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.

Korean Stars News

* Jeon Do-yeon (Best Actress at Cannes for Secret Sunshine): filming A Fine Day, the movie is about an unemployed, single woman in her thirties who meets an ex-boyfriend and embarks on an adventure for a day. Co-stars Ha Jeong-woo (The Chaser).

* Choi Min-sik (Old Boy) is done filming Himalaya-Where the Wind Stops. The story: when a Nepalese factory worker dies in an accident, Choi Min-sik's character goes to a town in the Himalayas to give his family the remains. Director Jeon Soo-il (The Bird Who Stops in the Air), Producing Company Show East, music by Kim Hyeong-suk (My Sassy Girl).

* Song Kang-ho (The Host) will be appearing in the Western style blockbuster The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, an action movie of men who are in lawless Manchuria in the 1930s during Japanese control. It features other top stars such as Lee Byeong-Heon and Jeong Woo-seong.

* Seol Kyeong-gu and Director Kang Woo-suk are back for Public Enemy 3 (Kang Cheol-jung, Cinema Service). Shooting is set for this coming fall with the story following four years after the events that took place the orginial film. The sequel will also feature Jeong Jae-young (Going By the Book), Kang Shin-il (Black House), and Im Won-hee (Three… Extremes). Director Jang Jin will work as screenwriter.

* Yoo Ji-tae (Hwang Jin Yi) and Lee Youn-hee (M) are the stars of director/writer Ryu Jang-ha (Springtime, 2004) new film, the romantic drama Soonjeongmanwha (“pure comic strip”). It´s the story of a thirty-year-old office employee and a female student who run into each other every morning at an elevator. Both are secretly in love with each other.
Produced by Let’s Film, the film is scheduled for a release in the fall.
Source: KOFIC

12th Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival

The 12th Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF), the biggest annual event of its kind in Asia. SICAF, launched in 1995, has received formal recognition as an animation event from the Association International Du Film d'Animation in 2005.

Bringing together fans of animation films and an exhibition of cartoon work, the festival, which is to be held from May 21 to 25, will feature 137 animations from 30 countries, the most in the history of the annual event.

The animation lovers will be able to enjoy high-quality full-length features and shorts from around the world this year.

The films will be screened at Lotte Cinema near Konkuk University.
The finalists this year include award-winning animations such as The Peace Sister from Britain, Ark from Poland and Canada's Madam Tutli-Putli.

Tokyo Marble Chocolate, by Naoyoshi Shiotani
Yudai is serious and generous, but too shy with girls. Chizuru is a cheeful girl, but when it comes to boyfriends, she's always been clumsy. This is the first Christmas the young couple spends together, but everything is going to change because of ... a mini donkey?! A pure love story, colorful ans sweet, yet a bit bitter. Just like a piece of chocolate.

23 de abr de 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom

The Forbidden Kingdom - at the top of the U.S. box office over the weekend!

The Lionsgate film starring, for the first time together, Chinese actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li, grossed about $21.4 million over the weekend.
Speaking of Chinese legends, to the brazilian fans of good comic books, and to understand better the Forbidden Kingdom story:
Série de HQ: “Jornada Ao Oeste – o nascimento do rei dos macacos”, Ed. Conrad, R$ 34,32 na Livraria Cultura.

Bong Joon-ho’s "Mother"

''I want to make the saddest yet most beautiful crime drama ever," Bong said. "At the center of this story is a small and weak mother who stands alone, a woman so determined that she can't even stop herself.''

Movie: Mother (S. Korea, 2009)
Starring: the return of veteran actress KIM Hye-ja to the big screen, actor Won Bin, in his first film since Taegukgi, and My Brother.
Production: Barunson Film Division, Choi Jae-won and Seo Woo-sik.

