Lust, Caution (2007) - News Poster

(2007)

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John Woo Sets Sail on ‘The Crossing’

John Woo Sets Sail on ‘The Crossing’
Hong Kong – Production got underway today on “The Crossing,” the first film in over four years to be directed by “A Better Tomorrow” and “Face/Off” helmer John Woo.

Set against the upheavals of revolutionary China in 1949, the film is the story of three couples from different backgrounds who make a fateful voyage on a ship fleeing China to Taiwan. The screenplay is by Wang Huiling, who previously co-wrote “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and who adapted “Lust Caution.”

The $40 million two-part movie is backed by rising Chinese studio Beijing Galloping Horse, along with China Film Group and Zhejiang Huace Film & TV, with production by Woo and Terence Chang’s Lion Rock Productions.

Woo and Chang have assembled a pan-Asian, all-star cast headed by Tong Dawei, Zhang Ziyi, Huang Xiaoming, (South Korea’s) Song Hye-kyo, (Taiwan’s) Takeshi Kaneshiro and (Japan’s) Masami Nagasawa.

“We are not shooting the foreign actors yet.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ang Lee Confirms His Next Film is 'Life of Pi'

Ang Lee Confirms His Next Film is 'Life of Pi'
Ang Lee hasn't had much mainstream success since he won an Oscar for directing "Brokeback Mountain" a few years back. His follow-up was the hard-to-distribute Nc-17-rated Chinese period romance "Lust, Caution." Then, this past summer he released the much broader "Taking Woodstock," a comic look at a singular true story behind the scenes of the legendary music festival, and it failed to find an audience (I recommend seeing it when it hits DVD on December 15, specifically for Imelda Staunton, who deserves an Oscar already).

Fortunately, Lee's next film will be based on a best-selling novel and could therefore bring him back to the spotlight for the moviegoing masses. He confirmed to Digital Spy that he thinks he's going to do "Life of Pi," which he's adapting from Yann Martel's Booker Prize-winner. Of course, if you're familiar with the source material, you may wonder how on earth it's going to work as a film.
See full article at MTV Movies Blog »

'Woodstock' no high note for Ang Lee

'Woodstock' no high note for Ang Lee
Poor Ang Lee. The last four years have seen the versatile helmer do some of his best work of his career (which is saying something). And yet the American movie gods have sprinkled on the rain.

The karma started nearly four years ago when an Oscar best picture win that was rightly his, for the socially conscious and richly character-driven "Brokeback Mountain," leaked away to the faux social consciousness and thinly-veiled caricatures of "Crash."

The director then goes and makes what is arguably the most ambitious film of his career -- the culturally important, narratively compelling and beautifully photographed "Lust, Caution" -- but finds the period Chinese-language pic released in the toughest market for foreign and specialty fare in a generation, resulting in a modest $4 million domestic take (though a huge overseas haul).

Lee then dramatically switches course to make the entertaining and likable "Taking Woodstock."
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Listen: Will Oscar remember Alexandre Desplat's score for 'Coco Avant Chanel'?

Listen: Will Oscar remember Alexandre Desplat's score for 'Coco Avant Chanel'?
Had an opportunity to see Anne Fontaine's "Coco Avant Chanel" last night and while I can't review it at this time I will heap some praise on the gorgeous score by Alexandre Desplat you can already find online.Desplat is a two-time Oscar nominee for his work in "The Queen" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," but his music has usually been hit or miss in my opinion with his score for "Lust, Caution" being his most memorable score to date -- before "Chanel" that is.  To say his music makes the movie wouldn't be fair to the strong performance from...
See full article at Hitfix »

Stuntman Killed On John Woo Film

Stuntman Killed On John Woo Film
A stuntman has been killed on the set of Face/Off director John Woo's latest film after a raging fire broke out during a crash scene.

Woo is currently making new movie Red Cliff in China with Lust, Caution star Tony Leung.

The crew were in the Chinese capital of Beijing on Monday filming a scene where two boats crash into one another.

