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Archive for the ‘poster’ 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!

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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:

 

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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…

 

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There it is.

Here are some more posters:

 

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

 

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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:

 

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

 

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

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

 

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And it includes translations of fun phrases like these:

 

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This phrase applies to most internet opinions - including this blog

 

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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 - July 21st, 2008 Edition

Japan is on a national holiday today, so no box office or drama ratings for now. That shouldn’t stop us from looking at numbers elsewhere.

- The Dark Knight exceeded my personal expectations at the Hong Kong box office. Playing on over 80 screens, the comic book movie made HK$16.44 million over 4 days, including HK$4.76 million on Sunday. Apparently, the “less shows a day” effect didn’t quite hurt in the end because of inflated ticket prices. This already exceeds the total take of the first film in Hong Kong, and with good word-of-mouth, this is likely to be the highest-grossing foreign film of the year.

Before it hits that mark, Kung Fu Panda continues its brief win at the highest-grossing foreign film so far. After 23 days, the animated comedy still managed to make HK$579,000 on Sunday from 37 screens, and a total of HK$28.99 million. Space Chimps didn’t even put much of a dent in business, making HK$740,000 after 4 days.

How Much Money Has Red Cliff Made in Hong Kong?

As of July 20th, Red Cliff has made HK$19.16 million after 11 days.

Red Cliff was probably most affected by The Dark Knight’s opening, because it lost almost 20 screens, mainly at multiplexes that had to turn these screens over to Batman. In these smaller screens, John Woo’s historical epic remained packed, making HK$1.35 million from 39 screens, which means HK$25 million is a viable goal, though HK$30 million will be a bit of a reach.

Ann Hui’s The Way We Are is showing in one theater, who is only giving the film one to two shows a day. With two shows on Sunday, it managed to make HK$12,571, which indicates at least a near sell-out for both shows if average ticket price was HK$50. After 3 days (about 5 showings), Ann Hui’s drama has made roughly HK$30,000.

HK$7.8=USD$1

- In Korea, distributor CJ Entertainment is estimating that Kim Jee-Woon’s The Good, the Bad, and the Weird attracted roughly 2.2 million admissions over its first 4 days, which would make it the best opening this year for a Korean film. I believe this already exceeds the total admission for Kim’s previous film, the film noir A Bittersweet Life.

Korean Herald writes about the film’s English-subtitled screenings in one theater in Seoul, and foreigners use it as an opportunity to gripe about the lack of English subtitles at the theater. They should be lucky they get English subtitles on DVDs.

- Derek Elley reviews John Woo’s Red Cliff from Korea, which means he saw the 131-minute cut version instead of the 140-minute one. He also notes that the Japanese version will be cut as well, although I haven’t read any confirmation about that, especially since the first mass media screening in Japan doesn’t happen until August 1st.

- Meanwhile, other press are picking up on the Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea’s opening day numbers. Jason Gray translates the previously linked report and writes that the studio’s “83% of Spirited Away” figure is actually an estimate for the film’s ENTIRE run, which means that the rough figure doesn’t mean all that much.

Variety also points out that since Spirited Away opened on 150 less screens, Ponyo may actually be doing worse. However, since there’s no solid numbers, no one can really make any solid numbers out of these statistics, espeically since Saturday and Sunday night numbers will probably be pretty strong because of the holiday on Monday.

- The Japanese variety comedy show Gakkou E Ikou MAX, which is responsible for those clips of Japanese kids speaking to Hollywood celebrities in English, is coming to an end after a 11-year run due to declining ratings.

- Twitch has a link to the first footage from Wilson Yip’s Ip Man, which shows some on-the-set stuff featuring a Donnie Yen with short hair and him throwing some punches.  Meanwhile, Wong Kar-Wai is busy at the Carina Lau-Tony Leung wedding. Really.

- Kaiju Shakedown has the first official poster for the live-action Dragonball movie. I don’t know….

- Tadanobu Asano is slated to star in Kankuro Kudo’s adaptation of his own award-winning play, with a commercial director making his feature film debut.

- Nippon Cinema has the first teaser for Lala Pipo, the sex comedy written by Memories of Matsuko’s Tetsuya Nakashima. I’m surprised it’s already gotten an R-18 rating already. Are these self-imposed, or is the film really done that early?

