Tag Archives: Asia

HKAFF 2015: Five Films to Watch

Miriam Yeung and Jan Lamb in 'She Remembers, He Forgets' PHOTO: HKAFF Society

Miriam Yeung and Jan Lamb in ‘She Remembers, He Forgets’
PHOTO: HKAFF Society

The Hong Kong Asian Film Festival kicks off today in Hong Kong and runs until Nov. 22. The festival is featuring 70 films from across the region. Here are five to mark in your calendar:

“She Remembers, He Forgets” (Hong Kong)

This is director Adam Wong’s first feature since winning best new director at the Hong Kong Film Awards for “The Way We Dance” (2013). Miriam Yeung and Jan Lamb star in this drama about a couple and their troubled marriage. (Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CREm4BB_c9g)

“Mountains May Depart” (China)

Auteur Jia Zhangke’s drama looks at how ordinary people’s lives are affected in a fast-changing society. The film has been nominated for seven Golden Horse Awards, which will be handed out next month. (Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzkKT2wzCXk)

“Zinnia Flower” (Taiwan)

Director Tom Shu-yu Lin worked through his own grief following the death of his wife in this drama about a woman coming to terms over the loss of her fiancé. (Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB2pVBlx25Q)

“Right Now, Wrong Then” (South Korea)

Director Hong Sang-soo’s latest film won the Golden Leopard award for best film at the Locarno International Film Festival in August, while actor Jung Jae-young picked up the best-actor prize. (Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOE-Zznq_S4)

“Keeper of Darkness” (Hong Kong)

Actor Nick Cheung steps behind the camera for the second time, following last year’s “Hungry Ghost Ritual,” directing and starring in this suspense thriller. (Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHYfKAZa7oI)

Raman Hui Named Director of the Year

Raman Hui, director of 'Monster Hunt.' PHOTO: CineAsia

Raman Hui, director of ‘Monster Hunt’
PHOTO: CineAsia

Hong Kong filmmaker Raman Hui was named director of the year by movie-industry group CineAsia.

Mr. Hui directed the 3-D fantasy-action hit “Monster Hunt,” China’s biggest blockbuster this year. The film, which opened in July, went on to earn 2.44 billion yuan (US$383.9 million) and claimed the title of China’s No. 1 box-office hit of all time. 

“CineAsia is thrilled to honor Raman Hui with this prestigious award,” Andrew Sunshine, co-managing director of CineAsia, said in a statement. “As the director of what is now the highest-grossing film of all time in China, Raman continues to perform at a level that is second to none,” he said. 

“Monster Hunt,” an adventure-comedy that combines live-action with animation, is about a battle between humans and gruesome-looking creatures that live deep in the forest.

The film stars actress Bai Baihe and actor Jing Boran. The big-name cast includes Tang Wei, Sandra Ng and Eric Tsang. 

Mr. Hui made his mark in Hollywood as the supervising animator and lead character-designer for “Antz” (1998), among other films. He gained further recognition as the supervising animator for “Shrek” (2001) and its 2004 sequel, “Shrek 2.” He also co-directed 2007’s “Shrek the Third.”

Mr. Hui will be honored by CineAsia at an awards ceremony in Hong Kong in December. The annual CineAsia event brings together movie-industry professionals from across Asia and elsewhere, with a focus on exhibition and distribution.

Watch a trailer for “Monster Hunt”:

https://vimeo.com/130720865

Taiwan Names ‘The Assassin’ as Its Oscar Entry

A scene from Hou Hsiao-hsien's 'The Assasin." PHOTO: Well Go USA

A scene from Hou Hsiao-hsien’s ‘The Assassin.’
PHOTO: Well Go USA

Taiwan selected “The Assassin” as its official foreign-language entry for the 2016 Academy Awards.

Director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s art-house martial-arts film stars actress Shu Qi as an expert assassin in 9th-century China. Mr. Hou won the best-director award for the film at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

“‘The Assassin’ was selected because the film’s technical aspect has reached a pinnacle,” Taiwan’s ministry of culture said in a statement. “The film conveys a classical atmosphere and humanity through its cinematography, lighting, art direction and character modeling. Director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s film techniques have remained the same, but the film shows Hou’s strong ambition to create a new film language and style,” according to the statement, which was issued by Well Go USA, the film’s U.S. distributor.

The film opened around Asia last month and currently is screening at this week’s Toronto International Film Festival. It will also screen at the New York Film Festival, which opens later in September, prior to its release in the U.S. on Oct. 16.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences typically releases a short list of films eligible for the foreign-language category prior to its announcement of five nominated films. The full list of nominations for the 2016 Oscars is scheduled for Jan. 14, and the awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 28.

‘The Assassin’ Gains an Audience in China

Shu Qi, in a scene from director Hou Hsiao-hsien's 'The Assassin.' PHOTO: Hong Kong International Film Festival Society

Shu Qi, in a scene from director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s ‘The Assassin.’
PHOTO: Hong Kong International Film Festival Society

Filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “The Assassin” continues to gain a steady following at the mainland China box office since its opening on Aug. 27. In its first nine days of release, the Taiwanese director’s art-house sword-play film starring actress Shu Qi has earned 54.91 million yuan (US$8.62 million), according to website ChinaBoxOffice.

The film, which earned Mr. Hou the best-director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, has drawn strong reviews — earning a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The South China Morning Post called it “an instant classic,” while Variety described it as “a mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie.”

Watch a trailer for “The Assassin”: