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The Golden Rock - June 9th, 2007 Edition

- After a week, there are finally more English reviews of Hitoshi Matsumoto’s deadpan superhero comedy Dai Nipponjin. Variety’s Russell Edwards (who also wrote a too-short review for the film version of Tokyo Tower) calls it tears-down-the-face funny and a genuine jaw-dropping oddity.

Mark Schilling of Japan Times reviewed both Dai Nipponjin and Takeshi Kitano’s Kantoku Banzai, and he declares a clear winner.

It seems like the Western reviewers are really loving Dai Nipponjin, but why is the Japanese audience ripping it to pieces? The most popular film review blog in the Japanese blogosphere gives the film only 915 yen out of a full score of 1800, and 38% of votes at Walkerplus are one star out of five. Perhaps that goes to show that general audience’s disdain for cult films aren’t all that different across cultures.

Japan Times also bashed David Fincher’s Zodiac and praised Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto.

- The Global Film Initiative, a nonprofit distributor of foreign independent films, have announced their awards for six promising film projects from around the world. These funds will provide the filmmakers with a way of paying for their respective films’ post-production, which these independent projects surely need.

- After the United States government squealed to the World Trade Organization about rampant policy in China, the Chinese government is now officially cooperating with the USA by setting in tougher policies and increased raids by customs.

- Meanwhile, the leaders at the G-8 summit are also talking about ways to fight piracy, especially now China is the new whipping boy in the piracy problem. Still, I doubt they actually managed to reach any conclusion except that they need to fight it.

- Twitch has some new posters - one for Benny Chan’s Invisible Targets (which looks like they’re ready to push these pretty boys to get down and dirty with the violence) and one for Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers.

- The Korean film Failan, the story about a low-life gangster investigating the life of the wife he never met, was a hell of a heartbreaker. Finally someone seems to have appreciated it enough to pick it up for a remake, and the plot seems pretty faithful to the original, too. However, the revenge thing seems to indicated that it might even be more violent.

- Seijun Suzuki’s frequent collaborator Takeo Kimura’s third film (which actually features Suzuki in a seemingly major role) has a first trailer. I haven’t seen any Suzuki film, so I don’t know if this resembles his style or not. But it does remind me of Hitler - A Film From Germany (which you can watch here free and completely legally). That’s not a good thing.

- The trailer for the New York Asian Film Festival is up (thanks to Asian Cinema - While on the Road for the link), and I think in my humble opinion that it’s quite awesome.

That’s it today. We’ll finish up the weekend roundup tomorrow.

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