- Just as the New York Asian Film Festival  wraps up, the KOFIC brings the New York Korean Film Festival to New York City starting August 22nd with films such as Forever the Moment and Open City.

- Congratulations to Kiyoshi Kuroawa, whose Tokyo Sonata won the Best Film Prize at Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival. This marks the second major festival prize for the family drama, including the Grad Prix Prize at Cannes.

-  Korea and China are working to together to produce an animated series called…what the hell is that name?

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 - June 20th, 2008 Edition

Will be away for the weekend again, so here we go with the news for the weekend:

- A surprising turnout at the opening day Hong Kong box office, as Johnnie To’s Sparrow managed to beat out all the major competition to take the top spot on its first day. From a modest 30 screens, the caper film made HK$527,000, and is poised to take the weekend if it sees a boost in adult audiences over the weekend. However, Narnia and The Incredible Hulk are breathing down its neck not too far back, with HK$460,000 and HK$410,000 each and looking to take up the younger audiences over the weekend.

As for the other opening films, Hollywood parody flick Superhero Movie is down at 4th place with HK$373,000 from 22 screens, and City Without Baseball only made HK$40,000 from 8 screens, despite the citywide blanket promotion and its multiple appearances in the news. Lastly, Las Vegas caper film 21 made HK$35,000 from 2 screens. More on Monday or Tuesday when the weekend numbers are out.

- Universe did the distribution for Sparrow, and news has come out that its major shareholder is apparently trying to exit the company and sell its share to another firm. No word on whether this will affect for their ongoing productions, which include the Pang Brothers’ Storm Riders sequel.

-  I literally read about this at three different places in the last 24 hours, along with coverage on daytime entertainment news yesterday. So I’ll just let them do all the talking: I’m talking about respected Japanese director Koji Yakusho making his directorial debut that’s now filming and looking for a release next year:

(in order of discovery)

Tokyograph report.

Jason Gray report

Variety Asia report.

I can’t tell if this will be serious like Tokyo Sonata or quirky like Dog in a Sidecar yet. Either way, I assume that Yakusho has picked up enough from all the directors he’s worked with to do fairly well with his debut. I hope.

- I wrote a half-paragraph review of The Magic Hour because I don’t want to give a full review of a film I only understood 60% of. So here’s a review from Japan Times’ Mark Schilling, someone who did understand the whole movie.

- China has issued the first set of licenses for over 200 sites to share streaming video over the internet, but failed to include some of the country’s biggest sites on that list.

- As the world slowly moves from analog to digital television broadcasting, the ASEAN (Association of Southeastern Asian Nation) has come together to set a unified standards for the member nations’ own transition.

- The Daily Yomiuri looks at the Chinese film The Western Trunk Line, a film about a rural village just after the end of the Cultural Revolution that picked up the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

- The Southern All Stars managed to cram in one more high-profile single before their hiatus, which will be featured in the latest line of a cosmetics commercial.

- This week’s Televiews Column on the Daily Yomiuri covers observations on mainstream Japanese media and how they cover recent breaking news such as the Akihabara killer and the major earthquake last week. I agree - I really don’t want to know anymore about how quickly this crazy bastard managed to slice down people, and I don’t want to see anymore cameras shoved into greiving families’ faces.

- Jason Gray also covers the latest news on Takeshi Kitano’s new film with the release of the poster. Kitano as a painter? He so crazy.

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 - May 20th, 2008 Edition

- As expected, The Chronicles of Narnia opened first place at the Korean box office. However, as Korea Pop Wars reports, the sequel opened slightly lower than the first film. Meanwhile, Speed Racer didn’t experience a real free fall, already having 745,000 admissions after two weekends, meaning it should move past the million admission mark. Iron Man continues to perform strongly with 3.7 million admissions after three weekends. Full chart over at Twitch.

- The full list of films to be featured at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival is out, and you can find a full list via Tokyograph. Also, Subway Cinema’s Brian offers his thoughts on this year’s picks.

- The Oriental Daily reported it, and now Variety’s Derek Elly confirms it in his review: The new Ashes of Time Redux isn’t much different from the original film in terms of structure and length, although the new score seems to make a world of difference.

