LOVEHKFILM.COM
- reviews - features - people - panasia - blogs - about site - contact - links - forum -
 
 
Search LoveHKFilm.com
Site Features
- Asian Film Awards
- Site Recommendations

- Reader Poll Results

- The FAQ Page
 
support this site by shopping at
Click to visit YesAsia.com
 
 
 
 
 
We do news right, not fast

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with The Golden Rock.

Archive for the ‘books’ Category

The Golden Rock - 2011 Hong Kong Book Fair Edition

Contrary to popular belief, Hong Kongers actually read more than tabloid magazines. Hong Kong actually has a pretty big publishing industry, and its biggest, busiest time every year is the Hong Kong Book Fair. Held annually at the Hong Kong Convention Center, all the major bookstores and publishers of Hong Kong would unleash their latest works and their unsold inventory. In addition to hunting for cheap books, Hong Kongers also go and buy the latest books for their latest writers/pop stars/bikini models.

In addition to picking up novels that I never read (I finally finished two books I bought LAST YEAR recently), this year’s target was to grab some film books, and there were definitely some gems:

At the Kubrick booth (that’s the bookstore that’s always attached to Broadway Cinemas here in Hong Kong), I picked up two books - The 2011 Hong Kong International Film Festival’s Filmmaker in Focus book on Wai Ka-Fai. And at 15% off!

img_0337.JPG

 

The book includes interviews with Wai himself, an interview with Johnnie To, and essays by Hong Kong film critics. It has them in both Chinese and English.

 

img_0338.JPG

 

Also picked up at the Kubrick booth was A Killer Life, written by an independent film producer in America. Because after exposing shady practices in the Chinese film industry, Hollywood’s about to welcome me with open arms!

 

img_0336.JPG

 

One of the new books I was looking out for was Brigitte Lin’s essay collection “Chuang Li Chuang Wai”. The book collects the years of essays the actress wrote for newspapers and other publications.

 

img_0340.JPG

 

Even if you can’t read Chinese, you may want to buy the book for rare pictures like these:

 

img_0341.JPG

 

img_0342.JPG
Shot by Christopher Doyle

And there’s a lot more where that came from.

I also accidentally came across two pieces of gems published by the now-defunct City Entertainment magazine.

The first one is a comprehensive collection of posters for all films that played in Hong Kong cinemas between 1997-2007:

 

img_0343.JPG

 

The most valuable asset of this collection is that it includes the total box office gross of each film. So, if I want to know how much, say, BALLISTIC KISS made in its theatrical run in Hong Kong…

 

img_0344.JPG

There it is.

Here are some more posters:

 

img_0346.JPG
Someone on this page is a ghost, and it’s not the one sitting on the train.

 

img_0347.JPG
There’s only one good movie on this page.

 

But Hong Kong film fans may be more excited at the other poster collection I picked up:

 

img_0353.JPG

 

Obviously, it’s not a comprehensive collection of all 80s Hong Kong films, but you do get treasure like these:

 

img_0348.JPG

 

img_0349.JPG

 

img_0350.JPG

 

img_0351.JPG

 

The book also includes the total box office gross of each film featured.

For my translating work, I also picked up this book:

 

img_0352.JPG

 

And it includes translations of fun phrases like these:

 

img_0354.JPG
This phrase applies to most internet opinions - including this blog

 

img_0355.JPG
I heard this phrase in LOVE IN A PUFF, and now I finally understand it.

That’s the Hong Kong Book Fair for this year. I hope to find more wonderful treasure like this next year, and I hope to do it without breaking the bank like I did this year.

Next time: Back to real news!

The Golden Rock - October 10th, 2008 Edition

- It’s looking like it’ll be a quiet weekend at the Hong Kong box office. Especially disappointing is the opening day for Jingle Ma’s Butterfly Lovers, which opened on 36 screens with a HK$389,280 take. But it’s only at second place, because Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies not only opened on less screens (33) with less showings (it runs 20 minutes longer), but it also made HK$389,419, beating it by HK$139, which is roughly two tickets. Talking about a close one.

Butterfly Lovers does have two things going for it: 1) It appeals more to younger audiences, which means it probably sold more student tickets at a lower price. 2) The young idol chasers will likely flock to this over the weekend when they’re out of school. So I expect this to get a bigger boost over the weekend than Body of Lies.

