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Archive for the ‘France’ Category

The Golden Rock - May 16th, 2008 Edition

With Cannes underway, I’m trying to stay away from one acquisition news after another, though there are naturally always interesting things going on throughout the festival.

- On that note, a Hong Kong distributor has picked up the controversial Japanese documentary Yasukuni for international sales, and is currently being screened at the Cannes market.

- I’m sure this will open up more and more studies about youths today - A survey reports that 95% of Japanese fifth graders own a game console. Even more humorous is that the variety show London Hearts has been voted as the show parents don’t want their kids watching for the 5th year in a row.

- I reported earlier that ex-Morning Musume member Ai Kago will be in a Hong Kong film, and now it’s been revealed that the film co-stars Vanness Wu and Sammo Hung. Put in Daniel Lee, and you’ve got a trifecta.

- The Cannes market again attracted attention to Bollywood, whose studios have been branching at markets such as this.

- Poor Koda Kumi just can’t catch a break - the pop star recently returned to work on her concert tour after a suspension for making insensitive comments on the radio, but now she’s no longer as the spokeswoman for Kirin, who decided not to renew the contract. She will now replaced by Kyoko Fukada.

The Golden Rock - May 10th, 2008 Edition

- Let’s look at the Thursday opening day box office. The Wachowski’s Speed Racer is a major flop, making only HK$230,000 from 50 screens. Judging from the turnout at the screening I went to, it’s not going to do too much better this weekend. But honestly, it’s not that bad of a movie. Meanwhile, “counter-programming” romantic comedy What Happens in Vegas opened higher with HK$268,000 from 29 screens. Lastly, the doggie documenatary This Darling Life opened on just 8 screens with just under HK$30,000 on opening day. More on Monday with the weekend numbers.

- Thanks to Mr. Texas over at Eiga Consultant, we have some definitive numbers on how the controversial documentary Yasukuni did in its first weekend. In that one theater in Shibuya, the film attracted 3429 people over the first 4 days of screening, and with 8 showings a day in a theater that seats a little more than 100 people, this means every show was sold out. With screenings happening successfully without major protests, Mr. Texas also writes that those theaters that canceled the screenings must be hitting themselves on the head now.

- It’s reviews time! This week we play Rashomon with the Japanese blockbuster film The Last Princess. First it’s an all-out rave from The Daily Yomiuri’s Ikuko Kitagawa, who seemed to have really loved it. On the other hand, Japan Times’ Mark Schilling has his review as well, but he doesn’t quite like it so much.

-Former UFO director Lee Chi-Ngai finally has a new film, this time it’s a dance movie produced by companies from Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore, starring actors from Japan and Korea. The dancing film will be released early next year.

- Twitch’s Stefan brings to our attention a Singaporean film about….gangsters?

-  Meanwhile, Variety brings to our attention two Korean-other country co-production efforts: Korean and American companies are teaming up for The Aquarium of Pyongyang, about a family forced into a North Korean prison camp. Also, Beautiful Days director Kim Moon Saeng is adapting a popular French novel into a part-3D animation, part-life-action film produced by the two countries.

- While the movie version of the hit book Homeless Chugakusai just started shooting this March and won’t come out until October, Fuji TV just took a big leap ahead of it by announcing a TV drama version that will start shooting this month and begin airing in July.

- We’ve reported a few times about famous Hong Kong screenwriter Ivy Ho’s directorial debut Claustrophobia. The film, starring Karena Lam and Ekin Cheng, will get its premiere at Cannes…….but not at the festival, just at the market taking place at the festival.

The Golden Rock - May 6th, 2008 Edition

Japan is at the tail end of its Golden Week holiday, so no Japanese drama numbers yet.

