12 items from 2014
The Iceman Cometh, Clarence Fok's 1989 Hong Kong martial arts film, achieved classic status on the strength of Fok's facility with multiple elements: humor that could be silly without being juvenile, dazzlingly choreographed action sequences, a story filled with wit, and charming lead performances (Yuen Biao, Maggie Cheung). There's a kind of elegance to it. Iceman, the new remake starring Donnie Yen and directed by Law Wing-cheong, is aggressively inelegant. When Ming warrior He Ying (Yen) awakens in modern Hong Kong after centuries frozen in slumber, he's burdened by his history — being unfairly accused of treason, stripped of honor, his family slaughtered. He's carrying a time-travel device that is activated by a metaphorically crude act, and tha »
Chungking Express, 1994.
Directed by Wong Kar Wai.
Two stories reveal the love lives of two different policemen who struggle to find love in Hong Kong.
Considered one of the greatest films of the 2000’s, Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love is a romantic and sensual cinematic masterpiece. Chungking Express, released six years prior, still holds the sensitivity and patience of In the Mood for Love but enjoys a more playful, youthful tone. Both are playing at the BFI Southbank as part of the A Century of Chinese Cinema season throughout September and October. Akin to Kar Wai’s 2000 delight, Chungking Express frames dual narratives (of love and cops) within the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. A set of moody, tender stories, Chungking Express demonstrates how, behind their stern exterior, men of the law can hold deeply fragile hearts. »
- Simon Columb
Themes of love, loss and the despotic force of time permeate Wong Kar-wai’s films and whole landscapes of emotion are suggested without words. This anomalous approach to storytelling works against the grain of Hong Kong cinema as well as Western narrative convention, and is perhaps best exemplified in his 2000 masterpiece, In the Mood for Love: an enigmatic melodrama where falling in love is anything but a panacea.
Set in 60s Hong Kong, the story chronicles the tentative relationship between a married man and a married woman (played by Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung), both of whom discover, after moving into neighbouring flats, that their respective spouses are having an affair. Drawn by their mutual cuckolded status, Su Li-zhen and Chow Mo-Wan soon fall for each other but, stifled by propriety and moral restraint, never act on their impulses. Instead, their relationship comprises wry smiles, furtive conversations and even »
- Will Roberts
Last year I was throwin' up quickie top ten lists for each decade for archival and discussion purposes and tonight wI realized that I'd never finished the run skipping the Aughts and the 1920s and the 1910s (the latter two because I'd hoped to see more silent films before top ten'ing it). So herewith a revisit / rework of a "best of the aughts" list originally published in 2010 but many of you have joined us since!.
Care to share yours?
The party of the decade. The inspired mashup conductor (Baz) and his darling stars (Nicole, Ewan, Jim) put on the messiest craziest livelest funniest tearjerking "Spectacular! Spectacular!" show on earth. I'd never claim it's a perfect movie but flaws are endearing when you love madly and deeply. and Love Is All You Need.
02 Brokeback Mountain dir. Ang Lee (2005)
A love story for the ages. And one that quietly enrages. »
- NATHANIEL R
French director Olivier Assayas likes his leading ladies unpredictable and punk, crafting wild pipe-bomb thrillers to suit the feral energy of muses such as Maggie Cheung (“Irma Vep”), Chloe Sevigny (“Demonlover”) and Asia Argento (“Boarding Gate”). But does he really understand women? After collaborating with Assayas on 2008’s perfect, albeit ultra-safe “Summer Hours,” actress Juliette Binoche challenged the director to write a part that delved into genuine female experience. Though deceptively casual on its surface, “Clouds of Sils Maria” marks his daring rejoinder, a multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved — including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz — to new heights.
