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“Rest on your Shoulder” is the latest outing from Hong Kong director Jacob Cheung, which sees him shifting from the character driven drama of “Cageman” and “Ticket” to something on a much bigger scale. Adapted from a popular internet novel, the film is a very different affair indeed, being a special effects heavy tale that combines a variety of genres and themes into an ambitious tale of life, love and talking insects. The film certainly has a high profile cast, headlined by Aloys Chen (“Let the Bullets Fly”), Gigi Leung (“Just Another Pandora’s Box”), Jiang Yi Yan (“City of Life and Death”) and Guey Lun Mei (“Taipei Exchanges”). The film takes place in an unspecified near future, with the planet apparently ravaged by pollution and the population under constant threat of disease. Aloys Chen plays Yan Guo, a botanist living on the eco-paradise Moon Island, working to try and »
- James Mudge
The London Film Festival’s now in full swing, so Michael’s provided a handy guide to what you can still get to see over the next few days...
The 55th London Film Festival is now underway, boasting a programme that includes top-flight flicks like George Clooney’s The Ides Of March, Lynne Ramsey’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, and 360, directed by Fernando Meirelles. However, unless you’re a BFI member, a quick-off-the-mark cinephile, or an industry bigwig, it’s highly likely that you missed the small window of chance for getting tickets for these bigger films.
No need to worry, though, as many of the festival’s 300+ films haven’t yet sold out. Here are just a few notable or geek-friendly deep cuts that, at time of writing, still have tickets on sale.
Despite being one of the festival’s Gala films, two of Anonymous’ screenings still have spare seats going. »
Apsa 2011 International Jury President, Hong Kong film producer Nansun Shi announced at the Busan International Film Festival that 37 films from 19 countries and areas have been nominated for this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Best Feature Film nominees in the 2011 APSAs are Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation, Islamic Republic of Iran), Rang zidan fei (Let the Bullets Fly, People’s Republic of China – Mainland China / Hong Kong), Bé Omid É Didar (Goodbye, Islamic Republic of Iran), Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Band Baaja Baaraat (Wedding Planners, India).
Two entries in the Academy's Best Foreign-Language Film category are among the five Best Feature Film nominees at the 2011 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which announced its nominees on Monday. Iran's "A Separation" (left) and Turkey's "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia," both Oscar entrants, were nominated for the Apsa's top prize. Other nominees include another Iranian film, "Be Omid E Didar" ("Goodbye"), China's "Rang zidan fei" ("Let the Bullets Fly") and India's "Band Baaja Baaraat" ("Wedding Planners"). Overall, nominations went to 37 of the 240 films entered into the competition. Asghar Farhadi's »
- Steve Pond
Here's how John Patterson opens a terrific piece in the La Weekly: "A priceless cinematic time capsule of the African-American experience in post-Watts Los Angeles; a kaleidoscope of the multiple mindsets of a community in profound flux; a sustained rebuke and a consciously developed alternative to the plantation economics and racist narratives of the then-current 'blaxploitation' boom; exemplary first steps along a filmmaking road finally not taken — (but oh, the possibilities glimpsed herein!): L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema is all of these and more. This collection of the highlights of the legendary but only partially understood African-American film explosion at UCLA in the 70s and early 80s is a priceless work of excavation and restoration, and as an La-specific filmic event it's unlikely to be surpassed in the near future." Part of Pacific Standard Time, the series opens today and runs through December 17.
"Now in its fifth year, »
China's Oscar submission this year, Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War (previously discussed) was not released in time to show up in the nominations for its own country's Oscar equivalent. Nevertheless two Asian submissions for this year's Best Foreign Film Oscar race are competing for the "Golden Horse". While there are multiple film awards which hail from Asia (it can be horribly confusing to follow) The Golden Horse is the oldest and most inclusive of the awards institutions as there are no nationality requirements, only that the film be predominantly in a Chinese language. As is our habit and general proclivity let's start with Best Picture and Best Actress, the two most important categories in any awards show.
Let the Bullets Fly (China / Hong »
- NATHANIEL R
In this month's column, we take a look at some of the Asian films that played at this year's edition of Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. China / Hong Kong Let the Bullets Fly is rousing, blockbuster-style entertainment. It's easy to understand why it currently stands as the all-time box office champion in China; it's filled with colorful characters, memorable action sequences, a healthy amount of humor, and a dollop of pathos. Chow Yun-Fat plays Huang, a local crime boss and drug dealer who holds the community of Goose Town in his tight fists. He's a charming, magnetic villain, the kind you love to hate, and Chow has great fun reveling in the man's evil. Though he's...