The accident occurred when one of the vessels caught fire - killing 23-year-old stuntman Lu Yanqing and injuring three others.

Rescue teams believe the film team may have accidentally ignited gas cylinders aboard one of the boats, causing an explosion.

The epic film, about China's ancient kingdom, is set to be Asia's most expensive blockbuster to date - with a budget of $80 million (GBP40 million).

Ang Lee, Focus trek to 'Woodstock'

Ang Lee, Focus trek to 'Woodstock'
NEW YORK -- Ang Lee is again teaming with Focus Features CEO James Schamus to direct the gay-themed Woodstock memoir Taking Woodstock.

Focus will produce and Schamus will adapt Elliot Tiber's 2007 book, "Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life." It centers on the colorful life of a Greenwich Village-based interior designer and part-time Catskills hotel manager who headed the Bethel, N.Y., Chamber of Commerce. He issued the permit for the legendary 1969 concert on his neighbor Max Yasgur's farm.

Lee and Schamus' most recent collaboration was Focus' Chinese-language drama Lust, Caution, which earned $66 million worldwide. The writing-directing pair had their breakthrough indie hit with the gay-themed comedy The Wedding Banquet in 1993, and Lee directed Focus' biggest hit, the gay Western Brokeback Mountain, in 2005.

There have been several Woodstock docus but few narrative films touching on the music festival, one of the few being Tony Goldwyn's A Walk on the Moon.

Tiber wrote his Square One Publishers memoir with Tom Monte.

'Lust' star Tang banned for performance

'Lust' star Tang banned for performance
HONG KONG -- Lust, Caution star Tang Wei has been banned in the Chinese media because of the sexual nature of her performance in the Ang Lee film, local press reports said Friday.

An internal memo from China's State Administration of Radio Film and Television was allegedly sent to all television stations and print media in China on Thursday night, stating that a new television commercial starring Tang for skin care brand Pond's was to cease broadcast immediately. All print ads and feature content using the actress also were to be pulled. The memo gave no reason for the ban.

Tang's deal with Pond's is worth a reported 6 million yuan ($843,000).

Neither Tang's manager nor SARFT could be reached for comment, but her Lust, Caution director weighed in on the decision Friday.

"I am very disappointed that Tang Wei is being hurt by this decision," Lee said in a statement. "She gave one of the greatest performances ever in a movie that was properly produced and distributed. We will do everything we can to support her in this difficult time."

In a statement titled "Reassertion of Censorship Guidelines" and dated March 7, SARFT said that, on Monday, it informed all major film and broadcast entities and governing bodies that it was renewing prohibitions on "lewd and pornographic content" and content that "show promiscuous acts, rape, prostitution, sexual intercourse, sexual perversity, masturbation and male/female sexual organs and other private parts." However, the public notice, posted on SARFT's Web site, did not specifically mention Lust or Tang.

Lust and war at Asian Film Awards

HONG KONG -- Lust, Caution and The Warlords will compete head-to-head at the second annual Asian Film Awards at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in March, organizers announced Thursday.

The Chinese-language blockbusters lead the pack with six nominations each, including best film and best director for Ang Lee (Lust, Caution) and Peter Chan (Warlords), and best actor for Tony Leung Chi-Wai and Jet Li, respectively.

Joining Lust, Caution and Warlords in the best film race are China's The Sun Also Rises, South Korea's Secret Sunshine, Japan's I Just Didn't Do It and Iran's Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame.

The nominations were announced by Wilfred Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.

Following the rise in prominence of Asian cinema in recent years, both in terms of its eminence at major festivals and popularity at the boxoffice, the AFA was inaugurated last year to honor talents in the region.

"AFA's inaugural event last year showed there was tremendous international interest in the celebration of the Asian cinema," Wong said. "Building on that momentum, this year's event promises to be even bigger and better, especially with participation of major creative forces and stars from internationally acclaimed and high-profile films."

