong Film Awards (Grand Bell Awards), June 2008

The Winners

Best Picture:The Chaser
Best Director: Na Hong Jin
Best Screenplay: Kim Soo Jin; Yoon In Bum
Best Actor; BMW Popularity Award: Kim Yoon Suk

Best Actress: Kim Yoon Jin (Seven Days)
Best Supporting Actor: Yoo Jun Sang (Return)
Best Supporting Actress: Kim Hye Suk (Open City)
New Actor: Daniel Henney (My Father)
New Actress; Korea.com Popularity Award: Han Ye Seul (Gold Digger, Miss Shin)
Hallyu Popularity Best Picture: Ba:bo

28 de jun de 2008

Asian Film News

Flash News

Hong Kong star Jackie Chan and South Korean pop singer and producer Park Jin-young meet at a Seoul studio on May 29 to discuss their joint project to help quake-stricken people in China's Sichuan Province. They´ll record the song "I Love Asia".

Korean actor Yoo Ji-tae (Old Boy, The Mirror) has a new promissing carrer as movie director. Recently, he won an award at Japan's 2008 Short Shorts Film Festival Asia. His third short film Out of My Intention won him the Special Mention Award at the fifth edition of the movie event, in Tokyo. His directorial debut was Bike Boy, which won the audience award at the 2003 Busan Asian Short Film Festival. In 2005, Yoo´s second short film How Does the Blind Dream won the Fuji Film award for excellent work. Out of My Intention tells the story of a middle-aged man who reminisces about his first love while driving around, and it stars veteran actor Lee Dae-yeon and young actress Jo An.
An American in Korea - Lionsgate will produce a romantic comedy from screenwriter Jason Filardi (Bringing Down The House), which will explore the comedic potential of a Korean wedding. The as-yet untitled film will be based on the experiences of Filardi’s cousin, Iain McConnell, with whom Filardi is writing the screenplay. McConnell married into a Korean family after falling in love with a Korean girl while teaching English as a second language. The film plays on these experiences, with the groom and his family having to travel to Korea to meet the bride’s family, before taking part in a traditional Korean wedding to follow. The movie will be shot on location in Korea.
(source: The Hollywood Reporter, Empire Online)

27 de jun de 2008

Wall-E´s recicled Short Circuit

Hollywood knows all about "recycling"

Did you see the new Pixar-Disney movie animation "WALL-E"?
And do you know the 80´s film "Short Circuit"?

Johnny 5 is Wall-e´s poor cousin or granpa?

Anyway, I love Robots! And I miss Futurama!

Short Circuit(US, 1986)
Director: John Badham
Screenplay: Brent Maddock, S.S. Wilson
Production: David Foster Productions
more: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091949/

26 de jun de 2008

Boat (South Korea, Japan)

Ha Jung-woo and Tsumabuki Satoshi

BOAT, a Korea-Japan co-production

Last year best supporting actor at Daejong Film Awards, and star of the movie hit The Chaser, Tears for You) in a new movie co-production Boat.

Boat “tells a story of two men who are involved with a smuggling business in Japan.

Ha Jung-woo takes the role of a warm-hearted man who struggles to make a living, while Tsumabuki plays a Japanese man who helps him. They are confronted with an unexpected accident while kidnapping a Korean woman to Japan.

Director: Kim Young-nam (Don't Look Back)
Cast: Ha Jung-woo, Tsumabuki Satoshi
Screenplay: Watanabe Aya (Maison de Himiko)
Production: Lee Jun-ho (Korea's Kraze Pictures) and Osamu Kubota (Japan's IMJ Pictures, Michigan Venture Capital, Korean Film Council.
(source: Variety Asia Online)

My Mighty Princess (South Korea)

My Mighty Princess

The director Kwak Jae-yong, responsible for the hit My Sassy Girl, is back with another romantic comedy, My Mighty Princess, after a delay of more than two years.
The film will be released in S. Korea on June 26.
At a press conference held in Apgujeong-dong, Director Kwak commented:
"All the cast members signed on to the project because they counted on me, but they have been deceived. When I showed my screenplay to them, I told them all the wire action scenes would be done by doubles or stunts, but in fact the actors had to do all the wire actions themselves...The film is concerned about bright aspects - action, conflict, rather than emotions. The entertainment aspect plays a central part, so please just enjoy the show," Kwak said.

Cast: Shin Min-a (Volcano High) plays So-hui, a martial arts prodigy; On Ju-wan is her love interest Il-young.
(source: heraldm.com)

24 de jun de 2008

The 45th Daejong Film Awards

Seoul, June 27, 2008.

The Favorites

Nominated in 11 categories, The Chaser, a film about a serial murderer, with over 5 million viewers, the most successful Korean film of 2008, according to the Korean Film Council.
Director: Na Hong-jin.
Cast: Kim Yoon-seok (The War of Flower), Ha Jeong-woo.

