Monday, December 29, 2008

Zhou Xun icon







By Amychan @ Jue Zhou box/DAN

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Zhou Xun collaborates with cartoonist to produce environmental awareness comic

Will Zhou Xun (周迅) and Jay Chou (周杰伦) collaborate together? This hasn't been confirmed yet, but Zhou Xun already has another 'Zhou-Zhou' (周粥) collaboration - with a fat rabbit, Zhou Zhou (粥粥), in a comic that promotes environmental awareness.   

Using comics to promote environmental awareness



Zhou Xun acted as the UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for China, and she was responsible for introducing the theme 'Our Part'. In the 'Your Illustrated Home' paper, she introduced her comic column, continuing this serial for a year to promote environmental awareness. The first comic is written by a cartoonist, fat rabbit 'Zhou Zhou' whom is currently very popular in the country. Different stories are brought about with the adorable rabbit, and 'Miss O' in the comic is modeled after Zhou Xun. 'Zhou Zhou' will be drawing six comics for Zhou Xun, and in the future there will be other artists joining in. Hence Zhou Xun named her set of comics as 'Our Part Tips All Star', using the idea of a 'full star', calling for more people to join in.
  
Wishes to collaborate with new generation cartoonists in the country


  
Zhou Xun expressed that recently, cartoonists have enjoyed the support of youths. If they could promote environmental awareness in a comic setting, maybe it will influence more people to become 'green'. When choosing cartoonists, even though many people introduced foreign cartoonists to her, she still insisted on finding young cartoonists within the country to work with, whom are full of vitality. She hopes that this arrangement would enable her to work with young cartoonists whom already have the power to influence. This also tallies with the slogan 'Our Contribution', with everyone having the chance to contribute.

Fat rabbit 'Zhou Zhou' whom helped Zhou Xun draw the comics is also a 'live music pioneer'. In 2007, he was chosen as 'China's Music & Family Role Model'. After hearing about Zhou Xun's designs, he immediately agreed to join in. He laughed aying: "Because my whole family are fans of Zhou Xun, so of course I must join." He revealed that the character 'Miss O' is modeled after Zhou Xun's special features. He said that in fact, modelling a character after a real person is very hard, hence he tried using Zhou Xun's big eyes, and the hairstyle of hers that everyone usually sees to create the comic character Zhou Xun.



The collaboration between Zhou Xun and 'Zhou Zhou' could be said as the first 'Double Zhou' collaboration. However, in the 'Ci Ling' press conference, Jay Chou expressed his hopes to work with Zhou Xun. This is another 'Double Zhou' collaboration that is worth anticipating. Zhou Xun expressed that she has always admired Jay, and while they were filming his 'Besieged on all sides' MV, she noticed that Jay put many of his own creations in the MV - he is another young person with lots of talent. Though the two of them acted in 'Beggar So', they didn't have scenes together. If there is opportunities to work together in the future, she hopes that they would.

Date: Saturday December 20, 2008
Translated by Initial E @ http://asianfanatics.net

Source: http://asianfanatics.net

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Zhou Xun applies for Hong Kong settlement permit

Channel NewsAsia - Monday, December 29

According to China media reports, China actress Zhou Xun has applied to reside and settle in Hong Kong through the "Quality Migrant Admission Scheme". It is speculated that chances for the award winning actress to gain approval for her application is high.

Zhou's personal assistant has verified this issue. "Zhou Xun has many assignments in Hong Kong. If she manages to get the visa under the scheme, it will be more convenient for her," he said.

Result of the application has not been released but for a Best Female Lead award winner at the Golden Horse Awards to apply through the achievement-based points test, the possibility of success is high.

If Zhou's application is granted, she will be the fifth celebrity after Tang Wei, Hu Jun, Zhang Ziyi and Li Ning, to settle in Hong Kong.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baober in Love - a major surprise

This was a major surprise. A mainland Chinese movie, that in places is close to surrealistic in it’s imagery. To get a film like that through the Chinese censors signals a major change!

And major change is, what this film is about. China is changing at an enormous rate, and how does that change the Chinese? Can they keep up with the changes, or do they fall apart?

Baobar is a beautiful young girl, who is slowly falling apart. She is trying to cope with childhood traumas and hoping for a passionate, romantic future. Liu also dreams of love and is bored with his materialistic life. To relieve boredom he confesses his dreams and uneasiness to his video camera. Baobar finds his video tape and falls for him. She wins his love, and the move in together in an old abandoned factory building. Can Baobar forget her traumas, will they stay in love and live happily ever after?

Dizzying camera movements, fast cutting and a kaleidoscope of colors makes for a furious opening of the film. Director Li Shaohong (the only female Director of the famous fifth wave generation of Directors in China) wanted to make a film about the massive changes in China. What happens to the soul as we embrace this hectic modern life? We yearn for love, but will we recognize it, if we are lucky enough to meet it? Is love just a dream?

This is no perfect film. The storyline could have been better and some of the wild camera trips seems to be there just to show off, but still a mainland Chinese film like this – and one with the beautiful Zhou Xun to boot – is absolutely worth watching.

Source: http://www.shuqi.org/asiancinema/reviews/baobar_in_love.shtml

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Baober in Love - a remarkable and vibrantly inventive picture

Whichever way you slice it, "Baober in Love" is a remarkable, vibrantly inventive picture from middle-generation mainland director Li Shaohong, previously known for a handful of sensitive relationship pics ("Family Portrait" the best). After five years of helming TV dramas, she's catapulted back with a hip, f/x-laden allegory about contempo China that is certain to divide opinion... Film opened nationwide in China around St. Valentine's Day, in mid-February.

