Saturday, December 30, 2017

China wants to export movies with Chinese values. Washington Post freaks out.

Some movers and shakers in the Chinese movie industry attended a one day seminar on how best to
tell stories rooted in "Socialism with Chinese characteristics". The Washington Post clutched its
pearls and called for the fainting couch at the idea that "propaganda" might find its way onto
the Jade Screen, ignoring the decades of production of Hollywood in which truth, justice and
the American Way were confirmed before the final credits rolled. I don't know if anyone pays
attention to concepts like cultural hegemony these days but it is useful when analyzing the output
of a dominant political and economic power.

Among those in attendance were Angelababy, Yang Mi and Zhou Dongyu, a couple of young idols and
several directors and writers.

Zhou Dongyu at the Toronto International Film Festival:

Angelababy at Cannes:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Yeung Chin-wah (Miriam Yeung) gives a concert

Five or six costume changes with songs and dance numbers give concert goers their money's worth on Christmas Eve. Some of the looks that mean the backstage dressers need flying fingers and hands like lightning to get Miriam Yeung off and on stage in some intricate gear. According to the sliced and diced googlespeak machine translation the concert was at the "Red Hall" in, according to her schedule, Hong Kong.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Fan Bingbing celebrates the Solstice

Fan Bingbing gets goofy and then super-glam in honor of the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The caption on the first picture was an exhortatory ""Get up and go out! Happy solstice! Friends!" And off she went.

Sina slide

"Forever Young" with Zhang Ziyi set for release

If Zhang Ziyi had to wait much longer for the release of her film Forever Young she might wish the title referred to her in real life. Written seven years ago and filmed five years past, it has been sitting on the shelf since 2012.

 Zhang Ziyi, Huang Xiaoming, Leehom Wang, Chang Chen and Chen Chusheng attended a press conference on Wednesday in Beijing to announce the release date as Jan. 12 next year. The story covers four generations spanning a hundred years of modern Chinese history since World War II.

Her next film is Godzilla: King of Monsters. It is due out in 2019 or possible 2026.
A couple of stills from the film:

And the poster:

Global Times  China Daily

Friday, June 12, 2015

Michelle Yeoh helps British Airways launch daily flights between London to Kuala Lumpur.

Michelle Yeoh, proud daughter of Malaysia, Jimmy Choo, a noted cordwainer of note born in Penang and Georgia May Jagger, known only for being the daughter of Mick, got together the other day to lend some glamour an otherwise humdrum corporate announcement that British Airways was reestablishing direct flights to the capital city. Yeoh has very strong connections to the land of her birth--Jean Todt, her husband to be/significant other/consort has been given the title of Datuk, a federal title that is outranked by Yeoh's designation as a Tan Sri.

That's Jagger in a seat from the first class section of the a Boeing 777. The shoot was based on a "Cinderella" theme, making Choo the handsome prince and Yeoh the fairy godmother. If the idea behind the image was that the Petronas Twin Towers would overwhelm and dominate the picture they succeeded.

New Straits Times British Airways

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung in “Dangerous Liaisons”

Setting Dangerous Liaisons in Shanghai during the 1930s and opening it out slightly to include glimpses of the social and political unrest of the time and place was an interesting and not altogether successful decision by its creators. One of the reasons that the 330 year old French novel remains such a rich source for cautionary tales of amorality, libertinage and emotional cruelty is the confined hothouse atmosphere the characters inhabit in Paris and in various chateaux. While Les Liaisons dangereuses was set seven short years before the storming of the Bastille, Choderlos de Laclos, its author, was secretary to Louis XVI’s cousin and hardly one to bring the Paris mob into his account of aristocratic licentiousness.

So making Du Fenyu the widow of a hero of the struggle against the Japanese and the warlords, including having her make an impassioned fundraising pitch at an haute-bourgeois party was a distraction—it also telegraphed to the audience that she would still be around when the closing credits rolled. Zhang Ziyi was excellent as Du Fenyu, gliding through most of the movie on a cloud of moral superiority while helping activists who were her husband’s students escape the police and rebuffing the advances of the cad Xie Yifan until she finally succumbs to him.

Zhang Ziyi as the too good to be true Du Fenyu

I feel that Jang Dong-Gun played Xie Yifan much too broadly with constant smirks and knowing leers as he stalked his prey, planning to seduce Du Fenyu to win a bet with the imperious and beautiful Mo Jieyu. Du Fenyu neither knows nor understands the level of his duplicity although he underlines his amoral behavior whenever given a chance.

One would not want to be on the wrong side of Mo Jieyu, perfectly portrayed by Cecilia Cheung. She is more than a match for any of the men around her is obviously the strongest although most repellent character onscreen. One hated Madame Mo while marveling at Cecilia Cheung’s pure talent and screen presence. In on short, memorable scene she essentially seduces the lingerie clad Beibei when convincing her to model for Dai, setting in motion her plan to use the innocent, convent raised Beibei to hit back at Beibei’s new fiancĂ©, a wealthy businessman formerly Madame Mo’s suitor.

Cecelia Cheung as the formidably evil Mo Jieyu

The opulent interiors and elegant costumes were very well designed and rendered as was the evocation of Shanghai in the late 1930s. There are a lot of notable parts to” Dangerous Liaisons” but they don’t really add up to a compelling film.