- However, we do have the Japan box office attendance figures for Saturday and Sunday (the “weekend” in Japanese box office terms since Saturday is opening day), and popular drama-now-movie Aibou (aka Partners The Movie) is at the top as expected. Meanwhile, 10,000 B.C. fell to 5th place already, Shaolin Girl hangs on at 3rd (despite poor English-language reviews), and Conan also hangs on by falling only to second place. Believe it or not, the only film that didn’t fall in placing is Nicholas Cage’s sci-fi thriller Next, which stayed at 8th place.

- Twitch also has the Korean attendance figures for the past weekend. Iron Man has already passed the 1 million mark, not including the Monday holiday. Also, The Legendary Libido attracts only 181,000 admissions, while the French action film Taken has already reached 1.7 million admissions.

- Kaiju Shakedown brings to our attention to the Kankuro Kudo-penned, so-crazy-it-might-be-good stage show Metal Macbeth. Its cast actually features Takako Matsu, who is actually quite an accomplished stage actress in addition to her success on TV dramas. Do I dare spend 6800 yen on a 210-minute stage with no subtitle at all on DVD?

- Twitch offers us the full-length trailer for the Japanese action film Chameleon, which I hope won’t have as much slow-mo hair moments as Donnie Yen movies often do. Actually, the behind the scenes video of star Tatsuya Fujiwara doing stunts were more interesting than the trailer.

There’s also a trailer for Kami ga Kari, the latest film from director Minoru Kawasaki, better known for cult favorites such as Crab Goalkeeper, Calamari Wrestler, and Everything but Japan Sinks. It seems to be a more mature film about…a magical stylist?

- Ahead of the release of his latest film, director M. Night Shyamalan will be receiving the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors.

- It’s Cannes Film Market news time! First, Variety takes a look at the films Japanese studios will be taking to the market, including the second film by Kenji Uchida (Stranger of Mine) and Mamoru Oshii’s The Sky Crawlers.

Also, the Thai-Singapore-Hong Kong co-produced horror film The Coffin will be premiering at the market. The film stars Hong Kong-based actress Karen Mok and has a Thai-based director.

- Bollywood, after remaking plenty of overseas films without buying any rights, are now talking with Warner Bros. about buying the rights to remake The Wedding Crashers.

- Remember a few months ago, Yuen Wo-Ping wanted to train people to kick ass? It may be for the film Iron Mask, the supposed sequel to Iron Monkey that will star Louis Koo and Shawn Yue that will start shooting in July.

- Lastly, I give you all the Stephen Colbert-Rain dance-off:

Remember, guys. It’s all played for laughs.

The Golden Rock - April 26th, 2008 Edition

- Let’s look at Hong Kong Thursday opening day box office. Forbidden Kingdom had a huge opening day, making HK$1.03 million from 47 screens. Of course, the fact that over 90% of the screens playing it are the Cantonese-dubbed version helps boost the gross. Barbara Wong’s sequel to Sixth Floor Rear Flat debuts rather flat with just HK$270,000 from 30 screens and will have to look for a big boost over the weekend from the kids. Somehow, small romance ensemble film Love is Elsewhere made its way to third place with HK$107,000, beating Chocolate by about HK$2,000. The Hollywood comedy Over Her Dead Body opened with just HK$55,000 from 10 screens. More on Monday with the full chart.

-It’s Taiwan music charts time! Victor Wong’s latest album tops the chart in its first week, taking up 9.14% of total sales;Nicholas Teo’s compilation debuts at second place with roughly 5% of total sales; Korean boy band Shinhwa debuts at 4th place with 2.17%; Jordan Chan’s album drops from 8th place to 20th place in its second week, and Jeff Chang’s album didn’t see much improvement in its second week either.

- More on John Woo’s Red Cliff in today’s Ming Pao. Most importantly, the big battle scenes seen in the first trailer will be in the second film coming later this year rather than the first part coming out in July. According to the report, the first film will mostly set up the relationships while the second film will deliver the action.

- Variety’s John Hopewell writes more about the Asian selections at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, or the lack thereof.

- Ai Kago, most famous for being kicked out of Japanese pop collective Morning Musume, is back in show business and has announced that she will be in a Hong Kong film, even though she herself doesn’t know anything about the movie yet.