Binoche plays Maria Enders, a 40-ish movie star approached about remaking “Maloja Snake,” the film that launched her career two decades earlier. This time, she’s being asked to interpret the older role — a burnt-out, middle-aged businesswoman manipulated by her young female assistant in a daring lesbian dynamic. »
- Peter Debruge
It’s been a decade since French director Olivier Assayas had a film in competition – his epic Carlos was controversially plucked from a competition berth at the last minute in 2010. He’s known for his masterful work with actresses; Clean took home the best actress prize for Maggie Cheung in 2004, and his Sils Maria is one of the most anticipated films of this festival with what early buzz is calling masterful performances from Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart. He spoke to THR about returning to Cannes after the controversy, independent film making and the French funding system. How does
- Rhonda Richford
A remake of the 1989 kung fu fantasy “The Iceman Cometh,” in which a Ming dynasty warrior time-travels to contempo Hong Kong, “Iceman 3D” is snowed under by f/x of variable quality, as well as a crucial lack of gut-busting martial arts. Theoretically, the pairing of action legend Donnie Yen (“Ip Man”) with mainland comic heavyweight Wang Baoqiang (“Lost in Thailand”) in an epic fantasy should cause a commercial avalanche in Chinese and international markets. But the final product will leave fans cold: Neither thesps maximize their potential, and helmer Law Wing-cheong’s lax execution of a corny plot is further marred by foul toilet humor. Tellingly, the pic was beaten to the top spot at the B.O. on opening day by the modest youth romance “My Old Classmate.”
- Maggie Lee
But, let's be honest: that's kinda every day here at the Film Experience. Therefore I have nothing special planned for it. Sorry bout it. I'd list my single favorite actress from every country but who got time for that? Instead a shout out to international readers and please enjoy these pictures of Anouk Aimée, Nicole Kidman, Maggie Cheung & Zhang Ziyi, Monica Vitti, Melanie Lynskey & Kate Winslet and more after the jump...
Tell us which actresses you'd like as cinematic ambassador from your country (or State)!
- NATHANIEL R
Isaac Julien's seven-screen installation, which features Franco as an art adviser, revolves around the flow of capital – the unseen director of all our lives
• Watch a trailer for Playtime here
The city rears up around us, lit windows against the night, the corporate buildings blocking the sky. In an all-white empty office, a hedge-fund manager plays a lonesome trumpet. A skittering drum kicks in, adding an urgent pulse. The pulse is money: capital at work. Ranks of computers and servers churn the numbers in a sub-basement world where the capital flows.
In an auction room, prices are spiralling. Actor James Franco, playing an art adviser, explains how art has become a hedge against money's instability. The price of art has nothing to do with the art itself. In another scene, auctioneer Simon de Pury explains the exponential rise of the art market since the 2008 financial crash. Superstitious, he always »
- Adrian Searle
Hong Kong – Hong Kong media mogul, film producer and philanthropist Sir Run Run Shaw passed away at his home Tuesday at the age of 106. The founder of Shaw Brothers Studio and Television Broadcast Limited (Tvb), Shaw was instrumental in bringing Chinese-language film, especially the martial arts genre, to the attention of the world. His film and TV empire launched the careers of some of China's biggest stars, including Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau and Chow Yun-fat. Figures from across the Chinese film industry spoke out Wednesday to mourn the passing of the media tycoon. Photos: Hollywood's Notable
- Karen Chu
Hong Kong film pioneer Sir Run Run Shaw has died, aged 107.
The entertainment mogul founded Shaw Brothers Studios, which went on to produce nearly 1,000 films, and helped bring kung fu into the mainstream.
He launched Hong Kong's biggest local TV station Tvb in 1967, and was its chairman until 2011.
Tvb confirmed that Shaw died peacefully at his home in Hong Kong today (January 7).
Hong Kong Chief Executive Cy Leung said: "Sir Run Run Shaw has for a long time promoted the entertainment industry in Hong Kong. His philanthropy also has spread from Hong Kong to China and beyond."
Among the films his company produced include 1962 drama The Magnificent Concubine and 1967 movie One-Armed Swordsman.
He later moved into Us co-produced films, including Blade Runner.
Run Run Shaw was honoured »
Legendary media mogul Run Run Shaw has died. He was 106. Born on Nov. 23, 1907, in Ningbo, south of Shanghai, in the waning days of China’s last imperial dynasty, Shaw was the youngest of six sons of textile merchant Shaw Yuh Hsuen. By the late 1960s, Shaw had risen to the status of media mogul unrivaled in Asia, growing his family’s theater chain, film studio and television network Television Broadcasts Ltd. (Tvb) into a multibillion-dollar empire that helped launch the careers of some of today’s biggest Chinese stars, including Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau and Chow Yun-fat. Photos: Hollywood's Notable
- Clifford Coonan
12 items from 2014
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