- A new English-subtitled trailer for John Woo’s Red Cliff is now online. However, like the trailer for The Good, the Bad, and The Weird yesterday, there’s no guarantee how long it’ll be online. Besides, it didn’t really get me any more excited for the film.

- That was fas, after Thelma Aoyama’s “Soba ni Iru ne” broke the record for reaching one million cell phone downloads in the quickest time about a month ago, previous record holder GReeeen came right back and recaptured the record with their latest song.

- Film buyers, time to add another festival on your schedule: The popular Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival is launching its own film market for genre films. Question is, are there that many films for sale these days?

- The first posters for Derek Yee’s The Shinjuku Incident, featuring Jackie Chan in his first dramatic/non-action-oriented role, showed up at the Cannes film market. Also, someone in the comment section revealed that the film may be due for a ban in China because it involves the Japanese yakuzas, even though the film is a co-production that filmed in China.

- Those who don’t get who the newly popular Japanese male trio Shuuchishin is can get a brief explanation here. Japan has a thing for gimmick pop, and it looks like this is one of them.

- Lastly, the American sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live did a Japanese take on The Office that’s funny at first, but only ended up growing annoying as it went on. Still, at least the Japanese was correct despite the heavy accent. And Ricky Gervais is still brilliant.

The Golden Rock - July 15th, 2007 Edition

I couldn’t find the time to record and edit the Podcast today, so it’ll most likely come tomorrow.

- Kenichi Matsuyama got his big break playing the eccentric detective L in the Death Note movies, but except for scoring his own spin-off film, he has found little success beyond the successful franchise. For instance, his drama Sexy Voice and Robo crashed and burned in the ratings, and his last starring role in the indie film Shindou didn’t even attract the audience to make it a successful indie film. Sadly, his latest film Dolphin Blue continues his slump at the box office. On 100 screens, Dolphin Blue opened with only 25 million yen for only a 250,000 yen per-screen average. His last challenge, and the one most likely to resuscitate his popularity, is the Death Note spin-off L. If even that doesn’t bring back to audiences, he can kiss his leading man status goodbye pretty soon after that.

- Meanwhile, the biggest release in Japan this holiday weekend, next to the Harry Potter previews, is Saiyuki, the film adaptation of the TV drama based on the famous Chinese tale Journey From the West. Apparently, its release on 461 screens is the widest release ever for a Japanese film (even the Death Note sequel got only a comparatively moderate 362 screen-release), and distributor Toho somehow pinpointed on predicting the film would make 5.9 billion yen. Maybe? Judging from the trailer, I’m leaning towards “maybe not.”

- A week or two ago I wrote about the first Disney Chinese production about to open in China. After two weeks, The Magic Gourd has done rather well, already having attract 750,000 admissions for a 16 million yuan total so far. With the weekend gross dropping very slowly, this movie might overtake Protege as the highest-grossing Chinese film of the year. Thus continues Disney’s plan of global domination….

- After the Japan Society in New York’s own Japanese film festival, the Korea Society has announced the lineup for their own Korean Film Festival. However, the lineup just simply isn’t as exciting as the recent Asian film events in New York. Secret Sunshine isn’t even on there.

- Two Chinese directors have just finished documentaries that are worth noting, but for different reasons: First, Jia Zhangke has already finished his follow-up to his award-winning narrative film Still Life and companion documentary Dong with Wu Yong, a documentary about the path of fashion from the assembly line to the catwalk. The other is a documentary on the Yasukuni Shrine by unknown Chinese filmmaker Li Ying, who filmed at the controversial Japanese Shrine for over a decade. It’s a brave attempt at what seems to be an unbiased view at a subject that has caused such strong emotions in China.

- This weekend, the long-awaited Hong Kong action film Invisible Target finally comes out, and there’s a new poster out to further whet your appetite.

- Reviews from the Daily Yomiuri this weekend include the animated omnibus film Genius Party and three of this season’s Japanese dramas.

- Speaking of TV in Japan, the American cartoon Spongebob Squarepants (heard of it, never watch it) has caught on after arriving on the public television NHK network. And it’s not even the kids that are loving it.

- The next “city” omnibus film to follow Paris je t’aime is, as reported previously, Tokyo! (That’s the title. And I know that a New York I Love You is on the way as well). In addition to the three directors involved - Michel Gondry, Leo Cerax, and Boon Joon-Ho - there’s also more information about the films, courtesy of Tokyograph.

