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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

16 items from 2017


Lyon’s Lumiere Festival Honors Classic Film

13 October 2017 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The 9th Lumière Festival in Lyon, France, is again bringing together some of the biggest names in world cinema, including Guillermo Del Toro, Wong Kar-wai and Michael Mann, while celebrating the history of film with some 400 screenings of international classics.

Launched in 2009 by Bertrand Tavernier and Thierry Frémaux, the respective president and director of the Institut Lumière, the event has become one of the largest international festivals of classic cinema. Last year it hosted 160,500 festivalgoers – up from 2015’s 150,000 admissions – and more than 1,000 industry professionals.

It was in Lyon where brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematograph in 1895, and in keeping with the city’s cinematic tradition, the festival celebrates the history of film by presenting restored works, retrospectives, tributes and master classes.

In 2013, the festival also started what it describes as the first and only classic film market in the world, noting that the heritage cinema sector is currently expanding thanks to advancements in conservation standards »

- Ed Meza

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Hong Kong Cult Movie 'Infernal Affairs' to Get Indian Remake

25 September 2017 9:10 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Andrew Lau’s Hong Kong gangster film Infernal Affairs is set for an Indian remake. Warner Bros. India and Mumbai-based banner Azure Entertainment said Monday that the Hindi-language remake is part of a two-picture deal between the companies to jointly develop, produce and distribute key titles from the Warner library for the Indian local film market. A second remake title will be announced at a later stage.

Lau's 2002 film spawned Martin Scorsese’s award-winning 2006 title The Departed, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson.

“We are looking for a director for the Infernal Affairs remake,” Azure Entertainment CEO Sunir Kheterpal told THR. “We »

- Nyay Bhushan

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Warner, Azure Partner for India Remake of ‘Infernal Affairs’

25 September 2017 6:58 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Fledgling Mumbai-based production outfit Azure Entertainment and Warner Bros. India have announced a collaboration to jointly invest in and produce an Indian remake of classic Hong Kong crime thriller “Infernal Affairs.” The director and cast are yet to be finalized.

The 2002 original was directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak and was the first part of a trilogy. Martin Scorsese remade it as “The Departed” in 2006.

The project is the first of a two-picture deal to develop, produce and distribute titles from the Warner Bros. library for the Indian market.

Azure was set up by Sunir Kheterpal, who previously had stints with Adlabs-Reliance Entertainment and the Hinduja Group. It produced the Hindi-language remake of Korean film “The Man From Nowhere,” titled “Rocky Handsome.”

The company’s remake development slate includes deals with Rodar y Rodar for Spanish film “The Body,” Atresmedia for Spanish film “The Invisible Guest,” with Gaumont for French titles “Gang Story” and “Point Blank” and »

- Naman Ramachandran

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Why China’s ‘Wolf Warriors II’ Is Enjoying Surprising Success in Hong Kong

21 September 2017 4:22 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

To the surprise of some, China’s top-grossing film of all time, “Wolf Warriors II,” has been better received in Hong Kong compared to previous Chinese propaganda movies. The film’s modest success in Hong Kong theaters comes despite its unabashedly patriotic content, of a kind which in the past was strongly rejected by residents of the former British colony.

Wolf Warriors II” scored Hk$2.6 million ($333,000) during its opening Sept. 7-10 weekend, putting it fourth among new releases. The weekend’s winners were “It,” with Hk$3.97 million ($509,000), and “American Made,” which took $461,000. Also outranking “Wolf Warriors II” was “The Sinking City: Capsule Odyssey,” a dark comedy about the absurdity of the Hong Kong property market. It earned $448,000.

“Hong Kong audiences always show less interest in mainland Chinese films, particularly those revolving around a patriotic theme. Hong Kong audiences look for entertainment or stories they can identity with,” says Pierre Lam, a »

- Vivienne Chow

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‘Wolf Warrior II’s’ Massive Success Forces Studios to Rethink China Approach

31 August 2017 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

As the Chinese box office sagged alarmingly for an entire year, from July 2016 to June 2017, filmmakers and studios in the Middle Kingdom began desperately searching for answers. Many concluded that bigger Chinese properties were the solution and banked on new, higher-quality franchises coming on stream in 2018.

No one was paying much attention to “Wolf Warrior II.” They are now.

Since its July 27 debut in China, the action thriller has confounded expectations to become a box office stunner. In less than two days, it surpassed the $88 million scored by the franchise’s first installment in 2015. Ten days later, it overtook last year’s sensation, “The Mermaid,” as China’s top-grossing film of all time. Now, its $810 million take after just five weekends has made “Wolf Warrior II” the second-highest-earning title in a single territory in history, behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in North America.

In the process, it has sparked rethinking in both China and Hollywood over »

- Patrick Frater

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China Box Office: ‘Wolf Warriors 2’ Tops Global Rankings With $127 Million Debut

30 July 2017 3:51 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

China’s “Wolf Warriors 2” was the top film at the worldwide box office over the weekend, driven by a massive $127 million opening in its home territory. That was about $50 million ahead of second-place “Dunkirk,” which earned $73 million globally.

