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Archive for the ‘India’ Category

The Golden Rock - July 22nd, 2008 Edition

- Japanese cinema attendance figures are in. As expected, Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea takes the top spot, with the latest Pokemon movie right behind. As a result, everything gets bumped down by two places, except for One Million Yen Girl, which managed to debut at 10th place. I’d say more when the numbers come out, but I have no idea when that will be.

Jason Gray does have the 3-day holiday weekend numbers for Ponyo. With 1.57 billion yen, the take is actually 96.6% of Spirited Away’s 3-day holiday weekend take. And anyone who wants to rain on Ghibli’s parade should know that Ponyo’s admission was actually 101.6% of Spirited Away’s opening weekend, although that’s also attributed to the larger screen count.

-  Meanwhile, Korean box office figures are also in. As I reported several times already, The Good, the Bad, and the Weird opened huge and is now the third biggest Korean film debut in history (why, oh, why couldn’t it beat D-War?!). Also, now Song Kang Ho is in two of the top three biggest openings in Korean film history as well.

More at Korea Pop Wars

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time. The Spring 2008 drama season has officially wrapped up. As mentioned before, CHANGE managed a huge finale rating of 27.4% for a season average of 21.7%. Meanwhile, Fuji’s Saturday 11pm drama Hachi-One Diver wrapped with just an 8.3% rating, averaging an 8.4% rating for the season. This is the lowest-rated drama at that time slot since Fuji began it a year ago.  The only show left is Rookies, which will wrap this Saturday with a 2-hour episode, even though TBS initially announced that they were not going by a typical season schedule for it.

Most of the Summer 2008 season dramas have started, with Gakkou ja Oshierarenai premiering last week with a 9.9% rating. Meanwhile, Monster Parents has rebounded to a 13% for its 3rd episode, Seigi no Mikata dropped slightly to a 10.1%, Maou continues to drop with a 9.2% for its third episode, Tomorrow also drops slightly to a 13.5%, and detective drama Shibatora also drops slightly to a 12.2%

Code Blue stayed the course with a 16% rating for the second week in a row, Yasuko to Kenji actually saw an increase to 13.1% for its second episode, and the well-received Yottsu no Uso saw a small drop to 10.6%.

How Much Money has Red Cliff Made in Hong Kong?

According to now.com, Red Cliff has made HK$19.71 million after 12 days. 20 million, here we come!

Variety reports that despite the impact  other major summer films had on Red Cliff’s second weekend around Asia, it has now made USD$45 million, which means the two films combined should earn the investors most of their money back.

- Kou Shibasaki and Masaharu Fukuyama will be teaming up again in the studio for their second music collaboration, this time for the film version of their hit drama Galileo.  I hope it’s better than their first song together.

- Don Brown over at Ryuganji reviews the action film Chameleon, starring Tatsuya Fujiwara.

-  With the movie business losing money, Korean film companies are turning to the stage, turning films into musicals in the new musical boom of Korea.

- Tomoworo Taguchi will be making his second Jun Miura adaptation, and Lily Franky shows that he has the acting bug with his second starring role after All Around Us.

-Ryuganji also looks more at Satoshi Miki’s latest, although both videos embedded on the site have been taken down already.

- Disney has acquired their first Bollywood film for North American release, even though it will go straight to video.

- A theater in Beijing has become the first in the world using a laser projector. The technology has not been installed in theaters in American and other countries because of safety regulations, which explain why China managed to take the first step.

- In a further proof to show that Smap is everywhere in Japanese pop culture, the boy band will be singing the theme song for one major network’s Olympic coverage. One of the members will also be a caster for that channel’s coverage for the third Olympic in a row.

The Golden Rock - July 8th, 2008 Edition

- As expected, Hancock topped the Korean box office, as Hollywood films dominate for another weekend. However, Public Enemy Returns is reaching the 3 million admissions mark, though Crossing isn’t making much of a dent.