The film is expected to start shooting this Fall on a budget of US$5 million.
Screenwriters: Bong Joon-ho and Park Eun-kyo.
The plot: the story centers on a shy, awkward young man (Won Bin) framed as the perpetrator in a brutal slaying. His devoted and determined mother (Kim Hye-ja) pits herself against incompetence and corruption in the police and legal system as she sets out to uncover the truth and prove his son’s innocence.
(source: Korean Film Council)
Bong Joon-ho´s films: Memories of Murder (2003), The Host (2006); Tokyo (a Korea-France-Japan joint production)

22 de abr de 2008

Lee Byung-hun´s Hollywood Debut

Korean actor Lee Byung-hun had just finished his filming scenes in his Hollywood debut, G.I. Joe, an adaptation of the popular action-hero comic book series. Lee plays Storm Shadow, a ninja with a dark past who joins the G.I. Joe team, an elite military unit of highly trained recruits, each with his own specialty skill. In the film they take on an evil and powerful criminal syndicate led by Cobra, a notorious arms dealer.

Director: Stephen Sommers (The Mummy)
Production company: Paramount Pictures
Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Channing Tatum, Rachel Nichols, Dennis Quaid.
Release: summer of 2009.

Lee´s next projects:
* Director KIM Ji-woon’s (A Bittersweet Life) The Good, The Bad, The Weird.
I Come With the Rain, by Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung, a France-US co-production.
* On TV: starring in the high budgeted spy thriller IRIS, produced by Lee Hyung-min, developed by Kang Je-kyu (Taegugki, Shiri), which is expected to air at the end of the year.

Jeonju International Film Festival

Jeonju International Film Festival
Twelve films from all over the world were selected for the international competition section of the the 9th Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) slated from May 1st through 9th. The purpose of the Jeonju International Film Festival is to discover new, promising directors.

The panel of judges will be comprised of five reputed filmmakers from Korea and abroad, including Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host), actress Eom Ji-won (A Tale of Cinema), Iranian director Abolfazi Jalili, author and critic Chris Fujiwara, and Turkish culture writer Defne Gürsoy.

This year's program boasts a record total of 169 films with opening night going to Manda Kunitoshi's The Kiss in its International Premiere. And the curtain-closer will be the Korean omnibus film If You Were Me 4, produced by the National Human Rights Commission.
International Competition:

Captain Ahab (France), by Philippe Ramos
The Stolen Man (France), by Matias Pineiro
Tricks (Poland), by Andrzey Jakimowski (2007 Polish Film Festival, 'Golden Lion')
Continental, a Film Without Guns (Canada), by Stephane Lafleur (2007 Toronto International Film Festival, 'Canadian Best New Film Director')
Ballast (USA), by Lance Hammer (2008 Sundance Film Festival, 'Best Director Award')
Chop Shop (USA), by Ramin Bahrani
Cochochi (Mexico), by Guzman and Cardenas (2007 Toronto Film Festival, 'Discovery Award')
Sky, Earth, and Rain (Chile), by Jose Luis Torres Leiva (2008 Film Festival Rotterdam, 'FIPRESCI')
My Last Secret (China, Documentary), by Li Xiaofeng, Jia Kai
Years When I was Child Outside (Philippines), by John Torres
Strizh (Kazakhstan), by Abay Kulbayev (2007 International Film Festival Eurasia, 'Grand Prix')
Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (Iran), by Hana Makhmalbaf
JIFF´s homepage: http://eng.jiff.or.kr
(sources: KBS World; korea.net)

6 de abr de 2008

Q Girls

Hong Kong actress Maggie Q (Mission Impossible 3) and Taiwanese actress Shu Qi (Blood Brothers) have joined the cast of Hollywood movie New York, I Love You (US, France, 2008), and will be starring two of the 12 short love stories. Amongst the 12 directors, Japanese director Shunji Iwai and Chinese Jiang Wen are included.

post by sam.

4 de abr de 2008

The Curse of the Golden Flower (China)

A Maldição da Flor Dourada/ Curse of the Golden Flower
(DVD Sony Pictures, China, 2007)
Diretor: Zhang YimouAtores: Gong Li, Chow Yun Fat, Jay Chou.- No original mandarim se traduz algo como “O exército dourado chega à cidade”.
Com A Maldição da Flor Dourada o aclamado diretor Zhang Yimou fecha uma espécie de trilogia épica, juntamente com Herói e O Clã das Adagas Voadoras.

