Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pace Wu and Lynn Xiong at Dolce and Gabbana

Pace Wu Pei-Ci and Lynn Xiong Doi-Lan took time to drop by the opening of the D&G store in Shanghai the other day to help convince women in China that Emporio Armani and Roberto Cavalli aren't the only places to pick up Italian dresses for 5,000 yuan and above. Way above. 

Pace Wu seems to have been in such a hurry to stand in front of a sign with her hand on her hip that she forgot her dress and didn't realize it time. Making a virtue of necessity she posed very prettily in her slip.

Pace Wu Pei-Ci

Lynn Xiong Doi-Lan

I am not sure what Lynn Xiong is wearing but the floral patterns are gorgeous and the bustier-like top and over the knee skirt complement each other--sexy and demure at the same time. Floral prints on bright primary colors look good and are appropriate for use in any outfit other than something super-formal--meeting a head of state, for example.

From CRI China

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Li Xiaolu gets Harper's China cover and editorial

Actress Li Xiaolu, featured in the just released Lost on Journey and whose career got off to a big start when she won the Golden Horse Award for Best Actress when she was 18 for Sent Down Girl is has the cover and several pictures inside in Harper's China. From the looks of these images a dark Kelly green is a great color for her.

From ChinaDaily.

Stardoll--for the manly man

Sales of chainsaws, muscle cars and large caliber firearms have dropped significantly since men have discovered the magic of digital "paper" dolls. Alerted to this trend by duriandave at SoftFilm I checked it out and quickly fell under the spell of dressing images of my favorite actresses. The wardrobes are a bit limited with shoes, purses, belts and jewelry in short supply. A combination of squinting and suspension of disbelief helps the dolls resemble actresses.

It isn't necessary to join Stardoll--just go to this url and either scroll through the list of available names (most of which I couldn't identify) or just type a name into the search window if you are so inclined.

I was and here are a few of the results.

First, Faye Wong. Her stardoll looks unhappy, probably because it is so easy to dress her inelegantly and give her a silly hair color.

Bai Ling's doll, on the other hand, seems pleased with this outfit even though Bai Ling herself isn't often seen in a layered look:

Gong Li is usually dressed in the latest creations from Louis Vuitton, Givenchy or Marc Jacobs since she is a spokesman for their parent company LVMH but she may run down to the corner to grab a newspaper once in a while and even Gong Li must get tired of wearing floor length gowns with plunging necklines and needs at least one casual outfit--and perhaps even a henna rinse.

More from the stardoll front as things develop. You have been warned.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fan Bing-Bing and Li Fei-Er close the show at Cannes

The last trip down the red carpet for on the sun kissed Mediterranean shores for Fan Bing-Bing and Li Fei-Er, covered by Zimbio. We aren't quite finished with this chapter of our heroines' lives but this is definitely the beginning of the end.

Li Fei-Er with co-star Zi Vi:

And as is generally the case you can find more pics from dleedlee.

Gao Yuan-Yuan in stills from "Unmanned

These have been around for a while although I hadn't seen them before. From CRIENGLISH on May 12.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Zhang Xinyi in stills from Yip Wai-Man's "Lost on Journey"

From CRIENGLISH where there are a few more. Zhang Xinyi has a striking look in these:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wong Jing, Teresa Mak and "Love Me, Love My Money"

Wong Jing has been successful and controversial for decades. One of the most prolific filmmakers in Hong Kong in the 1980s and 1990s when movies came out faster than the distributors could get them on the screen. Strongly rumored underworld ties in a business that is rife with them; master of the casting couch in an industry that features unbalanced power relationships, unbridled concupiscence and ready availability of targets; schlock auteur when schock was king.

He is a very skillful director, something that can be overwhelmed by the baggage that he has accumulated over his career or simply overlooked because so many of the movies with his name on them seem shoddy and slapdash. What you think of Wong Jing depends on what you best remember of his work--and anyone who is a fan of Hong Kong movies has seen a good deal of it. He has also, to those for whom such things are important, introduced and featured a lot of beautiful and often talented actresses to the jade screen.

The ongoing discussion/dispute of his place in the art and commerce of film was continued on a couple of blogs recently although the post in question in neither blog concern Wong Jing. YTSL reviewed Future X-Cops while Glenn, kenixfan did Girl With the Diamond Slipper. Commentors (including me) were more interested in discussing Wong Jing than the movies at hand.

The reviews by YTSL are yet another reason to visit her blog--as if any more were necessary--something I should have remarked on before (or may have already). She is a terrific observer if film (and much else) and probably couldn't write a bad sentence if she tried.

I have agreed wholeheartedly with the last several of Glenn's reviews but the real gems of his blog are the essays and photos on his recent trips to Hong Kong. Glenn is an intrepid traveler--after wondering about Hong Kong for years he simply got on a plane and got off 16 hours later, ready to see, hear, smell and taste the place. He writes very well about his experiences and does so without the commercial sheen that "travel" writing always has.

Getting back to Wong Jing, while not a fan of his as such--I won't be standing in line when the 250 DVD set of his definitive works is available--I think that his best movies compare with those done by some of the venerated high priests of the art. A case in point is Love Me, Love My Money which is close to being a perfect romantic comedy and comparable to the best work of Frank Capra or George Cukor.