“Warriors 2” is a contemporary war actioner directed by and starring former martial artist Wu Jing (who also goes by the name Jacky Wu). With assistance from the Russo brothers and an international cast that includes Frank Grillo and Celina Jade, it is a sequel to a similar Wu-centered effort in 2015, which grossed $89 million.

The sequel’s opening performance not only beat the lifetime score of the predecessor movie; it also won the box office battle with Chinese propaganda movie “The Founding of an Army,” which showcases the creation of the People’s Liberation Army in 1927 and grossed $24.8 million, according to data from Ent Group.

Both films were released Thursday. Though “Army” had the initial advantage, with »

- Patrick Frater

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China Tightens Control of Film, TV as Major Political Events Loom

7 July 2017 5:57 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Chinese government is tightening control of film and TV and cranking up its propaganda machine to ensure a “unified atmosphere” in the run-up to politically sensitive events and anniversaries this fall.

New directives order the film and television industries to screen serious, patriotic content as the country prepares for the Communist Party’s National Congress and the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.

On Friday, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (Sapprft) instructed all TV stations to stop airing costume dramas and “idol shows,” or soap opera-like programs starring teen idols. Instead, broadcasters must air 17 propagandistic drama series approved by the government, Chinese news portal Sina reported.

A document issued by the Sapprft and shown on Sina said that the goal of the directive was to raise political awareness and “create a unified atmosphere” for the upcoming national events.

“During this period, [we] demand »

- Vivienne Chow

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China Tightens Control of Film, TV as Major Political Events Loom

7 July 2017 5:57 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The Chinese government is tightening control of film and TV and cranking up its propaganda machine to ensure a “unified atmosphere” in the run-up to politically sensitive events and anniversaries this fall.

New directives order the film and television industries to screen serious, patriotic content as the country prepares for the Communist Party’s National Congress and the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.

On Friday, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (Sapprft) instructed all TV stations to stop airing costume dramas and “idol shows,” or soap opera-like programs starring teen idols. Instead, broadcasters must air 17 propagandistic drama series approved by the government, Chinese news portal Sina reported.

A document issued by the Sapprft and shown on Sina said that the goal of the directive was to raise political awareness and “create a unified atmosphere” for the upcoming national events.

“During this period, [we] demand »

- Vivienne Chow

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With Industry and Political Clouds Hovering, Shanghai Film Festival Opens on Quieter Note

17 June 2017 5:19 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

At the shiny Lyric Theater in the heart of China’s biggest city, the Shanghai International Film Festival celebrated its 20th edition Saturday in relatively low-key fashion.

There were the usual speeches, parades of past award winners, and hordes of local media. But the star wattage on the red carpet (which was strewn with gold cups and an oversized Cadillac) was a couple of notches lower than in previous years. And on the industry side, there is similarly little expectation of a deals-announcement frenzy.

Last year the corridors and conference rooms of the festival-owned Crowne Plaza throbbed with slate announcements of jaw-dropping proportions. Numerous new connections were being made between Chinese companies and overseas filmmakers, many from Hollywood.

But the intervening year has been an instructive one. In hindsight, the 2016 Shanghai festival looks like the last hurrah of an old era when everything and anything seemed possible.

Soon after the festival, »

- Patrick Frater

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Cannes Film Review: ‘The Merciless’

9 June 2017 3:26 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Armed to the hilt with double-, triple- and quadruple-crossings between gangsters, moles and cops, “The Merciless” tries to be the whole “Infernal Affairs” trilogy rolled into one movie. A largely generic crime thriller in which a ruthless gangster and his protege fight for dominance in and out of prison, the third film by South Korean director Byung Sung-hyun barrels forth with riotous energy, but two-thirds into the picture, the switcheroos get so ridiculous one eventually stops caring about any character. This is a shame, as the two leads, Sul Kang-gul and Yim Si-wan, are flamboyantly compelling.

Still, the stylized production and stomach-churning violence are tailor-made for Asian genre fans, making the film an easy sell abroad. Although a controversy surrounding the helmer’s provocative tweets has hurt domestic box office, the movie has already presold to more than 110 territories worldwide.

A prologue introduces the formidable protagonist, Jae-ho (Sul, “Oasis,” “Silmido »

- Maggie Lee

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Media Asia marches to Chinese army project from 'Infernal Affairs' director

17 May 2017 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: The Founding Of An Army is the third in a trilogy of historical propaganda films.

Hong Kong-based Media Asia Films has picked up international rights to The Founding Of An Army, directed by Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs) and starring Liu Ye and Zhu Yawen.

Produced by China Film Group (Cfg), Bona Film Group and other Chinese companies, the historical propaganda film is the third installment in a trilogy that also includes The Founding Of A Republic (2009) and The Founding Of A Party (2011). Scheduled for Chinese release on July 29, it tells the story of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (Pla).

