Ju Dou (1990) - News Poster

(1990)

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Zhang-Damon Collaboration: Globalization the Unfortunate Big Loser

The Great Wall movie with Matt Damon: awkward-accented British mercenary fights the Taotie in costly Chinese-American collaboration. 'The Great Wall' movie: Zhang Yimou-Matt Damon collaboration evidence that – for better or for worse – countries can work together In this divisive age, when countries are turning inward with a nationalist, xenophobic fervor, it's comforting to know that the United States and China, their relationship mercurial and wary, can work together and, in the spirit of cooperation and unity, make a terrible movie. A co-production between Legendary East (the Chinese arm of Burbank, California-based, Legendary Entertainment) and China Film Group, The Great Wall is reportedly the most expensive film ever shot in China, a nation with aspirations to make films that rival Hollywood in their scope and success. Hollywood is willing to help if it ultimately leads to the release of more of its films in the tightly controlled Chinese market,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny review – sequel doesn't have the chops

With a script seemingly written by algorithm, this dour follow-up to Ang Lee’s dazzling original film comes across like a poor episode of Game of Thrones

Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was, at its release in late 2000, one of those rare moments in moviegoing when everyone seemed to agree. From the director of Sense and Sensibility, this international co-production seemed like a film for the so-called prestige audience, in the vein of Ju Dou or Raise the Red Lantern. But at the 15-minute mark it cut loose with dreamlike martial arts action to rouse even the most jaded of kung fu VHS traders. With its nuanced characters, epic mythology, gorgeous cinematography, breathless action, iconic score (I can go on! It’s terrific!) word of mouth was unstoppable. The film advanced to suburban multiplexes, shattering (and still holding) box office records for a foreign language film in the United States.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Coming Home Is a Moving Reunion Between Zhang Yimou and Gong Li

  • Vulture
Coming Home Is a Moving Reunion Between Zhang Yimou and Gong Li
Once upon a time, the filmmaker Zhang Yimou and his then-muse Gong Li collaborated on some of the most momentous works of new Chinese cinema. The films they made were diverse. They included lush, ruthless period dramas like Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern, as well as a neo-neorealist tale of bureaucracy gone haywire, The Story of Qiu Ju. Though ostensibly apolitical, these films nevertheless painted vivid portraits of a society where the status quo — whether it consisted of the traditionalist mores of the past, or the state machinery of the present — was forever stifling. (Their masterful 1994 collaboration To Live actually got Zhang banned from filmmaking for two years by China’s state censors.) The pair — also romantically linked for a while — eventually went their separate ways, though both continued to grow in stature. Zhang became a state-approved filmmaker of (admittedly still pretty great) historical epics like Hero and The House of Flying Daggers,
See full article at Vulture »

Watch The Trailer For Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home

Sony Pictures Classics has released the exquisite first trailer for Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home, opening in New York and Los Angeles September 9th.

Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband’s return.

A stranger alone in the heart of his broken family, Lu Yanshi determines to resurrect their past

together and reawaken his wife’s memory

The film was an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival 2014 and the Toronto International Film Festival 2014.

One of the most important and influential filmmakers in China,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Tomorrow is the Submission Deadline in Oscar's Foreign Film Race

At the moment of this typing 67 films have been announced by their home countries as Oscar submissions and our famous charts are all updated to tell you about them with posters, running times, languages spoken, official site links, synopsis and more. This year's race has three countries who've never submitted before (Kosovo, Mauritania, and Panama). That's not a record since that was also true last year. Can we attribute the continual growth of this category to the general democratization of film now that (nearly) everything is digital and filmmaking is (theoretically) more affordable? Or perhaps it's a sure sign that the Oscar is still one of the most significant icons around the world?

The most exciting news this past week was Russia daringly choosing Cannes hit Leviathan - not the kind of film they normally would send.Other new additions to the chart include Egypt's Factory Girl, India's Liar's Dice,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Cannes Unveils 2014 Official Selection Lineup

Cannes Unveils 2014 Official Selection Lineup
Tommy Lee Jones, Bennett Miller, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan will duke it out with Jean-Luc Godard, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Michel Hazanavicius and the Dardenne brothers for the Palme d’Or at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival, which unveiled its official selection lineup this morning in Paris by fest topper Thierry Fremaux.

