News Links - 1/2/09

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News Links - 1/2/09

Postby dleedlee » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:53 pm

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Photos of Tao Hong and Xu Zheng's Baby Girl
http://english.cri.cn/6666/2009/01/01/1321s438626.htm

The last year for funny glasses?
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http://www.danwei.org/front_page_of_the ... f_2009.php
But The Root Boy nevers goes out of style!
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Wong Kar Wai reveals hopes of Brigitte Lin's comeback
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20090102/t ... bb342.html

"Lady Cop & Papa Crook" steals Hong Kong's New Year box office
http://varietyasiaonline.com/content/view/7767/1/

China's New Year Film Rush Disguises Industry Weakness
http://english.cri.cn/6666/2009/01/02/1722s438857.htm
China’s Box Office Clout Grows in 2008
http://cfensi.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/ ... s-in-2008/
A prosperous 2008 for Mainland box office
http://varietyasiaonline.com/content/view/7763/1/

Wayne Lai's Views on New Generation of Fa Dan and Siu Sangs
http://asianfanatics.net/forum/Wayne-La ... 13700.html

Tora-san Goes North (Region 2)
Features Toshiro Mifune
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/35847/to ... oes-north/

Brief Reviews
The Magic Hour

Koki Mitani is a sometime film director from the Japanese theater who has made a small number of highly successful comedies for the big screen and TV. The Magic Hour is his latest, a screwball comedy homage that sees a nightclub boss get caught having an affair with a crime lord’s dame. To save his life, he lies about knowing the whereabouts of a mysterious man the gang is looking for, and then has an actor impersonate him. It’s all lunacy and laughs from there. Happily, fans of Mitani and this kind of film will also have the chance to see his previous movie Suite Dreams, made in 2006, which opens next week in limited release.

Lovely Complex

This Japanese manga adaptation explores the outer reaches of cute as tallish freak girl meets shortish geek boy, spending the next 100 minutes or so pretending not to adore each other. Bright colors, music, basketball, larger than life performances, exaggerated facial expressions — just about enough to impress kids on their first date movie. This was made three years ago, which suggests local distributors are beginning to trawl through back catalogs of manga movies for stuff to throw at the market. Also known as Love.com
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/ar ... 2003432635

CNN picks "In the Mood for Love" as Best Asian Film of all time
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20090101/t ... bb342.html
Pick the best Asian films of all time
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Mov ... index.html
The best ever Asian films: What you said
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Mov ... index.html

Korean celebs battle internet gossiping
http://varietyasiaonline.com/content/view/7759/1/

Vincy Yeung returns to Hong Kong; smiles sweetly when asked about Edison Chen
http://asianfanatics.net/forum/Vincy-Ye ... 14211.html

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Fans hope to collect funds to build school in Anita Mui's name in Sichuan
http://ent.sina.com.hk/cgi-bin/nw/show. ... 619/1.html
Fans and celebrities remember Anita Mui (photos)
http://ent.sina.com.hk/cgi-bin/nw/show. ... 660/1.html

LeTV announces $15 millon investment in original content
http://varietyasiaonline.com/content/view/7755/1/

Zhang Ziyi sees psychiatrist in Beijing
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20090102/t ... bb342.html

Future Cops
Fan Bingbing treat Barbie Hsu transparent!
http://asianfanatics.net/forum/Fan-Bing ... 14084.html

Charlene Choi vows Twins will reunite
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http://ent.sina.com.cn/s/h/p/2009-01-01 ... 4682.shtml

'Chasing Shadows' Stills - English update
http://english.cri.cn/6666/2009/01/01/1261s438512.htm

Joan Chen Plays Goddess in Monkey King Drama - English update
http://english.cri.cn/6666/2009/01/02/1261s438733.htm

Faye Wong supports husband in his new stage drama
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http://news.xinhuanet.com/ent/2009-01/0 ... 589805.htm

Taiwan Pop Stop
Cecilia's in-laws troubles, Chen Qiao En/Joe Chen's assets, LA's triads
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/ar ... 2003432636

Ispy: Cecilia Cheung grocery shopping with Lucas and mother-in-law
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http://ent.sina.com.cn/s/h/p/2009-01-02 ... 5406.shtml

Tony Leung breaks up X'mas party after discovering that their guests were doing drugs - English update
http://asianfanatics.net/forum/Tony-Leu ... 14173.html

Pace Wu (Zhui Ying/Chasing Shadows) bejewelled for New Year's Eve program
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http://ent.sina.com.cn/s/h/p/2009-01-01 ... 4631.shtml

Demonstrators rally against Taiwan TV interference
http://varietyasiaonline.com/content/view/7766/53/

Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun Enjoy Rock Concert
http://english.cri.cn/6666/2009/01/01/1221s438552.htm

2008 Year in Review
Celebrity Marriages, Scandals, Passings, etc
http://english.cri.cn/3126/2008/12/31/Zt1221s437988.htm

Hong Kong's real-life tv drama
Exec shuffles, politics shake up broadcasters
http://www.variety.com/article/VR111799 ... id=14&cs=1

Cheer Chen converts her wardrobe into recording studio
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20090101/t ... bb342.html

Renowned photographer captures China's change
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/1 ... index.html


China milk scandal executive pleads guilty
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/1 ... index.html
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:59 pm

CNN picks "In the Mood for Love" as Best Asian Film of all time
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20090101/t ... bb342.html
Pick the best Asian films of all time
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Mov ... index.html
The best ever Asian films: What you said
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Mov ... index.html


I have to agree somewhat with one of the dissenters in the last story: "To make a list of 'best Asian movies' is like making a list of the best European movies. There can be no such thing."

It does seem like they cast their net awfully wide to ultimately pick such a small number of titles. :?
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:17 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
CNN picks "In the Mood for Love" as Best Asian Film of all time
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/cna/20090101/t ... bb342.html
Pick the best Asian films of all time
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Mov ... index.html
The best ever Asian films: What you said
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Mov ... index.html


I have to agree somewhat with one of the dissenters in the last story: "To make a list of 'best Asian movies' is like making a list of the best European movies. There can be no such thing."

It does seem like they cast their net awfully wide to ultimately pick such a small number of titles. :?


That type of list should narrow the countries down a bit and make it a top 100 to have any full effect as anytype of a canon. So many ommisions and too short make it a joke (no Akira Kurosawa).
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:41 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:So many ommisions and too short make it a joke (no Akira Kurosawa).


Too much artsy stuff too. Not that any of those films aren't worthy, because they are, but I roll my eyes in the general direction of lists that leave off popular, populist entertainments because somehow they're not "best" enough for consideration, even though they're often more representative of the cultures that produce them, and probably put more butts on theatre seats in their respective regions than most of the titles that ultimately do make the list (THE HOST, IA and SHALL WE DANCE excepted, of course). Stick a mid-80's Jackie Chan or Tsui Hark or Stanley Kwan on the list, or one of the LONE WOLF or Kaneko GAMERA features or something from Shohei Imamura, or a Miyazaki cartoon, or one of Park Chan-wook's VENGEANCE trilogy, hell, even MY SASSY GIRL, and I might be impressed. To me, the best films of any country should be nearly endemic to that culture, or very difficult to replicate outside of it beyond a basic story structure, and such criteria are as easily met by the most unabashedly popular of movies as they are by the more high-brow fare that seems to have made the CNN list. I guess the mix isn't too bad, but you're right, they'd need at least a hundred spots to even begin to cover such a wide geographical area.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:59 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:So many ommisions and too short make it a joke (no Akira Kurosawa).


Too much artsy stuff too. Not that any of those films aren't worthy, because they are, but I roll my eyes in the general direction of lists that leave off popular, populist entertainments because somehow they're not "best" enough for consideration, even though they're often more representative of the cultures that produce them, and probably put more butts on theatre seats in their respective regions than most of the titles that ultimately do make the list (THE HOST, IA and SHALL WE DANCE excepted, of course). Stick a mid-80's Jackie Chan or Tsui Hark or Stanley Kwan on the list, or one of the LONE WOLF or Kaneko GAMERA features or something from Shohei Imamura, or a Miyazaki cartoon, or one of Park Chan-wook's VENGEANCE trilogy, hell, even MY SASSY GIRL, and I might be impressed. To me, the best films of any country should be nearly endemic to that culture, or very difficult to replicate outside of it beyond a basic story structure, and such criteria are as easily met by the most unabashedly popular of movies as they are by the more high-brow fare that seems to have made the CNN list.


