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12 items from 2005


'Geisha' Director Defends Casting

9 December 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Memoirs Of A Geisha director Rob Marshall has defended his decision to cast Chinese actors in place of Japanese ones - insisting they were employed for their talent, not where they come from. The American film-maker spoke out after being chastised by Chinese critics for appointing Chinese actresses Ziyi Zhang and Gong Li to play major roles in the adaptation of Arthur Golden's popular novel. The critics insist Marshall's choice is insensitive because of the atrocities committed by the Japanese during their 1930s Chinese occupation. Marshall says, "When you saw Zorba The Greek, and you saw Anthony Quinn play Zorba, was that odd to you because he was Irish and Mexican?" Gong Li, who plays top geisha Hatsumo in the film, defended her position, insisting her decision to star in the film was based purely on character, not race. She says, "As actors, we seek roles that challenge and inspire us." »

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'Geisha' cleared for release in China

8 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

BEIJING -- Memoirs of a Geisha will be released Feb. 9 in China as one of the first 20 foreign films of 2006 allowed by law to share boxoffice revenue in the world's most populous nation, Sony executives said Wednesday. Though Geisha may follow Peter Jackson's King Kong, which United International Picutres executives say they hope will open Jan. 13 in China, the Columbia Pictures' film -- which stars Chinese idols Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi opposite Japan's Ken Watanabe -- is already igetting more attention in China and provoking strong opinions in Chinese Internet chat rooms, fueled by the two countries' historically strained relations. Geisha, which had its world premiere Nov. 29 in Japan, was approved for nationwide release in China by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, Sony Pictures Releasing International senior executive vp Mark Zucker said. »

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'Geisha' cleared for release in China

8 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

BEIJING -- Memoirs of a Geisha will be released Feb. 9 in China as one of the first 20 foreign films of 2006 allowed by law to share boxoffice revenue in the world's most populous nation, Sony executives said Wednesday. Though Geisha may follow Peter Jackson's King Kong, which United International Picutres executives say they hope will open Jan. 13 in China, the Columbia Pictures' film -- which stars Chinese idols Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi opposite Japan's Ken Watanabe -- is already igetting more attention in China and provoking strong opinions in Chinese Internet chat rooms, fueled by the two countries' historically strained relations. Geisha, which had its world premiere Nov. 29 in Japan, was approved for nationwide release in China by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, Sony Pictures Releasing International senior executive vp Mark Zucker said. »

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Winter Preview 1 of 2

18 November 2005 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- While every other publication has released their holiday previews – the team at Ioncinema decided to extend our Top 20 most anticipated films a little past the gift-exchanging season. Ioncinema.com’s Winter Preview charts the films that you should be checking out – and while there are some obvious picks (namely studio films this December), there are some other flicks past the Oscar one-week run date you might want to consider. Be sure to come back tomorrow for our picks counting down from the number 10 position. 20. Final Destination 3 Release date: Feb.10 Wide ReleaseDistributor: New Line Cinema Ioncinema Preview : View here Justin: The Gist: Death sends the survivors a roller coaster accident on the ride of their life. Fact: One of the only horror movies when the creature that kills everyone is actually death and not some hideous monster or a teenager slasher. See It: The most interesting »

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'Banquet' nets $5 mil Gaga deal

8 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

BEIJING -- Japan's Gaga Distribution has paid $5 million at the American Film Market for distribution rights to top Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's latest film The Banquet, starring Zhang Ziyi, Beijing-based producers Huayi Brothers Film Investment Co. said Monday. "The deal is confirmed", Leah Xu, a Beijing-based vp of Huayi Bros, one of China's leading independent film production companies, which is handling its own international distribution with Media Asia of Hong Kong. "Other deals are still being processed." »

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'Banquet' nets $5 mil Gaga deal

8 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

BEIJING -- Japan's Gaga Distribution has paid $5 million at the American Film Market for distribution rights to top Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's latest film The Banquet, starring Zhang Ziyi, Beijing-based producers Huayi Brothers Film Investment Co. said Monday. "The deal is confirmed", Leah Xu, a Beijing-based vp of Huayi Bros, one of China's leading independent film production companies, which is handling its own international distribution with Media Asia of Hong Kong. "Other deals are still being processed." »

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Gaga takes distrib rights to 'The Banquet'

8 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

BEIJING -- Japan's Gaga Distribution has paid $5 million at the American Film Market for distribution rights to top Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's latest film The Banquet, which stars Zhang Ziyi, Beijing-based producers Huayi Brothers Film Investment Co. said Monday. "The deal is confirmed," Leah Xu, a Beijing-based vp of Huayi Bros, one of China's leading independent film production companies, which is handling its own international distribution with Media Asia of Hong Kong. "Other deals are still being processed," Xu added. The deal, believed to be a record presale from a Japanese distributor for a Chinese film, will come as welcome news to the Chinese filmmakers. The Banquet, which is currently shooting, like most Chinese films had no completion guarantor, and went $5 million over its initial $20 million budget in September (HR 9/2). Huayi Brothers -- which made the Hong Kong hit Kung Fu Hustle with Sony Pictures Entertainment -- are co-producing Banquet -- dubbed by Xu as an "Asian version of Hamlet" - in partnership with Media Asia. Leading actor Ge You has appeared in six films by Feng, including such hits as Big Shot's Funeral and Cell Phone. Zhang will next be seen in Princess Racoon by Japan's Seijun Suzuki, and Memoirs of a Geisha, by Rob Marshall for Spyglass Entertainment. »

