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The Golden Rock - October 21st, 2007 Edition

Let’s start off with some more news from the TIFF (That’s what the Tokyo International Film Festival calling themselves these days, despite Toronto having the same abbreviations):

- Jason Gray won’t be in the country for the rest of the TIFF, but he does have a link to the two-hour video of red carpet coverage and opening ceremony. I don’t think anyone is expected to watch all 2 hours of it, but you can see some interesting things, including finding out that Akiko Wada and Tokoro Joji are voicing Marge and Homer in the Japanese dub of the Simpsons movie, which will screen during the festival. D’oh!

For those not in the know, some fans protested to 20th Century Fox for not using the original Japanese voice actors for the film, but I guess Fox cared about getting non-fans in more than loyal fans.

- Meanwhile, the Winds of Asia section has a new programmer this year: Asian film scholar Kenji Ishizaka. Like many film scholars, he decided to bring lesser-known Asian films to the festival this year, particularly films from Islamic countries. The problem is even if you bring the movies, will people go see them?

Now, back to your regular news.

- Of course, we always start off with box office news around here. In the first seven months of 2007, local Japanese films have fallen to making up just 43% of the market, down 10 % from the same period in the previous year. Judging from this year’s output, the answer lies in the fact that there hasn’t been any huge blockbuster that reached the size of those last year. local megahit Hero opened in September, so we won’t know until the end of the year whether Japanese films will regain its strength. But there are still a few possible crowdpleasers on the way.

- The Daily Yomiuri’s Teleview column looks at two dramas where the Kanto and Kansai separation seems to be an issue: the new NHK morning drama Chiritotechin, which is getting much better ratings in the Kansai region than Kanto, and the Masami Nagasawa drama Hatachi no Koibito.

- Today’s Oriental Daily reports that some netizens are saying that the MTV for Jay Chou’s latest single “A Cowboy is Very Busy” (directed by Chou himself) is similar to the video for Christina Aguilera’s Candyman.

Jay Chou’s “A Cowboy is Very Busy” (try not to get too shocked)

Christina Aguilera’s Candyman

Personally, just because the diner images are similar don’t mean that one is copying the other, but what do you think?

- In more possible plagiarizing news in Chinese music, the Chinese blog 3cmusic reveals that netizens are saying that Hong Kong pop singer Paisley Wu’s “Don’t Think Just Do” has a similar arrangement (credited to veteran C.Y. Kong) to British singer Sophie Ellis Bextor’s “The Sun’s On Us.”

Don’t Think Just Do

The Sun’s On Us

Since “Don’t Think Just Do” seems to be a cover song, can anyone name the original track, and can that same person tell us whether that song has a similar arrangement as well?

- In more posting of Youtube clips, Chinese star pianist Li Yundi says in the an interview that he wonders out loud if treating classical musicians as pop idols (i.e. him) is the right thing to do. Probably not, but showing up on TVB promoting a Japanese drama that you have nothing to do with just seemed like such a right thing to do.

- In more TV news, Hotaru No Hikari, which averaged only a 13.6 rating on Wednesday nights during the Summer 2007 season, won four of the five awards at the Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix. The fifth award went to Arashi member Kazunari Ninomiya for his role in Yamada Taro Monogatari.

- Under “cut off one head, another one will pop up” news today, Taiwanese police arrested two people who run the website XYZ and confiscated 40,000 pirated discs of Hollywood movies. Yes, just two people and one of the many many websites that sell pirated discs.

- Under “what things will Jackie Chan say” news today, the action star, who is producing the Chinese reality show The Disciple in a search for the next martial artist, tells aspiring action stars to not bow the “old-fashioned way”. I hope he doesn’t mean greet your master with high-fives.

3 Responses to “The Golden Rock - October 21st, 2007 Edition”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Perhaps most incongruously, that Jay Chou clip somehow reminds me of one of my favourite scenes from “The Blues Brothers”, in the parking lot with that Howard Johnson’s in the background :).

    Afraid I wouldn’t have a clue about the TV drama, but, I suspect it did not escape your notice that the, ah, “traditional” song “Hotaru no Hikari” (long used as a metaphor for impecunious aspriring scholars studying by moonlight (not exactly fireflies, but well) reflected on snow) is actually “Auld Lang Syne” in disguise ;).

    - NK

  2. GoldenRockProductions Says:

    Hi, NK,

    Actually, I did NOT know that Hotaru No Hikari is actually the Japanese cover of Auld Lang Syne. Thanks for the heads-up!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Oh I see, unless you graduated from some sort of institution there, it might be much less noticeable, it’s not like it’s played every Christmas :).

    Hopefully more obvious in this context in writing, it’s ying zi gwong.

    - NK

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