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Handmaid's Tale ep 1 & 2

"Margaret Atwood's novel is superb. If this is half as good, it will be great!" - Marcelo

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Entries in Asian cinema (105)

Wednesday
Apr192017

OTD: Don Cheadle debuts, Mae West sentenced, Marie-Antoinette marries (sort of) 

On this day (April 19th) in history as it relates to showbiz...

1770 Marie Antoinette married by proxy to Louis-Auguste. A month later she travels from Austria to the forest of Compiègne to meet her husband (essentially where Sofia Coppola's great 2006 film starring Kirsten Dunst begins) and the two soon have a ceremonial wedding.

1898 Silent screen star Constance Talmadge born (the year is disputed but around there!). One of many silent giants whose fame didn't transfer to "the talkies"...

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Monday
Mar062017

Mt Linkmore

THR Shin Godzilla wins really big at the Japanese Oscars while massive anime hit Your Name takes 3 prizes. A film called Her Love Boils Bathwater (????) took both of the actress awards. Gimme.
TFE ... ICYMI Shin Godzilla came in at #18 at the US box office in terms of foreign film success last year (just behind critical darlings The Handmaiden and Elle)
Two Dollar Cinema had a fun blog-a-thon called 'Mt Rushmore of Movies' in which bloggers could just any fourpart tribute - I only hear about blog-a-thons after the fact but I'm happy some people are still doing 'em. Entries include: four characters with great beards, best movie cameos, movies where romantic leads don't end up together, and more

Much more film & TV news, videos, and linkage as well as Barry Jenkins & Damien Chazelle's friendship after the jump because this is a super long post. It's impossible to keep up as of late!

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb212017

Interview: The Global Resonance of "Zootopia" and its Animal Kingdoms

Zootopia gets a lot of its pizazz from the clash of its odd couple leads but behind the scenes things are much more sympatico. When I sat down to interview the director Rich Moore (Wreck-it Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-it Ralph, Bolt, Lilo & Stitch) they weren't so much finishing each other's sentences as they were most definitely reciting from the same page. Rich calls Clark the 'best producer he's ever worked with' and credits him for creating a structure so that the creatives didn't have to worry about the minutae but were kept aware of it to keep them on track.

Unfortunately the third key member of their team Byron Howard, who the project originated with had bronchitis on the day we met. He'll be long since recovered by Oscar night which will likely be a happy one for the team.

Zootopia is the second project Moore and Clark have done together but when we sat down to speak over coffee the spectre of Wreck-It Ralph 2 hung like a comic cloud overhead because, as they joked, they've got deadlines! The film doesn't open until March of 2018 but that's a very short time in the production lifespan of an animated feature.

Byron Howard, Clark Spencer, and Rich Moore won the Golden Globe for Zootopia. Will they win the Oscar, too?

But for now, the wrap up of the long journey of Zootopia on Oscar night. This Disney fable about diversity and harmonious living has been successful all over the world grossing over a billion dollars globally, the fourth most successful picture of 2016 behind three films that had a built-in sequel advantage (Captain America, Finding Dory, Rogue One).

In other words, it's been quite a spectacular runaway success. Selections from our chat follow...

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Tuesday
Dec272016

Doc Corner: George Michael on Show in 'Foreign Skies'

Nathaniel already looked at his favourite George Michael songs in tribute to the man's passing at age 53, and today a 1985 tour documentary featuring the finest male vocalist of his generation.

Three decades ago when China figuratively opened their doors to western culture, the first to arrive were… Big Bird and Wham! Two fey, energetic, hyper-coloured performers who sought a mutual exchange through music and film. The yellow Sesame Street character had Big Bird in China, while George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley got Wham! In China: Foreign Skies.

It’s a peculiar film, and not an especially good one. Half Chinese travelogue for the western audiences fascinated by the newly open China with their bustling food markets, seas of grey fashion, and their Great Wall; half concert film focusing, rightly, on the energetic and handsome George Michael sashaying around on stage like nobody had ever seen before.

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Monday
Dec192016

Subtitles Fading But These Soldiers March On...

Year in Review. Every afternoon, a new wrap-up. Today an exhaustive list of how foreign films performed at the US box office...  

Perhaps no film is a more perfect encapsulation of the 2016 reality for foreign films in the US marketplace than Netflix's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel. The first was an international theatrical phenomenon and a true blockbuster delivering over $100 million in the United States alone. The sequel sixteen years later was in English and went straight to streaming. 

Despite the inhospitable 21st century climate nowadays, specialty distributors fight on to deliver some variety to the US marketplace. Here's how they fared this year. These numbers were pulled from Box Office Mojo and we tried to be as thorough as possible (though we did skip documentaries and animated features which are sometimes screened in both dubbed and subtitled versions in the same marketplace)

TOP 100 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS FOR 2016
By US Box Office Gross. Title links go to reviews. 🔺 = still in theaters
Note: Figures as of March 30th, 2017

01 Dangal $12.3 (India)

02 No Manches Frida $11.5 (USA) available to stream on IMDb

03 Sultan $6.2 (India)
Bollywood films account for a big portion of each year's foreign film grosses in the US. Up until the release of Dangal at Christmas, none were mightier for most of 2016 than the sports drama starring Salman Khan (pictured above).

Oscar Finalists, Isabelle Huppert, and buzzy Korean hits after the jump...

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Thursday
Nov242016

Turkey's Oscar Submission Wins the APSA

The Asian Pacific Awards, now in their 10th year (and our own Glenn Dunks works for them behind the scenes), and unconcerned with our American Holiday held their ceremony in Brisbane today. (Their awards cover the whole continent so all the countries you might think of as Asian, plus ones you don't like Australia, Russia, etcetera). The hosts were actor David Wenham (Lion, Australia, Lord of the Rings) and international journalist Anjali Rao. The winners (with their trailers) are after the jump...

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Friday
Nov182016

Posterized: Ang Lee

By Nathaniel R

Ang Lee with one of his Billy Lynn stars, Vin DieselOne of our favorite directors has a new film going wide today. Unfortunately number 13 proves unlucky for the great Ang Lee as Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, a military drama about the way we use soldiers as propaganda pawns or blank slates to project upon, is hard to watch. Let us pray for a swift death to Hollywood's current unfathomable interest in the high frame rate technique. (The technique is ugly, expensive but looks cheap, and doesn't look like cinema -- that's lose lose lose or three strikes you're out. So what's the appeal Hollywood?)

Nevertheless Ang Lee has given us so many riches over his 24 year feature film career that we ought to appreciate his filmography this weekend.

How many of his pictures have you seen?
All the posters are after the jump... 

Click to read more ...