As for the other opening films, Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona opened on 16 screens and made just under HK$106,000, and the Hollywood comedy My Best Friend’s Girl opened on 12 screens for just a take of HK$28,000. More on Monday with the weekend numbers.

- Box office gross for this year’s week-long National Day holiday in China is up 220%(!) from the same period last year. This year, it’s thanks to the RMB100 million+ 7-day take of Painted Skin (which has now made RMB 170 million in total), the RMB 21.6 million take for Connected during the same period), as well as Journey to the Center of the Earth’s RMB 21 million take.

- The new Japanese drama Kaze no Garden, which features actor Ken Ogata in his last role before passing away last week, scored a tremendous 20.1% premiere this past week.

- Tokyograph has unveiled its comprehensive guide to the Fall 2008 season Japanese dramas, and there are quite a few interesting ones this season. Fall seasons tend to do much better than the summer seasons, so hopefully ratings report will be more interesting to do this time around.

- Even though Warner Bros. has not done very well recently in Japan with either its Hollywood productions (The Dark Knight, Speed Racer, Nights in Rodanthe) nor its Japan productions (Sky Crawlers, Sushi Ouji, Sweet Rain), it still plans to boost local productions in the country.

- One of WB Japan’s upcoming releases is Ichi, director Fumihiko Sori’s take on the Zatoichi legend using a female lead, and Twitch has an advance review of it.

- Believe it or not, there’s actually been odds on Japanese author Haruki Murakami winning the Nobel Literature Prize since 2006, even though he’s missed out on it for 3 years running now.

- I’ll be watching three movies at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival tomorrow, and I’ll be offering short thoughts for at least two of the films. In its 5th edition, the HKAFF has become Hong Kong’s second biggest film festival. However, this year is also looking to be the most controversial year ever.

Still, it should be all about the movies. That’s what I care about, and that’s where I’ll be tomorrow. See you all on Sunday.

The Golden Rock - June 25th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! This week, Johnny’s Tegomass scored the top-ranking single, while GReeeN! is still at 2nd place. Also, Korean boy group SS501 managed a 4th place debut, with the DOZHI-T’s single now poised to be the new R&B long-term hit of the year.

On the albums chart, B’z sells a ton of its latest compilation for a top spot debut, while Bump of Chicken (that name still doesn’t make sense to me) has a second place debut with its latest B-side collection.

More at Tokyograph.

- The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival has announced the lineup for its latest edition, which will include Kelvin Tong’s Rule No. 1 (Ekin Cheng and Shawn Yue teams up!) and the 2008 thriller hit The Chaser.

- Instead of going from one site to another for new Japanese trailers original found on Youtube anyway, I’ve found one of the major sources - the cinemanian channel on Youtube. So from now on, I’ll mostly be linking new Japanese film trailers to them, unless there’s something not found there.

With that said, there’s a teaser already up for Akai Ito, the film-drama adaptation of a successful cell phone novel.

- There’s also a teaser for Ryoo Seung-Wan’s Dachimawa Lee, which shows absolutely nothing from the actual film.

- Speaking of Youtube, the Washington Post writes about Japanese internet video counterpart Nico Nico Douga, which display user comments in the form of floating comments across the screen. In addition to that annoying feature, the excessive otaku content makes it a site I have an account for, but don’t access so much.

- Despite Hong Kong’s government’s promises to help the ailing movie industry, not every department is apparently so willing to help out when the time comes. Hong Kong Film blog reports that the new Stephy Tang comedy about underwear could not film a scene involving Stephy running in the middle of hanging underwear at their planned site because Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department invoked a regulation banning hanging clothing to stop the filming at the park. They also stated that the production cannot use “illegal means to embarrass the government”, whatever the hell that means.

I’ve run into the LSCD personally in our school’s productions, and their policy of requiring any production (even a zero budget student one) to buy a third-party insurance of HKD$3 million in order to even apply to film at their parks is definitely one of the major pains of low-budget film productions in Hong Kong. That’s why I’m not particularly surprised that this would happen to even a major film production.

