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Entries in Tony Leung (13)

Thursday
Feb062014

Meet the Berlinale Jury

The 64th Berlinale begins today in Germany - a press conference for Grand Budapest Hotel is streaming right now. It's the second of the six most powerful and premiere-heavy festivals each year, which schedule like so: Sundance -January; Berlin -February; Cannes - May; and the September glut of Venice, Telluride & Toronto. Like most of the biggies Berlinale has multiple juries for multiple types of awards, major and niche. But here's the main competition jury presided over by former Focus Features chief James Schamus. 

The Jury, The Competition Films, and Oscar History after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb052014

More Kudos for The Grandmaster

The awards journey of Wong Kar Wai's long-gestating martial arts history epic continues. Though The Grandmaster didn't win a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination, it nevertheless became one of those rare subtitled pictures to become a multiple Oscar nominee even without that honor. Though it's not likely to win either of its Oscar nominations, more trophies might be coming its way. It lost the Golden Horse for Best Picture, Asia's most prestigious film trophy, but now it leads the Hong Kong Film Award nominations with 14 nominations. Its nearest rival is Unbeatable, a fight tournament movie with 11 nominations which is really much closer to a Hollywood style inspirational sports drama like Warrior. (I reviewed the latter at TIFF last year.) 

Eddie Peng and Nick Cheung in UNBEATABLE

For those who, like me, are confused at the amount of different film awards for the Chinese film industry, I have asked and it works out something like so. There are three major regions (Taiwan, China, Hong Kong) and they each have film awards; The Golden Horse are from Taiwan and are considered the most prestigious because they have the widest open playing field (all three major regions are eligible for prizes plus places like Singapore -- which took Best Picture for Ilo Ilo if you'll recall) and they are the oldest and thus an institution; the Hong Kong Film Awards concentrate on Hong Kong cinema and China's Golden Rooster concentrates on mainland China... though in all three cases certain films work around the rules. It was ever so in film awards from anywhere, yes?

The nominee list, with more commentary, is after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan112014

Beauty Break: Smoking Kills (Glamorously)

Confessions, multiple: I have never been a smoker, I've been thrilled and proud of my friends whenever they've kicked the habit, I have never once missed the days when bars / restaurants allowed smoking...

... but I miss smoking in the movies. 

Rock Hudson blowing smoke rings

Fifty years ago this very day the Surgeon General first deemed it hazardous to your health and over the next fifty years it's slowly faded from the movies. Nowadays when you see smoking onscreen, it's nearly always to signify "rebellious character" or "villain" or is shot through some sharp retro-commentary filters: see everything about everyone in Mad Men or David Straitharn's whole act in Goodnight, and Good Luck. 

I know smoking is wrong. I know it kills. I hate the way it smells. But those tendrils of smoke on screen or a movie star's lips around a cigarette look so damn sexy. Here's proof...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov232013

Golden Horse Winners: Stray Dogs, The Grandmaster, Ilo Ilo

 I watched the show live. I didn't understand a word but awards shows are universal. Full list of winners and what it might mean for Oscar (multiple Oscar submissions competed here) after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep012013

Review: The Grandmaster

Dancin' Dan here with my take on one of my most anticipated films of the year.

It's often easy to forget that the martial arts indeed are art, despite the fact that the word is right there in their given name. Practioners of kung fu, or karate, or judo hone their craft just as intensely (if not more so) as any painter, dancer, musician, actor, or filmmaker practices theirs. And to watch martial artists perform (that is, to fight) is quite often just as much of an awe-inspiring spectacle as it is to, say, watch Cate Blanchett navigate the course of Jasmine's unraveling. Wong Kar-Wai's The Grandmaster, far more than any martial arts movie in recent memory, understands this.

One might expect no less from a film directed by Kar-Wai, cinema's premiere sensualist. And on this point, at least, he doesn't disappoint. [more...]

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