- I wrote about Twitch’s coverage of the film The Wonder Years, about a young girl’s search for a rock star she presumes to be her mother, a while ago. Turns out the movie flopped at the box office, and it’s coming to DVD with a mere 6-week theatrical-to-DVD window.

- The Motion Pictures Association continues to stick their nose into Asia’s business by helping Japan in a campaign to stop Peer-to-peer downloading.

- Get ready to start looking around eBay, because a thief just stole about 25,000 yen worth of clothes from the set that was used for the hit Japanese film Tokyo Tower. The set remained opened for public visitors after the film finished shooting.

- Yuki Tanada, whose last film credit is apparently the screenplay for Sakuran, signed award-winning actress Yu Aoi on for her latest directorial effort Hayakumanen to Nigamushi Onna, about a girl who flees from home to save up money after she was convicted of a crime.

The Golden Rock - July 14th, 2007 Edition

- I’m not a fan of Ayumi Hamasaki at all, but for your information - the second MTV of her short film with Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue is up as well. While the annoying flashes and whooshes are gone, it runs out of steam and logic halfway.

- This weekend, Japan Times’ Kaori Shoji reviews the kamikaze documentary Tokko (Wings of Defeat), while also turning in a feature on the film, its director Risa Morimoto, and producer Linda Hoagland (one of the most top subtitlers in Japan). Meanwhile, Mark Schilling reviews the Cannes participant dark comedy Funuke Domo, Kanashimi No Ai Wo Misero ( Funuke, Show Some Love, You Losers!)

Meanwhile, other critics in Japan has been praising the film as one of the best of the year, which helped Funuke score a pretty big opening weekend on July 7th. In one Shibuya theater, the film attracted 1870 admissions, grossing 2.84 million yen. However, since the theater actually sits 303 people, and let’s say it opened at 4 shows a day (it’s now at 5 shows a day), that’s just a “pretty good” 77% capacity. Still, you can’t ignore that 2.84 million yen gross.

By the way, the film will play with English subtitles from August 4th to August 10th, so you can check it out for yourself which critics are right.

- As the Hong Kong Broadway Cinema chain website has reflected, the Carol Lai-directed horror film Nakara 19, starring EEG stars Gillian Chung and Vincy Chan, has been pushed back from an early August opening to the post-summer date of September 6th. This signals either: 1) Hong Kong films are learning to get out of Hollywood blockbusters’ way, or 2) The powers that be don’t have much faith in the film. This leaves only two Hong Kong summer films left - Benny Chan’s Invisible Target and Wilson Yip’s Flashpoint. The Hong Kong Film blog also lists Triangle as an August 23rd opening, but no Hong Kong cinema chain website has confirmed that. More on the Hong Kong summer tomorrow on the Podcast.

- Dave’s Trailer Page has a trailer of the Hong Kong limited release hit Two Days in Paris, directed by and starring Julie Delpy. Honestly, it doesn’t even look like an arthouse film.

- Everyone has completely forgotten, but it looks like Derek Yee’s long-awaited The Shinjuku Incident, featuring Jackie Chan playing a rare dramatic role, is actually now set to start shooting in November. Yes, Jackie Chan is still playing an exchange student in Japan. Actually, now that I think back to my days in Japan, there were some somewhat old Chinese exchange students there, so it MIGHT work. Maybe.

- Posters, posters, posters everywhere. First, we have the latest posters for Yoshimitsu Morita’s remake of Sanjuro, then we have the individual character posters for Peter Chan’s Warlords.

- In China, a sci-fi writer lost his case against 20th Century Fox and director Roland Emmerich, whom he accused of stealing his play for the hit film The Day After Tomorrow. He lost because 1) He couldn’t prove when he wrote the plays, and 2) that 20th Century Fox ever had access to his plays. Ouch. Then again, is Hollywood the only one doing the plagiarizing?

- Spain’s Neptuno Films has bought up distribution rights for the China-Singapore co-produced animated series Katakune. So far, the show is set to broadcast in China, Taiwan, and Thailand, with Neptuno planning to bring it to all areas outside Asia and North America.

- The Japanese film University of Laughs, about a clash between a playwright and a government censor, has been adapted into a play by British playwright Richard Harris. In fact, the whole crew just took the play to Japan.