More at Korea Pop Wars

- Korea is not the only place where local films are suffering at the box office, as Bollywood is also posting a loss of about USD$37.5 million for the first 6 months of 2008.

- The controversy surrounding the “Waiwai” column on the English version of the Manichi Daily News website continues. Apparently, the newspaper is caving to those obsessed Japanese netizens by not only punishing those involved with the column, which translates Japanese tabloid magazine articles to English, but also carrying a thorough investigation into the column. I did read Waiwai, and I enjoyed reading it as trashy fun. While those responsible should’ve made it more clear about its sensational nature, isn’t it becoming a bit of a witch hunt now?

- With Kung Fu Panda now a major hit in China, Chinese filmmakers are asking why they can’t make that same type of film in their own country. Somewhat surprisingly, they get blame the government and live to tell about it.

- Danny Glover made a public appearance in Tokyo to talk about his latest film, the Japan-American co-production The Harimaya Bridge. He said that he hopes the film will bridge Japanese and American prejudices. I assume that means for America, they should get rid of stuff like I Survived a Japanese Game Show. As for Japan, they should probably not do something like this:

img_0189.JPG

Yes, those are two Japanese actors doing Driving Miss Daisy in full make-up.

- It’s reviews time! First up is Variety’s Derek Elley’s very positive review for the Chinese comedy Two Stupid Eggs. He obviously liked it more than I did.  Hollywood Reporter has a few new reviews for some Bollywood flicks, but the one I’m most interested in is Lisa Tsering’s review for the sci-fi epic Love Story 2050.

- The life of Japanese boxer Daisuke Naito, which include being bullied at school and a period of isolation at home, will be turned into a TV movie. It will be shown at the end of the month.

- Jang Dong-Gun will supposedly be starring in Korean director Lee Myung-Se’s next film. However, the report may be talking about the documentary Earth, which is the shortened film version of the TV documentary Planet Earth. In Japan, the film was narrated by Ken Watanabe, and it was definitely not directed by Lee Myung-Se.

Correction: Turns out maybe the report, seems to be badly translated, is reporting that Jang will be narrating Earth after starring in Lee’s latest film M. Maybe.

- A Brazilian telenovela (the South American version of a soap opera) will be shooting in Indonesia. Wait, do they mean the whole thing?

- Another Japanese drama is going to the big screen. However, unlike your usual adaptations, this drama was shown on TV after midnight because it features nudity. No word on whether said gratuitous nudity will be translated to the big screen as well.

- Some netizens have pointed out that parts of the poster for John Woo’s Red Cliff resemble the poster for the Hollywood film 300. Who’s surprised that an Asian film would rip off Hollywood designs, and who’s surprised that there will be people complaining about it? I don’t see any hands raised.

The Golden Rock - June 26th, 2008 Edition

Not a lot of news today:

- The Indian comglomerate Reliance’s investment for Hollywood studio Dreamworks has not been finalized yet, and may even just be used for the studio head as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with other studios. In other words, India is in Hollywood just yet.

- Another Japanese comic is being adapted for live-action film, although the idea sounds pretty interesting this time: a boy who washes the windows of apartments in an orbital ring around Saturn after Earth becomes uninhabitable.

- It’s reviews time! Variety’s Leslie Felperin has the first review for Christopher Doyle’s second directorial effort Warsaw Dark. Also, Variety’s Andrew Barker has a review of the documentary Hannari Geisha Modern.

- The hit Korean film The Host will have a sequel. However, instead of having Bong Joon-Ho direct again, the sequel will be a Chinese-Korean co-production with Crazy Stone director Ning Hao as director.  Also, being a Chinese co-production, the film will naturally be eliminated of the original film’s political content.

- Japanese boy band KAT-TUN member Tatsuya Ueda will have to prove that he actually has talent by not only directing his own 90-minute solo show, but he will also have to write and compose all the songs to be performed in the concert.

- Twitch has an interview with Tokyo Gore Police director Yoshihiro Nishimura.

- Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry said in a forum in Hong Kong that Japanese cinema should work more with its neighbors in Asia such as Hong Kong and China. It would be a good start if they make more original works instead of TV drama adaptation first, then actually put English subtitles on their DVDs.

- Han Cinema has the final trailer for Kim Jee-Woon’s The Good, The Bad, and the Weird. Holy. Shit.

The Golden Rock - June 19th, 2008

- New Lovehkfilm reviews are up. First from Boss Kozo is the Tsui Hark flop Missing, the Japanese comedy In the Pool, and the Vietnamese action film The Rebel. Then from yours truly are reviews of the Japanese comedy Fine, Totally Fine, the Japanese arthouse horror flick The Wall Man, and the Korean comedy Radio Dayz.

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! As expected, Glay’s latest single debuts at the top of the chart, just beating Koda Kumi’s first post-scandal single. Worth noting is the 7th place debut of DOZHI-T’s single, which is slowly creeping into Japanese media and is likely to have long-term legs like “Soba Ni Iru Yo” earlier this year. Meanwhile Kyosuke Himuro’s 20th anniversary compilation tops a quiet album chart, with Asian Kung-Fu Generation managing a 2nd place debut, and Coldplay all the way down at 5th place.

More at Tokyograph

- Mainly for record keeping, when Paramount wants to use the figure to boost their opening weekend box office: the latest Indiana Jones film had a weekend-long preview screenings in Japan on an astounding 772 screens, which include both subbed and dubbed versions. Over two days, it made a very impressive 597 million yen, which should tell you what kind of competition other films are coming up againist. Despite not opening day-and-date with the rest of the world, it’s looking at becoming the first 10 billion yen-grossing film of the year.

- An Indian entertainment conglomerate is looking to invest USD$500 million into Hollywood studio Dreamworks, which would allow the company to leave its current deal with Paramount Pictures and back to working at being an independent studio once more. This is especially important in terms of Asian entertainment news because while there have been quite a few Asia-Hollywood co-productions, this is the first time an Asian entertainment company is investing such a heavy amount of money into a major Hollywood studio.

- Kung Fu Panda had its Chinese premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival, who decided to not allow the public in at the last minute. Attendees reportedly said liked the film and said it represented Chinese values.

Of course, there are always party poopers who want to ruin things for everyone else, although I can see why they’d be pissed about a Hollywood studio making money off two of Chinese culture’s biggest stereotypes.

- Grady Hendix over at Kaiju Shakedown also show how the Chinese media are trying to keep a nation of restricted media receivers entertained. As I mentioned on the random thoughts bar, Kelly Chan’s wedding announcement ended up in the middle of the Hong Kong news page, because I’m sure everyone in Hong Kong cares about the star of The Empress and the Warriors getting married.

-As expected, entertainment spending in the Asia-Pacfic region is currently growing the fastest, which means major markets such as Hollywood will likely continue try and break into the market in the coming years.

- Hollywood Reporter’s Maggie Lee turns in a review of Kim Jee-Woon’s The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, which is now easily my most anticipated film of the year. Yes, more so than Red Cliff.

- From Nippon Cinema is a write-up of the upcoming Gegege no Kitaro sequel, along with the latest trailer. I wouldn’t be so trusting of that trailer, though: The first film was advertised as a serious supernatural adventure as well, but it turned out to be a kids film.

- Indonesia, in a move to boost the local advetising industry, is banning all foreign-made advertisements and commercials. One foreign professional must be accompanied by three local staffs.

- Well-known Japanese novel Shayo, which was released post-World War II and examined the need for a social change in Japan at the time, is being adapted into a feature film. The question is how timely and how much of the novel’s social change environment will be retained.

- Kaiju Shakedown also looks at Asian movies going to North America, including Eye Infinity, which is actually a title closer to the Pang Bros.’ preference, since they called the third installment of the film The Eye 10 for similar purpose. Of course, then Lionsgate went all oriental but putting the Chinese characters for eye on the DVD cover, although the film’s Chinese name doesn’t have the word  “eye” in it.