- Saitama, known as a “commute prefecture” where people who work in Tokyo live, is a prefecture I’ve frequented quite a bit in my recent trips to Japan, and it’s also the only prefecture that hasn’t been the setting for a NHK morning drama. Now it’ll be the setting of the network’s 60th morning drama, Tsubasa.

- Ming Pao also reports that producer Raymond Wong is planning to bring back the traditional Lunar New Year movie with All’s Well, Ends Well ‘09. It’ll be directed by Vincent Kuk with Sandra Ng and Raymond Wong on the cast so far. Producers are reportedly wooing Louis Koo for a major role as well.

The Golden Rock - April 23rd, 2008 Edition

No, Gabriel, I’m not in Udine with Kozo. I’ve just been too busy to write

- And since I missed the Sunday box office on now.com, this week’s Hong Kong weekend box office report comes from the Hong Kong Film blog. Muay Thai action film Chocolate retained its lead with a boost, making HK$710,000 from 33 screens for a 4-day weekend total of HK$2.25 million. With The Forbidden Kingdom opening next week to fill the action gap, Chocolate may not have a chance in passing the HK$5 million mark. Meanwhile, Run Papa Run overtook Street Kings‘ 2nd place opening with HK$550,000 from 28 screens thanks to good word-of-mouth (but those last 10 damn minutes…). After 2 weekends, Sylvia Chang’s comedy-drama has made HK$5.34 million. Three Kingdoms is still in the game with HK$420,000 from 37 screens for an 18-day total of HK$16.28 million. This proves that yes, Hong Kong people will watching anything with Andy Lau. Lastly, the idols-filled Love is Elsewhere didn’t get that huge boost over the weekend with only HK$340,000 from 27 screens on Sunday for a weekend total of HK$1.26 million.

In foreign films, Street Kings did only OK with HK$542,000 from 29 screens and a weekend total of HK$1.81 million. Rambo has already made HK$3.14 million after 11 days, despite the category III rating and the lack of box office appeal for Stallone movies in Hong Kong. We Own the Night lost the “Hollywood cop dramas” battle hands-down with only HK$33,000 from 4 screens for a 4-day total of about HK$130,000.

- In Japanese box office attendance figures, the latest Conan the Detective film is at the top, as expected. Crayon Shin-Chan’s latest is right behind it, while Lions For Lambs opened at 4th place. The TV drama adaptation film Sushi Ouji (greenlit before the drama was even aired) opened only at 6th place, which must’ve been a disappointment to Warner Bros. Japan. More when the numbers come out.

- Not much excitement from the Korean box office, except that Three Kingdoms is inching slowly towards that one million admissions mark. Oh, hi, The Chaser, you’re still around. Good for you.

More at Korea Pop Wars.

- Time for Japanese drama ratings! The big news is the third installment of Gokusen premiering at 26.4%, which is almost a full point higher than the premiere of the last installment. Meanwhile, Last Friends recovered slightly from its disappointing premiere episode with a 15.9% rating. I think it has something to do with either Masami Nagasawa getting beat up, or Juri Ueno giving her a long peck on the lips. This week’s disappointing premiere is probably Ryoki teki na Kanojo, aka the Japanese drama remake of the Korean film My Sassy Girl. Despite the popularity of the original and starring popular SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, the comedy only scored a 13.5% rating in its prime Sunday night spot. Lastly, I predict this season’s freefall drama to be Muri Na Renai, which lost 30% of its audience in its second week. It was a little creepy to begin with anyway.

Info on this season’s Japanese dramas on Tokyograph

- The all-powerful State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television is planning to continue reforms through changes in the market. Hey, how about working on getting movies like Summer Palace and Lost in Beijing unbanned first?