The star-studded ceremony will be telecast in Hong Kong and via several pan-Asian satellite broadcasters across the region.

Last year, favorites in the international film festival circuit dominated the winners list. South Korea's The Host was named best film, while China's Jia Zhangke took home the best director statue for Still Life.

Wong said this year would mark a step closer to establishing the AFA "as the most prominent and definitive film awards event for the region."

Awards in 12 categories will be given out March 17 in Hong Kong, coinciding with the opening of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong and the 32nd Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Bafta Rising Star Nominees Announced

  • WENN
Bafta Rising Star Nominees Announced
Shia LaBeouf, Sienna Miller and Ellen Page have all been nominated for the Orange Rising Star award at the British Academy Film And Television Awards (BAFTAs) this year. The actors will compete against Sam Riley, star of Joy Division biopic Control and Lust Caution's Wei Tang for the prize, which seeks to recognize up-and-coming performers demonstrating "exceptional talent." The category was established in honor of late casting director Mary Selway, who died in 2004, with the inaugural honor going to Scottish actor James McAvoy. Casino Royale star Eva Green, who won the award last year, announced the nominees on Tuesday, saying, "This year's five nominees are all actors who have really stood out in their work and I'm sure we'll see a lot more of them throughout 2008." The honor is the only one of the BAFTAs voted for the public. The winner will be announced at the official ceremony on February 10.

Ang Lee Finds Sex Scenes Tough

  • WENN
Chinese film stars Tony Leung and Wei Tang spent two weeks filming sex scenes for Lust, Caution - because director Ang Lee found the experience "exhausting." Lee admits he was forced to halt filming several times as shooting the steamy scenes was too challenging. He explains, "If we were shooting a porno film, we would have done all those scenes in two days. After half a day, I'd have to call a stop because it's so exhausting. Physically it's not that difficult, but it's mentally exhausting."

'Massive sweep' for Focus

It was a good Thursday morning for Focus Features CEO James Schamus, who saw his company take pride of place the Golden Globe film nominations.

It also had a charge of Deja Vu. Two years ago, Focus led the pack with 12 noms as its Brokeback Mountain led the field with seven nominations.

This year, Paramount Vantage and Universal specialty division Focus scored 11 noms each. But Focus also could boast the dominate film, Atonement, with its seven nominations. In addition, it fielded Eastern Promises and Lust, Caution, which earned three and one, respectively. And that's not counting its stake in Paramount Vantage's Into the Wild, for which Focus is handling non-English international rights. But then, who's counting?

"I'm back from Taipei and I'm on such a high," said Schamus, who co-wrote and executive produced Ang Lee's Lust, which just won seven Golden Horse awards. (The movie's foreign-language Globe nom helps make up for the "complete absurdity" of the film's disqualification in the foreign-language Oscar race, Schamus said.)

Focus came out of the awards gate slowly this year, gaining little traction with such hopefuls as Evening, Reservation Road and Talk To Me. But a careful rollout strategy for Atonement and a late surge for the dark-horse thriller Eastern Promises as well as Lust have put it in a pole position.

'Lust, Caution' Wins Big at Taiwanese Golden Horse Awards

  • WENN
Ang Lee's controversial Lust, Caution dominated the Golden Horse Awards in his native Taiwan on Saturday, taking home seven trophies including Best Film and Best Director. The erotic World War II drama also won prizes including Best Actor for Tony Leung, Best Newcomer for Tang Wei and Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker Of The Year for Lee. Elsewhere, Lust, Caution star Joan Chen won Best Actress for her role in another movie, The Home Song Stories, and Tony Cheung collected Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Drummer. Lust, Caution is ineligible to enter the 2008 Academy Awards race for Best Foreign Film after Oscar bosses decided too few people from Taiwan were involved in making the movie.

Spirit nominations announced

UPDATED 6:36 p.m. PT Nov. 27

Film Independent's 2008 Spirit Awards took on an international accent as nominees were announced Tuesday.

