Amazing how Lost in Translation that’s been sort of forgotten, but also relevant, at least to myself thanks to My Bloody Valentine’s new album, (Kevin Shields did some music for Lost in Translation) still has legs. A bank robber who saw the movie, stopped to talk to Bill Murray.
“I saw this man in the street running towards me with a bag in his hand. Then he suddenly stopped when he saw me. He asked me if I was Bob Harris, the character I played in Lost in Translation. I told him, ‘sure, why not’. Then he started telling me how much he loved me and how great he thought I was. I was polite, I told him that was very nice of him to say. Then kind of out of nowhere, police showed up and tackled the man,” Murray said. (Superoffcialnews – Bob Harris)
I’ve seen most of the films on this list, and what strikes me the most is how not one filmmaker can have two films in it. I’d think Zhang Yimou could easily have more than a single film in it, same with Chen Kaige and since it’s dipping into Hong Kong, how about another Wong Kar Wei film? Although they take on another tone, not one John Woo film which revolutionized action films? Drunken Master? Once Upon a Time in China? The list is ambitious in idea, but overall, this should just be a top 20, or don’t bother including Hong Kong and Taiwan. They could easily have their own lists. (whatsonxiamen – Top 10)
Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom – some playdates. It’s a nice documentary that has it’s harrowing parts, ut overall, it’s has some hope in the way of flowers.
Other HBO playdates: July 18 (12:15 p.m.), 24 (4:15 p.m.) and 28 (6:00 a.m., 3:15p.m.)
HBO2 playdate: July 18 (9:00 p.m.)
(Monstersandcritics – Tsunami)
One of the more famous actors in China isn’t someone you’ve seen in the US or Europe. It’s Cao Cao or Jonathan Kos-Read who’s played in 100 movies playing the non-Chinese person. He’s fluent and began his career there in 1997. Now with the new relationships with the rest of the world, his characters are becoming more dynamic. He’s seldom the lead actor, but it could happen, unless Hollywood kills his career by drowning China with the likes of a dubbed Christian Bale… (China Daily – Cao Cao)
Japanese horror film director Takashi Shimizu keeps on turning them out. He’s the director of The Grudge (Ju-On) and yes, he’s making movies in the USA too. Rabbit Horror! That’s the two words to describe this film.
“As in THE GRUDGE, director Shimizu ventures once more into the terrifying corners of the mind, creating an eerie atmosphere that is accentuated with the lensing of world-renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle, a former collaborator of Wong Kar Wai. Like his previous horror film SHOCK LABYRINTH and his next film, the Hollywood film, 7500 (coming out this summer, starring Ryan Kwanten, Jamie Chung, and Amy Smart), Shimizu is obsessed with 3-D. And rightfully so, because he has quite a command with the medium, creating a delusional fantasy world-come-fever dream of a film that delivers frights aplenty and will appeal to 3-D aficionados.”
It’s playing Saturday May 12th 9:45pm at the DGA. (LAAPFF – Tormented)
He’s back. So is the movie that didn’t fare so well. The film, Gi Joe: the Retaliation will be happening soon also starring The Rock and Bruce Willis. Here’s an interesting quote since it’s about the language barrier and how things go when one part goes wrong.
“”But I’d just forget every line – literally every single line – when I was told that I’d pronounced one word wrong while acting. Having to think that I somehow have to fix my pronunciation for that one word would just make me totally lost at the set. There’s a huge difference between making conversation in a foreign language and acting in a foreign language. I feel the most comfortable when I perform for pieces that are based on Korean culture. So I can’t help but feel that I could’ve done better if this were a Korean movie.””
The movie will hit theaters in the summer.
Greetings from Chicago
This is Tim Hugh and his dog Helga in his kitchen in Chicago. Tim has run the only Asian American Indie Film Fest (i.e. no “imports”) for 12 of the 17 years that it’s been in existence. In this picture, he’s a one man bandleader- running it solo, something I can relate to as a solo musician. I’m in town to promote my film “Daylight Savings” which premiered at SXSW this year, and will be the opening night film this year. Joining me at the screening will be Michael Aki who plays my cousin in the film. I met Mike at this very festival in 2010 when he was showing his films Sunsets that he directed with Eric Nakamura, and his Film Noir tribute “Strangers”
I asked Tim a bunch of questions:
Goh: Why is this festival important?