Li's previous five features, including the dour drama "Bloody Morning" (1990) and femme-centered period piece, "Blush" (1994), were more interested in emotional content than style. "Baober" reverses that polarity with a vengeance, and viewers will be divided over whether content even gets a look-in here.

Opening reels play like a mixture of "Suzhou River" crossed with the wilder moments of Wong Kar Wai (think: "Fallen Angels"), Gaul's Jeunet & Caro (all f/x were handled by France's Duboi effects company) and Vera Chytilova's '60s classic, "Daisies." Hardcore Sinophiles will also notice parallels with Peng Xiaolian and Hu Yihong's kid fantasy, "Magic Umbrella" (2000).

Like a character trapped in a deranged manga, Baober (baby-faced actress Zhou Xun, from "Suzhou River") recalls her Beijing childhood in stunning CG images of the accelerated change the capital has seen during the past two decades. Intercut with this are vid-lensed confessions of lonesome Liu Zhi (Huang Jue), talking about his search for love in a materialistic world.

Liu lives with his domineering wife in an over-designed, modernistic apartment. When Baober finds the lost tape of Liu's private confessions and comes visiting, his wife kicks him out.

Like a crazed firefly, Baober flits around Liu, and eventually persuades him to throw everything aside and enter into her fast-moving universe. In a style halfway between reality and fantasy, this involves them plummeting from a high building onto a huge inflated cushion in a half-finished building's atrium -- a test of faith for Liu that begins his journey into another life.

By this halfway point, pic will have lost about half of its audience and hooked the other half with its energy. Thereafter, the pace slows to a more comprehensible speed, and, unlike many razzle-dazzlers by young directors with little to say, Li starts to flesh out the film's emotional content. As Baober and Liu move into a warehouse apartment and experience living together, with all its ups and downs, the film builds into an often touching portrait of a young woman in search of something beyond her reach who will always remain scarred by her country's rush to modernism.

Pic shows a genuine affection for, rather than rejection of, China's immediate past, from old buildings bulldozed in the name of progress to the communist era (referred to but not made fun of). Aside from its continual visual restlessness -- there isn't an undesigned shot in the whole movie -- the film also has moments of real awe, as the superb effects combine with the ethereal music. On a comedic side, the sequence of Baober rustling up a meal for Liu and his parents (set to "The Magic Flute") is a dazzler.

Inevitably, a lot of the fanciful ideas and half-baked smart dialogue simply doesn't work. It's also not the first film to explore China's rapid changes or its big city bar culture. In the end, the ambitious pic is kept afloat by Zhou's engagingly winsome perf as Baober, a role arguably no other actress could have pulled off. She's well matched by Wang Peiyi as her younger self.

All of the $5 million budget (large by mainland standards) is up on the screen, and tech contributions by Hong Kong and French talent blend seamlessly. Main character's curious name, Baober, stems from the Beijing pronunciation of Baobei, Chinese for "baby" or "babe." -- Reviewed by DEREK ELLEY

Source: http://www.asianfilms.org/film.php?filmid=141

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A Director's New Wings - Baober in Love

China's top female director, Li Shaohong, talks about life, and her new film, Baober in Love.



Sitting in her Paris apartment, in a pair of blue jeans and tussled hair, Li Shaohong is the unlikely director of China's newest magical realism blockbuster, Baober in Love.

The only bit of femininity in the room is her shoes. "Zhou Xun bought these for me," she says laughing, "I don't really have time for shopping, even in Paris!"

Li is one of the growing numbers of female directors in China, pushing the boundaries of film-making both within China, and internationally. After the successful release of her film Bloody Morning in 1990, she found herself categorized as one of the "fifth generation" directors, with the likes of Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige. From her early works such as Silver Snake Case to her most recent TV series, Thunderstorm, Li has received praise from audiences and critics alike meriting her the position of China's best female director.



Li joined the army at a mere 14 years, working in a hospital and then decided to pursue a
career in film. "The army was all about rules and it didn't suit my personality," she says. "Film is not just about dreams, but it is a way in which I discover my true self."

With her new film, Baober, Li has broken the mould of her previous cinematic works, steering away from the beautiful and pure style, to magical realism. "I like to let my mind work all the time, to try all the things that I haven't tried before," she says.

"I had the idea for Baober in Love many years ago, then I worked with two writers on making it a reality," she continues. Li says that she battled for years on how to convey the feeling that the world we are living in is changing so fast, that things are broken, and how we are struggling to adjust ourselves to this time. "Who can imagine that now we live by the slogan, 'spend money and enjoy life'," she asks. "As we move rapidly towards development, we should also take care of our world's spirit. That's what I want to express in this film."

To capture this feeling, Li used the latest in film technology. "It may not be a perfect work, but we tried to be a little bit more imaginative while we were working on it," she says.

The media has been harsh with Li, questioning whether or not a sixth generation director can create a film about a 20-something woman finding love. She scoffs at the doubt: "I'm 47 years old, so does that mean I can only make films about mid-life crises," she says. "A director should never just tell their own story, this is a basic rule of any creative work."

And its not criticism of her work that is Li's main concern as of late. She seems focused on her role as a mother, and a wife to Zeng Nianping. She worries that she has neglected these aspects of her life on her road to success.

Li Shaohong has her own production company. She is a director and a producer at the same time. She signed contracts with some good actresses and actors who often appear in her films and TV series. Another important person, her life partner and best cooperator is her husband Zeng Nianping, a tall, handsome and very professional cameraman.