- Peter Martin
Rabies has nothing to do with the disease most commonly known to effect a particular slathering, angry St. Bernard and others of its kind. However, first-time Israeli filmmakers Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado do infect the myriad characters within their 90 minute horror/thriller hybrid with satisfying results. Little is known going in about the people, and we learn to loathe or like them as the film progresses in real time. There are the requisite damsels in distress, a dirty cop and his side-tracked partner, two friends vying for the same girl, two siblings that are in the wrong place at the wrong time, a maniac without a name or goal, and a park ranger and his girlfriend. Oh, and they have a dog, but he doesn’t have rabies. That’s the character roster, and Keshales and Papushado throw them into the same fox park that provides its own set of surprises. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Time isn't always on your side. While at Fantastic Fest this year, I dove in way more than last year and exposed myself to nearly every film I could. Through screeners and screenings, I managed to fit in over 30 films over the last 11 days. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time to review every one of them so instead, I will provide a slew of bite-sized capsules to provide a general feel and idea of what these films do well and where they might fail. So, without any more fanfare, join me after the jump for my reviews of Aardvark, Clown, Carre Blanc, The Day, Smuggler, The Corridor, Livid, Let the Bullets Fly, and A Lonely Place to Die. Aardvark plays as one of those Jekyll and Hyde films. The first portion, focusing on real-life inspiration Larry L. Lewis (played by himself) is about a blind, recovering alcoholic that takes »
- Bill Graham
The fun of Let The Bullets Fly comes directly out of the verbal and situational jump rope that everyone involved commits to. It’s formed with Shakespearean-style characters who both seem larger than life and able to lie. After taking down a horse-drawn train coach, the infamous bandit Pocky Zhang (played coolly by writer/director Wen Jiang) finds out that he’s killed the Governor-to-be of a sleepy little hamlet called Goose Town and decides, what the hell, he’ll ride into town claiming to be the man he’s killed. Fortunately, a toady named Tang (Xiaogang Feng) and the poor dead man’s unaffected widow (Carina Lau) want to tag along to avoid being murdered on the side of the road. When they ride into town, they’ll face off against the man who controls the city with a wealthy fist. Master Huang (played with pure genius by Chow Yun-Fat) gives them the proverbial finger by »
- Cole Abaius
Fantastic Fest is filled with so many consecutive movies that writing timely, full reviews of each without losing a considerable amount of sleep or sanity would be difficult. There are writers out there who will do it and I salute them. But for me, being the lone wolf for /Film in 2011, I've decided to provide mini-reviews of most things, with the occasional video blog, full review and interview thrown in. This way you hear about everything. So here's a pair of mini-reviews: A Boy And His Samurai directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura and Let the Bullets Fly by Wen Jiang. A Boy And His Samurai combines time travel, samurais and baking reality shows into a perfect little package that will have you smiling ear to ear. Let the Bullets Fly stars Chow Yun Fat as a local crime boss who engages in a battle of wits and bullets with a notorious con-man. »
- Germain Lussier
"Let the Bullets Fly" is funny, exciting, and at 132 minutes, a half an hour too long. It's like that guy you knew in college who told told really great stories but got so wrapped up in his own awesomeness as a storyteller that he never knew when to shut up. "Let the Bullets Fly" is a great little movie inside a weaker bigger movie.
It's still a lot of fun. Almost every character in the film has more than one identity and there are multiple layers of deception going in every scene. Writer/director Jiang Wen stars as "Pocky" Zhang a legendary bandit in 1920s China pretending to be the Governor in order to rob from the rich and give to the guy pretending to be the Governor. He's assisted by Tang (Ge You), the actual Governor whose train is hijacked and wrecked by Pocky in the film's pre-credits sequence. »
- Matt Singer
Yesterday marked the kickoff of the annual Fantastic Fest, a genre film festival held down in Austin by the Alamo Drafthouse that focuses on oddities and purely awesome films, 75 of them to be accurate. The festival line-up defies a specific description, as it is essentially anything that the creators and runners deem as awesome. Most of the films are foreign, with genre elements as sci-fi, horror, exploitation and more are explored. Truly, this is a place you go to expose yourself to films that you will likely never see again in a theatre, and certainly not with an audience that is just as interested in discovery. This year marks the second Fantastic Fest for myself, and it is an experience that can’t be replicated.
