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Needless to say, a new martial arts (!) film by Wong Kar-Wai is something to be excited about, but it seems like we've been waiting forever for his latest effort, "The Grandmasters." The film is a biopic on Bruce Lee's mentor, Yip Man, and production has been underway since last December with a cast consisting of Tony Leung Chiu-wai in the title role, Song Hye-kyo as his wife, with Zhang Ziyi, Zhao Benshan, Julian Cheun Chi-lam and Chang Chenand rounding out the cast. Filming is still underway and is scheduled to shoot at least for a week or two after… »
If, like me, you got excited at the very idea of seeing footage from a new Wong Kar Wai film, then dial it down a bit. Because while, yes, this is a brief teaser for the great director's new film The Grandmasters -- his own take on the same story told in the film Ip Man -- there isn't actually any film footage here. But fans will want to check it out anyway, and we've also got images of Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi as they appear in the film, as a consolation prize. Movielicious has the teaser  and the images for The Grandmasters, which will be his first feature since the slightly disappointing 2007 effort My Blueberry Nights. Wong Kar Wai is not a fast-moving filmmaker (his only other two features in the last decade are 2000's In the Mood For Love and 2004's 2046) and there has been some reason »
- Russ Fischer
If a teaser was released with just swirling text unreadable by 99% of our readers, we probably won’t post it. But if it was for an upcoming Wong Kar Wai film, there is no question. The brilliant director behind In The Mood For Love faltered with My Blueberry Nights, but he is back with a martial arts film. The Grandmasters tells the story of martial-arts master Ip Man (Tony Leung Chiu Wai), the man who trained Bruce Lee. Ziyi Zhang (Memoirs of a Geisha, 2046) also stars and we have the first teaser below via Twitch.
The Grandmasters will see a February 2011 release in China and eventually make its way to the Us likely later next year.
Are you excited for Wong Kar Wai’s next film?
E-mail Jordan Raup here. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for the latest Tfs updates! »
- Jordan Raup
The Hollywood Reporter brings word of some interesting casting as Christian Bale seems to have found himself a film to work on before donning the Batsuit one last time in The Dark Knight Rises. Bale has been cast in Zhang Yimou's next film to be titled Nanjing Heroes the director announced today.
Nanjing Heroes will be based on the short story by Chinese author Yan Geling, "13 Prostitutes of Jinling," centering on the Nanjing Massacre, when Japanese troops killed thousands of Chinese citizens in what was then the nation's capital in 1937. Bale will play John, a priest who helps a great number of Chinese escape certain death.
Yimou is probably best known stateside for Hero, which starred Jet Li, Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Donnie Yen, Chen Dao Ming, Maggie Cheung and Byung-hun Lee, but Nanjing Heroes will be the director's biggest budget feature yet. The Hollywood Reporter says the »
- Brad Brevet
Okay, so it may be a little early to talk about the best films of next year. But based on the number of high-profile auteurs with new works on the horizon, 2011 looks like it will be a banner annum for art cinema. While Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" is already trailering around the world and Sundance will parade a number of hot new projects from American indie stalwarts (Miguel Arteta, Tom McCarthy) and doc-makers (Eugene Jarecki, Steve James), look abroad to the next Berlin or Cannes and you're likely to see the most thrilling examples of contemporary cinema. Here are ten films we believe could top the best-of lists 12 months from now (in no particular order):
"This Must Be the Place"
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
Though not yet known much outside of his home country or the festival circuit, Italian auteur Sorrentino received considerable acclaim -- including a »
- Anthony Kaufman
Over the past decade, there have been 14 performances nominated by both HFPA and SAG but not nominated by the Academy (one or two a year, on average):
Hayden Christensen (“Life as a House,” 2001) for best supporting actor Cameron Diaz (“Vanilla Sky,” 2001) for best supporting actress Cate Blanchett (“Bandits,” 2002) for best actress or best supporting actress* Richard Gere (“Chicago,” 2002) for best actor Dennis Quaid (“Far From Heaven,” 2002) for best supporting actor Evan Rachel Wood (“Thirteen,” 2003) for best actress Maria Bello (“The Cooler,” 2003) for best supporting actress Paul Giamatti (“Sideways,” 2004) for best actor Russell Crowe (“Cinderella Man,” 2005) for best actor Ziyi Zhang (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” 2005) for best actress Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Departed,” 2006) for best actor or best supporting actor* Ryan Gosling (“Lars and the Real Girl,” 2007) for best actor Angelina Jolie (“A Mighty Heart,” 2007) for best actress Kate Winslet (“Revolutionary Road,” 2008) for best actress
*HFPA nominated for lead; SAG nominated »
- Scott Feinberg
New York -- Bona Film Group, the Chinese film company listed Thursday on Nasdaq, is looking for additional partnerships in North America, CFO Mason Xu told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday.