- Japanese singer misono, aka Koda Kumi’s sister, is appearing in the previously mentioned Japan-US co-production The Harimiya Bridge, about a man going to Japan to investigate his son’s death. Misono was on a variety show last week where she had to stand at Shibuya Crossing and wait for people to recognize her. Only three people walked up to talk to her within 30 minutes, while her competitors saw 25-70 in the same time range.

- China Star, a major film investor in Hong Kong cinema(including many Milky Way films), is reducing their stakes in film production. This follows news last week that major investors were backing out of their commitment to Universe Entertainment.

- With the Hana Yori Dango film opening this weekend, another popular “Hana” is coming back in the spotlight. Comic Hanazakari no Kimitachi He will return for a special one-shot issue next month in comic form.

- Universal Music has signed up as Disney Music’s distributor in the Asian region, except for Japan, where they can presumably do their own distribution.

- The new teaser poster for Patrick Kong’s first film after his “Stephy-Alex ‘The Swimmer’ Fong Trilogy” is now in Hong Kong, and the text looks to suggest that it’ll be a romantic thriller. I can’t even see that damn English title. Anyway, the text on the poster roughly translate to this:

“After Marriage With a Fool, Love is Not All Around, L For Love L For Lies, a new shocking romance.

(insert big-texted title here)

A Partick Kong Film

Love turns into poison, in love with revenge
This Summer, love turns into fear”

Oh, dear.

Yukie Nakama will be the second ever female lead for the yearly TV Tokyo New Year period drama, which apparently runs every year for 10 straight hours on January 2nd.

- Japanese novelist Junichi Watanab, whose works has been turned into films such as Lost Paradise and Love Without End, is suing a Chinese publishing company for publishing translated versions of his works without buying the copyright for all of them. He should be glad the company even bothered to buy one in the first place.

- A Beijing hotel has taken back its offer to pay foreign journalists for positive stories after the actual offer became an international news story. Too bad, I would’ve taken them up on the offer.

The Golden Rock - May 28th, 2008 Edition

- It was a pretty crowded weekend at the top of the Japanese box office this past weekend. The Chronicles of Narnia opened on a Thursday, and made roughly 546 million yen on Saturday and Sunday for a 798 million yen 4-day take. By the per-screen average, it’s not a very spectacular opening, but family films have a long shelf life at the Japanese box office, so it’ll likely end up doing pretty well. However, Aibou, which only lost 8% of its business, actually had a better per-screen average on its 4th weekend, and has now passed the 3 billion yen mark.

Rambo’s opening was also pretty damn good, making 205 million yen from 304 screens and a per-screen average was fairly close to Narnia’s.  In fact, its opening was actually 153.1% of Rocky Balboa’s opening, which means it may be heading to the 1 billion yen mark if word-of-mouth is good. However, the best per-scren average went to Kenji Uchida’s After School, which at 6th place on the box office gross chart with a very good per-screen average of 968,772 yen.

You may be wondering why Yama No Anata is only at 9th place on the gross chart when it’s 6th place on the attendance chart? That’s because most theaters in Japan are charging only 1,000 per ticket, I guess to encourage admission. Meanwhile, as reported earlier, Charlie Wilson’s War suffered the biggest drop, losing 43.5% of business. Of course, that’s not as bad as 10,000 BC, which lost another 63% of business and won’t even make it to the 1 billion yen mark.

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! Hey! Say! Jump! scores another number 1 debut with their latest, while Hikaru Utada’s theme from Last Friends saw a number 2 debut (while her album is still on the top 10). Meanwhile, Superfly retains its number 1 spot despite a number of new albums debuting on the top 10. Check out the details at Tokyograph.

- Sharon Stone proves that saying something stupid in public can still get you in big trouble in China, where there’s now a planned boycott of her films. Talk about taking it personally.

- There are rumors going around that a 9-minute clip from Red Cliff is floating around on the web. Actually, if you check the comment section, there’s a link to a cam version.

- The release of a digital recorder that can record up to 10 programs simultaneously has been postpone indefinitely because of a continuing conflict between copyright holders and the manufacturers over the fee for rights.

-  It’s almost frustrating how little information is getting out there for the latest Studio Ghibli film. The voice cast for Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on a Cliff has finally been announced, a little less than 2 months before its theatrical release in Japan.