The wide-ranging competition slate is typically heavy on French filmmakers, with Olivier Assayas’ international co-production “Clouds of Sils Maria” and Bertrand Bonello’s fashion-designer biopic “Saint Laurent” joining Hazanavicius’ “The Search” and Godard’s 3D experiment “Goodbye to Language.” Fremaux noted that Godard, famously a no-show at the 2010 Cannes premiere of his “Film socialisme,” had “promised he’ll be there — which doesn’t mean he will!”

One of the more intriguing developments of this year’s competition is the unusual dominance of Canadian auteurs.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes Watch? The "Return" of Gong Li & Zhang Yimou

Speculating about what might be at Cannes is not something I do so as to prevent the envy but the reunion of director Zhang Yimou with his most beloved muse Gong Li is definitely something to consider. Together they made six international hits, four of them Oscar-nominated (Raise the Red LanternJu DouShanghai Triad, Curse of the Golden Flower), the first two are among the best Chinese films ever made.

Their seventh collaboration just released first stills and a nearly wordless teaser (embedded below).

The film is planning a May premiere at home so Cannes would make sense. The film is based on the novel "The Criminal Lu Yanshi" by Yan Geling about a long term prisoner (Chen Daoming) who, upon release, returns to his wife (Gong Li) who no longer recognizes him. The film also features Miss Chinese Toronto winner (2009) Candy Chang. There's a whole name for young
See full article at FilmExperience »

Universal Signs Zhang Yimou To Film The Parsifal Mosaic

In a landmark move, Universal Pictures have signed award-winning Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (The Flowers Of War) to direct their planned film adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Parsifal Mosaic. According to Deadline, this collaboration will mark the first time a mainland Chinese director has signed on for an English-language film for a Us film studio.

Zhang Yimou – a director, producer, actor, writer and former cinematographer – is no stranger to the concept of blazing a trail. In 1990, his film Ju Dou became the first Chinese movie to be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. More recently, he directed both the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

The Parsifal Mosaic has been in development at Universal for some time. Quickly becoming a bestseller for author Robert Ludlum after it was published in 1982, it tells the story of Robert Havelock – a Us State Department Intelligence
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Universal Sets Zhang Yimou To Helm Robert Ludlum Adaptation ‘The Parsifal Mosaic’

  • Deadline
Exclusive: What’s a Robert Ludlum thriller without an unexpected plot twist? How about Universal Pictures setting Zhang Yimou to direct The Parsifal Mosaic, the Ludlum bestseller that Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are producing with Captivate’s Jeffrey Weiner and Ben Smith? I’m told this is the first time that a mainland Chinese director has signed to do an English-language film with a film studio in the U.S. That was the goal when, in May 2012, CAA signed the filmmaker whose film Ju Dou became the first Chinese feature to be nominated for an Oscar, and who also directed the dazzling Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It is not clear yet whether this will be his first Hollywood film or not because he has other irons in the fire. Zhang’s films include the BAFTA-winning Raise The Red Lantern, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers
See full article at Deadline »

Tuesday Top Ten: Working Actors In Need of an Oscar Nomination

[Editor's note: The last time I published a list of this sort Christian Bale was way up top and then The Fighter happened. Time for a new look at the Oscar Nomination-less. While I'm in Sundance, abstew steps in with his list. My list (and I'm sure yours) might not be exactly the same but... discuss! - Nathaniel]

This past Thursday, when the Oscar nominations were announced, only eight actors were hearing their names called for the first time (the Best Actress category was all previous nominees and 80% winners). Some were for film debuts (Lupita Nyong'o and Barkhad Abdi), but for the other 6 names (Ejiofor, McConaughey, Fassbender, Leto, Hawkins, and Squibb) it was their first recognition from the Academy after years of hard work and dedication to their craft. But not every great actor ever gets to hear their name called Oscar nomination morning. Despite powerful performances and decades of service to the film industry, sometimes a nomination (let alone a win) evades the greats. For some, the oversite will never be remedied (Marilyn Monore, Edward G. Robinson, Myrna Loy, Peter Lorre, Jean Harlow, and John Barrymore are just some of Hollywood's finest that went without the prefix Academy Award Nominee), but for many great actors still working today there is still time.
See full article at FilmExperience »

The 300 Greatest Films Ever Made (Part 6)

  • Cinelinx
Our daily January countdown continues with the sixth out of 30, in our listing of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 250-241.