Tim: It’s one of the only festivals that shows only Asian American films; produced, directed and/or about the Asian American experience. In the midwest more so than the coastal states, you’re constantly asked that stupid question “Where are you from?”… so it’s important to help define what being Asian and American is.
I’m a fourth generation Chinese American. In the midwest, it’s usually under the assumption that you’re just “Asian”… and not “Asian American.” When I see Causasian people I don’t ask them “are you from Poland? are you European?” I just see them for who they are, not what they look like.
Goh: How did you get involved in the festival?
Tim: I was just a fan of the band Seam, and Sooyoung Park, Ben Kim and Billy Shin started the festival in 1995 after they released the Ear of the Dragon CD, which was the first Asian American Rock Compliation. I’d always go and watch everything I could. I’d never seen films like this before; Asian American characters that spoke like me; the actors weren’t forced to speak with a bad accent. I could relate to these images and characters that I was seeing at this festival.
I became obsessed and would watch everything I could, whether it be a feature, documentary, or shorts program. I just wanted to see as much as I could, because I knew I’d never get a chance to see these movies again. Plus, being able to meet the directors and hear them speak about their films was one of the coolest things for me. I remember hanging out with Justin Lin, back when he was just a shorts director.
They noticed me being there year after year, and began to recognize me. Eventually, they would ask me to do little things like hand out program booklets, take tickets, watch the table, and take pictures during the Q&A’s. Basically, I became a volunteer. I remember standing there back in the day giving out Giant Robot magazines!
The bad or even sometimes good guys who get split open in samurai movies get forgotten, but there’s one who’s been at it for decades and he’s still going. Some might think it’s easy to die with a sword, but evidently it’s not. He’s been killed on screen 50,000 times. Is that even possible? A charming story. (NPR – samurai)
Hunger Games / Battle Royale? The author of Hunger Games does something so similar and then gives the famous line of “I didn’t know about the other” line. It’s the oldest tactic of ripping something else off. Imagine, editors and staff (tons of them) at publishing houses, literary agents, publishers who passed on the project, friends perhaps, and none could say, “this is a Battle Royale copy?” Not one ever saw the big cult hit movie? (North County Public Radio – Hunger Games)
Michelle Yeoh promoting The Lady in a Q and A we didn’t do. That said, it’s great that she’s found a role that’s not just swashbuckling or ass kicking, but using her abilities as an actress. That’s the role that she needed to progress in her career. What’s next? A film with Korean American Gina Kim. (Filmbiz – Michelle Yeoh)
It’s hard to write about 3.11 from this side of the planet. I watched the horrors on television, Ustream, and Twitter just an hour or so after attending an after event for an exhibition by James Jean, where I stood when I heard about the quake and tsunami. Like 9.11, you’ll remember what you were doing and who was around when you heard, and like with most, I experienced the devastation virtually.
Living just a few blocks away, I’ve known filmmaker Shunji Iwai for a bit over a year as he was working on projects outside of Japan. He often discussed his life in America that didn’t include a need to work in Japan any time soon. Over many meals, he talked about the quake and had powerful views of how dangerous the radiation was for Tokyoites and of course the surrounding areas of Fukushima. Depressed, he was positive that if he was in Tokyo, he’d have moved far away as should everyone else. He knew the media was lying. He newly established an office, staff, had a completed film “Vampire,” and before I knew it he left America nearly overnight for Osaka.
I’ve often wondered how my neighbor was doing. Just the other day I ran into him on Facebook. He messaged me that he’d send me his film about 3.11. I only loosely heard of his project and expected something that would be cinematic – in his way. It’s not. At least that’s what I thought at first. By the end, it is. It’s more of what can be thought of as a text book on film that’s heavy with interviews. As you’d expect there will be scenes of wreckage, but what Iwai captures is also his own experience that he shares with his new friends including a young girl activist. He too is experiencing the scenes, explanation and people as you are when you watch it.