Embora muito mais grandioso e calcado em fatos históricos, o impacto do filme é bem menor, se comparado aos anteriores. Os cenários do palácio imperial são impressionantes, foram construídos primorosamente nos estúdios de cinema de Beijing. Os figurinos são outro destaque dessa produção cara para os padrões asiáticos, com trajes ricamente bordados, e armaduras em metal pesado que tornaram exaustivas as filmagens para os atores. Todo esse cuidado que serviria ao enriquecimento da estória acabou sendo um empecilho, já que se trata, no fundo, de um drama familiar, e não de um épico de batalhas imperiais.

O conflito interno do imperador da dinastia Tang (Yun Fat) com sua esposa (Li) e o reflexo trágico sobre os filhos do casal é seguido com interesse, graças às boas atuações, e ao clima intimista e shakespeareano do enredo. No entanto, os cortes bruscos para as cenas de lutas e batalhas (que o time de TH&C adora!) não combinam com o resto da trama, são como dois filmes paralelos.

Enfim, para quem é fã do cinema chinês e do diretor Zhang Yimou, sempre vale a pena conferir! E para as fãs do ator/cantor pop taiwanês Jay Chou (príncipe Jai) tem o bônus da música dos créditos finais cantada por ele.

Assista também: O Imperador e o Assassino, com Gong Li (DVD,Califórnia Filmes)

Daniel Henney to co-star in Wolverine

- The prequel to the X-men saga traces Wolverine's past as he discovers the world of mutants.

Korean-american actor Daniel Henney (My Father, My Name is Kim Sam Soon), 28, will costar in the new X-men spin-off film X-men Origins: Wolverine, starring as Agent Zero of the Mutant Weapon X program, a mutant who can control electricity and has specialized tracking abilities. In case you´re wondering, the “Mutant Weapon X Program” aims to control mutants and transform them into living weapons.
Wolverine (currently being filmed in New Zealand, will be released on May 1, 2009)
Director: Gavin Hood (Rendition).
Starring Hugh Jackman (Wolverine),Liev Schreiber (Sabretooth), Danny Huston (young William Stryker), Daniel Henney (Agent Zero), Dominic Monaghan, and the rapper Will.

Henney´s Awards:
Best newcomer for his acting in My Father: Korean Movie Critics Association; Blue Dragon Awards; Korea Film Festival.

Rain´s Ninja Assassin

RAIN to be the star in American film!

"This is such a huge opportunity for me. It seems like a dream" – Rain.

Korean singer-actor Rain, 26, is going to appear as the main role in the Wachowski brothers' next film, Ninja Assassin, after shooting the Speed Racer movie with the same directors.

Chosed as one of the "100 Most Influential People" by Time Magazine in 2006 and one of the "100 Most Beautiful People" a year later by People Magazine, Rain (K-drama Full House, I'm a Cyborg and That's Okay) recently concluded a contract with the important William Morris Agency (WMA), NY City.

Movie Credits:
Ninja Assassin (US)
Director: James McTeigue (
V for Vendetta)
Producer: Joel Silver
, Wachowski BrothersCast: Jeong Ji-hoon (RAIN)

Lee Byeong-Heon News!

The Good, the Bad and the Weird with the 'Big 3', Song Kang-ho, Lee Byeong-Heon and Jeong Woo-seong. This Korean spaghetti Western is set in the Manchuria Plain in tumultuous 1930s where the three men are chasing and being chased by each other.

Movie Credits:
The Good, the Bad and the Weird (S. Korea, 2008, CJ Entertainment)
Kim Jee-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters; A Bittersweet Life)
Song Kang-ho (The Host)
, Lee Byeong-Heon (JSA), Jeong Woo-seong (Daisy).
In the meantime Lee Byeong-Heon is already shooting his Hollywood debut film, G.I. Joe (Paramount co.).

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