- Apparently, Hong Kong pop duo Twins member Gillian “So naive, so foolish” Chung has been cut out of Chen Kaige’s latest film. Co-star Sun Honglei was quoted as saying that Ah Gil has not been in the right shape to work ever since “Sexy Photos Gate” broke. Don’t worry, we got a bit of Edison in this here post too.

- Jason Gray writes about the three possible Japanese candidates this year at the Cannes Film Festival, all of them I am now looking forward to immensely. I hope I can catch Kore-eda’s film when I’m in Japan in June and actually come out understanding at least a portion of it (with it being un-subtitled and all).

- Japanese film distributor Gaga Usen was slowly becoming one of the big boys with foreign acquisition such as Earth and The Golden Compass making some money in Japan. However, they weren’t enough to keep it alive, and now Gaga will no longer be involved in film production or distribution, presumably after they release their planned slate. No longer Gaga for Japanese films, indeed.

- (via Japan Probe) There’s a trailer out for the animated version of Winter Sonata. Can anyone confirm that Yon-Sama was actually say nice things, or did he just say “What the hell am I doing here again” for a minute and a half in Korean.

- Also, viz Ryuganji’s awesome news feed is the teaser trailer for Detroit Metal City, which looks………..metally?

- Argo, the distributor for the controversial Japanese documentary Yasukuni, has finally found 8 theaters nationwide that found some balls to show the film starting in early May.

- There’s a teaser out for mega-sized Japanese blockbuster 20th Century Boys, but it fulfills the definition of a teaser extremely well, as in it only teases.

- Under “the stupidest thing you will see on TV over the next 3 years” news today, Japanese TV stations may have a warning across the screens of their programs starting from July telling people that they are watching their programs in analog.

- If you want to make movies in Korea, be sure to watch out for CJ Entertainment head Kim Soo-Jung - he’s literally the most powerful man in the Korean film industry right now.

- There’s a second teaser out for the second Gegege no Kitaro film. They really are trying to sell this as more than the kids film the first installment was. I really hope that’s true, but it probably isn’t.

- Who would’ve thunk that the top-grossing Canadian-English film this month is a documentary about a dam in China without even a trailer as part of its advertising campaign?

- Japanese band B’z will be releasing two compilations albums this year to rip off their fans celebrate their 20th anniversary.

- Hey, I told you there will be Edison Chen in this entry.

The Golden Rock - April 19th, 2008 Edition

- Let’s look at Hong Kong opening day box office first - The expected winner of the weekend, the Muay Thai action flick Chocolate, had a disappointing opening of only HK$391,000 from 33 screens, which means it might not even hit the HK$2 million mark even with a boost over the weekend. The corrupted cops drama Street Kings with Keanu Reeves opened on 30 screens for a HK$275,000 gross. The other cops drama, We Own the Night (why the two distributors decided to clash release dates, I have no idea), made even less per-screen with just barely HK$19,000 from 5 screens. Lastly, the Hong Kong idols romance flick Love is Elsewhere opened with HK$241,000 from a surprising 27 screens. Maybe the teens will show up for this one over the weekend.  More on Monday when the weekend numbers come out.

-  The Cannes lineup is about to be announced, and sadly, the Asian pickings is a little slim this year. At least there may be high-profile premieres such as Kim Jee-Woon’s The Good The Bad and the Weird and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata. However, one reportedly hasn’t been screened, and the other is still up in the air.

- The Japanese animated series Gegege no Kitaro is celebrating its 40th (non-consecutive) year on television, and Japan Times has a feature on it, especially on its tendency to be on the small screen in increments.

- On a related note, some stills from the sequel of the Gegege No Kitaro live-action movie are out. The thing is that the first movie’s monsters didn’t look all that bad, it was just the rest of the movie that was bad.

- The popular MySpace internet drama Prom Queen is getting a Japanese version. Like the original, the drama will be comprised of 80 daily 90-second episodes, even though “prom” isn’t something embedded in Japanese culture. I felt so old when I realize I didn’t even know what the hell Prom Queen was.

- And today, I leave you with one of the funniest entries I’ve ever read on Kaiju Shakedown. As always, it’s also very informative.

