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The Golden Rock - October 4th, 2007 Edition

- I’m sure you all now know how well the uncensored prints of Lust, Caution have done in Asia, but what about the censored versions? As far as I know, a version that’s been cut by 11 minutes have been playing in at least Malaysia and Singapore. However, Malay censors went ahead and cut and another 3 minutes and barred anyone under 18 from seeing it anyway. Still, the formerly-erotic espionage drama. According to the distributor, the film is still doing rather well considering the genre, despite netizens aware and complaining about the censorship.

- Speaking of censorship, how will they pull this off? China’s Shenzhen Golden Coast Film had just optioned the remake rights for a Spanish comedy about an encyclopedia salesman who turns to making porn. The film is due to start production in the fall, and will of course have to be clean enough to clear Chinese censors.

- Eiga Consultant, in light of the recent controversy surrounding actress Erika Sawajiri, posted poll results to why people showed up to her latest film Closed Note. The ratio of male to female audience is 37 to 63, and a majority of audiences are in their 20s and under. When asked why they decided to go watch the film, 26.8% said the content seemed interesting, and the second biggest reason, with 14.4% of audience choosing it, is actually because they were fans of Sawajiri (as opposed to fans of Yuko Takeuchi, which only made up 10.8% of the audience). How come no one says it’s because of the director, especially since he made one of the biggest Japanese romantic blockbusters in recent years?

- The first Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which isn’t even taking place in Asia, has announced its nominees. The fact that I don’t know most of the nominated films means that they really are trying to look for the best Asian films out there, rather than your usual crowd favorites. An especially pleasant surprise for me is Ryu Deok-Hwan’s best actor nomination for Like a Virgin. Who says you can’t give a great performance in a comedy?

- Under your daily Pusan Film Festival news today, Japanese broadcaster TBS (TV networks are actually the biggest film producers in Japan) is sending quite a few interesting films to the festival. While many people are surely interested in Takashi Miike’s Crow Zero, I myself find Kenji Uchida’s After School the most interesting after his promising debut A Stranger of Mine. Is it really not coming out until May?

- On the other hand, meet Korea’s latest export to Hong Kong - Korean idol Lee Jun-Ki has just signed with Hong Kong entertainment conglomerate EEG. Unless he speaks really good Cantonese already, I have no idea what EEG will be doing with him, except making movies where his voice will be dubbed anyway.

- Also, yet another Korean-Chinese-Hong Kong co-production is on the way. This time it’s the Chinese comedy Let’s Fall in Love, with no actors or directors announced yet. That makes this news a bit of a waste of space.

- After D-War/Dragon Wars have made millions and millions of dollars around Korea and North America, director Shim Hyung-Rae has announced several follow-up projects, including the film’s sequel and a movie called Fish Wars. Really, I’m not shitting you.

- This blogger’s idol Hikaru Utada has broken yet another record - she is now the first artist in the world to break the 10 million-mark in digital sales within a year. Too bad her works this year just haven’t been up to par.

- Forget about remaking films based on novels, Hollywood is now going straight to the source, as Fox is planning to adapt the Japanese novel Goth with publisher Kadokawa Shoten producing. At least now they don’t have to worry about people comparing it with the original Japanese film because it doesn’t exist.

- There’s an English-subtitled trailer for the Korean film Le Grand Chef, a film based on the comic by the same author of the comic Tezza: The High Rollers. It’s a bit of a stretch, yes, but it still looks pretty interesting.

- There’s a review for Feng Xiaogang’s war film The Assembly by Variety’s Derek Elley (aka the guy who inexplicably panned Lust, Caution), which just had its world premiere today at the Pusan Film Festival.

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