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An Introduction into Asian Cinema for Westerners Through Movie Bingo

Asian cinema has always had a degree of popularity in Western culture, but all too often they were done a huge disservice by being remade instead of shown in their original state.

That trend is changing drastically, with films such as Crazy Rich Asians finding success and leading viewers down the exciting pathway towards genuine Asian films. A post by Time reported that it was the first film by a major Hollywood studio that featured a majority cast of Asian descent in a modern setting since 1993 and that it had the potential to change Hollywood.

BFI suggest it was hard to find East Asian films in UK cinemas a couple of years ago, but that is a situation that’s now rapidly evolving. The Climbers is a recent release which our article explains was shown in cinemas across the United Kingdom.

The thirst for Asian movies has increased dramatically, but
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Top Must-Watch Asian Movies for American Students

Most students watch movies during their leisure time. Regardless of the genre, movies have a way of relaxing your mind and taking you into a different realm. Studies have shown that certain hormones that improve heart function are released while watching films. Much more than having a great effect on the heart function, several researchers have come to tell us that watching films stimulate the perceptual, emotional, and cognitive centers in the brain. However, a study by some neuroscientists at New York University showed that watching certain films affects brain activity more than others. So, a good film should live you better than you were.

Globally, the movie industry is fast-growing, and the Asian film making industry is worthy of commendation. As an American student, certain movies produced by the Asian would take you through their history in a pictographic manner. As much as several Asian movies are based on cooked-up stories,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Gong Li Celebrates Global Comeback With 'Saturday Fiction'

Gong Li Celebrates Global Comeback With 'Saturday Fiction'
Few Chinese actresses have had as much worldwide success as Gong Li, who has captivated art house audiences worldwide with starring roles in films such as Raise the Red Lantern, The Story of Qiu Ju and Farewell My Concubine. Those led to turns in Hollywood with Memoirs of a Geisha and Miami Vice, among others.

Gong has been out of the spotlight for a while, making just five films this decade, none of which had the commercial, or critical, resonance of her earlier work. But her upcoming slate shows that she’s primed for a comeback, as she stars in two high-profile films that play ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

‘Saturday Fiction’ Review: Gong Li Shines in a Gorgeous but Frustrating Spy Thriller

  • Indiewire
‘Saturday Fiction’ Review: Gong Li Shines in a Gorgeous but Frustrating Spy Thriller
Lou Ye — one of the most famous and least consistent of the so-called “Sixth Generation” of Chinese filmmakers — has been compelled by a Hitchcockian notions of romantic obsession ever since 2000’s “Suzhou River,” in which the actress Zhou Xun played two different women who the unseen narrator ultimately conflates with each other. The “Saturday Fiction” unfolds like a luminous new riff on the same idea, as Lou is clearly still fascinated by the various roles that we play, and the notion that people are often so enamored by what they want that they can lose sight of who they want it from.

“Ultimately it is the desire, not the desired, that we love,” Nietzsche wrote, and “Saturday Fiction” puts those words right on the screen as it pulls them apart. Only this time, they carry much, much deadlier consequences, as Lou has upped the stakes from a little story about
See full article at Indiewire »

Gong Li to Receive Women in Motion Award at Cannes

  • Variety
Gong Li to Receive Women in Motion Award at Cannes
Actress Gong Li will become the first person of Asian descent to win the Kering Group and Cannes Film Festival’s annual women in motion award. The prize will be presented by Kering’s chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault and the festival’s president Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Fremaux at a dinner on Sunday.

The award is intended to celebrate the careers of leading female figures in cinema, and has previously been presented to Jane Fonda in 2015, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in 2016, Isabelle Huppert in 2017 and Patty Jenkins in 2018.