It’s not cinematic in a sense that he’s not trying to sway your emotions with pretty shots, but you are pushed deeply into understanding what 3.11 means from angles of indie media, nuclear plants, locals, professors, involved actors, and more. I was most touched by a professor in Kyoto who’s remarks about the children affected by the radiation was especially touching and only then does his film crescendo into something that I could see crafted by Iwai’s hands. It’s all in the last last few minutes that you realize his artistic vision for this film.
The articles about white washing of Hollwood continue, and it’s not just Akira. This article touches upon history and also another upcoming manga based movie called All You Need is Kill. Again, casting is said to be non Asian. Although it’s nearing an epidemic, especially with the past films already ruined, Dragonball and Speed Racer included, I’m still not sure how bad it really is. I know it’s counter to what many of you think my opinion would be, but is it better to have Asian faces speaking their roles in English in a story that’s adapted, yet taking place in American neighborhoods? So instead of Kaneda racing through Neo Tokyo streets in Akira, we’ll have an Asian American face also named Kaneda racing through Baltimore speaking English with a pill design on his jacket? Meanwhile, he rides by Starbucks and Nordstroms Rack? Then all of his other friends and lead characters are also Asian, yet they’re cruising around in a world of non-Asians? It’s not going to work regardless of his skin color. The safest is an all out adaptation like The Departed where it can stand on it’s own having non-Asian names and faces. The real answer is do it in Japan, or not do it at all. Or else, change the name, the story and have a midwest motorcycle rally. I’d rather not see a lose, lose production that makes no sense. (LA Times – Whitewashing)
Dude I now know Tai Chi. Keanu Reeves has his dream project, Man of Tai Chi green lit and will make this in 2012. It’s following the 47 Ronin story that’s sure to baffle folks when it comes out. How he fits in that is a question. How he’ll fit in Man of Tai Chi is yet another, but at least it’s not a historical tale that’s being “half white washed.” Yet 18 fight scenes sounds like fun. (Empire Online – Man of Tai Chi)
Can this be a scam? Roughed up might be a nice word for it, but really, how rough was it? His rant and yelling at a crew member in the past is more of a “roughing up”. Surely the crew with Christian Bale knew that visiting an activist who’s heavily guarded would created great news footage in preparation for his Flowers of War film which takes place in China. The Chinese blind activist makes for great news. Great promo for the film. (CNN – Bale)
It wasn’t easy to pick the 10 winners of the tickets for two to see Norwegian Wood. There were 60+ entries for the ten spots. They were picked by me based on whatever criteria I felt at the moment. There isn’t a “if I write more, I have a better chance” system. It could be how I felt at that moment and your short poetic words caught me off guard, maybe that’s how I picked. If you didn’t get in, please try again during our next giveaway. Some of your words were too generic, in a “let me in” type of way, but if you offered just a little more, you were in the running. Here’s my picks. (I left the editing part out, some probably wrote from their smart phones and some carefully crafted their words)
The 100% Perfect Girl
I’m a huge Haruki Murakami fan. I have his more recent books but unfortunately haven’t read Norwegian Wood. I loved 1Q84. I just found out about this movie a week ago and was stoked. I’d love to attend and already know “the 100% perfect girl” who would be my date, as she’s a big fan too!
-Greg, you are the dark horse, there are fans of all of his books, fans of the filmmaker, and fans of the actors who aren’t getting in, but this “100% perfect girl” is intriguing. If there’s such a thing for you and you know who she is, I’m picking you just on that merit, so hurry and ask her.
oh, let me count the ways…
it was the first murakami book i read almost 20 years ago. and i read it in a tiny, tiny city in southeastern japan, so that made it even more special. i lived a long time in japan, and his books kept me grand company as the still do today. in fact, i just re-read norwegian wood about a month ago and it’s still a lovely little tome to me.
i’m very excited to see this movie, especially because rinko kikuchi is in it.
flipping love her!
ALSO, i speak/read/write japanese, am a member of the Japan Society here in new york, and have always loved me some Giant Robot.
so in closing:
PICK ME! PICK ME! PICK ME!
-Jennifer, Yes, we love her too. I doubt she loves us back the same. The GR plug, a great move. Have a great time.