The Golden Rock - May 27th, 2007 Edition

Cannes finally comes to a close, meaning that those who don’t really care can now rest easy. Of course, if all goes well, we’ll doing it all over again for Venice and Toronto later this year.

On the general awards front, the Romanian film “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days” won the Palme D’or, Julian Schnabel won best director for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” Gus Van Sant won the special 60th Anniversary Award for “Paranoid Park,” Fatih Akin won the best screenplay award for “The Edge of Heaven,” and Konstantin Lavronenko won best actor for the Russian film “The Banishment.”

On the Asian films front, Naomi Kawase’s “The Mourning Forest,” which screened on the last full day of screening in competition, won the Grand Prix (which is like a glorified 2nd place award). Variety and Hollywood Reporter critics usually don’t work on weekends (even during Cannes, apparently), so there are no reviews from them yet. However, we do have a review from Screen International’s Lee Marshall, who calls the film one of great emotional impact with a vision that is equal to Terrence Malick. Meanwhile, Mike D’Angelo has a short review on ScreenGrab, and he didn’t like it as much (it’s a short review, just scroll down. Thanks to Green Cine for the link).

Also, Jeon Do-Yeon won the best actress award for Lee Dong-Chang’s “Secret Sunshine,” which ups the awards count for Asian films in competition to two this year. Then again, the competition seems pretty heavy this year, so Asia should be glad that it represented itself quite well.

- Moving on, Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, which has unfortunately not been doing very well anywhere it’s playing so far (it has open in most major territories in the world and has only made US$27 million). Now, Fox has moved up the North American release to July 20th from its second release date in September. This might be a good move, since it’s only going against John Travolta in drag (courtesy of The Movie Blog) and the new Adam Sandler comedy, which just got the R kiss of death from the MPAA.

- Everybody is finishing up their trilogies in recent years, from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Death Trilogy” to Gus Van Sant’s…..other “Death Trilogy” (apparently death at the hands of stranger is what he calls it) to Park Chan-Wook’s “Revenge Trilogy. Apparently, even Takeshi Kitano has been doing a trilogy from “Takeshis’” to “Kantoku Banzai!”. Now he’s planning to finish up this “self-exploratory trilogy” with a movie about the life of an artist from success to ruin that will feature his own paintings. Parallel to Kitano’s own directorial career is still unknown, depending on the reviews for “Kantoku Banzai!”.

- Japanese studio Toei and America’s Colombia Music are teaming up to make a series of short films for TV, DVD, and internet that will hopefully somehow lift sales by crossing CDs with DVDs. Their first film is called Metal Samurai. Good idea? Bad idea?

- Argentina and China are working on a deal to build a studio complex in Argentina. In addition, there are talks under way that would allow Chinese and Argentinean co-productions and other cinematic goodies.

- There’s a pretty ho-hum poster out for Feng Xiaogang’s The Assembly. Am I the only one that’s no really excited about this?

- There’s a law in China that bans all materials that deal with the supernatural. Films and books that deal with the supernatural are often banned, though there are ways around it, as evident in the recent thriller The Matrimony. The latest victim of this ban is the popular Japanese comic/animated series/films Death Note. Authorities in China finally got off their asses and seized over 2400 copies of the comic and 360 copies of what is probably the animated series or the films on compact discs. Thanks to the popularity of the comic, kids are also buying up the mock version of the Death Notebook (In Japanese, the word for notebook is “no-to,” or just “note.” So Death Note actually means Death Notebook), freaking out other kids by writing their names in it. Now that’s just plain mean.

- Since we were on the subject of law, Japan has finally passed a legislation in its parliament that bans the video recording of film in movie theaters. The fines are pretty heavy too, so think twice before bringing in that camera for the Death Note spinoff movie; keeping up your otaku cred isn’t worth that much.

- Oh, there’s also a teaser poster for Kim Ji-Woon’s The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, currently in production. What the hell is that thing Song Kang-Ho is wearing?

- Since this is the summer of the sequels, Professor David Bordwell wrote about a virtual roundtable he had that discussed the possible merits of sequels in his blog.

Off to finish the second part of Clint Eastwood’s Iwo Jima saga. Yup, that means a feature tomorrow, right on time for Memorial Day.

 
 
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