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The Golden Rock - August 23rd, 2007 Edition

- Jia Zhangke’s award-winning Still Life finally hit the arthouse screen of Japan. In the 204-seat theater, the film attracted 1811 people and 2.34 million yen in its opening Saturday and Sunday. With 5 shows a day, that’s 181.1 people per show, and apparently all shows on Sunday (except the last one) were sold out. I never knew Jia Zhangke had that many fans in Japan.

- Some reports are reporting that two stations under the Japanese satellite TV provider SkyPerfect TV has been ordered to pay copyright owners of some Chinese dramas because they were shown without any permission or compensation. However, those two stations are actually revealed to be China-based TV stations, not Japanese.

- Eiren, or the Motion Pictures Producers Association of Japan, have started a Japanese movie database containing information on all Japanese films made after the year 2000. Don’t worry, they’re working to make an even more complete database in the future. The only problem is that the database is in Japanese, so no luck to my fellow foreign Japanese film fans.

- the first teaser for Lee Myung-Se’s M is up, and while it looks really beautiful (shot in digital?), I’m always afraid of films that look beautiful because they turn out crappy (Natural City, anyone?).

- On the heels of the resurgence of local films in South Korea, thanks to D-War and May 18, the upcoming Sookmyeong is now the most expensive distribution deal for a Korean film to Japan this year. Don’t pop the champagne open yet, though, its US$2 million price tag is only half of what Korean films got at the height of the Korean wave in Japan.

- To complete a trifecta of Korean film news, Kaiju Shakedown introduces an overdue Korean film about cooking.

- After Wild Mama, there’s another dubiously named character-based drama coming this fall. This time it’s Mop Girl, which is about exactly what the title suggests.

- Despite being reported this week, the badly named Zhang Ziyi/Jang Dong-gun starrer Laundry Warrior has not been shooting since May because Jang is injured, and Zhang is already off shooting the new Chen Kaige movie. However, the star of Chen Kaige’s film Leon Lai is off shooting the latest Chang Siu-Tung film with Kelly Chan and Donnie Yen, so who’s where?

- Under “films we don’t really care about” today, some Asian actors has joined the cast of The Pink Panther 2, where they will most likely just play some type of Asian stereotype.

- The complete lineup for the Toronto International Film Festival is out, but it’s way too long for me to pick out what’s worth mentioning, so I’ll leave that to you all.

- Taiwanese New Wave director Edward Yang, who recently passed away, will receive the Filmmaker of the Year award at the Pusan International Film Festival. There will also be a retrospective of Yang’s films as well.

I don’t like to pimp out the new Spin-off blog, The Golden Gate Meets The Lion Rock, but I just wrote a brief review of Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers there, so check it out.

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