One of the big talking points last year was the online reservation system for securing tickets. Fantastic Fest has three basic badges: VIP, press and general. »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
With Jiang Wen's film playing at this year's festival here's a chance to read my earlier review.Over the past few years, the majority of big-budget mainstream Chinese movies have insisted on beating their audiences over the head with overtly nationalistic sentiment. It has gotten to the point where you can't spend two hours in a Mandarin-speaking cinema without being lectured that you should hate the Japanese and the British, or how indebted to the Communist Party you should be for all that we are & all that we have. How refreshing it was, therefore, to experience Jiang Wen's new holiday blockbuster, Let The Bullets Fly, a rip-roaring comedy thriller committed to delivering smart dialogue through great performances and almost entirely free of any underlying political »
It’s true! It’s less than a day until I board a plane and land in beautiful Austin, Texas! Lots of exclamation points! Okay, enough of that ridiculousness. Let’s get into only the 10 films I can’t wait to see at Fantastic Fest. I could have technically made a quick post saying I want to see every single film, but I thought a list of 10 films in no particular order would be the most democratic way to do so.
Livid – Starting off with one of my most anticipated horror films coming from the minds behind Inside. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo bring us something that is supposedly more subdued, but we all know they have something up their sleeves to freak us out even more so.
- James McCormick
There's almost too much that's good about Fantastic Fest: experiencing the Alamo Drafthouse for a week straight; the small, friendly, film fan atmosphere; the parties. Oh yeah, then there's the insane films. Every year Fantastic Fest is filled with a ton of wild genre flicks that either you've never heard of yet or already have a lot of buzz surrounding them. As the 2011 festival is set to kick off this week, /Film will be on the ground telling you about the sickest, most disturbing and exciting films playing in Austin, Texas. Before that though, since there's so much that's good about Fantastic Fest, we've got three lists to get you as excited: The Top 15 Films I'm Curious About - The true gems of Fantastic Fest, these are the wild cards we're excited for from description alone. The Top 10 Most Anticipated Films - These are films with familiar names or built in buzz from previous festivals. »
- Germain Lussier
The programme for the 55th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express launched today by Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, celebrates the imagination and excellence of international filmmaking from both established and emerging talent. Over 16 days the Festival will screen a total of 204 fiction and documentary features, including 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres and 22 European Premieres . There will also be screenings of 110 live action and animated shorts. Many of the films will be presented by their directors, cast members and crew, some of whom will also take part in career interviews, masterclasses, and other special events. The 55th BFI London Film Festival will run from 12-27 October.
Opening the festival is Fernando Meirelles’ 360, written by Peter Morgan, and starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz. Weisz is also the star of Terence Davies’ closing night film, The Deep Blue Sea, alongside a cast which includes Simon Russell Beale and Tom Hiddleston. »
From the 12th to the 27th of October the 55th BFI London Film Festival brings its annual box of delights to the capital. Earlier today the full programme was announced, and it look like being another fine year.
We already know that Fernando Meirelles’ latest 360 will open proceedings on the 12th and fifteen days later Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea will bring the festival to a close but there are many more great films to come and see in London this October.
There was a familiar feeling creeping across the audience this morning that a lot of the films had, like last year, already played elsewhere but this is only a small consideration when you consider the scope of the festival’s remit. To bring a vital, fresh and horizon-expanding series of features, shorts and documentaries is no easy task, and while the more well known films have played »
- Jon Lyus
I have just literally walked out of a special launch event for the 55th BFI London Film Festival, held this morning at the massive Odeon cinemas in London’s Leicester Square. This year’s festival runs from 12th October until the 27th October and we’re especially excited because this is the very first year that The Hollywood News will have properly covered the whole event, despite the many years that we have been online.
This morning’s launch event was introduced by BFI Chief Executve Amanda Nevill and Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, who actually bows out of the role after this year. Following the introductions the capacity auditorium, made up of fellow journalists, actors, actresses, filmmakers and other industry folk, we were treated to a 30 minute reel showcasing 36 of the 300 films and short films playing at the festival, which is once again sponsored primarily by American Express. We already »
- Paul Heath
Artistic director Sandra Hebron has announced the line-up for the 55th BFI London Film Festival this morning where they will screen “a total of 204 fiction and documentary features, including 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres and 22 European Premieres” plus “110 live action and animated shorts”.
We are already knew Fernando Meirelles’ adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s erotic drama play 360 written by Peter Morgan and starring Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz would open the festival and that The Deep Blue Sea, which incidentally is another adaptation of a play (Terence Rattigan’s) and also stars Rachel Weisz, will close it. Of Time and City’s Terrence Davies directed that movie which also stars Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beale.
Now we know the in-between stuff from the Gala & Special Screenings and there’s a wide selection of extremely interesting films;
- Matt Holmes
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