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Gaga takes distrib rights to 'The Banquet'

7 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

BEIJING -- Japan's Gaga Distribution has paid $5 million at the American Film Market for distribution rights to top Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's latest film The Banquet, which stars Zhang Ziyi, Beijing-based producers Huayi Brothers Film Investment Co. said Monday. "The deal is confirmed," Leah Xu, a Beijing-based vp of Huayi Bros, one of China's leading independent film production companies, which is handling its own international distribution with Media Asia of Hong Kong. "Other deals are still being processed," Xu added. The deal, believed to be a record presale from a Japanese distributor for a Chinese film, will come as welcome news to the Chinese filmmakers. The Banquet, which is currently shooting, like most Chinese films had no completion guarantor, and went $5 million over its initial $20 million budget in September (HR 9/2). Huayi Brothers -- which made the Hong Kong hit Kung Fu Hustle with Sony Pictures Entertainment -- are co-producing Banquet -- dubbed by Xu as an "Asian version of Hamlet" - in partnership with Media Asia. Leading actor Ge You has appeared in six films by Feng, including such hits as Big Shot's Funeral and Cell Phone. Zhang will next be seen in Princess Racoon by Japan's Seijun Suzuki, and Memoirs of a Geisha, by Rob Marshall for Spyglass Entertainment. »

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Spielberg, Theron & Jones Lead Latest Oscar Race

16 September 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Steven Spielberg's terrorist drama Munich and Ang Lee's controversial Brokeback Mountain have emerged as the front runners for Best Film at the 2006 Oscars, in the latest release from top movie industry odds site GoldDerby.com. Site editor Tom O'Neil, a top US critic and awards expert, suggests the two epics will compete with war film Jarhead, George Clooney's turn in Syriana and Memoirs Of A Geisha for the top Academy Award. But O'Neil is convinced it will be Spielberg's movie - about the hunt for the killers of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics - that will claim the big prize. He says, "It's the lead pony in this upcoming Oscar derby." Meanwhile, O'Neil and his online critics consortium, favor Tommy Lee Jones to beat Jake Gyllenhaal (Jarhead), Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) and Joaquin Phoenix's turn as Johnny Cash (Walk The Line) to the Best Actor prize for his role in Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada. GoldDerby.com's experts also predict Charlize Theron will be up for her second Best Actress Academy Award for her role of a victimized miner in North Country. Theron will compete with Judi Dench (Mrs. Henderson Presents), Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman (Transamerica), Diane Keaton (The Family Stone) and Ziyi Zhang (Memoirs Of A Geisha) for the award. »

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'2046' a good number for SPC

23 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Sony Pictures Classics will acquire the North American rights to Wong Kar-wai's film 2046, the studio said Tuesday. Starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Hero), Ziyi Zhang, (House of Flying Daggers), Gong Li (Farewell My Concubine) and Maggie Cheung (Hero), 2046 is Wong's first feature film since the award-winning In the Mood for Love four years ago. It features cinematography by Christopher Doyle and editing, art design and costumes by William Chang Suk-Ping. 2046 premiered In Competition at last year's Festival de Cannes and already has opened in a number of markets worldwide. The film will have its U.S. premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, with a general release in the fall. »

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'2046' a good number for SPC

23 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Sony Pictures Classics will acquire the North American rights to Wong Kar-wai's film 2046, the studio said Tuesday. Starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Hero), Ziyi Zhang, (House of Flying Daggers), Gong Li (Farewell My Concubine) and Maggie Cheung (Hero), 2046 is Wong's first feature film since the award-winning In the Mood for Love four years ago. It features cinematography by Christopher Doyle and editing, art design and costumes by William Chang Suk-Ping. 2046 premiered In Competition at last year's Festival de Cannes and already has opened in a number of markets worldwide. The film will have its U.S. premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, with a general release in the fall. »

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Top 10 Indie Queens & Foreign Femme Fatales of 04

1 March 2005 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Though not everyone can be a Bridget Bardot, Sophia Lauren and/or a Raquel Welch - that said, won’t prevent many cinephiles of appreciating the mädchen that make it on today’s silver screen. Not exclusively based on their talents as an actress (which certainly does help), but a star quality that is not easily definable - without being too macho, Ioncinema has compiled a top 10 list (actually 11 this year) of the top screen vixens to appear on film in 2004 and where we will see them in 2005. These leading ladies have a certain “je ne sais quoi” quality about them, bravura, a female machismo that magnetizes the viewer. While we don’t have Monica Bellucci on the list, or Natalie Portman’s new look thanks to Closer, all the same this is what we came up with. 11. Margot Stilley 2004:Cute as a pie, her instant fame »

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12 items from 2005


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