Forever the Moment, with over 4 million viewers in S. Korea.

Seven Days, a thriller about a child who gets kidnapped, is nominated in 10 categories.
Director: Won Shin-yeon (A Bloody Aria); next project: “V” (from Taekwon V).

Shadows in the Palace, a thriller that takes place within the palace of the Joseon Dynasty, is nominated in eight categories.

Secret Sunshine (Milyang), with Song Kang-ho, directed by Lee Chang-dong.

Scout, a black comedy, with Im Chang-jeong, who plays a scout who tries to recruit Korea’s famous pitcher, Sun Dong-yeul.

Viva Love, with actress Kim Hye-sook, also nominated for best supporting actress for her role in the film Open City.

Director Heo Jin-ho´s Happiness.

The Happy Life, directed by Lee Joon-ik.

25 de mai de 2008

Cannes International Film Festival 2008

French film wins top prize in Cannes - the first French winner in Cannes since 1987.
The only big surprise on the night was the fact that Israeli animated documentary "Waltz With Bashir" went unrecognized.

CANNES, France

Entre les murs (The Class), a film set in a tough Parisian high school, won the Palme d'Or for best picture at the Cannes festival on Sunday.

Directed by Laurent Cantet, the picture based on an autobiographical novel by Francois Begaudeau.

"I think it would be good for all those people who claim to be able to judge youth ... in two or three aphorisms to learn something new about youth," said Begaudeau, who also plays the central teacher in the film.

The Grand Prix went to Italy's Gomorra (Gomorrah), Matteo Garrone's hard-hitting film about the world of the Camorra Naples crime network.

Jury Award: Il Divo, the Italian film a satire on the life of former prime minister Giulio Andreotti and directed by Paolo Sorrentino.

Special Prize: Catherine Deneuve and Clint Eastwood.

Best Director: Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Three Monkeys.

Best Actor: Benicio del Toro, for his portrayal of the Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Steven Soderbergh's epic four-and-a-half hour Che.

Best Actress: Sandra Corveloni, in the Brazilian drama Linha de Passe (Line of Passage).

Best Screenplay: Belgium's Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, for Lorna's Silence.

Camera d'Or (given to debut directors): Britain's Steve McQueen, for Hunger.

24 de mai de 2008

Public Enemy 1-1

Korean Cine News
After Silmido, the great duo Seoul Kyeong-gu and Jeong Jae-young are back in:


John Woo´s new film: 1949

1949 (2009, China)

Production: John Woo and Terence Chang (Lion Rock)
Screenplay: Wang Hui-ling (Lust, Caution)
Distribution: Fortissimo Films
Cast: Chang Chen, Song Hye-kyo.

Chinese epic, based on true events at the end of WWII and the final years of the Chinese Civil War, starring Taiwanese Chang Chen (Silk) and Korean actress Song Hye-kyo (Autumn in My Heart). The film will be Chinese-language, mixed with English.

Song Hye-kyo explained to the press at the 61st Cannes Film Festival, “John Woo contacted me [in January] after watching the film Hwang Jini. I’m incredibly honored to be working with a director I admire so much.”

“I met Chang Chen in an awards ceremony last March in Hong Kong. I had a good feeling about him and wanted to act with him, but I didn't know it would happen this quickly.”

"This movie takes place in 1949. There are three couples, and Chang Chen and I are one of them. After wealthily living in Shanghai, I lose my husband in the war and go to Taiwan. I meet Chang Chen and meet a new fate.”


Song Hye-kyo´s next projects:
- US supernatural thriller.

The World They Live On
 - director Pyo Min Su’s upcoming drama co-starring Hyun Bin.

John Woo's (Mission Impossible II) epic film Red Cliff will be released this summer, starring Chang Chen, Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro.
Source: Starnews; Korea.net

9 de mai de 2008

Korean Cinema Invited to Cannes

South Korean films invited to the 2008 Cannes Film Festival

This year, Cannes opens it´s doors to a “more commercial” kind of movies produced in S. Korea, like The Good, the Bad, and the Weird (invited to the Out of Competition section).

The film The Chaser, by first time director Na Hong-jin, and a great success in Korea, will be screened for Midnight Screenings.

Late director Kim Ki-young´s thriller The Housemaid (1960) will be shown at the Classic section . “It is one of the most important works done by Kim, an eccentric figure in Korean film history, someone with extremely extraordinary imagination,” was digitally restored by the Korean Film Archive with sponsors from World Cinema Foundation lead by Martin Scorsese.

And the always brilliant director Bong Joon-ho (The Host) was invited to the Un Certain Regard section. Tokyo! is an omnibus film co-directed by Michel Gondry and Leos Carax, and in Shaking Tokyo segment, Bong pictures the lonely inner side of human beings through the scenery of a megacity named Tokyo.