"We met in the Beijing Film Academy. At that time I was a student, he was a young assistant professor. "Li says with emotion: "He is a person who is born for shooting films. He can understand my intent very easily. " In many years, Zeng always support Li Shaohong in her back dumbly. "Love is really a very subjective thing, if you think it's romantic, it's romantic; if you think is good, it is good!"

"Once my colleague told me that I should talk to my husband like a spouse instead of a like director," she says. "To this day, I feel most guilty about going to shoot a film when my daughter was only seven months old." Li says that this is her biggest fear, becoming a reality: to lose all aspects of femininity, of motherhood, for her career.

She values her strengths as a female director as her sensitivity and her humanism, but worries that if she takes the time to be a mother, to be a wife, to cultivate these emotions, that she'll fall behind. "In this society, a female director is easily forgotten if she doesn't work for two years," she says. But she goes on to say it is unfair - and that she refuses to be a victim either way - a victim of society's assumed roles for women, or a victim of society's roles for directors.

"Being a woman is what keeps me in this game," she says. "But it is my personal fate that inspires me." In essence, she's trapped, and it is too late to turn back. Li Shaohong's name has become almost a household name, related to TV series and avant-garde filming methods.

And now she shows the world that Chinese cinema can be re-thought, re-constituted, and re-filmed in this new manner. Audiences across China are saying: "Of course it is Li Shaohong who has brought us Baober, it would be her to shoot a film like this!"



Baober in Love
Directed by Li Shaohong, 2003



Baober in Love tells the story of the eponymous Baober, and her experiences of growing in to adulthood through the years of China's opening and reform.

From the time of her birth in 1979 in an unnamed city, Baober's imagination takes flights of fancy over the roofs of her father's steel factory. When adolescence strikes, the ancient city echoes her transformation, its changes reflecting her own racing hormones. Her playground is deserted, and her home is torn down to make way for a new apartment complex.

This is the time for Baober to begin to search for love, and one day discovers a video tape on which a strange man confesses that he feels his life and marriage have lost its meaning. Baober pledges to find the man, and save his soul with her own love for life.

An unexpected encounter throws the man - Liu Zhi - and Baober together, and the pair fall in love and start a new life together. While Liu has difficulty coming to terms with his newfound love, he works hard to embrace the love that Baober showers upon him.

Problems arise when the new evil of materialism rears its head. For Liu, all things material equal love, while for Baober, they represent the opposite values, and Baober moves on.

She then meets a disabled young man, Mao Mao, and the pair develop an appreciation of each others' shortcomings - but her love for Liu is not yet spent.

"Shooting Baober was my most challenging filming experience," explains Li. "This is not a linear story - it's about a person's spiritual world. You can't apply judgments of what is 'moral' or 'immoral' to her behavior. She views people differently, and finds beauty in unlikely places."

Certainly, Li's subject matter and cinematography will be a shock for Chinese audiences, with new post-production techniques provided by the same company behind the Oscar-winning French movie Amelie Poulain. Li says the total special effects budget was US$1.5 million, but it ends up of over 5 million and one scene alone cost US$130,000. "It's quite the scene," enthuses Li. "Little Baober is standing in front of a ruin shouting, while high buildings tower up around her. Then, little Baober changes into adult Baober, to reflect growing up in contemporary society."

Source: http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/film/88844.htm

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"The Equation of Love and Death" review (3)

Life is made up of a string of coincidences. Some coincidences are fortunate. Some are not. When time and space put us at the same street corner, you and I, aware that we're both at the mercy of vagary and whimsical changes, could at least be nice to each other: "Hello, I didn't know you were here."

Cao Baoping's new film, the Equation of Love and Death, was a story of youth and love, of trust, expectations and betrayal. Built around six insignificant people in Kunming, the story was as much heartbreaking as hauntingly beautiful. Li Mi (Zhou Xun), a female taxi-driver in her late twenties, has been looking for her missing boyfriend for four years. We didn't know why he was missing. We didn't know what happened four years ago. All we knew was a girl who was waiting, without knowing what she was waiting for. The movie began with an honest, point-blank shot of her face: as freckles and aging spots have crept over her pale, still delicate-looking skin. They were signs wrought not so much by time, but by welling sadness. She was sad, so much so that offering a dash of hope would only heighten her anguish. But she wasn't aware of it, as she sat behind the wheel, with a lighting cigarette between her fingers, fuming at his disappearance, "I just have to find him, and say it out loud, 'Why don't you go screw yourself?!'"




Being a taxi driver is not an easy calling, particularly not easy for a girl. It means long shifts, meeting strangers who can be dangerous, driving to unfamiliar places, changing tires when emergency requires, tricky weather, back pain, and meaningless, aimless, empty hours. But she had to find him. She handed pictures of him to everyone who came in her car. "Have you seen this man before?" She paused, only to be let down, time after time. It kept the audience wondering. Was it really worth it? It must be some motivation that kept this girl waiting, after times and times of disappointment, isn't it? Or could it be simply---love? The 54 letters she received from him, which told her how he was doing, his good and bad days, his little thoughts of murmuring, his worries and pains, the chronicled details of his life, were the evidence that love existed.

Here comes the larger truth that hides beneath the glossy, sophisticated surface of urban living, that is, distanced intimacy. We could live in the same city without seeing or knowing each others' existence. Or worse, we could know that someone is here. But we simply couldn't find him. Turning a street corner we might meet, or more often we drift apart, missing each other in our silent footsteps and vanishing, ephemeral shadows. Life has to go on. It is filled with numerous purposes, just as our heads are stuffed with information and our blackberries brim with messages, phone calls and email requests. As long as it continues, we believe, it will bring us closer to the things we want.