250) The Usual Suspects (1995) Bryan Singer USA

249) Adam’S Rib (1949) George Cuckor USA

248) Ju Dou (1989) Zhang Yimou China/ Japan

247) Alien (1979) Ridley Scott USA

246) Spirited Away (2001) Hayao Miyazaki Japan Animated

245) The Killing Fields (1984) Roland Joffe British

244) Cinderella (1950) Walt Disney USA Animated

243) Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975) Peter Weir Australia

242) Alexander Nevski (1938) Sergei Eisenstein Russia

241) This Is Spinal Tap (1984) Rob Reiner USA

Numbers 240-231 coming next.

film cultureClassicslist300
See full article at Cinelinx »

Marrakech '12: Zhang Yimou Talks Working With Christian Bale, The Growing Chinese Box Office & More

  • The Playlist
Zhang Yimou ("Raise the Red Lantern," "Ju Dou," "Hero," "House of the Flying Daggers") has been making movies in his homeland of China, from within the system, for the past two and a half decades. During this time, he has witnessed, and participated in, the gradual, incremental thawing of Chinese relations with the West, and the partial loosening of the viselike grip of governmental control over film production. Honored with a tribute at the Marrakech International Film Festival, and presenting his newest film "The Flowers of War", Zhang spoke, through two translators (Mandarin-French, French-English) to a small group of journalists about his filmmaking life under a notoriously repressive regime, the themes he revisits, and working with Christian Bale. Here are five highlights from that conversation. 1. Yimou's characteristic focus on female protagonists is his way of paying tribute to his mother. "I respect women a lot...
See full article at The Playlist »

Gong Li Will Be The Last Empress

Chinese actress Gong Li is undoubtedly one of her nation's biggest stars. Since her screen debut in celebrated director Zhang Yimou's Red Sorghum in 1987, she's been his constant muse, appearing a dozen of his productions, including the Oscar-nominated dramas Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, and Curse of the Golden Flower. But the gorgeous actress, who hasn't seemed to age a day since the '90s, has also made her mark in American cinema, memorably playing the cruel and calculating Hatsumomo in Rob Marshall's Academy Award-winning adaptation Memoirs of a Geisha. THR reports China and the Us will unite to produce the English-language drama The Last Empress, and quite rightly Li has been selected to star. The ambitious film will follow the life of Empress Cixi, who used her incredible charm and confidence to rule the last imperial dynasty of China effectively.though unofficially.for nearly fifty years. She
See full article at Cinema Blend »

The Flowers of War – review

A couple of years ago, there appeared within a week of each other two serious, sober films about one of the worst atrocities of an atrocious century, the Japanese siege and destruction of Nanking in the winter of 1937-38 that resulted in the massacre of some 300,000 civilians. Lu Chuan's black-and-white City of Life and Death tells the story from the point of view of the Chinese victims and the Japanese invaders. Florian Gallenberger's restrained City of War: The Story of John Rabe observes the events through the eyes of a group of European residents, among them a Schindler figure, boss of the Siemens factory (and, ironically, a Nazi party member), who created a safety zone that saved the lives of 200,000 Chinese citizens.

Zhang Yimou, one of China's most talented film-makers (his landmark movies include Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern and Ju Dou), has unwisely imposed a largely fictionalised story on this appalling incident.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Flowers of War: late bloomer?

Despite having a huge budget, global aspirations and Christian Bale, the harrowing Chinese film The Flowers of War bombed in the Us. Will the setback deter China's ambitious film-makers?

Few could question Zhang Yimou's ambition. In the 1980s and 1990s, he won acclaim with the likes of Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern. In the 2000s, he stormed to global box-office success with Hero. Though Danny Boyle's Olympics opener is now fresher in the mind, Zhang's spectacular staging of the Beijing opening ceremony four years ago left a lasting impression of Chinese capability that any of history's greatest propagandists would have envied. It also signified that Zhang, who hailed from a family with a Chinese nationalist past and was once seen as a subversive film-maker, had been welcomed into the fold of official Communist party approval.