- Lastly, Japanese pop star Hikaru Utada has her own way to remind everyone in Japan to tune in for the finale of the hit drama Last Friends tonight on Japanese TV. Utada sings the theme song, which you can hear pretty much everywhere these days.

(note: it’s a parody of the drama’s poster)

The Golden Rock - June 18th, 2008 Edition

- I missed out on the Hong Kong box office’s weekend gross, so let’s look at the box office tally up to Tuesday. As expected, The Incredible Hulk is still on top with a 6-day total of HK$6.45 million from 39 screens. Meanwhile, Narnia overtook The Happening over the weekend and is still at second place with HK$18.45 million after 13 days. The Happening got bumped all the way to 4th place with HK$2.97 million after 6 days. It’ll likely do better than Lady in the Water. The horror film was bumped by Sex and the City, which has earned HK$11.07 million after 13 days. Very impressive for a 2.5 hour-category III film.

Not-so-impressive is another water film, Tsui Hark’s Missing, which has only made HK$790,000 from 30 screens after 6 days. Its opening day gross didn’t even reach the HK$100,000 mark. It was just a matter of late advertising and unattractive promotional material. Plus, I hear it’s just not a very good film.

-  Also as expected, Koki Mitani’s The Magic Hour tops the Japanese box office for the second weekend in a row, losing only 25% of its phenomenal opening, despite going up against the weekend-long Indiana Jones preview screenings at pretty much every single Japanese multiplex. Everything else on the top 10 dropped over 35%, though Narnia, Aibou, and Cyborg She maintained their standings. The Taste of Fish managed to jump up in both the attendance and gross rankings, despite losing nearly 39% in business.  Dive performs rather tepidly with its 8th place opening, and Juno flops with its semi-wide release, opening at 11th place with only 22 million yen from 110 screens. On the other hand, Eastern Promises did fairly well with its 8-screen limited release.

- No Korean box office stats yet, but Variety reports that Kung Fu Panda is the fastest-earning animated film in Korean history, passing the 2 million viewer mark on its 10th day over the weekend. Meanwhile, Korean films continue their slump, with the two latest local release earning only a 7th and 9th place debut, respectively.

- Some more Shanghai Film Festival coverage: China is trying to encourage more international co-production, especially when the Chinese market is still relatively untapped, as one Chinese person goes to the movies only once every five years on average.

- Kaiju Shakedown has a link to American distributor IFC’s trailer for Johnnie To’s Mad Detective. It looks like the same exact trailer from the HK version, but there were actually some recuts in the IFC version.

- Some major news about the upcoming Astro Boy animated film by Hong Kong 3d animation house Imagi: While Warner Bros and the Weinstein Company were initially annouced as the distributor, American distributor Summit has announced that they will take over distribution is most of the world. Also, Imagi has announced the film’s voice cast, which includes Nicholas Cage and Freddy Highmore.

- There’s a new trailer for the Dante Lam, Chinese-financed animated version of the Storm Riders. By the way, the Universe-financed, Pang Brothers-director Storm Riders sequel was renamed The Storm Warriors because buyers were confused about buying a movie named Storm Riders II without seeing the first one, hence the new title.

- Japanese comedian Yuichi Kimura is making his directorial debut, a film about a money counterfeiting scheme after World War II.

- Indians prove that they can do violent protests better than the Chinese, as 70 people were arrested after they attacked MTV India’s office over a poster for their latest reality show.

- Variety’s Bonnie Schieb looks at the Japanese lesbian film Love My Life.

The Golden Rock - June 9th, 2008 Edition

Still waiting for various box office numbers to come out (public holiday in Hong Kong, Japan numbers coming out late, etc.), so let’s just do a regular news update today.

- The animation classic Ghost in the Shell is coming back to the big screen, with both a visual and aural upgrade, hence earning the title Ghost in the Shell 2.0.

- Twitch has a teaser for the Japanese omnibus film R246, which features a mix of musicians (Verbal of M-flo) and actors (Tadanobu Asano and Yusuke Santamaria) as directors. The films all revolve around Japan’s National Highway 246, which runs all the way from the government center of Tokyo to just past Mount Fuji.

- The effects of the recent Sichuan earthquake have spread all the way to the media, as a digital advertising agency is forced cut back on its quarterly outlook because of the earthquake has caused a dramatic decrease in outdoor advertising in the affected areas.

- China’s state-run media CCTV reported for the first time on the yearly candlelight vigil in Hong Kong for those who died at the June 4th Tiananmen Square incident in 1989. However, the station pulls a CNN and reports that the vigil was a memorial for those who died in the earthquake.

- X-Japan has suspended its reunion tour because member Yoshiki is suffering from a slipped disc in his neck.

- The 10th Short Shorts Film Festival has opened in Tokyo, and its winner will be recommended for a nomination at the next Academy Awards. That means no student films, please.

- The 25-year-long Japanese television drama Kaseifu wa Mita is finally coming to an end. The show has been running for about one episode a year with the same lead actress, who also starred in another one of these dramas between 1994 and last year.

- The sports film Chak De! India picked up 8 awards to be the big winner at the Indian International Film Awards. In true Bollywood fashion, the award ceremony managed to run 5 hours long.

- NHK is set to make a documentary/drama about the recent beef factory scandal that inspired similar whistle-blowing cases in other Japanese manufacturers in recent years. I hope their aim is to make it as good as Michael Mann’s The Insider.

The Golden Rock - June 3rd, 2008 Edition

- Korean cinema takes a huge tumble this past weekend at the Korean box office, with foreign films taking 9 out of 10 places in this past weekend’s chart. And the only Korean film only made it to 9th place. Ouch.

Box office gross from Korea Pop Wars

Attendance figures from Twitch.

- Prince Caspian seems to be staying at the Japanese box office charts for the long run, losing only 16.2% of its opening weekend gross this weekend. Aibou is in it even longer, continuing to lose only single-digit percentage (9.5% this week). Meanwhile, Cyborg She’s opening of 178 million yen. I guess The Bucket List is a favorite among adult audiences, making enough money to surpass 27 Dresses for 6th place in the gross ranking and losing only 16.4 of business (though 27 Dresses ranked higher on the attendance chart). Kenji Uchida’s After School also played strongly in the second weekend, losing only 11.7% of business on the same amount of screens. Oh, and Shoot ‘Em Up opened at 16th place.

-  I seemed to have forgotten to report the Japanese drama ratings for last week. Everything seems to be floating in the weeks leading to the finales. Only two dramas - New Investigator Mariko and Shichinin no Onna Bengoshi - hit their season high with 14.2 and 11.4, respectively. Last Friends got a big boost again up to 18.8% after two weeks of slipping ratings. CHANGE and Gokusen risk falling down below 20% (it actually finally happened to CHANGE this week, but more on that next week), although Gokusen rose slightly in the ratings for its latest episode. And Ryoteki Na Kanojo (My Sassy Girl) is the only drama to hit a season-low this week. And to think the producers expected a 20% rating for this.

Japanese drama sypnoses at Tokyograph

- Finally, an American remake of the hit Death Note films has been announced. Though no word whether they’ll try to cram both films into one.

-  The bus stop ads for Lawrence Lau’s City Without Baseball has been changed after one person complained to the bus company about the upper male nudity in the poster. The film’s co-director has snapped back, complaining that Hong Kong is becoming increasingly conservative. I guess one person can make a difference in this world after all.

- It’s trailers time! Twitch has uploaded an extended trailer for the first installment of the comic adaptation 20th Century Boys. Also, Nippon Cinema has a short trailer for the live-action version of Grave of the Butterflies.

- Fans of Weezer and/or BoA, you now have a reason to pick up the Japanese version of Weezer’s latest album.

- What was meant to be a promotional event for a drink by American group The Black Eyed Peas is now a charity concert for the Sichuan earthquake fundraising efforts. Good for them.