It is with these motivations that the other two characters come in the picture. Qiu Huogui and Qiu Shuitian, two peasant workers from Sichuan, gulped down 70 packs of heroine to traffic them to Guangzhou. As a reward they will respectively receive 30,000 and 10,000 kuai, both finding it gratifying. For Qiu Huogui, it was enough money for him to go home and start a new life. For Qiu Shuitian, he needed the money to obtain approval from his girlfriend's mother. The movie did not limit itself to personal relationships and struggles, but sketched them against a wider backdrop of social problems: drug-trafficking, prevalent coal mines, prostitution in the countryside, abuse of power, etc., as rendered through the mouths of two watchful, yet unknowing peasants, who were both consumed with their self-interests. They were doing things in the name of love. But to love they must hurt someone first. And as long as they don't see the damage, they're fine. Those who bring drugs won't see the people who suffer, just as those who add melamine in diluted milk won't see the babies who die from drinking it. The causal connection between act and harm was re-interpreted by the law of randomness. It highlights a gaping reality in current Chinese society: When profit beckons, there simply isn't enough mercy lying around.

Zhou Xun is at her best in this movie. Young, fragile, petulant yet hopelessly romantic. Her heartbreak near the end of the movie was as devastating to her as to the audience. She was known for portraying women of intelligence, spirit and equitable beauty. But in this movie she was a quintessential nobody, and her performance showed that she really understood her. She laughed and cried with her. The city of Kunming through the director's lens was a place of sentiments and memory, rich with blue-greenish color tones and eternally humid air. A must-see for 2008.

Source: http://age-ov-innocence.blogspot.com/2008/11/equation-of-love-and-death-movie-review.html

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Jay Zhou wants Zhou Xun as partner

For his new movie "Ci Ling", Jay Chou searched many countries for a 'J-Girl'. He said: "She musn't be taller than me, preferably Chinese, able to communicate with me. She should understand the magic I perform, Zhou Xun would be a very good choice, we even have the same surname. The most important thing is that if there were rumours between us, no one would believe them."

Taiwan's Chang Hong Group and Mainland China's China Film Group has invested RMB100 million (about TWD$408.4 hundred million) in Ci Ling. Yesterday Jay organised a large press conference. Chang Hong's boss, Wu Dun looked for a female lead all over Taiwan, including Japan and Korea. He already has some people apparent in mind, but he purposely kept it from Jay. He said: "I'll see which one Jay feels is best, then I will pick her." Director Kevin Chu said: "Who asked Jay to be young, I'm scared later on there would be a older girl-younger boy relationship."

Many people are in favour of Korean actress Kim Tae Hee, but Jay has a soft spot for Zhou Xun. He said: "We met before at the Venice Film Festival, and we just collaborated in Yuan He Ping's Beggar So. Her image and acting skills are both very impressive, and I'm good friends with her boyfriend, Li Daqi." Jay expressed that he completely doesn't understand how the term 'J-Girl' came about. He said: "I've only heard of Bond Girls."

Ci Ling includes action, adventure, literature and manga, and Jay will be wearing both ancient and modern costumes. The wushu choreographer Cheng Xiao Dong has already come up with extremely difficult actions, even giving him many cool weapons. Kevin Chu said: "When Jay is films action scenes, he doesn't complain at all. The last time when we were filming Kung Fu Dunk, he was hung in the air for the whole afternoon. This time I want to shape him to be more 'man', more tough." Jay feigned coolness and said: "The last time, it was because there were many fans looking at me."

'Secret' and 'Kung Fu Dunk' didn't get recognised in the Golden Horse Awards, Jay said: "Do movies with action immediately get classified into commercial films? Does it mean only films with plain text only is considered art? What type of movies get the recognition of the judges? This deserves some thought. I feel action movies are the hardest. Especially since I am not Bruce Lee or Jet Li, who started training very early. So for me to act well mean I have to put in extra effort."

Jay Chou has been receiving endless offers for movies. Next year he will film Ci Ling first, later on he will direct his second movie. But if there is a movie with a good script, director and team asks him to act, Jay said: "I will take it first." He will need time to consider if it requires very intimate scenes. He says: "Because 6,7 years ago, when I first debuted, I filmed a cell phone commercial without my top on, and it was pasted all over the streets. I really regretted doing that. If in the future it is required for a movie, it must make sense, then I will act in it."

Date: Tuesday December 16, 2008
Translated by Initial E @ http://asianfanatics.net
Source: http://asianfanatics.net

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Monday, December 15, 2008

"All about Women" OST

Enjoy "All about Women" OST. Download now!



http://www.mediafire.com/?wog34zx2lom (credit: http://community.livejournal )

http://www.sendspace.com/file/owg5i7 (credit: ghjk@zhouxun.tv)

Track 01 by Zhou Xun and Lun Mei
Track 26 by Lun Mei

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All About Women: Sex and the Chinese city

China's own Sex and The City is the obvious way to describe the romantic comedy, All About Women. Instead of four single women in Manhattan, however, imagine three in Beijing. Tsui Hark's stylish, hilarious adventure probes trendy, contemporary Beijing through three encounters in the lives and loves of three modern yet very different, young women.



