Kai Ko - News Poster

News

Review: The Road to Mandalay

This is the Pure Movies review of The Road to Mandalay, directed by Midi Z and starring Kai Ko and Ke-Xi Wu. We’re not wanting for tragedy at the moment, but it certainly seems like we could use a lesson or two in basic compassion. The tide of violent xenophobia masking itself as nationalist sentiment is perhaps the most niggling, pervasive example of this, and discussions on the issue frequently reduce the subjects to, at best, political pawns and, at worst, something resembling subhuman. It’s a minor miracle, then, that The Road to Mandalay is able to so delicately, so convincingly etch a human face onto an issue so abstracted and politicised.
See full article at Pure Movies »

The Road to Mandalay review – intensely moving drama about Burmese migrants

Midi Z offers no happy endings in this compassionate, ripped-from-the-headlines story about a couple determined to make a better life in Thailand

This slow-burn drama with a ripped-from-the-headlines plot follows the ups and downs of a young Burmese-Chinese woman fleeing poverty in Myanmar to work illegally in Thailand. It’s an intensely moving film with a heart-and-soul lead performance by Ke-Xi Wu as Lianqing. Wu’s face barely moves, but her eyes register Lianqing’s feelings moment to moment, from the vertigo of homesickness at the start to her steely determination to make a better life in Thailand. The movie begins with Lianqing handing over her family’s life savings to people smugglers. On the journey she meets Guo (Kai Ko), a sweet guy who unselfishly takes her place in the boot of the Jeep (he has paid extra for a seat). When they reach Bangkok, Guo gets a job
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gff 2017: The Road to Mandalay Review

  • HeyUGuys
Author: Steven Neish

With immigration currently dominating world politics it is hard to watch The Road to Mandalay, a film that starts with an illegal border crossing from Burma to Thailand, without thinking it inherently political. As pragmatist Lianqing (Wu Ke-xi) is punted across a river, packed into a van and deposited on the streets of Bangkok without issue or complaint, migration has never seemed more manageable or mundane. It’s certainly a far cry from the sensational and desensitising newsreel footage of the European migrant crisis or human trafficking busts, with reports of people drowning off the Greek coast or being left for dead in the back of a lorry. It would be wrong, however, to overestimate Lianqing’s chances of success or underestimate the risks that still face her.

The real struggle, as is so often the case, has less to do with infiltrating a country than it
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Asian titles 'Road To Mandalay', 'By The Time It Gets Dark' get UK deals

  • ScreenDaily
Asian titles 'Road To Mandalay', 'By The Time It Gets Dark' get UK deals
Exclusive: UK outfit Day For Night has acquired the Venice and Locarno titles.

Midi Z’s The Road To Mandalay and Anocha Suwichakornpong’s By The Time It Gets Dark have both been picked up for UK theatrical distribution by indie outfit Day For Night.

The Road To Mandalay premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival. It marks the fourth film from Myanmar-born Taiwanese director Midi Z (Ice Poison, City Of Jade).

Starring Wu Ke-Xi and Kai Ko, the film tells the story of two Burmese illegal immigrants seeking a better future over the border in Thailand. France’s Urban Distribution International is handling international sales.

Read: Venice buzz title: Midi Z talks biggest production to date ‘The Road To Mandalay

By The Time It Gets Dark premiered at this year’s Locarno Film Festival and also played at the BFI London Film Festival.

It marks the second feature of Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong. The film follows
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sgiff: ‘Absence’ Adds Audience Award at Singapore Festival Close

Sgiff: ‘Absence’ Adds Audience Award at Singapore Festival Close
Malaysian documentary, “Absent Without Leave” claimed the Audience Award on Sunday at the close of the 27th Singapore International Film Festival.

Sgiff organizers reported that some 13,000 spectators had attended the 12-day event which ran Nov. 23 – Dec 4.

The final total also included the screening of 161 features and short films from 52 countries. 11 screenings were sold out, including four for Singapore-made pictures.

The previous evening a red carpet event saw Nepal’s “White Sun” claim the best film prize in the Silver Screen awards, which are reserved for the Sgiff’s competition titles. “Live From Dhaka” picked up the best director and best performance awards.