- Nippon Cinema introduces the teenage drama Ren, about a girl from the future trapped in modern-day Tokyo. But if you don’t know Japanese, it’ll just seem like another teenage romance drama to you.

- Jay Chou is reportedly working on directing and starring in a new film about magicians, and it will be co-starring Andy Lau. The two will play rival magicians who battle to be number one. The Apple Daily article reports that the film was originally about a young magician played by Chou being taught by Lau’s character, but Lau said that he had no interest in playing a teacher, so he suggested the film be about a rivalry instead. It’s currently in script stage, and will not be able to shoot until the end of the year because of Lau’s commitments to Andrew Lau and Johnnie To’s new films. Of course, Apple Daily adds that no official announcements have been made, and no one is commenting, so this may be stuck in the rumor mill for a while.

Apple Daily also adds that the film seems similar to Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, but no one has responded to such claims since no one will even confirm that the film is being made yet.

- The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Singaporean director Eric Khoo, who talks about shooting on a Singaporean budget and dealing with strict censors.

- Part of a weeklong feature, author Haruki Murakami talks to the Mainichi Daily News about his latest novel, which is poised to be even longer than The Wind-up Bird Chronicles, which took me 2 months to read because it was so damn long.

The Golden Rock - May 26th, 2008 Edition

The trade papers took a break because it’s Memorial Day. As a result, it’ll be a somewhat short entry today.

- As expected, the Hong Kong box office was dominated by Indiana Jones over the weekend, and it ended up getting a very big boost over the weekend. On 101 (!) screens, the adventure film made HK$3.7 million on Sunday, and a 4-day total of HK$12.06 million. Definitely no underperforming here. Meanwhile, Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind actually did the second best in terms of per-screen average, making HK$137,000 from 11 screens on Sunday as the only other film to pass the HK$10,000 per screen mark. After 11 days, the film has made HK$1.48 million.

Iron Man is still in second place in its 4th weekend, making HK$243,000 from 32 screens for a 26-day total of HK$21.06 million. What Happens in Vegas is still doing OK with HK$231,000 from 30 screens for a 18-day total of HK$6.5 million, which is a little better than average for this type of films in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Speed Racer is now only on 8 screens, and made only HK$28,000 on Sunday for an 18-day total of HK$2.71 million.

The Japanese family film Tale of Mari and Three Puppies is still around with HK$95,000 from 23 screens for a 25-day total of HK$7.15 million, which is the best performing Japanese film in Hong Kong since Hero. That’s right, dogs are more appealing than Kimura Takuya here in Hong Kong.

- As expected, The Chronicles of Narnia took over as box office champ at the Japanese box office. The sequel finally bumped Aibou off the top spot down to 2nd place. Meanwhile, Rambo opened at 3rd place, Katsuhito Ishii’s Yama No Anata opens at6th place, and Kenji Uchida’s After School opens at 7th place. Poor Charlie Wilson’s War fell all the way from 3rd place last week to 8th place this week, which signals not-very-good word-of-mouth in Japan. More when the numbers are released.

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time! It was kind of a quiet week at the Japanese drama world this past week. CHANGE fell very slightly in the ratings to 23% for its second episode, while Gokusen’s season-low rating of 21.1% this week may give the Kimura Takuya drama a chance to catch up. Meanwhile, Zettai Kareshi and Puzzle both hit their season-low this week, falling to 12.4% and 8.9%, respectively. In fact, only one drama, the third season of Keishichou Sousa Ikka 9 Kagari, hit its season-high this week with 12.4%.

Last Friends continue to go back down to its original average numbers with a 16% rating for its 7th episode, Osen falls slightly down to 9%, 81 Diver takes a steep drop to 8.4% after its season-high rating the previous week, Muri Na Renai falls slightly again to a 6.6%, and Ryoteki Na Kanojo (My Sassy Girl)is also down slightly at 7.6%.

All drama sypnoses are at Tokyograph.

- Variety’s Derek Elley has a review of Singaporean director Eric Khoo’s latest My Magic, which was competing at the Cannes Film Festival.

- Jason Gray reports that The Mourning Forest director Naomi Kawase has officially announced her plans to create the Nara International Film Festival, which she hopes can join the ranks of the “big three” - Cannes, Berlin, and Venice.

-  Some Hong Kong netizens are complaining that the newposter for the new Incredible Hulk film is a rip-off of the poster for Johnnie To/Wai Ka-Fai’s Running on Karma. Judge for yourself.

- Japanese author Haruki Murakami talks about his side job as a translator of classic American novels to Japanese.

The Golden Rock - April 17th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Oricon charts time! As expected, Ayumi Hamasaki’s latest single tops the singles chart in its debut week, but only beating out the male group Shuchishin by only about 5,000 copies in sales (in fact, the Billboard 100 Japan tells the opposite story; more in a bit). Zard (aka Japan’s Tupac) sees her latest release debut at 3rd place. Meanwhile, YUI’s latest album debuts at first place on the album chart, while Hideaki Tokunaga’s box set debuts at 6th place.

More over at Tokyograph.

On the Billboard 100 Japan, Shuchishin takes the top spot purely based on sales alone, which would make it probably a rare occurrence in which the Billboard sales chart is in discrepancy with the Oricon sales chart. The Billboard 100 also count foreign singles (thanks to the radio airplay chart), so foreign acts such as The Hoosiers and Leona Lewis found themselves on the top 10 of the Billboard 100.

- Japan Zone introduces the next wannabe big R&B female singer in Japan, and she is Miho Fukuhara. But watching her video, she only seems like this year’s version of Ayaka more than her own thing.

- Twitch has a 5-minute preview of Tran Ahn Hung’s international thriller I Come With the Rain. I’m really surprised how good it looks and how much my expectation just shot up for this movie.

- I think I just found new plans tomorrow: Bandai just opened their first Asian game center in Hong Kong that will feature games that have not been released outside of Japan.

- This might get messy: A Korean production company signed a deal with a Japanese production company to make a live-action adaptation of the Japanese comic Captain Harlock. However, the comic’s creator has come out saying that he did not approve the film even though he knows about it. So what now? Lawsuits? Boycotts?

- It’s reviews time! Both from Hollywood Reporter today. First, Stephen Farber has his review of Forbidden Kingdom, which he claims “won’t enthrall anyone over 16.” Oh dear.

Then, Maggie Lee offers her review of Peter Chan’s award-winning The Warlords, though with a reported running time of 110 minutes, I suspect that it’s the non-director-approved international cut that Chan mentioned several months ago. Caution: it’s the cut that will be playing at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

- I only link this because I’m a fan: Japundit has a link to a very good interview with my favorite author Haruki Murakami.

- Japanese documentary filmmaker Tatsuya Mori writes an editorial in the Asahi Shimbun about the dangers of self-censorship, especially with the recent controversy about the documentary Yasukuni.

The Golden Rock - March 12/13th, 2008 Edition

- The story was first on Variety Asia, but I’ll reference Twitch because the story has simply disappeared at the time of writing: D-War director Shim Hyung-rae was a comedian before he became a director, and now that D-War was a big hit, he’s relying on cgi to make the next big comedy featuring himself. Specifically, he’s bringing back his old popular character and make him act opposite a cgi-created Marlon Brando playing the godfather Vito Corleone. Someone stop this man, please.

- Those looking oh so forward to the potentially-disastrous Dragonball live-action film will just have to wait a little longer: The film has been delayed from an August release date to next April. Unless you’re in Japan, then you get to see it a month earlier.

- Yet another country has picked up the rights to the hit Colombian telenovela for their own remake, and guess what that country is going to be naming it?

- Detroit Metal City, the high-profile comic adaptation starring Kenichi Matsuyama hopefully walking straight with less eyeliner this time, has finally started filming and is scheduled to open this summer. They’ve been talking about this movie so long, I thought they’re done shooting the damn thing already.

- With the recent scandal and controversy and the various failures, organizers of the Bangkok International Film Festival are still trying to keep on truckin’ for this July….even though no programming work has been done, and they don’t really have enough money.

- New artist Thelma Aoyama’s hit single “Soba Ni Iru Ne” has broken a record of being downloaded one million times to cell phones in the quickest time. With a catchy song hitting popularity this fast, let’s hope she’s not a one-hit wonder.

- Ryuganji’s Don Brown gives us his own thoughts on Yoji Yamada’s Kabei. I’m still on the fence over whether I want to catch this at the Hong Kong Film Festival.