The Golden Rock - February 24th, 2008 Edition

- It’s reviews time! From Berlin (I guess it was a market screening) is Variety’s Derek Elley’s review of Chung Siu-Tung’s Empress and the Warriors, starring Kelly Chen, Leon Lai, and Donnie Yen (DONNNNIIIIEEEEE!!!). Wait, did that just say Donnie Yen emphasizes character over martial artistry? THIS I have to see.

- This week on the Daily Yomiuri’s Televiews column, Wm Penn writes about the upcoming Spring season the networks already have in store for us since Winter isn’t working out so well for them.

- According to director/actor Stephen Fung, the future of his Stephen Chow-produced dance film Jump is actually still up in the air (no pun intended, really!). Colombia Pictures wants scenes of star Edison Chen removed, but Fung is now insisting that his part stays in since Chen has apologized for his actions and that he gave an excellent performance in the film. So is it going to be Fung vs. Hollywood? Will Stephen Chow join in the fray, or will he just step back until the dust settles?

- Under “potential new crappy horror franchise” news today, there will be a sequel to the Japanese horror film Kuchisake-Onna, also known as The Slit-Mouthed Woman. Actually, it’ll be a prequel of sorts, which doesn’t matter since it’s all the same to people these days.

- Under “they already made a crappy version of this” news today, there will be another Street Fighter film made, and the only reason to care is because legendary martial arts star Cheng Pei Pei will be in it. Still, this one can’t even get someone with the same caliber as Jean-Claude Van Damme, AND it’ll be directed by the director of masterpieces such as Romeo Must Die and Exit Wound. How good can this possibly get?

Japan has finally found its best-selling single, and it isn’t even on CD! The 1975 children’s song “Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun” sold 4.5 million copies when it was first released, and Guinness managed to find out that it’s actually the best-selling song ever in Japan. With renewed popularity, it will finally be released on CD next month.

-  Shochiku, one of the major distributors of Japan, has announced its slate of 16 films for 2008-2009, and they are aiming for a total of 20 billion yen in box office gross. On the other hand, major rival Toho will be aiming for 60 billion yen. Burn!

- Twitch has a trailer for the Korean gangster film A Destiny, which looks like plenty of homoerotic macho gangster action goodness. Look at those abs!

- Japan-born cinematographer Tetsuo Nagata has won his second Cesar Award for his work in the film La Vie En Rose, the biopic about singer Edith Piaf. That award is French, by the way.

- Japanese movie critic Yoshio Tsuchiya shares his thoughts about late director Kon Ichikawa with the Daily Yomiuri. It’s an excellent piece about an excellent director.

The Golden Rock - December 4th, 2007 Edition

- In Japanese drama ratings (one day late), many of the dramas that hit their season-low managed to bounce back. That does include the gradually failing Hatachi No Koibito, which finally saw a week with improving ratings as it bounced back by 0.2%. Hell, even Joshi Deka finally saw a rise in rating, bouncing from an abysmal 7.8 last week to a 9.3 this week. The same goes for Iryu 2, which went up from a 14.1 to a 16.6 for its 8th episode. The hit Fuji Saturday night drama SP, however, dropped to its season-low this past weekend. A preview for next week: Galileo drops to its season-low.

- Just before Mad Detective had its massive opening weekend in Hong Kong, IFC (Independent Film Channel) picked up the North America distribution rights last Friday. They will show it in theaters, for also make it a day-and-date release for video on demand, which is wise since the Hong Kong DVD would be out by then.

- When you buy legit copes of American movies on Chinese DVDs, you’ll get a refrigerator magnet with Jackie Chan’s face thanking you for buying legit products. Wouldn’t that make me want to buy them less?

- In case anyone in Japan (or planning to download) wants to know, this is the full Kohaku lineup this new year’s eve.

- Let me ask a hypothetical question: say you’re a South Korean director and you would like to receive the French Legion of Honor. What do you do? Make over 100 movies and win a few prizes.