Zhang's latest production, The Flowers of War, hits British cinemas Friday – and aims even higher.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gong Li: Marco Polo Movie

Gong Li in (but not as) Marco Polo? Director Tarsem Singh (Immortals / Mirror Mirror) and producer Gianni Nunnari (300 / 300: Battle of Artemisia) are reportedly working on a film project about the life of the Italian explorer, previously incarnated on screen by the likes of Gary Cooper (in Archie Mayo’s The Adventures of Marco Polo, 1938), Rory Calhoun (Piero Pierotti and Hugo Fregonese’s Marco Polo, 1962), Horst Buchholz (Denys de La Patellière and Raoul Lévy’s Marco the Magnificent, 1965), and Ian Somerhalder (Kevin Connor’s TV movie Marco Polo, 2007). According to Screen Daily, the Chinese Gong Li would play a Mongolian princess. In Memoirs of a Geisha Gong played a Japanese geisha. She hasn’t played any Swedes yet, I don’t think, even though that would be karmic. After all, Swedish-born Warner Oland was a frequent "Chinaman," including Charlie Chan, in numerous Hollywood movies of the ’20s and ’30s. The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

CAA Signs Chinese Helmer Zhang Yimou

  • Deadline
CAA Signs Chinese Helmer Zhang Yimou
Exclusive: As CAA continues to bolster its presence in China, the agency has added one of the country’s premier filmmakers to the client roster. It has signed Zhang Yimou, whose film Ju Dou became the first Chinese feature to be nominated for an Oscar, and who also directed the dazzling opening ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The agency will rep his Chinese films, and bring him into the Hollywood fold as well. His films include the BAFTA-winning Raise The Red Lantern, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers and most recently the Christian Bale-starrer Flowers Of War. The filmmaker continues to be managed by Mo Zhang and Catherine Pang in China.
See full article at Deadline »

New Domestic Poster for The Flowers Of War Starring Christian Bale

In The Flowers Of War, Director Zhang Yimou (Raise The Red Lantern, Ju Dou, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers) tells an epic story of love and sacrifice. The film, set during Japan's 1937 invasion of China, is told from a young girl's point of view, not as a history lesson, but as an intimate, elemental and paradoxically universal celebration of the human spirit. Bale stars as a dissolute Westerner who seeks refuge in a Catholic church. There he meets a beautiful Chinese courtesan who helps him rescue a group of schoolgirls from a terrible fate at the hands of the Japanese. The Flowers Of War was adapted by Liu Heng and Geling Yan from the novel by Geling Yan. The film is produced by Zhang Weiping (marking his tenth collaboration with Zhang Yimou) under his New Pictures Film banner. The...
See full article at The Daily BLAM! »

The Flowers Of War Exclusive Movie Clip

New clip from The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang and Paul Schneider. Helmed by Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou, Hero, House of the Flying Daggers) from the script by Liu Heng, based on the novel by Geling Yan, The Flowers of War tells an epic story of love and sacrifice. The new clip is called "Permit," courtesy of Yahoo Movies. The film, set during Japan’s 1937 invasion of China, is told from a young girl’s point of view, not as a history lesson, but as an intimate, elemental and paradoxically universal celebration of the human spirit. Bale stars as a dissolute Westerner who seeks refuge in a Catholic church. There he meets a beautiful Chinese courtesan who helps him rescue a group of schoolgirls from a terrible fate at the hands of the Japanese.
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

The Flowers Of War Exclusive Movie Clip

New clip from The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang and Paul Schneider. Helmed by Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou, Hero, House of the Flying Daggers) from the script by Liu Heng, based on the novel by Geling Yan, The Flowers of War tells an epic story of love and sacrifice. The new clip is called "Permit," courtesy of Yahoo Movies. The film, set during Japan’s 1937 invasion of China, is told from a young girl’s point of view, not as a history lesson, but as an intimate, elemental and paradoxically universal celebration of the human spirit. Bale stars as a dissolute Westerner who seeks refuge in a Catholic church. There he meets a beautiful Chinese courtesan who helps him rescue a group of schoolgirls from a terrible fate at the hands of the Japanese.
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