- Grady Hendrix over at Kaiju Shakedown covers the messy situation going on between Raymond Wong and Wong Kar-wai over the title for their Yip “master of Bruce Lee” Man movie. Sorry, Mr. Wong, I’m putting my bet on Wong Kar-Wai to make the better movie anyway.

-  Japanese pop star/Nana-in-real-life Mika Nakashima is forming a band with a comedienne trio. No word on the comical or musical value of the product.

- Warner Bros. continues to expand its presence in Asia with a new deal to make an animated film about birds in India.

- Rinko Kikuchi would like to expand outside her cultural zone and play….a half-Japanese role.

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 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 - March 4th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time! Saito-san sees its season-low ratings, as well as One Point Gospel. The Negotiator wraps up with an OK-13.2 rating (not too far below its premiere’s 16.7 rating). Meanwhile, Honey and Clover’s freefall continues to 8.0 this past week, while Bara No Nai Hanaya managed to recover slightly with a 16.5 rating. Lost Time Life stays steady, Edison No Haha saw a pretty good boost, and Sasaki Fusai No Jingi Naki Tatakai’s ratings increase didn’t last longer than a week.

- This news was first found at Eiga Consultant. The 2005 German documentary Our Daily Bread broke attendance record during its 4-month run at one Tokyo theater. Both reports contribute the film’s success to concerns about food safety for Chinese-made food, but there’s also Japan’s tendencies to put wrong expiry dates and screws in food that added to the concern.

- Meanwhile, the controversial Bollywood epic Jodhaa Akbar has now surpassed the 1 billion rupee mark at the box office. Meanwhile, courts overturned the Madhya Pradesh government’s ban, while violent protests interrupt screenings and screenings are still blocked in some regions.

In case you want to know what the hoopla is all about, Hollywood Reporter has a review.

- Under “Edison Chen’s career freefall” news today, his latest Hong Kong film Sniper has now been pushed back to May from a planned March 29th release date. However, distributor Media Asia states that it’s because the Mainland Chinese authorities has yet to approved the film, which is necessary for all co-productions (this also means the cops win by default at the end of the film).

On a side note, distributors in Taiwan for Pang Ho-Cheung’s Trivial Matters has decided to add in the advertising that this film is Edison Chen’s final film before he announced his retirement from showbiz. This is inaccurate, since he still has Sniper and possibly Stephen Fung’s Jump.

-Poor China: The EU and the United States are always bullying the poor authoritarian country. First it was over intellectual property, and now the two political giants are going to the WTO over China’s block of foreign media agencies. China granted the Xinhua News Agency with sole discretion on giving out media license to foreign organizations, which apparently blocks out other news agencies such as Reuters and Bloomberg.

- Chinese TV and film writers, inspired by their American counterparts, met up to talk about how to protect the copyrights of their intellectual property. The thing is, unlike Hollywood writers, they’re not even looking for more money: They just want their rights protected and their work respected.

- I missed out on this a few days ago when it was on Nippon Cinema: There’s a teaser out for the sequel to the kiddie-oriented live-action adaptation of Gegege No Kitaro. It seems like they’re aiming for a more serious film this time around, but trailers have been deceptive before, so I’m being extremely cautious about this one.

-  Not only will the upcoming Japanese epic sci-fi trilogy 20th Century Boys be Japan’s highest-budgeted film ever at 6 billion yen, it’s now been announced that the film will feature a cast of 300 people. In other words, expect to see a lot of “policeman #_” when the credits come up.

- I never knew that Takashi Kitano has his own awards show, AND he gives awards to his own movies there!

- With actions being taken to help the industry and a reversal of the ban on Indian films, will Pakistani cinema slowly flourish?

-  Twitch has a link to an interview with former Ghibli studio head Suzuki Toshio, who talks a bit about Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming Ponyo on a Cliff.

-  Believe it or not, Maggie Cheung has not appeared in a film since 2004, and she says she’s actually quite OK with that.

 
 
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