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We do news right, not fast

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with The Golden Rock.

Twists and turns

- The biggest news out there, as I started teasing yesterday, is Tony Leung Chiu-Wai signing back onto John Woo’s troubled production of Battle on Red Cliff. As mentioned, Oriental Daily first broke the news without official confirmation. Ming Pao waited until this morning Hong Kong time to do it. Excerpt as follows:

昨晚《赤壁》監製透過網上承認此消息,他說﹕「經與梁朝偉先生聯絡後,梁朝偉先生基於與吳宇森導演20多年的友誼,又見到周潤發離開了《赤壁》劇組,《赤壁》又是一部令人期待的作品,必須要拍下去,所以當吳宇森邀請他重返劇組時,他一口答應,替吳宇森解決燃眉之急。」

Last night, “Red Cliff” producer admitted to the news via the internet: “After communication with Mr. Leung Chiu-Wai, based on his 20-year friendship with John Woo, Chow Yun-Fat’s departure, and the need to continue shooting the much-anticipated film, he decided to rejoin the film after John Woo invited him, helping John Woo due to the pressing need.

張家振表示,因偉仔已經熟讀劇本(去年初第一稿出時,已經給了偉仔)不會有發哥最介意的劇本問題(究竟發哥最介意的劇本問題是什麼,張家振未有回答)

Terence Chang said, since Tony have already read the script thoroughly (The first draft was given to him early last year), Chow’s problem with the script will not occur (But Chang has not responded to the question of what specific script problem Chow had).

Original Chinese report.

Variety Asia also has an English report.

- The other big story is the geniuses at New York Times finding what drove Virginia Tech student Cho Seung-Hui to kill 32 of his peers. Apparently, a package he sent to NBC just before he killed 30 students in a school building contained a picture of him holding a hammer that looks like he’s trying to imitate an image from Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy. You know, it’s obvious because he’s a Korean, so of course violent Korean films would drive this poor disturbed bastard to murder.

OK, so how long before the American press starts blaming John Woo movies for the murders too?


Oh, wait, they’re not Korean, so Cho cannot possibly be influenced by those movies. Personally, I think anyone that blames movies for real-life crimes are just looking for false scapegoats so they can avoid dealing with real problems with society, like why he was mentally disturbed in the first place, and why he wasn’t properly treated by the authorities.

Plus, if Cho knew how fucking silly he looks with that hammer, maybe he would’ve woken up, but that’s just me.

In related media news, not only has there been reports of South Koreans coming out and apologizing for Cho’s rampage (what the hell for? They’re just feeding into this racial scapegoating the media is doing. The man has been in America so long he’s more Americanized than I am, for crying out loud), the Korean media has also taken a “it’s America’s fault” approach as well. (Thanks to Japan Probe for the link)

- Back to more relevant news to this blog, the Cannes 2007 lineup has been announced. As predicted, Wong Kar-Wai’s English-language debut My Blueberry Nights will be opening the festival, assuming that Wong is actually done with post-production. Representing Asia in competition will be South Korea’s Kim Ki-Duk with “Breath,” South Korea’s Lee Chang-Dong’s “Secret Sunshine,” and Japan’s Naomi Kawase with “Mogari No Mor.” Except for Wong, no Hong Kong films will be screened in or out of competition, despite predictions that Tsui Hark-Ringo Lam-Johnnie To actioner Triangle might make it. Nevertheless, the lineup looks pretty solid.

- Speaking of Korean films, Asian Cinema - While on the Road has reviews of a few Korean gangster films that are sure to corrupt another Korean-American youth’s mind (that was sarcasm, by the way).

- With the Hong Kong Entertainment Expo being a huge success, who can resist holding another film market in Hong Kong? That’s right, another film market event is going to Hong Kong, this time it’s Amazia, and it will open in November 2008. Yay.

- However, I don’t think the Amazia folks would be very happy to find what Hong Kong celebrities are doing with their Nintendo DS - some publicity photos have caught these celebrities playing their DS’s with an add-on that’s designed to enable the DS to play pirated games.

- I’ve never pushed box office news this far down an entry before, but I don’t want seem like I’m beating a dead horse. Eiga Consultant analyzes just exactly how bad Sunshine has done in Japan. According to his figures, it only grossed 52% of The Promise in its opening week in Japan. 52%?! I’m pretty damn sure Sunshine is better than The Promise based on this photograph alone.

- Ryuganji apparently has this report as well, but I saw it on Twitch first, so I gotta be fair. Anyway, Takeshi Miike is working on another new film, and apparently it’s a manga adaptation. I don’t care much for Miike, so you can find out more for yourself here as well.

- The troubled Bangkok Film Festival is making progress on its comeback, and this year they’re promising more Asian films. Good for them.

- I consider myself a fairly big fan of Japanese films. Sure, I’ve missed out on a lot of classics (I.have.not.seen.Seven.Samurai.), but I’m still a fan. So who’d know when Japanese people what 10 films they would recommend to foreigners, they would not only recommend a non-Japanese film (Letters From Iwo Jima), but they would actually recommended 57 films instead (the Tora-san series contains 48 films. I assume the Japanese people want us to watch them all)?

- Japanese new artist Ayaka has become the first female artist in over 4 years to sell more than 1 million copies of her album. Good for her too.

- I discovered Kon Ichikawa’s work when I took a Japanese cinema class last year. I discovered Shunji Iwai’s genius when I followed up my first viewing of Swallowtail with Love Letter. Too bad Iwai hasn’t done a new narrative film since Hana and Alice, but at least he made a documentary about Ichikawa, and it’s coming on DVD.

- Aside from making his war film The Assembly, Chinese director Feng Xiaogang is making a short film for China’s anti-piracy campaign. It even features one of the best metaphors for pirated films I’ve ever read.

- Jeffrey Wells has a link the the first legit review of Spiderman 3, and the verdict isn’t good.

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