Zhou Xun plays a radiologist, who is addicted to analyzing male patients' statistics and analyzing love based on her scientific theory. Big mushroom heads and exaggerated sunglasses are used to increase the fun. Kwai Lun-mei, who starred in Taiwan singer Jay Chou's self-directorial film Secret, transforms from an innocent to a sassy girlfriend who is fascinated by internet dating. Kitty Zhang plays a rich senior executive of a large investment bank. A sickly looking university professor appears in her life.

The film marks a drastic departure from Tsui's earlier works, which focused heavily on martial arts, such as Green Snack and the recent Seven Swords. Hong Kong cinema's preeminent creative force for the last two decades shows no signs of slowing down in his 50s.

Source: http://www.china.org.cn/culture/2008-12/15/content_16952732.htm

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"The Equation of Love and Death" review (2)

Zhou Xun plays Li Mi, a plucky Kunming cab driver secretly nursing a broken heart and obsession—the man she loved disappeared
four years ago and their one-way line of communication are the letters that he writes to her, which she religiously stores and memorizes. Caught between faith and desperation, nothing, it seems, will reunite Li Mi with her old flame.

Then Li Mi takes on a fateful fare: two shifty migrants that have something to hide. Many convenient coincidences later, in a plot invovling hostage-taking, extortion, drug mules, mistaken identities, and changed identities, and Li Mi just might be close to finding her missing lover and closing the door on that part of her life.

It is in the nature of these films to rely on coincidences and other deus-ex-machina elements to move the plot forward—it doesn't matter that they aren't realistic, because movies aren't based on probability theory in the first place. However, you sometimes wish that there could be a bit more judgment exercised as to when enough is enough and it's time for you to sober up and go home. The tangled skein of the plot does get unraveled by the end, but as enjoyable as it is to know (almost) everything that transpired in this movie universe, there in a sense in which presenting all the facts makes the film seem too pat, too clever. It would have been better to leave the audience some unsettling loose-ends to quibble over.

As far as performances go, Zhou Xun, as Li Mi, is obviously the center of the film. She has plenty of good moments and a few maudlin ones, but otherwise manages to carry the film. Variety seems to concur:

Pic is motored by another saturated perf from the remarkable, throaty-voiced Zhou, who's ably partnered from the halfway mark by Zhang (the lead in the big-budget war drama "Assembly") as the tough but fair cop. Deng, also from "Assembly," is fine as the slippery Ma/Fang.

However, there was one performance bothered us a bit, which was that of Wang Baoqiang's, the young actor that has become quite popular in China for his small but often memorable roles in films, ranging from A World Without Thieves to Li Yang's Blind Shaft, as well as
the main role in the hit TV series Soldier Sortie. What tends to grate is the fact that he plays similar roles in so many of the movies:the innocent, hapless migrant worker. It was, in his earlier films, somewhat endearing. No matter what side of the law he was on, he was always the victim and the hero—he represented the pure heart of inner China, the migrants who can no longer make (or want to make) a living off the land and are forced to the move to seamy underbelly of Chinese cities, a moral vacuums where dodgy characters operate and manipulate them. Wang's performance is not bad as it goes, but you wonder whether or not the guy, barely twenty-five years old, has already been typecast.

http://chinafilmjournal.com

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"The Equation of Love and Death" review (1)

Her movies are not always good, but man, Zhou Xun can act. The petite Mainland dynamo has shined in movies as compelling as Hollywood Hong Kong, as disappointing as The Banquet, and as completely weird as Ming Ming. Zhou adds to her impressive library of performances with The Equation of Love and Death, a slight but still effective little thriller from director Cao Baoping. A tale of obsessive love and criminal schemes gone wrong, the film has great acting and genuine tension, but lacks the narrative or revelations to match. Still, this is an entertaining and even affecting film, in large part due to its excellent leading lady.

Li-Mi (Zhou Xun) is a tough little taxi driver pining over her missing boyfriend Fang Wen (TV star Deng Chao), and keeps a book of photos inside her cab to show to her passengers, just in case they've seen him. However, country hicks Huo-Gui and Shui-Tian (Wang Yanhui and Wang Baoqian) secretly steal her photo book when they get into a minor row with Li-Mi over change for a cab ride. They end up dropping the book when they happen by a car collision - and one of the drivers happens to be Fang Wen, who's riding with a mysterious female passenger. He picks up the dropped photo book, and after seeing that it's filled with pictures of himself, he chases the two men, only to lose them on the streets.

Clearly up to no good, Huo-Gui and Shui-Tian end up back in Li-Mi's cab, but when she discovers that they're carrying a knife, the situation takes a dangerous turn. Li-Mi ends up as their hostage, while Fang Wen ends up haggling with the police over his car accident. Oddly, he's now going by the name Ma Bing, and ostensibly has no knowledge of Li-Mi or her search for him. What's the real connection between Li-Mi and Ma Bing, what the hell are Huo-Gui and Shui-Tian up to, and will Li-Mi find a way out of her hostage situation? And what's with this title, The Equation of Love and Death?

The answer to that last question: not a whole lot, but it's a cool title, isn't it? The film opens with Li-Mi reciting numbers in a seemingly random fashion, and we ultimately learn that they relate to a series of letters sent to her by Fang Wen/Ma Bing. That's the "equation" part. The "love" part comes from Li-Mi's ardent refusal to let Fang Wen go. The "death" part? Well, that would be giving away the movie's plot - though to be honest, the plot doesn't really amount to that much. Some characters do cash in their chips, but their deaths are not really felt or developed as much as they just happen. Director Cao Baoping provides very little overt exposition, and the audience is sometimes forced to follow the characters blindly as they get involved in one mess after the other. The mystery behind the characters and their actions is revealed gradually, though when some of the revelations do come out, they seem perfunctory rather than felt or necessary.