The debut film by Lau Kek-Huat, “Absent” navigates the murky waters of Malayan history that appears far removed from the present as Lau attempts to reconnect with his absent father. What follows is the gradual unravelling of his grandfather’s forgotten story: an absent father to the filmmaker’s own absent father,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The 27th Singapore International Film Festival Comes to a Close

The 27th Singapore International Film Festival (Sgiff) came to a close on December 4, 2016. This year, the Sgiff celebrated the country’s rich history and culture through a 12-day festival showcasing 160 film entries from 52 countries. Sgiff had not only a very impressive lineup of film, but their attendance rates were just as impressive as well.

The total attendance rate for their masterclass series went up by over 50% and 11 of the films had sold out seating. These festival attendees were able to immerse themselves in the world of film and cinema by not only watching strong works of film, but by having an opportunity to hear from some of the most influential members of the world of cinema.

These film influencers include: Taiwanese actor Kai Ko, USA director Darren Aronofsky, veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam, Vietnamese-born French filmmaker Tran Anh Hung, and Hong Kong filmmaker Fruit Chan.

Still from “Absent Without Leave
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Midi Z’s “The Road to Mandalay” offers a realistic view in the lives of immigrants in Thailand

A sad, but realistic story

The story revolves around Lianqing, a Burmese woman who takes the trip from her country to Thailand, through rivers, forests, checkpoints and much bribing. In her trip, she meets a young man named Guo, who seems to like her, helping her from the moment they meet. Lianqing has some Burmese friends in Thailand, who give her a place to live and help her find a job. Initially they take her to large company, but they cannot hire her because she does not have legal papers. Eventually, she ends up washing dishes in a small restaurant for a very meager pay. She manages however, and even sends some money back home. Guo is still around, trying to persuade her to work at the factory he works, but she declines.

After some time, one of her roommates who seems to have a nervous breakdown, after losing her job,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Vancouver 2016 Review: The Road To Mandalay Paints A Dark Portrait Of Migration

We've all heard, or read, an innumerable amount of horror stories about immigrants from third-world countries coming to North America and Europe. The Road to Mandalay shows us that even the seemingly small hop from Myanmar to Thailand can feel like the crossing of an immeasurable gap. The path is fraught with border guards who demand ever-escalating payment, and things don't get much better once you're ostensibly 'home-free.' Our heroine, Lianqing (Wu Ke-Xi) is automatically indebted to a young man and fellow refugee, Guo (Ko Kai), when he offers her his front seat spot over the back-end of a decidedly sketchy-looking truck. When the duo—along with several other rough travellers—arrive in Bangkok, she tries to repay him with home-cooked Burmese sundries and verbal gratitude....

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

’10th Five Flavours Festival’ Asian Film Festival

For 10 years, Five Flavours Film Festival has been presenting the best cinema from Asia, its meanings and contexts. Initially, the Festival focused solely on Vietnamese films, but it evolved to become a yearly review of the cinema of East and Southeast Asia, the only such event in the country.

The 10th edition is held in Warsaw, on November 16-23 (Muranów and Kinoteka cinemas), and in Wrocław on November 18-24 (New Horizons Cinema).

This year’s edition of Five Flavours is the biggest in history – it presents over 40 productions. The program combines artistic and commercial cinema, allowing the audience to experience the best Asian films have to offer. On the one hand, there are the intimate stories with a social angle, on the other – fresh, innovative blockbusters, filled with the sheer joy of cinematic creation, attracting millions of viewers in their homelands.

Three

This diversity is already visible in the choice
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Busan Film Review: ‘The Road to Mandalay’

Busan Film Review: ‘The Road to Mandalay’
Taiwan-based Burmese filmmaker Midi Z produces his best work yet with “The Road to Mandalay.” Returning to narrative features after the documentaries “Jade Miners” and “City of Jade,” Z maintains his focus on Burmese exiles with a low-key, high-impact love story about two illegal immigrants with very different ideas about making money and starting a new life in Bangkok. Very well performed by Z’s regular actress Wu Ke-xi and established Taiwanese star Kai Ko (“You Are the Apple of My Eye”), “The Road to Mandalay” is bound to travel far and wide on the fest circuit following a prestigious hat-trick of selections in Venice, Toronto, and Busan. Taiwan and Hong Kong theatrical release is set for Dec. 9.