Best feature noms went to the French-language "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and the Pakistan-set "A Mighty Heart", while the starring duo of Tony Leung and Tang Wei of the Shanghai drama "Lust, Caution" both figure in the top acting categories.

But Americana also ruled as "I'm Not There", Todd Haynes' kaleidoscope deconstruction of the work of Bob Dylan, led the field. With four nominations, including best feature, director and supporting noms for Cate Blanchett and Marcus Carl Franklin, it also was named the inaugural winner of the Robert Altman Award, recognizing Haynes, casting director Laura Rosenthal and the ensemble cast.

While the Spirit Awards focus on American independent film, a film can qualify if at least one U.S. citizen or permanent resident is credited in two or more of the categories of writer, director or producer, which opened the door for this year's globetrotting noms.

In addition to "I'm Not There", "Diving Bell", a film told from the point of view of a stroke victim, and "Mighty Heart", the dramatization of the search for kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl, the other contenders in the best feature category are "Juno", a comedy about an unintended pregnancy, and "Paranoid Park", the account of a teen who accidentally kills a man.

Four of the best film nominees saw their helmsman nominated for best director: Haynes ("I'm Not There"), Jason Reitman ("Juno"), Julian Schnabel ("Butterfly") and Gus Van Sant ("Paranoid"). But instead of Michael Winterbottom for "Mighty Heart", the fifth slot went to Tamara Jenkins -- who also was nominated for best screenplay -- for the family drama "The Savages".

"There wasn't a dominant genre or even a film. It was a mix of emerging filmmakers and veteran filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes. I felt like it was a wide spectrum of talent in all areas," FIND exec director Dawn Hudson said at the ceremonies that Lisa Kudrow and Zach Braff hosted at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles.

"You want all these films to gain some momentum," she added. "There's such a glut of films this season that you hope that this will shine a spotlight on these lower-budgeted films that are so deserving."

The best actress contenders are Angelina Jolie for portraying Mariane Pearl in "Mighty Heart"; Sienna Miller, seen as a soap actress facing off with a journalist in "Interview"; Ellen Page, who appears as the pregnant teen in "Juno"; Parker Posey, who finds herself embarking on an affair in "Broken English"; and Tang, who becomes entangled in love and espionage in "Lust".

Nominated as best actor are Pedro Castaneda, who plays an undocumented farm worker "August Evening"; Don Cheadle, who stars as a radio host in "Talk to Me"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose character struggles with an ailing father in "Savages"; Frank Langella, who appears as the older half of a May-December relationship in "Starting Out in the Evening"; and Leung, who plays a spy in "Lust".

Still, several performances that have excited critics failed to make the cut: Among the missing were Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl"), Laura Linney ("Savages"), Nicole Kidman ("Margot at the Wedding"), Keri Russell ("Waitress") and John Cusack ("Grace is Gone").

Along with Blanchett, who channels Dylan in "Not There", the nominees for best supporting female are Anna Kendrick ("Rocket Science"), Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Margot"), Tamara Podemski ("Four Sheets to the Wind") and Marisa Tomei ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead").

Best supporting male nominee Franklin plays a young musician who calls himself Woody Guthrie in "Not There". In the nominees circle, he joins Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Talk to Me"), Kene Holliday ("Great World of Sound"), Irfan Khan ("The Namesake") and Steve Zahn ("Rescue Dawn").

Screenplay nominees are Ronald Harwood ("Butterfly"), Jenkins ("Savages"), Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner ("Starting Out"), the late Adrienne Shelly ("Waitress") and Mike White ("Year of the Dog").

In the adjoining category of best first screenplay, the nominees are Jeffrey Blitz ("Rocket Science"), Zoe Cassavetes ("Broken English"), Diablo Cody ("Juno"), Kelly Masterson ("Devil") and John Orloff ("Mighty Heart").

The Spirits also recognize films made for less than $500,000 with its John Cassavetes Award.

'I'm Not There' Leads Spirit Nominations

  • WENN
Director Todd Haynes' quirky, all-star Bob Dylan-inspired movie I'm Not There is set to be the toast of the IFC Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Los Angeles in February, after landing the event's first Robert Altman Award. Announced at the Spirit Awards last year, the honor is given to the director, casting agent and cast of an outstanding indie movie. In I'm Not There, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and Cate Blanchett are among the actors who conjure up the spirit of Dylan at different stages of his life for the offbeat biopic. The movie was also nominated for the Spirits' Best Film prize, where it will compete with Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, Juno, A Mighty Heart and Paranoid Park. Blanchett and Marcus Carl Franklin earned Best Supporting Actress and Actor nods respectively for their portrayals of Dylan, and Todd Haynes is a Best Director nominee. Other four-film nominees are acclaimed coming-of-age film Juno, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and The Savages. Meanwhile, Ang Lee's controversial Lust, Caution is also a multi-nominee; the film's stars Tony Leung and Tang Wei are up for Best Actor and Actress honors, while Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography is also under consideration. French actress Julie Delpy's 2 Days In Paris earned her a First Feature nomination; she'll be up against Jeffrey Blitz's Rocket Science, which garnered three nominations. In the lead acting categories, Angelina Jolie is an immediate favorite for her role as grieving Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart. Jolie will compete against Sienna Miller (Interview), Parker Posey (Broken English), Ellen Page (Juno) and Tang Wei. Leung will be up against Pedro Castaneda (August Evening), Don Cheadle (Talk To Me), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages) and Frank Langella (Starting Out In The Evening) in the Best Actor category. The nominations were announced on Tuesday morning by Lisa Kudrow and Zach Braff.

'Lust' takes $1.9 mil at Korean boxoffice

SEOUL -- Ang Lee's sexy thriller "Lust, Caution" made a strong debut in South Korea, pulling in about US$1.9 million since its opening Friday.

Despite the risque subject matter and long running time, distributor CJ Entertainment gave "Lust, Caution" a fairly wide release, with just over 300 screens.

Lee's previous film, "Brokeback Mountain", had a much smaller release, earning around US$1.3 million in a four-week run.

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was Lee's most successful movie in Korea, taking in about US$5 million in 2000.

Ledger, Penn take part in Malick's 'Life'

Heath Ledger and Sean Penn are in talks to star in Tree of Life, with River Road Entertainment finally bringing writer-director Terrence Malick's long-gestating drama to life.

Ledger would take the lead opposite an actress to be determined, with Penn in a supporting role.

Malick also is in talks, with principal photography set to begin in March.

River Road founder Bill Pohlad will produce with Sarah Green, Malick's producer on his last feature The New World.

The film's plot has been closely guarded, but is described by an insider as a complex drama.

New World lead Colin Farrell was in talks to star in the feature two years ago, with about a third of the shoot set for India, but the star and location are no longer part of the project.

If anyone has the muscle to bring Life to the screen, it's River Road.

The company produced Focus Features' highest-grossing film Brokeback Mountain starring Ledger, and Penn's recent directorial effort for Paramount Vantage, Into the Wild.

Other projects the outfit has partly or totally produced and financed include Focus' Lust, Caution and the recent Roadside Attractions pickup Chicago 10.

Penn has been a longtime Malick supporter and friend, starring in his war drama The Thin Red Line. Ledger appears in I'm Not There and next summer's Batman feature The Dark Knight.

Ledger, Penn and Malick are repped by CAA.

Lee comes home to Mill Valley fest

SAN RAFAEL, California -- The tribute to filmmaker Ang Lee at the Mill Valley Film Festival Friday evening was something of a homecoming for the Oscar winning director of Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. When Lee brought out his first film, Pushing Hands, in 1992, Mill Valley "was the only place in the world that would show my film," Lee told the audience. "Even Sundance turned it down."