What does work is the film's involving forward momentum and the minor details that humanize each character. Sometimes the details feel like tangents, but they manage to give each character weight and dimension, and the actors flesh things out with their performances. The film's acute emotions and sometimes gritty style complement the proceedings nicely, and the actors fill their roles well, appearing as obtuse, desperate, ridiculous or dumb as the story requires. The Equation of Love and Death conveys a heightened tension, effectively getting the audience into Li-Mi's emotions, and making she and the other characters firmly recognizable. Some characters are ultimately forgotten and others are never fully explained, but nearly all make an impression.

However, the best thing about The Equation of Love and Death is simply Zhou Xun. As Li-Mi, Zhou runs the gamut from tough to frightened to desperate to elated, her performance carrying nearly every scene, and when she finally smiles from her heart, it's a greater payoff than most films ever achieve. Zhou Xun owns both the screen and her co-stars with a compelling emotion that, despite its forceful and occasionally showy flourishes, never feels like overacting. Deng Chao suffers by comparison, though his character is required to be implacable, and Zhang Hanyu (a recent Golden Horse Award Winner for The Assembly) turns in strong, wry support as the police officer assigned to Li-Mi's case. Ultimately, The Equation of Love and Death doesn't really achieve much, as the story it tells never feels that substantial. However, thanks to Zhou Xun, every moment seems to matter

Source: http://www.lovehkfilm.com/panasia/equation_love_death.html

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

"All about Women" reviews (1,2)

anutshellreview

It must have been crazy to brand this as Asia's answer to the wildly popular Sex and the City, because for all the star power in its female cast, whom besides Zhou Xun, I thought the rest had hung to the coattails of their more popular co-stars such as Stephen Chow and Jay Chou in order to give their cinematic career some needed boost. And what must Tsui Hark be thinking if he reckoned that he could get in touch with his inner feminine self to bring to an audience something about the modern women's psyche on relationships?

There's nothing fun nor sassy in the characters and the storyline here, and at best, it's a forgettable piece of drama that felt like a typical scatterbrain trying to figure everything, but getting down to achieving nothing. The film was schizophrenic on a lot of fronts, having bitten more than it can chew, and then couldn't decide if it preferred to spit or swallow (pardon the sexual connotations, which the movie is devoid of anyway). While some would have written off Tsui Hark as a has-been, I thought I still wanted to give him a chance even after the rather dismal Missing, and while one can applaud his bravery at attempting something fresh, you're likely to find yourself questioning just what has gotten into him, and whether he has totally lost the plot.

You can reminisce his glorious filmography past, but I think those days aren't going to come back anytime soon. There's absolutely nothing to like about this movie, and everything felt rather artificial with little heart. The last straw of course came when a scene toward the end was a blatant copy of The Bachelor, except that the roles were reversed. I felt that was a new low with Hark finding the need to parody others, highlighting a serious lack of ideas.

Zhou Xun plays Ou Fan Fan, aged 27 (yes it matters enough to be highlighted in the movie), who with her thick glasses, transforms herself from usual glamour puss to ultimate geek with Calamity Jane tendencies. Her inexplicable nervousness when touched by men, makes her all frigid, and Hark decides to make this condition very slapstick ridiculous. Yearning for a man long gone, and with her inability to attract new ones, she goes on a research experiment to design pheromone patches that can chemically induce the right man to be drawn toward her. Think of it as an airborne Love Potion No 9.

Kitty Zhang plays glamour puss Tang Lu, 31, who oozes so much sexuality, that men cower in her presence, and worship even her fart (OK, so I made the last point up, but you get the drift). Having no friends as she inevitably makes their boyfriends/husbands/fiances ditch them for her, she's the alpha-feminist and succesful career woman who's out to prove that she has more talent than the size of her boobs (OK, so I made it up again just to spice up an incredibly boring story). The perennial case of looks not an issue in the corporate world, though she has some really dogged tenacity in fishing out for profit making deals, such as Fan Fan's patches, setting them on a collision course as she blackmails the latter into a contract.

And to round up the trio of female lead characters, Kwai Lun Mei stars as a 19 year old internet novelist cum amateur boxer cum indie band lead vocalist wannabe, who has an imaginary Japanese boyfriend to boot. I suppose this is an unorthodox a character as you can get, and of the three, she probably has the least screen time given the distinct lack of know how on what to do with this character, given her hands in so many pies.

The trio share limited scenes together, and for the most parts felt like having three different short films glued together as one. Supporting characters such as the rocker played by Stephen Fung provide that degree of separation between the leading ladies, otherwise they only come together at a hospital scene toward the end, and had a lot more to do at a restaurant and a music festival. Between all the three ladies, only Zhou Xun's character undergo some sort of internal and physical transformation thanks to her experiments in getting her out of her shell, and Zhou Xun's performance, which the other two look more like caricatures, especially Kitty Zhang's, though in a way much better than being a flower vase like in CJ7.

There isn't much to shout out about the movie, and given its run time of close to two hours, there are numerous moments where it actually could have been trimmed to save the audience from the unintended torture of watching how some supposedly female characters lead their contemporary love lives, but with a man, and Tsui Hark at that, at the helm that well, it becomes a misfire with nothing to show.

http://anutshellreview.blogspot.com/2008/12/all-about-women-neui-yan-fau-pui.html


moviexclusive


When a known film director leaves his comfort zone to venture into a new genre, there are bound to be raised eyebrows. Tsui Hark, best known for his action films such as "Seven Swords" and the "Once Upon a Time in China" series, has sought yet another new challenge with his foray into romantic comedy after trying his hand at mystery thriller "Missing" earlier this year. The move may not seem too surprising for those familiar with Tsui Hark's career, since he started out as a comedy actor during the 1980s. To ease his transition, he has brought in Kwak Jae-yong, who directed the influential Korean romantic comedy "My Sassy Girl" as the scriptwriter.