A good example of a filmmaker who’s stuck to his task and steadily improved with each outing, Z has weeded out the overlong shots and plot meanderings that crept into his
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Golden Horse Awards Nominations: Midi Z, ‘Godspeed’ Lead The Contenders

Golden Horse Awards Nominations: Midi Z, ‘Godspeed’ Lead The Contenders
Nominations for the Golden Horse Awards, announced Saturday evening in Taiwan, will pose plenty of problems for mainland Chinese censors and broadcasters. The contenders for the most prestigious prizes in Chinese-language cinema contain a large dose of banned actors and films whose liberal politics mean they cannot be mentioned in the People’s Republic.

Topping the list with eight nominations including one for best film was “Godspeed,” a dark Taiwanese comedy about a drug smuggler who takes a ride with the wrong taxi driver. The driver is played by veteran Taiwanese actor Leon Dai, whose recent leading role had to be cut out of “No Other Love” in order to appease mainland nationalist sentiment.

Other contenders for the best film prize are: the Johnnie To-produced “Trivisa;” Feng Xiaogang’s “I Am Not Madame Bovary;” “The Road To Mandalay,” by Midi Z; and “The Summer Is Gone.”

Best director nominees
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Venice buzz title: Midi Z talks biggest production to date 'The Road To Mandalay'

Venice buzz title: Midi Z talks biggest production to date 'The Road To Mandalay'
Director Midi Z went to unusual lengths on his love story about Burmese immigrants in Thailand, the first co-production between Taiwan, France, Germany and Myanmar.

The Road To Mandalay marks the first outing at the Venice Film Festival (Aug 31 - Sept 10) for Myanmar-born, Taiwan-based director Midi Z, whose reputation is fast on the rise. His last two films, Ice Poison (2014) and documentary City Of Jade (2016), premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The Road To Mandalay is the sole Chinese-language narrative film playing at Venice this year. The main characters are Burmese-Chinese who speak the Chinese Yunnan dialect, like Midi Z himself.

According to the director, the Burmese believe there are three ways to escape poverty, “One is to become a drug smuggler, one is to work in the jade mines and the third is to smuggle yourself into another country.”

While his previous films have addressed the above issues in one way or another, The Road To Mandalay features
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Venice: Midi Z love story secures international deal

Exclusive: Udi picks up Venice and Toronto-bound The Road To Mandalay.

France’s Urban Distribution International (Udi) has acquired international sales rights to Midi Z’s latest film The Road To Mandalay, which will receive its world premiere on the Lido in the Venice Days strand.

The new picture is the first four-way co-production between Taiwan, France, Germany and Myanmar. Starring You’re The Apple Of My Eye actor Kai Ko and Midi’s regular actress Wu Ke-Xi, it follows a doomed love story involving two illegal Burmese migrants in Thailand.

The deal excludes a string of Chinese-speaking territories, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, which are handled by the film’s Taiwan-based producer Flash Forward Entertainment.

France is also excluded and handled by the film’s French co-producer House On Fire.

Flash Forward Entertainment’s founder Patrick Mao Huang concluded the deal with Frédéric Corvez, founder of Udi. “Midi is an underestimated
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Venice: Midi Z love story secures international sales deal

Exclusive: Udi picks up Venice and Toronto-bound The Road To Mandalay.

France’s Urban Distribution International (Udi) has acquired international sales rights to Midi Z’s latest film The Road To Mandalay, which will receive its world premiere on the Lido in the Venice Days strand.

The new picture is the first four-way co-production between Taiwan, France, Germany and Myanmar. Starring You’re The Apple Of My Eye actor Kai Ko and Midi’s regular actress Wu Ke-Xi, it follows a doomed love story involving two illegal Burmese migrants in Thailand.

The deal excludes a string of Chinese-speaking territories, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, which are handled by the film’s Taiwan-based producer Flash Forward Entertainment.