Completely agree. But even from a art standpoint the list is a complete joke. No Tokyo Story, no Raise the Red Lantern, no Farewell My Concubine. I love Shower (I have the only review on the film on this site I believe), but I would have a hard time putting it ahead of the ones I mentioned. I could go on and on ... :D

While I have not seen The Host, I don't remember it being that much of a "critical success". I would have though Oldboy would have made it (it is on the IMDB top 250 currently).

I missed the Ikiru picking (so at least one Kurosawa).

Is Infernal Affairs better than The Mission or Election or Running Out of Time? (I love all, but The Mission is just awsome).

This is from a posting I put on Cal's blog:

On a project I have been doing, I have noticed that depending on where you are critics have a different favorite of Wong’s.

In Hong Kong, it is definitely Days of Being Wild. In most of Europe and the States it tends to be either In The Mood For Love or Chungking Express (I have seen Days of Being Wild and In The Mood For Love — I definitely like ITMFL better than you ) So far As Tears Go By is the only film I really have not liked directed by Wong (while Days of Being Wild was influenced by Rebel without a Cause, As Tears Go By was influenced by Mean Streets and of course the Triad films of that time — though many western critics are not familiar with them nowhere near as much with Wong).
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Postby cal42 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:05 pm

I wonder just how many "Asian"films thay have seen. In the Mood for Love tops the list, which is fair enough (I can't deny that I hated it as I've written on the subject this very day :P), but doesn't it seem like someone's seen a handful of films that have been classed as "important" and just made a hasty list - after all, it's only Asia and no-one will bother watching anything else anyway?

I really can't say that Infernal Affairs and The Host are the best that their respective territories can produce either, and I have to qualify that statement by saying that I like both films quite a lot. However, it strikes me that both of these films are quite well known in the west, and I suspect the same is true with the Bollywood selections in the list.

But no Seven Samurai? Well, I kind of pity anyone who can't see the merit in that particular gem.
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:12 pm

Is Infernal Affairs better than The Mission or Election or Running Out of Time? (I love all, but The Mission is just awsome).


Perfect point. This illustrates how something as simple as availability likely influences the construction of "best" lists. Of the four films you list, INFERNAL AFFAIRS is the most high-profile in Europe and North America I'm not sure where the CNN writer is based, but it's likely she came to IA because of the hype that preceeded it (which started in Hong Kong and spread from there, moreso when THE DEPARTED started production), and not because she saw the other three films and could draw a valid comparison. Me, I'd rank THE MISSION and ELECTION nearly as highly, if not as highly, with RUNNING a very strong runner-up. But I wonder if Mairi Mackay ever saw the Euro or U.S. releases since they tended to show up quietly on the shelves of rental stores and big box retailers if they showed up at all. ;)

Good call on TOKYO STORY. I'd like to think GOOD MORNING and KWAIDAN and various other Japanese films released through Criterion would probably be worthy of inclusion alongside IKIRU as well.

Interesting thoughts about WKW's films around the world. I love 'em all about equal, but I'm biased, but you might be right about regional preferences. Should be an interesting project, whatever it may be!
Last edited by Brian Thibodeau on Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:12 pm

RE: Seven Samurai:

Lets see a few lists that movie is on:

Entertainment Weekly's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" (http://www.filmsite.org/ew100.html)
Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection

IMDb - Top 250 (Dec. 11, 2008)
Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection

Roger Ebert - The Great Movies (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbc ... s_fulllist)
Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection

Jim Emerson - 102 Movies You Must See (http://www.listsofbests.com/list/8536)
Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection

The 50 Best Men Movies Of All Time (http://www.mensjournal.com/feature/0312/guymovies.html)
Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection

Sight and Sound Top 10 1982
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)

Sight and Sound Top 10 1992 Director's Poll
10. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)

Sight and Sound Top 10 2002 Director's poll
9. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)
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Postby cal42 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:26 pm

We three seem to be on here about the same time and Shawn's posted while I'm writing this so I guess it's a very hot topic around here :lol: .

Like Brian said, there isn't any populist stuff here, and that's where it falls down. I think there's a feeling that all of "our" films are arty or complete moronic kung fu crap, and that one is somehow better than the other. In any Hollywood list, you'd get ET, and if that isn't an example of low-brow, populist, pandering-to-the-masses film making, I don't know what is. I'm not saying it's no good, but...
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