Like other recent propaganda-driven Chinese films, such as The Taking Of Tiger Mountain and Operation Mekong, the film has been made in a commercial style with a star-studded cast so that it has genuine appeal for audiences. “The film boasts some of the most spectacular war scenes that the director has ever done on »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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Cannes: Chow Yun-fat, Aaron Kwok Star in Hong Kong Action Film ‘Project Gutenberg’

17 May 2017 9:50 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Chow Yun-fat and Aaron Kwok have begun filming on big-budget Chinese-language action film “Project Gutenberg.” The picture is being directed by Felix Chong, screenwriter on the original “The Departed” and director of the hit “Overheard” franchise.

The story, written by Chong, sees Hong Kong police hunting a gang of exceptional currency counterfeiters. Through a gang member (Kwok) whom they extradite from Thailand, the police find themselves on the trail of the gang’s shadowy mastermind (Chow). The cast also includes Dick Liu Kai Chi, Zhang Jingchu and Catherine Chau as the lead detective.

The film is a Hong Kong-China co-production, with production by Hong Kong’s Pop Movies and finance by China’s Bona Film Group. International rights are handled by Distribution Workshop, which has already struck some early pre-sales. It will begin licensing other territories at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film has been licensed to Gsc Movies for Malaysia, »

- Patrick Frater

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Handover Hangover: Hong Kong’s Film Industry Faces an Uncertain Future

17 May 2017 9:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

When China took over Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain in 1997, the former British colony was promised “50 years unchanged” under the framework of “one country, two systems.”

Twenty years on, a lot has changed, including Hong Kong cinema.

At the turn of the 20th anniversary of the handover, Hong Kong cinema is at a crossroad. Filmmakers are facing questions concerning the future of the city’s film industry, which was once known to the world as “Hollywood East.”

“We must think about how Hong Kong cinema should position itself in order to find our way to the future,” says Wong Chun, the 28-year-old director of Hong Kong drama “Mad World,” which won the new director prize at last year’s Golden Horse Film awards in Taiwan and Hong Kong Film Awards this year. “What is our strength, as compared to films from other Asian countries? It’s time to reflect on this. »

- Vivienne Chow

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Death Note Producer On Whitewashing Criticism: It’s An “Interpretation Of The Story In A Different Culture”

28 April 2017 6:48 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

What’s the one thing Ghost in the Shell, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist and Netflix’s forthcoming Death Note adaptation have in common? Barring the fantastical story elements and built-in fanbases, all four high-profile productions have been accused of whitewashing major characters, which has led many to call Hollywood’s representation of Asian people into question.

And so, after the casting of Danny Rand and The Major (Aka Motoko Kusanagi) fuelled heated debate online, the Internet’s eye of scrutiny has turned toward Death Note after Nat Wolff landed the role of Light Yagami in the morbid Netflix original. Because of the IP’s Japanese roots, many consider the decision to go with Wolff in lieu of an Asian actor to be in poor taste – or worse, overtly racist – but seasoned producer Roy Lee firmly believes that Netflix’s star-studded rendition of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s iconic manga »

- Michael Briers

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Hkiff to celebrate 20 years of post-handover Hong Kong cinema

14 March 2017 3:49 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Event will programme a section of Hong Kong films from the last 20 years, including Infernal Affairs, Election and Shaolin Soccer.

This year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival (Hkiff) will mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China with a special focus on major Hong Kong movies of the past 20 years.

The section, ‘Paradigm Shift: Post-97 Hong Kong Cinema’, kicks off with films such as Fruit Chan’s Made In Hong Kong and Ringo Lam’s Full Alert from the period immediately after the handover, when local cinema was under pressure with box office declining and the mainland market starting to grow.

It then moves on to landmark titles such as Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer (2001), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs [pictured] (2002) and Johnnie To’s Election (2005), which all defined Hong Kong cinema in their own way.

The series of 20 titles ends with Pang Ho-cheung’s Love In A Puff »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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Hong Kong Film Festival to mark 20th anniversary of UK handover

14 March 2017 3:49 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Event will programme a section of Hong Kong films from the last 20 years, including Infernal Affairs, Election and Shaolin Soccer.

This year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival (Hkiff) will mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China with a special focus on major Hong Kong movies of the past 20 years.

The section, ‘Paradigm Shift: Post-97 Hong Kong Cinema’, kicks off with films such as Fruit Chan’s Made In Hong Kong and Ringo Lam’s Full Alert from the period immediately after the handover, when local cinema was under pressure with box office declining and the mainland market starting to grow.

It then moves on to landmark titles such as Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer (2001), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs [pictured] (2002) and Johnnie To’s Election (2005), which all defined Hong Kong cinema in their own way.

The series of 20 titles ends with Pang Ho-cheung’s Love In A Puff »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

16 items from 2017


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