- The Taiwanese film The Wall picked up the best film prize at the India International Film Festival, which screened 176 films from 46 countries.

- Kaiju Shakedown, which was kind enough to recommend you all to this blog today, compiles a sample set of reviews for the Japanese failed blockbuster Midnight Eagle. Here’s also a compiled set of reviews from Rotten Tomatoes.

- According to Apple Daily in Hong Kong, Wong Kar-Wai’s English film debut My Blueberry Nights will open in Hong Kong on January 3rd, apparently a whole month ahead of the American release.  There’s even a real pretty website up now.

- An animation house named Animation Innovation Tokyo is doing what their name promises by setting up a new channel on Youtube to upload clips of potential anime series. Potential investors can watch these clips and decide to invest to make them into feature length films. They’re already asking for submissions for the 7th group of pilots.

-  While Yu Aoi getting cast in a Japanese TV drama is news, the bigger news here is it’s a 12-part series by 4 directors, and each director has complete freedom over the 3 episodes they’re in charge of - as long as they’re about lies.

- It’s reviews time! Variety has a review of Happily Ever After - or Jigyaku No Uta - by Russell Edwards.

The Golden Rock - December 2nd, 2007 Edition

- Let’s wrap up the week with some Japanese box office figure. Earlier in the week, we reported the disappointing opening of the Japanese blockbuster film Midnight Eagle in its native Japan. Now we can put it into comparison - According to Eiga Consultant, the 185 million yen opening is only 62% of Takao Ozawa’s previous film Life: Tears in Heaven (domestic total: 1.6 billion yen) and only 69% of Yuko Takeuchi’s previous film Closed Note (domestic total: 1 billion yen).

The film was also a day-and-date release in the United States. On two screens (one in New York and one in San Francisco), the aspiring blockbuster opened all the way down at 88th place with US$2,543. That’s just a per-screen average of $1,271. 12 shows over 3 days=a total of 24 shows nationwide. That means each show made just roughly $106 dollars. Still, considering it didn’t get enough of the promotional push it needed, it’s a good starting point.

- Meanwhil, Yon-sama seems to be doing much better in Japan. Bae Yong-Joon’s latest drama The Four Guardian Gods of the King is set to be shown digitally in Japanese theaters with one episode playing 3-6 days a week. Sold in sets, the drama has already sold 1047 sets of the 24,000-yen set tickets. I know the numbers don’t quite add up, but it still prove the power of a Korean guy in glasses has over Japanese housewives these days…

- According to Jason Gray, another major trend from a foreign country in Japan now is the trend of French filmmakers going to Japan to make their films. Jason even has a term for it: Nouvelle Tsunami.

- From this weekend’s opening of the Tsubaki Sanjuro remake, another trend in Japanese film seems to be filmmakers remaking classic films almost shot-by-shot under the guise that it would attract attention on the originals. Kon Ichikawa did it, Nobuhiko Obayashi did it. Hell, even Yasujiro Ozu remade his own film back it the day. Does that make it OK?

- Guess which Hong Kong director is going back into the well of used ideas? According to Ming Pao, Stephen Chow announced that he will be making not one, but two movies based on the Journey to the West story that he and Jeff Lau used for the Chinese Odyssey films. The article, which I will not be translating word-for-word, says that like the earlier films, he’ll be making a two-part film that is now possible thanks to the ability of computer graphics. He also said that he will be sticking closer to the source material, unlike the Chinese Odyssey films, which were only loosely based on it. One reason that he’s going back to Journey to the West again is that the Chinese Odyssey films were considered his breakthrough work in Mainland China, where they thought the comedy in his earlier films did not translate well to Mandarin.

Like the columnist points out, when is Chow going back to movies WITHOUT computer graphics?

- It just opened in Japan this weekend, but Kenta Fukasaku’s latest XX (X-Cross) is already set to getting a Hollywood remake. The last film to accomplish the feat of getting a remake before it opened is the Korean thriller Seven Days, starring Lost star Kim Yun-Jin.