Gong said it would be a “true honor” to accept the accolade. “Making films is fundamental in my life, and I am most grateful to be able to continue to share my work and my passion,” she said. The actress is known for her starring role in films such as Zhang Yimou’s “Red Sorghum,” “Raise the Red Lantern” and “To Live,
See full article at Variety »

Review: Monotony of Doom—Zhang Yimou's "Shadow"

This last week in April has seen, with Avengers: Endgame and the Battle of Winterfell episode of Game of Thrones, the culmination on the largest scale possible in our fractured culture of a long-simmering trend in American action filmmaking away from color in favor of a grim, murky, monochrome darkness. The TV show was immediately criticized for being nigh unwatchable on a normal television, its images being so dark and cluttered with digital artifacts, while the Marvel movie chose to stage its splash page final battle, the climax of a decade of franchise-building, not as a triumph of four-color majesty but as a dull smear of muddy gray. I’m not sure where exactly the trend started, it might have been when Tim Burton’s shadowy Batman movies outpaced Warren Beatty’s lively Dick Tracy, or it might have been when the pseudo-realism of Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan
See full article at MUBI »

‘Shadow’ Review: Swords, Doubles and Curiously Boring Bloodshed, Oh My!

‘Shadow’ Review: Swords, Doubles and Curiously Boring Bloodshed, Oh My!
It is a time of turmoil for “a great walled city” (any resemblance to China is completely not coincidental) in some undefined long-ago era. Three clans fight for control of the territory; two team up to defeat the third. Then a warrior for one of these last dynasties standing, the Yan, severely wounds the Commander (Deng Chao) of their rivals, the Pei. They now own the city. The Pei military higher-ups want war. Their king (Ryan Zheng), who is definitely paranoid and may or may not also be batshit crazy,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Zhang Yimou's 'One Second' withdrawn from Berlin Competition line-up

Zhang Yimou's 'One Second' withdrawn from Berlin Competition line-up
Film pulled for “technical reasons with the post-production”.

Zhang Yimou’s One Second has been withdrawn from the Berlinale Competition line-up, the festival has confirmed.

A Berlinale spokesman said this was because of “technical reasons with the post-production”. The scrapped world premiere was hastily replaced with Zhang’s 2003 Berlinale selection and best foreign-language Oscar nominee Hero, which will play out of competition on February 15 and 16.

One Second is the second Chinese-language film to be withdrawn from the festival at short notice, after Derek Tsang’s Better Days was pulled from Berlin’s Generation 14Plus section last week, also because of
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Wild Bunch to launch Paris suburbs drama 'Les Misérables' at the Efm (exclusive)

Slate also includes Cannes hopefuls Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You, Kore-eda Hirokazu’s The Truth and Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole.

Wild Bunch has boarded sales on zeitgeisty drama Les Misérables, the directorial debut of filmmaker Ladj Ly, a long-time collaborator of French street artist Jr, whose work focuses on the tough eastern suburbs of Paris where he grew up.

Inspired by the 2005 riots in the notorious Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil suburbs east of Paris, Les Misérables revolves around three members of an anti-crime brigade who are overrun while trying to make an arrest.

“It’s a challenging, exciting title for us,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The 100 Greatest Achievements in Cinematography in the 20th Century, According to Asc

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) this year, they’ve polled their members to determine 100 milestone films in the art and craft of cinematography of the 20th century. Topping the list is David Lean’s epic Lawrence of Arabia, shot by Freddie Young. Also in the top ten is Blade Runner (Jordan Cronenweth), The Conformist (Vittorio Storaro), Days of Heaven (Néstor Almendros), and more.

Organized by Steven Fierberg, he said “Asc members wanted to call attention to the most significant achievements of the cinematographer’s art but not refer to one achievement as ‘better’ than another. The selected films represent a range of styles, eras and visual artistry, but most importantly, it commemorates films that are inspirational or influential to Asc members and have exhibited enduring influence on generations of filmmakers.”

See the top 10 below, along with the full list.

1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Freddie Young,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Doomed Love: The Coen Brothers' "Blood Simple" and Zhang Yimou's Remake

  • MUBI
The Coen brothers' Blood Simple (1984) is showing December 22 – January 20 and Zhang Yimou's A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop (2009) is showing December 23 – January 21, 2019 in the United Kingdom as part of the series Original Vs. Remake: Coen Brothers/Zhang Yimou.It’s the same old song: the wife, her lover, the husband and the hired killer. It’s true that most stories of lust, adultery and murder have the same, sad endings. But nothing is that simple: all crimes have their own pitfalls and false starts along the way—just to keep things interesting. In the cycle of abuse, too, the abused can’t help but notice patterns. Escaping a violent spouse is a feat on its own, but once you’ve gotten rid of them, little signs that they’re still with you start popping up everywhere. In Blood Simple, the Coen brothers’ debut feature from 1984, a classic noir narrative is updated and remixed,
See full article at MUBI »

Michelle Yeoh On How ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Could Finally Shake Up Academy History

  • Deadline
Michelle Yeoh On How ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Could Finally Shake Up Academy History
In the midst of a packed schedule in the run-up to Oscar voting, Michelle Yeoh is sipping two types of super-healthy juice at the Beverly Hills restaurant where we meet—green and lemon. After all, she has to keep up her strength, given the high stakes this season.