- Both Variety and Hollywood Reporter are covering Ang Lee and James Schamus’ win of the Freedom of Expression Award by the National Association of Theater Owners for Lust, Caution. Variety reports that the film’s release in America went extremely smooth, despite the NC-17 rating, and The Hollywood Reporter even got an interview.

- Speaking of which, Jason Gray writes about a Japanese AV star who seems to have some breakout potential.

- Courtesy of EastSouthWestNorth, Danwei asks a question, and my answer is a definite yes.

- On the other hand, English literature about China is apparently the big thing right now, though the writers don’t exactly expect it to last.

- While the previously planned Justin Lin’s remake of Oldboy seems to have stalled, Charlize Theron is looking to produce and star in another installment of Park Chan-Wook’s classic revenge trilogy.

- There may be hope for band members everywhere who aren’t lead singers: Tokio keyboardist Taichi Kokubun now has a show on all six of the major networks in Tokyo. For most bands’ keyboardist. they’re lucky if they get their own show on public access.

- There’s another review of Singaporean director Kelvin Tong’s Rule #1, starring Shawn Yue and Ekin Cheng.

- The Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix for the Winter 2007 season has been announced, even though the season isn’t even over yet. Shikaotoko Aoniyoshi ended up winning 3 awards: Best Drama, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. However, the drama has been struggling in the ratings, averaging only a 9.9% rating throughout the season.

The Golden Rock - February 28th, 2008 Edition

- Courtesy of the informative EastSouthWestNorth is an entry from Danwei about the current state of Chinese cinema. Yes, it’s making money, but where is it headed?

- Jason Gray has a advance review of Gururi No Koto, Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s first film in six years. The teaser on the website (click on the link next to “information”) doesn’t say much, but that, along with the review, has gotten me fairly excited about the film now.

By the way, the film stars Lili Franky. Yes, the Lili Franky who wrote Tokyo Tower - Me, Mom and Sometimes Dad.

- Actress Takako Matsu, usually seen in TV dramas and films, just picked up the Best Actress Award at the Yomiuri Theater Awards for her performances in two stage productions.

- Even though I’m a bigger fan of another author named Murakami, it’s worth reporting that Ryu Murakami’s novel Coin Locker Babies’ film adaptation, which has been on-and-off for years, may still be happening……eventually?

- Watch out, Oricon, the Billboard charts is heading to Japan. It will be compiling data from radio airplay from 33 radio stations and sales figures from 3,000 retailers to make a top 100 chart that will likely differ from the weekly Oricon singles sales chart.

- It may seem strange to those who don’t really know the Japanese film industry, since you may expect a film studio to so something like this instead: major television network NTV has announced its slate of film for the 2008 fiscal year, which will range from the latest film from Hayao Miyazaki to a crime film starring Takeshi Kaneshiro as a killer in 1949 Japan. Most mainstream films in Japan are actually at least partially financed by major television networks. NTV, for one, have made a ton of money from the Death Note films (including the currently-in-release spinoff L: Change the World).

- Japanese actress Youki Kudoh, who was last seen in L: Change the World, will be in her second Jim Jarmusch film, about a “mysterious loner working outside the law.” Whatever that means.

- Lastly, Variety’s Derek Elley gives a brief review to the hit Korean handball movie Forever the Moment.

The Golden Rock - January 20th, 2008 Edition

Time to wrap the weekend up:

- Newly elected South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak is planning to not only deregulate the Korean broadcasting industry, but also disband the Ministry of Information and Communication. All of this in an effort to bring Korean telecommunication and broadcasting technology back up to standards.

- Meanwhile, Japan public broadcasting network NHK is seeing its revenue from “mandatory” license fees go up after the network saw one million households refusing to pay their fees after several scandals at the network. However, the management committee still refuses to reduce the license fee, despite several discount schemes being enacted later in the year.

- Three more Asian films are going to the Berlin International Film Festival, though only to the Panorama section. They include Kim Ki-Duk’s latest and the homosexual coming-of-age film Hatsu-Koi (which was a pain in the ass to find any information on it).

- This week’s Televiews column on the Daily Yomiuri covers the manga adaptation genre so prevalent in Japanese dramas, and manages to find a good one in the new drama Saito-san.