There´s a great expectation with director Kim Jee-woon´s new film The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, after such different movies as The Foul King, A Tale of Two Sisters and A Bittersweet Life. In The Good… the director revives the so-called 'Manchurian Western', which was popular with Korean films back in 1960s and 70s. Korea's top actors Lee Byung-hun (JSA), Song Kang-ho (The Host) and Jung Woo-sung (Daisy) will be starring in it.

And short animation STOP, by Park Jae-wook will be screened for the Cinefondation section.

Cannes International Film Festival (May 14-25)
Out of Competition section: The Good, the Bad, the Weird; The ChaserUn Certain Regard: Tokyo!
Cinefondation: Stop (animation)

Classics: The Housemaid(source: Korean Film Council; koreatimes.co.kr)

25 de abr de 2008

PLASTIC CITY (China, Brasil)

If you want to know what globalization means, check the new film Plastic City, by Chinese director Yu Lik Wai (All Tomorrow´s Parties, 2003). It´s a co-production China-Brasil, with a small budget of U$ 10 million, and it´s been filmed in São Paulo, the city it´s not the Capital of the country, but it´s the biggest city of South America. In the movie the city of São Paulo it´s a fictional one, with a harbour, and other totally fictional landscapes; other funny thing it´s the snow (in a tropical climate?!). Plastic City tells te story of two gangs fighting for the power over drugs traffic.

Photo by Fernando Donasco/Folha Imagem

The big star of Plastic City is Japanese actor Joe Odagiri (Azumi), as gang leader Kirin.
PLASTIC CITY (Brasil/China, 2009)
Director: Yu Lik Wai
Screenwriters: Lik Wai and Fernando Bonassi.
Cast: Joe Odagiri (Kirin), Anthony Wong (Yuda), Phelipe Haagensen (Tetsuo), Milhem Cortaz (Not Dead), Tainá Muller (Rita).

An Empress and the Warriors (China)

An Empress and the Warriors

Director Ching Siu-tung´s new film An Empress and the Warriors depicts the tragic love story of an empress and two warriors. Ching Siu-tung directed Chinese martial arts movies such as Naked Weapon (2002) and A Chinese Ghost Story (1987).

This is the first period film for Kelly Chen, who also starred in Infernal Affairs, and Breaking News.

Fans will have the chance to listen to Chen and Lai, also being successful singers, as they sing together in the movie. (source: koreatimes.co.kr)
Kelly Chen plays the role of courageous Yen Feier, the empress of a kingdom 2,000 years ago in ancient China. She is left to reign over the war-torn nation, and also has to protect herself from enemies who wish to see her fall and steal the crown. Torn between her responsibility of being queen and also her love toward a dispatched soldier Duan Lan-quan (Leon Lai) and general of her kingdom Muyong Xuehu (Donnie Yen), Yen Feier challenges herself with decisions that may result in her death and also of those she loves.

Rain Stars Speed Racer

South Korean singer-actor Rain (Jeong Ji-hun) stars in Hollywood live action film Speed Racer, by the Wachowski brothers (Matrix franchise). The film will be released worldwide on May 8. As everybody knows, Speed Racer is based on “Mach Go Go Go,” the 1960s animé series by cartoonist Tatsuo Yoshida. Rain plays rookie racer Taejo Togokhan.
“He [Togokhan] has a forceful personality,” Rain said, noting that Togokhan is cast as the villain because he has such an overpowering urge to win. “No actor would have turned down this role, especially when the movie is directed by the Wachowski brothers”.
Rain’s scenes feature many Hangul letters, which indirectly introduce Korea and its culture. “I asked the production crew to portray Hangul characters in the scenes,” Jeong said. “As you will see in the film, Togokhan is written in Hangul. Many Westerners who saw the film said the letters were pretty.”

Rain didn’t actually get behind the wheel, since the racing scenes were shot on a green screen using a three-dimensional video-editing technique. “It would have been nice to have had the chance to barrel along,” he said.

And the great news for this young star are that the Wachowski brothers asked him to star as the main character in their next project, Ninja Assassin. “People say luck brings luck but in this case, I’m sure it was my hard work that won me this new role.”
Currently, Rain is training in Berlin for his Ninja Assassin scenes. “From 6 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, I receive hard-core training”. He works out every day to lose weight and he practices martial arts.
Source: Hong Soo-kyoung Movie Week

As for his music carrer, Rain contributed a song to the original soundtrack for the animated film Kung Fu Panda (2008). DreamWorks invited him to perform on the film as a singer.
“The key to success is not to stop challenging yourself, try new fields, remain focused and consider what you want,” Rain said.

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