Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Li Bingbing and Jun Ji-hyun in a lovely photo shoot hyping "Snowflower and the Secret Fan"

Fall endlessly into my beautiful brown eyes.

"Trends Health" takes the lead in the constant warfare among Chinese fashion and entertainment websites regarding deployment of the largest and most annoying watermark.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If you have to ask you can't afford it...Fan Bingbing models jewelry in HB

Photoshopped, air-brushed and Gaussian blurred to precise plastic perfection, Fan Bingbing lends her image to the cover and an editorial in Harper's Bazaar, showing some zillion Yuan baubles.


Michelle Yeoh deported from Myanmar

Not sure which is more strange--Michelle Yeoh being deported from Burma/Myanmar or the Washington Post (and the American media generally) going out of its way to label her a "Hollywood Star".

Receiving the French Legion of Honor from the French ambassador to Malaysia

From Wing Chun

Washington Post

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Closing of the Shanghai International Film Festival--red carpet pictures

The sun finally came out so our favorites didn't have to slog through buckets of rain and squish across water-logged carpet in their satin pumps. Since the SIFF closed a week ago, these are not really news, but...

The seeming immortal Kara Hui, looking as good as ever.

The Mediterranean contingent: judge Paz Vega

Maria Grazia Cucinotta, SIFF mascot, chair of the "Best New Talent" jury plus costar and producer of the upcoming Chinese-Italian production of "Shi Chu You Yin". The film which also stars Huang Bo, will tell the romantic story of a homely Chinese chef and a beautiful Italian restauranteur.

Vivian Hsu and costar

Miriam Yeung

Two very elegant gowns: Jia Qing

Zhang Jing

Zhou Xianxin

Angelbaby, perky as ever

Lu Sisi

Chinese Films

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gong Xinliang

The Google translation of the title of the ifeng article is: "Gong Xinliang: large black fashion sexy glamorous alternative interpretation" which is as good a reason as any for running a few pictures of the actress who we first saw as the secretary in If You Are the One.

The designer who came up with the idea for the "bandage dress" should have a secure spot in whatever heaven he or she believes in:


Friday, June 24, 2011

Shu Qi in "Beijing Rocks"

“Beijing Rocks” begins with quickly cut shots that alternate between a vibrant late night music scene and the more sedate daytime tourist places—fountains, markets, contrasting architecture— as observed by Michael Wu (Daniel Wu). Michael is the perfect picture of alienation, lonely in a crowd, apathetic and rootless—the opposite of what a model citizen of the People’s Republic should be. Since Michael is a visitor from Hong Kong his always present viewfinder serves as a way for the audience to witness the gritty life of Chinese rockers and their girlfriends.

The story unfolds through the three pair of characters who overlap and interact. There is Road, (Geng Le) the leather-clad rebel who is the lead singer and composer for the ragtag band of rockers and Yang Yin, (Shu Qi) his longsuffering and ravishing girlfriend. A second pair is Michael and Yang Yin while the third is Michael and Wu De Hui, his father who is back in Hong Kong trying to pull some strings to get serious assault charges against Michael dismissed.

The relationship between Road and Yang is nothing new—a misunderstood artist (who occasionally acts like a petulant child) and the woman who loves him even knowing that he cheats on her, sabotages the group’s chance to sign a record deal and runs away whenever he is faced with a difficult decision. It is difficult to identify with Road—in any burgeoning area of music there will be an army of more or less talented people who don’t get the break they need but he goes out of his way to insure he won’t succeed.

Michael is clearly infatuated with Yang—as is the audience. Played with perfectly unselfconscious sexiness by Shu Qi, Yang is the girl that every guy wants to know, to sleep with, to hang around with—she is a dream girl. Totally committed to Road who treats her horribly, Yang responds to Michael enough to hold hands with him when they take a walk but immediately returns to her true love.

Michael is the son of a wealthy Hong Kong businessman. Wu De Hui is represented only by text messages or voice mails on Michael’s mobile phone until the end of the movie when Michael returns to Hong Kong to face the charges against him. He has been on the mainland trying to meet some music industry big shots and interest them in his saccharine love songs but instead tags along with Road and his group.

As is the case in Hollywood movies the heartless record company execs who think only of the bottom line who keep the real artist (Road) from reaching his potential. The confrontation scene between the two A&R guys and Road is a by-the-numbers exercise in artistic outrage complete with exterior shots of the huge, soulless skyscrapers where the record company has its offices. The problem, at least for this Western observer, is that while censorship and lack of artistic freedom certainly exist in the PRC one imagines the government would be more interested in keeping the lid on things.

Movies have been made about musicians and composers almost since the Lumiere Brothers first cranked a camera. Most of them haven’t been very good for a few reasons. One is that most musicians aren’t terribly interesting other than when they are performing. Oliver Stone tried it with Jim Morrison in 1991, Anthony Mann did a biopic of Glenn Miller in 1954, Alfred Green’s now campy “The Jolson Story” was released in 1946. Neither they nor other screen depictions of popular musicians captured the visceral energy, boundless talent and sheer star power that made them icons.

There is a very funny scene in which Shu Qi and the other dancers in her troupe handle a drunken lout who climbs onto the stage trying to manhandle them. He is dispatched with a whack on the head with a stiletto heel—the girls clearly know how to deal guys who get out of control. The matter is dealt with by the local police since a wound must be at least four centimeters long to be referred to “the bureau” (according to the subtitles) and his cut is only 3.5 centimeters. Shu Qi makes this movie—she lights things up when she is onscreen and we wait for her return when the focus is on the guys.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chinese Film Media Awards--Tang Wei crowned as Queen of all Film.

Not really although one might think that was the case based on some of the coverage: huge pictures in Xinhua of Tang Wei, smaller for everyone else; Sina has a video of her acceptance speech--unlike the Academy Awards or Golden Globes there doesn't seem to be a time limit--but none for any of the other winners. Some images from Xinhua:

Tang Wei does look both lovely and cute--a difficult combination--and seems to be enjoying herself.

Miriam Yeung...and a big award statue.

Some coverage from Sina:

Tang Wei and Kara Hui.

Kara Hui looking great.

Fiona Sit won an award and also sang for her supper.

Zhang Liang Ying entertained. Outfit a bit odd, particularly the cut-out sleeves. She has a lovely voice, not unlike Sarah Brightman with what sounds like an effortless high C, at least on compressed MP3s.

Charlie Yeung looked on from the audience.

Li Yijie doesn't know how to dress for an awards ceremony but since she won for Best Young Artist she will probably have lots of chances to learn.; Xinhua; Sina

Tang Wei's award and acceptance speech is here. Starting at about the one minute mark, Kara Hui was literally staggering from not really suppressed laughter for a while. In Mandarin.