In Love Me, Love My Money tables are turned, the mighty are brought low and money is shown not to buy happiness. The social order is unthreatened--the banks re-open on Monday morning and the unlovable billionaire who has become a homeless beggar is restored to his billions. The wealthy but insensitve Richard Ma has learned his lesson--which seems to be that if you look like Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and act helpless women, after some hesitation, will line up to help you.

Shu Qi is the chief foil. She plays Choi, a hardworking stockbroker who spends her days pounding the phones along with thousands like her:

Teresa Mak plays Fong her best friend--the buddy role:

Together they are quite a pair:

Other women in Richard Ma's life include Cho Chun who plays Helena the loyal secretary who hasn't had a day off for five years:

Dr. Lam his psychiatrist who would rather get on the couch with him than listen to his problems is played by Angie Cheung Wai-Yee:

Ultimately the woman whose bond with Richard Ma tells the audience that he is not (or not only) a dull boor is Vennessa who who agrees to help him unlike every other former girlfriend Richard Ma contacts. Down to his last few coins he calls Venessa and she arrives in a cab from some far reach of the city, leading a young child and heavily pregnant with another. Vanessa has come across town in the middle of her day in order to give him money—money which she takes from her housekeeping and will have to explain where it went to her husband.

She isn’t surprised that Richard is broke, even saying that he doesn’t look like he has been robbed (the story he gave her on the phone) but that he has gone bankrupt. Vanessa obviously still thinks very well of Richard and while it is clear there is no sexual spark anymore, she is doing a good deed for someone who she knew in the past and who she remembers fondly--Richard must have been a different person at some point.

When she first emerges from the cab the audience thinks this will be a further humiliation for Richard but Wong Jing turns it into a lovely scene that validates Richard as something other than a wealthy jerk. And in some very economical filmmaking, he uses the end of the scene make Choi and Fong think that Richard is taking money from and living off of women, giving them another reason to think he is a cad and a criminal. Venessa is played by Prudence Kao Bao-Yun in this small but crucial scene:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beauty unleashed: Doutzen Kroes and Fan Bing-Bing on the Cannes red carpet

Doutzen Kroes doesn't have any projects at Cannes but she is always welcomed on any red carpet. For those keeping score at home she is 25 years old, stands 5' 10" and earned, according to the most recent Forbes listing, six milliion dollars last year doing ad campaigns and runway work. She always shows up on time and only drinks Champagne for breakfast on special occasions. East meets West, the perfect Causcasian meets the more perfect Asian, blah, blah, blah.

Here they are, all from Zimbio.

The first is just a lovely picture:

And this one is nice:
Someone did something cute--perhaps one of the photographers brought his kitten:
I lightened this one up a bit to show some of the detail in Fan Bing-Bing's dress, especially the V-shaped insert on the side seam. Seems strange but it clearly works:
I blew out the color on this one to show the fine detail on the back of her dress--a lot of embroidery (repeated on the hemline of the rest of the dress), lace and beading. There is a lot of well executed design there:

Digital vandals attack movie promotion. Millions of pixels injured.

Villains armed with PhotoChoppers took a heavy toll on the massed ranks of still photographs called into duty for the promotion of the Zhang Ziyi Aaron Kwok epic A Tale of Magic. The film's producers and publicists not only allowed the massacre to occur but in a move inexplicable to seasoned observers of movie industry allowed the images to intrude into the first major press conference hyping the film.

CRIEnglish downplayed the worst of the atrocity, perhaps as a nod to their many overseas readers, with shots of the principals at the press conference and a few of the photoshopped images that survived the slaughter. Here is Zhang Ziyi preparing to address the media with a wall poster of the images behind her:

Here is Aaron Kwok who plays the other half of the married couple in front of the same shocking backdrop:

Following are two of the images, possible showing stages in the life of the couple, still from CRIEnglish:, on the other hand, showed the entire collage which can be seen here. Clicking on the large image or on any of the 23 buttons below it will produce pictures usually not considered suitable for a mainstream audience. For example:

The head of the Film Office had no comment. PhotoshopPolice are pursuing several promising leads but say that no arrests are immenent.

Maggie Q as the new "La Femme Nikita" on the small screen.

It started with Anne Parillaud in Nikita. In truth it started for me with this poster in the lobby of one of the few art house cinemas in snow-bound industrial wasteland of southeast Michigan:
One look convinced me that La Femme Nikita, as it was renamed for U.S. release, was a must see movie.

Then there was Briget Fonda in the U.S. remake, Point of No Return (or perhaps No Point For This Movie) that wasn't really bad, just a step down in every way from the original. Since one critic wrote that Nikita meant the end of French cinema since it was so obviously based on the worst of American film the remake might have at least legitimized the original since it had to be remade.

Peta Wilson made a name for herself in the many seasons of La Femme Nikita which we watched back in the days when we still watched TV. There were many decent stories spread over three or four episodes and some excellent single shows. Plus more than a few duds but it showed that the formula worked.

One of what I assume to be many "re-imaginings" of the concept was the Hong Kong movie starring the all but divine Jade Leung, Black Cat plus its remakes.

Any action movie with Jade Leung is worth watching--or at least worth watching her in it.
(Source HKMDB)

Now The New York Times announces that Nikita will star the actress Maggie Q "in the title role as a spy and assassin for a top secret U.S. government agency," the CW said in a news release. It is something of a reboot for the La Femme Nikita film, television and book franchise.

(Source deamonstv)

This picture from Live Free or Die Hard could well be the kind of action we will see Maggie Q in on the new Nikita