- Currently 16% of the Chinese population has internet access (the current average is 19%). However, 16% of over a billion people is 210 million, which is only 5 million behind the United States. However, such massive growth also means massive problems such as the censorship of cyberspace and widespread copyright violation.

- Of course, China has other problems, including interviewees who can’t seem to answer questions on their own.

- The classic Japanese animated series Gegege No Kitaro turns 40 this weekend, and one Japanese network is celebrating with a new installment of the series on Thursday nights at 12:45 am, which changes the characters a bit from the Kitaro you know and love. I still didn’t like the movie, though.

- Congratulations to singer Mieko Kawakami for winning Akutagawa Prize, one of the most important literary awards in Japan.

-

The Golden Rock - September 19th, 2007 Edition

- Looking at the Oricon charts, it was a pretty busy week for the singles market. KinKi Kids’ latest takes the top spot with an impressive first-week sales of 190,500. On the other hand, Koda Kumi’s latest sold 65,000 copies, which would’ve earned it a number one spot any other week. Ken Hirai’s latest’s debut is a little soft, selling just over 20,000 for 6th place. Also, at 7th place is the latest electropop group Perfume, and it’s also their first single to debut on the top 10. Next week, expect Ayumi Hamasaki’s latest (that was fast) to take the top spot yet again.

Things were slower at the albums chart. As expected, Johnny’s Entertainment’s V6 took the top spot with their latest album, selling 76,000 copies in the first week. The Cro-Magnons, whose lead and guitarist were part of the legendary The Blue Hearts, saw their latest album sell 32,000 copies for a 7th place debut. Somewhat disappointing is the debut of model-turn-pop-star Leah Dizon, whose debut album sold only 27,000 copies for a 9th debut. Looks like the Japanese public knows there’s a difference between being able to model and being able to release a competent album. Next week, expect a busy albums chart, but nothing will sell very spectacularly.

- This news is too big not to be at the top. Chow Yun-Fat is looking at a possible collaboration with Hong Kong director extraordinaire Johnnie To on an action movie that might begin to shoot as early as next month. To, who always seems to be juggling several movies at once, has cleared his schedule for this film and is working on the script with frequent collaborator Wai Ka-Fai.

- With just a little more than a month to go, the Tokyo International Film Festival has finally released its full line-up. As announced beforehand, the action film Midnight Eagle will open, and the French period drama Silk will close. the busy Takashi Miike’s latest Crows will also have a special screening at the festival.

- The hit comic/animated series Detective Conan will come back for another live-action TV special. Shun Oguri, who was in the first TV special, will reprise his role, and it will be shown on TV in November.

- A television network in Japan decided to cancel the broadcast of the last episode of the animated series School Days after a 16-year-old girl killed her police officer father with an ax in Kyoto recently. The final episode apparently features high school girls acting violently, which I’m sure never happen in real life.

- Under “Doesn’t he have anything better to do” news today, Francis Ng is reportedly publishing an English novel about a Tibetan monk. However, he admitted that his writing is not good, and that he would find a ghostwriter. But shouldn’t writing well be a basic criteria for publishing a novel?

- Variety’s Dennis Harvey gives us a short review of Hollywood Chinese, a documentary about Chinese people in Hollywood (mostly the lack thereof).

- Quite frankly, I wasn’t all that thrilled about a lot of the news today (although I’m sure you would be if you’re a fan of anything I mentioned here today), so I should give myself some motivation by devoting this entire paragraph to the news that the Shiina Ringo-led Tokyo Jihen will be providing the ending theme song to the film Myoro No Hako. I care because this is the first time the Jihen will be providing a song for a film. Also, I’m sure Shiina Ringo will subsequently sing about 20 covers on it on different albums and concerts.

- According to Apple Daily (NOT one of the more trustworthy newspapers in Hong Kong), netizens have been trashing Pang Ho-Cheung’s Exodus quite brutally. One netizen wrote this in reference of the film’s message: “When a movie becomes so bad, some people might believe it’s art. But it doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as a bad art film.” Another person wrote: “The more incoherent it is, the more it means it’s an exceptional film.” Ouch…..?

 
 
LoveHKFilm.com Copyright © 2002-2014 Ross Chen