"All About Women" brings together up-and-coming actresses, China's Zhou Xun and Kitty Zhang Yuqi, along with Taiwan's Gui Lun Mei as three entirely different modern Beijing women. We have the desperate endoscopic researcher Fanfan (Zhou Xun), the gorgeous businesswoman Tang Lu (Kitty Zhang) and the tough rock chick Tie Ling (Gui Lun Mei). Initially living separate lives, their fates become intertwined when Fanfan's experiments on pheromones (a chemical substance that influences the behaviour of the opposite sex) turn out to be so successful that she is able to make any man fall in love with her. Her smitten boyfriend (Stephen Fung) happens to be Tie Ling's bandmate, resulting in Tie Ling to bear grudges against Fanfan for causing him to neglect his commitment to the band. To add to the mess, the pheromones also have an undesired effect on Tang Lu's not-so-pretty subordinate who is supposed to clinch a business deal in Tang Lu's own experiment to prove that beauty counts more than intelligence.

With a director who has his roots on comedy and a Korean romantic comedy specialist at the helm, one would naturally expect a lot from this film. True enough, the slapstick element which is the staple in Hong Kong comedies is definitely at work here, giving the film a cartoonish feel. It is not too frequently applied to the extent that one would think this as a Stephen Chow production, though the exaggerated gags leave the deepest impressions when the film ends. The pace is ridiculously fast, demanding that the audience pay close attention or risk missing any important plot points. As an attempt to show off Hong Kong's prowess in digital effects, one online chat scene has an interesting use of computer graphics. Is it a must for every Hong Kong comedy to have CG effects nowadays?

The film is a platform for all three lead actresses to degrade themselves in terms of their looks. Zhou Xun seems to enjoy playing a nerdish woman, but she still gets to have a makeover later in the film. Gui Lun Mei showcases her masculine side, especially when she boxes in a ring in contrast to her gentler side in Jay Zhou's "Secret". Both portray their roles convincingly well. Kitty Zhang has the easiest job of flaunting her sexy self onscreen that she still looks great even when smoking multiple sticks of cigarettes at once, but the delivery of her lines with her high-pitched voice can be a tad annoying at times.

Tsui Hark and Kwak Jae-yong seem to be content in playing it safe by relying on visual gags and the photogenic female leads to ensure the film makes it in the box office. Although the film is billed as a romantic comedy, it is severely lacking in romance. Amid all the chaos over pheromones which is clearly a plot device here, there is no warmth to be felt due to its aforementioned fast pace. Strangely, there are not that many romantic scenes to start with. Even when a romantic scene is on, it is handled rather swiftly with little effort in building up the emotions. The question of whether true love exists without the use of pheromones is posed, but the film is unable to send a clear message with its mixed answers.

"All About Women" appeals more to the lowest common denominator who wants some quick laughs and pretty faces to gawk at. Those expecting a touching and meaningful romantic comedy should better look elsewhere.

http://www.moviexclusive.com/review/allaboutwomen/allaboutwomen.htm

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"All about Women" premieres in China

Beijing, December 9th

On December 9, gala premiere of the romantic comedy All About Women was held in Beijing, attended by the director Tsui Hark and cast members Zhou Xun, Gui Lun Mei, Zhang Yu Qi, Stephen Fung, Eddie Peng etc.

In the film, Zhou Xun is an antiquated doctor who petrifies upon contact with any man. Kwai Lun Mei plays a rock band singer who has violent inclinations, and often hallucinates about having a perfect boyfriend. Zhang Yu Qi is a self-centred entrepreneur who doesn't believe in having a boyfriend.


Director Hark Tsui poses with a Phoenix Coronet of ancient Chinese women


Zhou Xun with hair looks like mushroom and glasses.

Shanghai, December 10th







Credit: zhouxun.tv
http://www.wu-jing.org/happenings/

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"All about Women" MV

Two "All about Women" MV introduced some days ago. Let's enjoy!

Rock song by Lun Mei
Download: http://vf1.mtime.com/Video/2008/12/08/flv/081208113605984505.flv
Online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a04SuzWUMFc

Pop song by Zhou Xun and Lun Mei
Download: http://vf1.mtime.com/Video/2008/12/08/flv/081208113713828928.flv
Online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTwuz2pks8E


Credit: zhouxun.tv

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"All About Women" premieres in HK

The stars of the new movie "All About Women" traveled to Hong Kong on Monday for the film's premiere. Attending were Zhou Xun, Kitty Zhang Yuqi and Kwai Lun-mai. "All About Women" is directed by acclaimed Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark. It's a story about the modern woman's fantasies of romance and 21st Century living in Beijing.

Director Tsui Hark is no stranger to working with a cast dominated by women. His 1986 hit "Peking Opera Blues" starred top actresses Bridget Lin, Cherie Chung and Sally Yeh.

There's no comparison between the story lines of the two films. But in each Tsui successfully brought top actresses together from the mainland and Taiwan.

Award winning actress Zhou Xun plays a doctor who is obsessed by men. She sets out to seduce men with the help of a pheromone patch she devised herself.