Asian actors have had precious little Academy-centric opportunities—or just onscreen opportunities—and Yeoh’s latest project, the box office-busting Warner Bros. hit Crazy Rich Asians, looks like it could upend the status quo at last. If Yeoh gets a supporting actress nod this year, she will be only the sixth actress of Asian descent ever to be nominated in the history of the Academy.

In Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling book about the internal struggles of an affluent—or ‘crazy rich’—Singaporean family, Yeoh shines as the prickly-but-complex matriarch Eleanor Young, who can’t accept her
See full article at Deadline »

Interview: Filmmaker Zhang Yimou on 'Shadow' + Changes in Cinema

Acclaimed, iconic Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou is ready to release his 21st feature film since his debut as a filmmaker in the 1980s. Titled Shadow, the film is another martial arts epic yet also a drama, based on the Three Kingdoms era in Chinese history. Over the years, Zhang Yimou has won two BAFTA Film Awards (for Raise the Red Lantern in 1991 and To Live in 1994), but never an Academy Award or Golden Globe. He still keeps making films year after year, working mostly in China nowadays, though still trying his hand at a Hollywood blockbuster (The Great Wall) in addition to a war-time drama (The Flowers of War). Shadow premiered at the Venice Film Festival this year, and also played at the Toronto Film Festival. I had a chance to interview the legendary Zhang Yimou during his visit to the festivals, and I am honored I could meet him.
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Hong Kong blockbuster 'Operation Red Sea' among latest foreign-language Oscar submissions

Hong Kong blockbuster 'Operation Red Sea' among latest foreign-language Oscar submissions
Screen’s regularly updated list of foreign language Oscar submissions.

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards are not until Tuesday January 22, but the first submissions for best foreign-language film are now being announced.

Last year saw a record 92 submissions for the award, which were narrowed down to a shortlist of nine. This was cut to five nominees, with Sebastián Lelio’s transgender drama A Fantastic Woman ultimately taking home the gold statue.

Screen’s interview with Mark Johnson, chair of the Academy’s foreign-language film committee, explains the shortlisting process from submission to voting.

Submitted films must be released theatrically
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Hong Kong blockbuster 'Operation Red Sea' leads latest foreign-language Oscar submissions

Hong Kong blockbuster 'Operation Red Sea' leads latest foreign-language Oscar submissions
Screen’s regularly updated list of foreign language Oscar submissions.

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards are not until Tuesday January 22, but the first submissions for best foreign-language film are now being announced.

Last year saw a record 92 submissions for the award, which were narrowed down to a shortlist of nine. This was cut to five nominees, with Sebastián Lelio’s transgender drama A Fantastic Woman ultimately taking home the gold statue.

Screen’s interview with Mark Johnson, chair of the Academy’s foreign-language film committee, explains the shortlisting process from submission to voting.

Submitted films must be released theatrically
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Venice Film Review: ‘Shadow’

  • Variety
Venice Film Review: ‘Shadow’
Black ink drips from the tip of a brush and daggers into clear water, spiraling out like smoke; a Chinese zither sounds a ferocious, twanging note that warps and buckles in its sustain; rain mottles the sky to a heavy watercolor gray, forming pools on paving stones into which warriors bleed; whispery drafts from hidden palace chambers stir tendrils of hair and set the hems of luxuriant, patterned robes fluttering. Every supremely controlled stylistic element of Zhang Yimou’s breathtakingly beautiful “Shadow” is an echo of another, a motif repeated, a pattern recurring in a fractionally different way each time.