France is also excluded and handled by the film’s French co-producer House On Fire.

Flash Forward Entertainment’s founder Patrick Mao Huang concluded the deal with Frédéric Cortez, founder of Udi. “Midi is an underestimated
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Vicky Zhao, Leon Dai Under Fire From China Nationalists

Vicky Zhao, Leon Dai Under Fire From China Nationalists
Nationalist forces have turned on Zhao Wei, one of China’s most popular actresses and leading directors, due to the inclusion of Taiwan’s Leon Dai in her upcoming film.

The Communist Youth League has used its own website and social media to criticize Zhao (aka Vicky Zhao) over Dai’s alleged support for Taiwanese independence. Its posting on Weibo appears to call for an online boycott of the Zhao-directed “No Other Love” and other films involving Dai.

No Other Love” is now in post-production. It is partly-backed by Alibaba Pictures Group, the film making arm of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba. Other companies credited as producers include China Film Group, Cheerland Entertainment and Pulin Production.

With lengthy text and multiple pictures, the Youth League accuses the veteran Dai (“The Assassin,” “Betelnut Beauty”) has shown his support for Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower’ movement, for universal suffrage and for the Occupy Central
See full article at Variety - Film News »

[Review] Monster Hunt

Even if Monster Hunt were billed in America with “from Raman Hui, the supervising animator of everyone’s favorite DreamWorks player, the Gingerbread Man, and co-director of Shrek the Third, comes a magical adventure of man and beast” on the posters, it wouldn’t be enough. But that’s okay, because Hui didn’t make it for American audiences. Instead, it stemmed from a desire back in 2005 to make an animated film in China after spending so much time with Steven Spielberg‘s company learning the ropes. A decade later and the finished live-action-animated hybrid became the nation’s highest-grossing film ever (since beaten by Stephen Chow‘s The Mermaid). Not even the boast of this acclaim could make it a winner stateside, though. It’s simply too weird for western audiences.

That doesn’t mean it’s bad or indecipherable. Hui utilizes many of the same themes from the
See full article at The Film Stage »

Film Review: ‘Monster Hunt’

Film Review: ‘Monster Hunt’
In “Monster Hunt,” the protagonists are greenish ogres with mushy hearts — not surprisingly, since this jolly live-action/animated Chinese period fantasy is helmed by Raman Hui, the Hong Kong-born animation supervisor who was involved with the genesis of the “Shrek” franchise. Although this yarn about a humans-vs.-monsters struggle to capture a monster princeling will seem too gooey and elementary for fans of more brain-teasing family fare like “Inside Out,” its technical wizardry and zippy, Hollywood-influenced storytelling smarts dwarf any brand of tyke-skewing entertainment China has ever come up with. Small wonder that domestic B.O. has been monstrous: To date, it’s earned more than $217 million, making it the biggest Chinese hit ever.

One of the most costly undertakings by Hong Kong’s Edko Films (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Lust, Caution”), the production hit a major snag last year when Taiwanese male lead Kai Ko (“You Are the Apple of My Eye,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Nyaff 2012 Review: ‘You Are the Apple of My Eye’ Shows Young Love and Masturbation Go Hand in Hand

The 11th Annual New York Asian Film Festival runs from June 29th through July 15th in NYC. Taiwan, 2011 North American Premiere 109 minutes, in Mandarin with English subtitles Directed by: Giddens Ko Starring: Michelle Chen, Ko Chen-tung, Owodog, Steven Hao, Wan Wan Teen sex comedies are often thought to be an American exclusive, but while Hollywood is the clear leader in the genre (for better or worse) they’re not the only ones dabbling in diddling. South Korea’s Sex Is Zero (my review here) is a great example of real heart and crass laughs working together successfully, but tonal issues in the third act might make it a difficult film for Western audiences to fully accept. Taiwan’s blockbuster You Are the Apple of My Eye is a bit more mainstream though as it tempers both the sexual hi-jinx and broad laughs in exchange for a romantic nostalgia for teenage relationships. Young love
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

See also

Credited With | External Sites