Then again, in 1997, Mill Valley screened his The Ice Storm when he was still a virtually unknown director. When he finally returned to Marin County several years later to live for the better part of a year while doing special visual effects at ILM for The Hulk, he was world famous, having made the most successful Chinese-language film ever with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Lee's latest film, Lust, Caution, an intense psycho-sexual drama set in Japanese-occupied China during World War II -- which has opened to significant boxoffice in Asia, especially Taiwan and Hong Kong, but divided Western critics so far -- opened the festival the night before, kicking off Mill Valley's 30th anniversary celebration.

So his love of the area and of its festival, one of the key regional festivals in the country, was unmistakable, as was the emotional response to his work by a packed house.

Between film clips from his 10 feature films, Lee took the audience through the cultural and cinematic education of a Taiwanese man who has become a major international moviemaker.

Lee spent the first 23 years of his life in his native country, including college and military service. "I was culturally rooted and I didn't speak English," he noted. "I didn't learn to speak English until after 'Sense and Sensibility. I felt sorry for the actors I had to direct."

His initial love affair was with the theater, not film. Standing on stage, facing an audience for the first time, an experience he re-creates in Lust, Caution, thrilled him. There was also, he pointed out, no filmmaking tradition in Taiwan at the time.

Coming to New York and not knowing English well, he knew he could not act so he moved into directing. In delving into Western stage drama, he had to break with his own cultural biases.

Mill Valley fest ready to roll

Mill Valley fest ready to roll
The 30th Mill Valley Film Festival will kick off Oct. 4 with a pair of features: Ang Lee's erotic espionage tale "Lust, Caution" and Tamara Jenkins' family drama "The Savages". The screenings will be followed by an opening-night gala on Lytton Plaza in downtown Mill Valley, north of San Francisco.

The fest, which runs through Oct. 14, will present 212 films -- 105 features and 107 shorts -- from 49 countries.

The event will close with director Marc Forster's adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel "The Kite Runner". The fest's centerpiece program will feature Michael Schroeder's "Man in the Chair", starring Christopher Plummer.

Festival tributes will shine the spotlight on Lee; director Terry George, whose latest film "Reservation Road" is set to screen; and actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, who will appear with her new film "Margot at the Wedding".

The fest is presented by the California Film Institute.

China commands 'Lust' cuts for sex, violence

SHANGHAI -- Lust, Caution, the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion winner for best picture, will be cut by 30 minutes for audiences on the Chinese mainland, Chinese state media reported late Monday.

Ang Lee's thriller, set in the 1930s, portrays a sexually explicit relationship between a young female spy, played by Tang Wei, and a powerful political figure (Tony Leung) set against the backdrop of turbulent Japanese-occupied Shanghai during WWII.

Lee said that, while the short version remains "reasonable," Chinese mainland audiences might not feel "so uneasy" and "shocked" about the film. In addition to cutting the sex scenes, some violent scenes also are to be cut, news agency Xinhua said.

Lee's Brokeback Mountain, which won the director his first Academy Award in 2006, was banned in China for its overt homosexual themes.

Despite much discussion in China, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has never introduced a ratings system, so films must be made appropriate for all potential audiences there.

Ang Lee Triumphs at Venice Film Festival

  • WENN
Director Ang Lee has triumphed at the Venice Film Festival - by winning the event's top award for the second time in two years. The filmmaker was awarded the Golden Lion for Lust, Caution at this year's festival in Italy; the same honor he won in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain. He dedicated his prize to iconic Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, who died in July. Cate Blanchett was named Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her role in Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, while Brad Pitt was awarded the Best Actor honor for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, although neither star was at the ceremony to collect their prize. Pitt told reporters at the Toronto Film Festival, where he is promoting the outlaw movie, "I could try to play it down, but it's great fun. The nicest thing is how excited my friends are for me and to be amongst the lineage of people that have also been bestowed this honor. It's a really nice honor." Other winners included Brian De Palma, who was honored for Best Direction for Iraq War drama Redacted. British director Ken Loach was awarded Best Screenplay for It's a Free World, while Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci was lauded with a special award for his work in cinema, which includes Last Tango In Paris and The Last Emperor.
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