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The Golden Rock - November 20th, 2007 Edition

- Jackie Chan is an unpredictable man - He bashes his own movies on his blog, justifying their existence and his appearance in them with the “I need the money” excuse. Next thing you know, he’s starting a production company with the director of one of those hack films. Why, Jackie, why do you do this to us?

- Under “TV dramas no one asked for” news today, China’s Huayi Brothers reportedly bought the rights to make a 30-episode adaptation of Ang Lee’s erotic espionage drama Lust, Caution after they realize even the censored version is making a ton of money. No other details have emerged so far.

- Speaking of Chinese TV cashing in, advertisers are bidding for spots up on CCTV 9 months early for the Olympics, including foreign advertisers such as KFC, Johnson & Johnson, and Red Bull.

- Hong Kong and Malaysian police, in what seems to be separate operations, raided and arrested pirated disc producers. Among the films confiscated in the Hong Kong bust? Lust, Caution, the movie with the ultra-high-security policy set in for Hong Kong cinemas.

It’s hard to believe, but I still see pirate vendors actually standing on sidewalks selling DVDs here in Hong Kong. Basically, they have a portable fold-out box with several guys standing around the vicinity as lookouts while they sell in front of high-volume areas.

- That Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung certainly works fast: After seeing his somewhat controversial-but-intentionally-underwhelming dark comedy Exodus released in September, his omnibus film Trivial Matters already has a release date of December 20th. By “his” omnibus film, I mean it’s a collection of 7 stories that Pang wrote himself and will be adapting to film all by himself. That’s 3 semesters’ worth of film school projects right there.

The “bad news” part of all this? I’m going on vacation ON December 20th for 2 weeks. That means I’ll be sadly missing it for sure.

- There’s no huge high-profile world premiere, but the first Kuala Lampur International Film Festival has 22 films from 18 countries, living up to their intention of “celebrating cultural diversity”.

- Sonny Chiba, who co-directed a film earlier in the year under his Japanese name Shinichi Chiba, has announced he will not only start directing movies under a different name from now on, he will also continue his acting career under yet another name.

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