Calling the Ipo "a historic moment," he said it was move designed not only to tap capital markets, "but also to let U.S. investors and potential business partners understand our business better." He added: "We hope this brings us closer to the U.S. film circle."
The company is already working with partners here. In 2011 or 2012, Bona plans to release Legend of Mulan from director Jan de Bont (Twister) with Zhang Ziyi as Mulan. It has teamed with a Canadian firm as co-production partner and U.S. business partners on the project. Shot in English, it should have "significant box office appeal" for the U.S. audience, Xu said. But Bona also spent a small amount to secure Chinese-language distribution rights. »
Hong Kong – Eleven years after she got the CineAsia Star of Tomorrow award, actress Zhang Ziyi, the 2010 CineAsia Actress of the Decade told guests of the annual regional distributors and exhibitors convention on Thursday how proud she was to meet the men and women who have helped illuminate her work.
“In 1999, CineAsia’s award was the greatest encouragement I could have. Now, memories are flashing before my eyes,” said the star best known outside China for her starring role in Ang Lee’s 2000 hit Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. “Much has changed, but my passion and curiosity for the humanity of the characters I play remains.”
Clad in a form-fitting black and red dress with her raven hair drawn back and up, Zhang addressed a roomful of admirers from a less sexy part of the movie business, the buyers and sellers of projectors and silver screens, popcorn machines and movie seats: »
Zhang Ziyi has been named Actress of the Decade by organizers of CineAsia, the annual three-day regional distributors and exhibitors trade show. Ziyi is no stranger to the event. In 1999 Zhang Ziyi who was a graduate of the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing was awarded the Star of Tomorrow prize before her career took off with her international breakthrough role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film went on to gross over $213 million worldwide in 2000, a feat which few Chinese films have been able to match.
Zhang Ziyi is perhaps the most well known Chinese actress in America, listed as one of the most famous Chinese actors and actresses in Hollywood. In 2046, directed by Wong Kar Wai, Zhang played the female lead and won the Hong Kong Film Critics’ Best Actress Award and the Hong Kong Film Academy’s Best Actress Award in 2004. However her career hasn’t always »
Lithe dancers who flit their arms and pirouette with such dreamy grace promptly go backstage, peel off their toenails and snap their tendons back into place. Such effortless beauty comes with a lot of pain and blood… and maybe a little something else in “Black Swan.”
Portman and Kunis did an intense amount of training for the film – and it probably won’t surprise you that both had ballet experience. They’re so delicate that they seem born to wear tutus and slippers.
But you might be surprised at who else in Hollywood started their dramatic careers in ballet. We’ve compiled a list of those actors and actresses who have been en pointe, abandoned the barre for time travel, machine guns, martial arts, and Johnny Depp. »
- Elisabeth Rappe
Sngmoo Lee’s “The Warrior’s Way” is finally opening in limited release next month, but it took a while to get there. We started reporting on the film way back in 2008, back when Zhang Ziyi was still playing the female lead (before being replaced by Kate Bosworth), and it was still called “Laundry Warrior”. Two and a half years later, and the film has finally seen the light of day. Speaking to Movieline, “Way” co-star Geoffrey Rush explains why it took the film so long to finally surface. I think in post-production the financial crises hit, and the budget kind of went a bit wonky because of the amount of CGI that was needed. We shot it late-2007 into early-2008. I’m glad it’s seeing the light of day because I think Sngmoo Lee, the director-writer, has written a very elegiac kind of piece, even though it has »
Beijing – The Bona Film Group, China's biggest private movie distributor-turned-movie studio, has filed for a Nasdaq initial public offering seeking to raise $80 million through the sale of its shares to U.S. investors, papers filed on Tuesday in New York show.
Founded in 1999, Beijing-based Bona, run by CEO Yu Dong, has, after the state-run China Film Group, dominated the recent boom in China's box office through the co-production and distribution of films from China and Hong Kong, including such hit 2009 titles as director Teddy Chan's Bodyguards and Assassins.
The planned U.S. Ipo, the first in a foreign market for a major Chinese film studio, is expected early next year. B of A Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan in New York, the China Investment Capital Corp. in Beijing, and U.S. backers Piper Jaffray and Cowen and Co. will underwrite Bona's listing.
Though Bona, which was capitalized at $92.3 million as of Sept. »
Or “The Grandmasters”. Well, it’s one of those. Regardless, in an article about film distributor Wild Bunch picking up Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster” for international sales outside Asia, Screen Daily also had a new picture of Zhang Ziyi from the movie. It’s to your right. Yup, a bit small, but that’s all we got right now. Starring Tony Leung as Ip Man, the grandmaster who famously taught Bruce Lee all he knew about kicking ass, the film is described as a “Batman Begins”-type movie that is also an action-love story. Donnie Yen has also played the same character in two movies called “Ip Man”. Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster” is currently shooting in China and should be ready for the Cannes film festival over there in France. In case you missed it, we posted more pics from the film shown at the Afm here. »
As something of a Wong Kar-wai obsessive I have been following any news surrounding his latest, a biopic of sorts of Yip Man, very closely but beyond the few morsels of information that have leaked out there has been little that could be deemed too newsworthy. Thanks mostly due to the American Film Market in Los Angeles though there has been a mini explosion of news this week.