After 2014’s semi-autobiographical “Coming Home,” which had soul but little spectacle, and 2016’s “The Great Wall” — all spectacle and no soul — it seemed like the Himalayan peaks of the revered Fifth Generation filmmaker’s career might now be behind him. But here, almost insouciantly and with little fanfare, comes “Shadow,
See full article at Variety »

Venice Festival Honoree Zhang Yimou: Maestro of Modern Chinese Cinema

  • Variety
Venice Festival Honoree Zhang Yimou: Maestro of Modern Chinese Cinema
Whatever you think of his checkered oeuvre, Zhang Yimou is undeniably a maestro of modern Chinese cinema. Few could match the international acclaim or box office success earned by the 66-year-old director, whose artistic path mirrors the breathtaking steps made in Chinese history and film industry. While his early works helped catapult Chinese cinema to the global festival spotlight, his middle phase led the way in commercial blockbusters with Chinese characteristics.

Zhang will receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award in Venice ahead of the out-of-competition screening of “Shadow”on Sept. 6.

The allure of Zhang’s filmmaking often comes from the screen divas and captivating female roles he cultivates. Gong Li, who collaborated with him nine times, remains the most luminous presence. So good is he at plucking talent out of obscurity that every time a new project is announced, the media eagerly awaits the next “Mou Girl.”

Born in 1950 in Xi’an,
See full article at Variety »

Zhang Yimou’s ‘Shadow’ Sells To Well Go USA For North America, UK, Oz/Nz

  • Deadline
Exclusive: Well Go USA has nabbed North America, UK, and Australia/New Zealand rights to Zhang Yimou’s action-epic Shadow ahead of its world premiere in Venice and its North American premiere at Toronto.

The deal was negotiated by Dylan Marchetti for Well Go USA. Endeavor Content and Bloom handled the deal. Pic will get a theatrical release in 2019, according to the distributor.

Mandarin-language film Shadow is set in Pei, a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, where the military commander faces peril both inside and outside the palace walls. But he has a secret weapon: a ‘shadow’, a look-alike who can fool both Pei’s enemies and the King himself. In his obsessive quest for a long-sought victory over a rival kingdom, the commander must execute an intricate plan involving his wife, the Shadow, and the kings of both kingdoms, leading up to a major invasion.

Cast includes Chao Deng,
See full article at Deadline »

First Look At Disney’s Mulan – In Theaters March 27, 2020.

Mulan (Yifei Liu) Photo: Stephen Tilley © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Production on Disney’s “Mulan,” a live-action adaptation of the studio’s 1998 animated feature, has begun.

The film will shoot on locations in New Zealand and China and will open in U.S. theaters on March 27, 2020.

Liu Yifei was cast as Hua Mulan following a year-long global casting search. Joining her in the film are: Donnie Yen (“Star Wars: Rogue One”); Jason Scott Lee; Yoson An (“The Meg”); Utkarsh Ambudkar (“Pitch Perfect”); Ron Yuan (“Marco Polo”); Tzi Ma (“Arrival”); Rosalind Chao (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”); Cheng Pei-Pei; Nelson Lee; Chum Ehelepola; with Gong Li and Jet Li.

Mulan” is the epic adventure of a fearless young woman who masquerades as a man in order to fight Northern Invaders attacking China. The eldest daughter of an honored warrior, Hua Mulan is spirited, determined and quick on her feet.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Mulan Comes to Life in First Official Image as Filming Starts on Live-Aciton Film

  • Cinelinx
Cameras have started rolling on Disney's upcoming live-action adapation of Mulan and they've released our first look at the titular heroine. Come inside to take a gander!

It's crazy to think it's been 20 years since the animated Mulan film hit the big screen. Two decades later and filming on a live-action version of the story is now underway. To mark the event, Disney has released the first official image of Liu Yifei as the heroine herself, and she looks great:

Liu Yifei was cast as Hua Mulan following a year-long global casting search. Joining her in the film are: Donnie Yen (“Star Wars: Rogue One”); Jason Scott Lee; Yoson An (“The Meg”); Utkarsh Ambudkar (“Pitch Perfect”); Ron Yuan (“Marco Polo”); Tzi Ma (“Arrival”); Rosalind Chao (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”); Cheng Pei-Pei; Nelson Lee; Chum Ehelepola; with Gong Li and Jet Li.

Mulan” is the epic adventure of a
See full article at Cinelinx »
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