- With the Simpsons movie opening in Japan next weekend, it’d be good for Japanese fans to know that their voices were heard, and that the original TV voice dubbing cast, instead of the usual celebrity voices, will be back on the film’s Japanese DVD. Somehow this reminds me of the episode where Burns got 4 actors, including Michael Caine, to impersonate the Simpsons for Bart.

- The Daily Yomiuri has a feature of The Rebirth, the latest film by arthouse director Masahiro Kobayashi that features almost no dialogue. Actually, I’m quite intrigued.

- Japan Times also has a feature on the Japanese online film festival Con-Can, which recently wrapped up its latest edition.

- the Hong Kong Films blog reveals that next year’s big Lunar New Year movie Kung Fu Dunk may not be the most original film of the year. Hell, they can’t even seem to design original production stills. Is anyone that is not a Jay Chou fan seriously looking forward to this movie?

- This week’s Televiews column on the Daily Yomiuri recommends the only two dramas still worth catching on Japanese TV this season.

- Meanwhile, Japanese public broadcaster NHK will be cutting back on their jidaigeki (period dramas) and use the free time slot to gear to those young-uns. But wait, isn’t Japan’s population getting older, not younger?

- Looks like EMI Japan looks to turn into a Johnny’s-sized company by expanding themselves into a management firm that will be taking care of all aspects of an artist’s career. However, it doesn’t seem like all of EMI Japan’s current artists will be joining the firm.

- Under “good for them” news today, Seagull Diner director Naoko Ogigami’s latest Megane will be heading to the Sundance World Cinema Competition next February.

Under “what the hell were they smoking” news today, Kenneth Bi’s The Drummer is also entering that category. It’s not even an independent film, people!

The full list of competition films at Sundance.

- Just for kicks, here’s an infomercial for the total Chinese rip-off that is the Vii.

The Golden Rock - October 29th, 2007 Edition

- Another Monday, another look at Japanese drama ratings this past week. Galileo holds on to its strong premiere ratings with a 22.1 rating for its second episode. Abanrenbo Mama with Aya Ueto also managed to hold on well, dropping only to a 14.2 rating after its 15.3 premiere episode.

Several episodes saw its ratings increased - Hataraki Man went up to a 13 rating from the previous week’s 12.3, Friday night TBS drama Utahime went up to a season-high 9.8 after a dip to 7.5, and Mop Girl’s ratings have risen for the second week in a row.

The season’s biggest disappointment (and there are quite a few already) may be the sequel Iryu 2. After premiering with a strong 21 rating, its rating has fallen dramatically to a 15.5 rating by its third week, despite the first installment being voted the favorite drama that season.

All Fall 2007 Japanese drama information here.

- The Australian film Home Song Stories, which scored several nominations at the Golden Horse Awards, just won both best feature and an award for achievement in acting for Joan Chen at the Hawaii Film Festival.

- After this year’s TV remake of High and Low, another Kurosawa film is going down the remake route: this time it’s Hidden Fortress, starring Arashi member Jun Matsumoto and Masami Nagasawa. Directed by Shinji Higuchi, who last directed the disaster spectacle The Sinking of Japan, the remake will start filming next month and set for a Golden Week 2008 release.

- The Tokyo Film Festival just wrapped, and the jury awarded the Israeli film The Band’s Visit with the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Jason Gray has a bit more on Japanese Eyes section winner United Red Army.

- Speaking of festival, the Cannes anniversary commemoration omnibus film To Each His Own Cinema will actually be released theatrically in France. Twitch has a link to the trailer, though it only features one still from each film. In case you don’t know, the omnibus features quite a few Asian directors, including Takeshi Kitano, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, and Zhang Yimou, among others.

- Why didn’t someone think of using the name manga.com earlier? Isn’t it such an obvious website name for legit Japanese comics?

 
 
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