Thanks to the Afm website we now have a synopsis for the film, which you can read below, and via The Grandmasters Facebook page a selection of promotional stills for the film, embedded at the bottom of the post. The stills offer us our first look at Tony Leung as Yip Man and also Ziyi Zhang.
Also, thanks to a tweet by mixed martial artist Cung Le we also now know that he is involved in the film in some capacity. It »
- Craig Skinner
Donnie Yen as Ip Man is pretty good stuff, even if they basically just copy and pasted the first film’s plot for the sequel. But hey, cash runs, right? Whaddaya gonna do. Anyways, the idea of Wong Kar Wai doing an Ip Man film, aka a martial arts movie is pretty wacky, notwithstanding the fact that he busted out with the martial arts flick “Ashes of Time” all those long, long many years ago. Then again, he’s Wong Kar Wai, and we’re not, so I’m dying to see this thing. Especially since the action choreography is provided by none other than Yuen Woo Ping. The boys at Movielicious (via 24Fps) have some of the very first images from Kar Wai’s “The Grann Master” (or “The Grand Masters”, according to the images) making the rounds at the American Film Market. The film starrs Tony Leung Chiu »
We should be getting tons of new film projects, casting news and first glimpses at some of the projects to watch out for in 2011 with the calendar's last noteworthy film market occurring later this week. The first kernel of excitement via the materials being prepped for the American Film Market is a project, that we last reported, has its toes dipped in 2010 and 2011. Wild Bunch is repping Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmasters (which works a lot better than "The Grand Master", perhaps because Ip Man helped create Bruce Lee) and the tagline "In Martial Arts There is No Right or Wrong, Only the Last Man Standing" certainly adds to the complexity of the student eventually taking over the place of his teacher. You have the market poster/spread below and above is Zhang Ziyi who takes on the role of Ip Man's wife. You can grab an eyeful of scans from this site. »
Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week looking for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent… this week we’ve got a dinner date with Shakespeare. By way of China. Ang Lee’s phenomenal Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon kicked off a decade of similarly beautiful wuxia epics with films like House Of Flying Daggers, Hero, The Promise, and Curse Of the Golden Flower. Lee’s film remains the best of the bunch by far, but one that comes close to equaling it in visual and aural beauty is The Banquet. It lacks the overwhelming emotion and heartbreaking romance of Lee’s Academy Award winning film, but it does have glorious imagery and cinematography, the always exquisite Zhang Ziyi, and a fine literary pedigree in a story based loosely on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Oh, it »
- Rob Hunter
Ang Lee, 2000
In 2000, a knockout blow for the venerable martial arts movie was visited upon unsuspecting western audiences by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee's exhilarating addition to the genre. Hardened critics at Cannes greeted fight scenes with excited applause. People who'd have never dreamed of watching martial arts found themselves debating the finer points of wuxia, the fighting style that allows its practitioners to defy gravity and soar above rooftops.
Shot with Chinese actors speaking Mandarin, but co-written by Us writer James Schamus, Crouching Tiger was received indifferently in Asia but proved immensely popular in the west, winning four Oscars and becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history. No wonder: you could lose the subtitles and still be transfixed by the film's visual delights. The scenery, taking in Qing-dynasty Beijing, the ghost city of Xinjiang and other extraordinary Chinese locations, is magnificent. The fight scenes are choreographed with exquisite grace by Yuen Woo-ping, »
- Killian Fox
Years ago there was a bizarro Western project in the works called Laundry Warrior, set to co-star Zhang Ziyi. That has since become The Warrior's Way, and now features a grungy Kate Bosworth, a nearly unrecognizable Geoffrey Rush and Danny Huston, and plenty of high-flying martial arts and inconsistent green-screen. The movie stars popular South Korean actor Jang Dong-Kun (Tae Guk GI: Brotherhood Of War, 2009 Lost Memories) as a wandering swordsman defending a lost town of circus »
- Dave Davis
The non-Disney, live action, English-language Mulan moves a step closer to reality with the news that Jan de Bont will direct Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon’s Zhang Ziyi in the project. Production is set to get underway this fall in China, and should wrap in January. The first early screenings of Disney’s Tangled have taken place in Burbank for a select group of journalists. The animation is only 60% polished, and the 3D isn’t done, and the score isn’t there, but people who have seen it says it stands not only a decent chance of an Oscar nomination, but that it could actually beat Toy Story 3.
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