Taiwan actress Kwai Lun-mei plays a lead singer in a band and a boxer. Despite her dual career she spends time absorbed in fantasies about finding love.

Kitty Zhang Yuqi plays a seductive white collar worker who is ambitious in her career and in her will to attract men.



Date: 12-10-2008
Source: http://www.cctv.com/program/cultureexpress/20081210/102652.shtml

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Star to host the 45th Golden Horse Awards in Tawian

MUMBAI: Pan Asian broadcaster Star will be the producer and host broadcaster of the 45th Golden Horse Awards and its preceding red carpet show in Taichung City, Taiwan. The show will be held on 6 December, 2008.

The show is an influential event of the Chinese film industry and among Chinese audiences worldwide. With a production cost of NT$30 million, the event has lined up stars including Eric Tsang, Karena Lam and Karen Mok from Hong Kong, Lin Chiling from Taiwan, Zhou Xun and Vicki Zhao Wei from mainland China, and Cesar Award winning actor and director Mathieu Amalric from France.

Star CEO Paul Aiello says, “It is a huge honour to play host to the Golden Horse Awards. Star has been a strong supporter of the Asian film industry – from actively acquiring Bollywood and Chinese film titles for broadcast across our network to setting up Fox Star Studios, a joint venture with 20th Century Fox to produce and distribute Asian language films. Hosting the Golden Horse Awards, the most prestigious awards ceremony for Chinese cinema, further underscores our commitment to play our part in the development of the movie industry across the region.”

Star's VJ Blackie is set to reassume MC duties with Hong Kong showbiz icon Do Do Cheng while pop star Coco Lee will perform songs written for and dedicated to filmmakers and fans.

Having garnered a leading 10 nominations, Taiwan’s highest grossing local film Cape No. 7 is widely expected to be the big winner of the night. Other top contenders include The Warlords, Red Cliff and Assembly.

Star will telecast the event on Star Chinese Movies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines, and on Xing Kong in mainland China.

Source: http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k8/dec/dec66.php

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Zhou Xun on FiRST October 2008 issue

If Zhang Ziyi represents feistiness, and Vicki Zhao exudes tomboyish charm, Zhou Xun's finest point must be elegance. Blessed with saucer-like eyes, mile-long lashes and a trendy China-doll haircut, she looks like she's just stepped off the cover of a high fashion magazine. In fact, the petite actress recently graced the cover of China's May edition of Vogue, sealing her reputation as a fashion icon. Today, she's dressed in a Pucci-inspired top, black cigarette pants and sky-high heels that make us worry for her safety. But of course, she never falls, posing gamely for pictures and balancing on her platforms as though she's been wearing them all her life. Her intense gaze, gamine features and bold outfit all work together to create the portrait of a movie star-cum-fashionista.

As fashion-forward as she is, though, Zhou's passion lies with acting – and campaigning for green living. Named the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador with a special focus on the environment, she chose to support the cause after watching Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. "I realised that everybody has a part to play in sustaining the earth," she says. "So I wanted to use my influence to fulfil this responsibility, to prevent wastage and environmental damage." She's even quipped that to do her part, she "wears the same dress to many events, so as not to buy in excess!"

While in Singapore for the Garden Festival, Zhou's also plugging her other career – movies. Her latest project, Painted Skin, is director Gordon Chan's take on the classic King Hu film. Playing a nine-tailed fox demon who falls in love with a general (Chen Kun), Zhou slowly turns him against his wife (Vicki Zhao). Qi Yuwu adds to the love triangle as Zhou's demonic companion who is in love with her, but has his affections unreturned. Meanwhile, demon slayers Donnie Yen and Sun Li do their best to hunt the pair down, as Zhou's demoness eats a human heart every day to keep herself young. Painted Skin, one of the chilling tales from Chinese novel Strange Tales of Liaozhai, is known for its supernatural bent, something that Zhou felt instinctively drawn to.

"I watched the original Painted Skin when I was younger," she shares. "I was fascinated by that world, even though my mother covered my eyes at the most frightening parts. I was riveted by it, and I had a real curiosity for its mystery. I was interested to make Painted Skin because the director told me that he didn't want to make a horror film. Instead, he was interested in what it said about love and relationships. The film is about love in the midst of war, and love as a form of release. I didn't want to think of my character as a seductress or schemer. The director chose me precisely because he didn't want someone who looked like an evil seductress. That way, Chen Kun could bring me home and believe that I wasn't a fox demon."

When asked about her co-stars, Zhou is full of admiration for Zhao and Qi. "Vicki's great with her crying scenes. She can cry on cue and let her tears roll for 20 minutes straight! The director was very impressed!" recalls Zhou with a laugh. "As for Qi Yuwu, he really gets into the realism of a scene. I had to hit him really hard in one scene and he told me not to hold back. Was it painful? I think you have to ask him yourself," she drawls, a hint of mischief in her eyes.

Ask about her personal life though, and Zhou gets a little more tight-lipped. When queried about whether she attracts as many suitors as her on-screen character, she gives a diplomatic answer: "I have lots of male friends, just as I have lots of female friends." Zhou's special "male friend" is in fact Li Daqi, a Taiwanese stylist whom she's dated for the last few years. Li even accompanied Zhou to the Singapore Garden Festival's Presidential Dinner, leading fans to call out on the red carpet: "Zhou Xun and Li Daqi, you look like the Prince and Princess Margaret!"

Royalty or not, Zhou has definitely got her act down. Having sung opposite Takeshi Kaneshiro and Jacky Cheung in Peter Chan's musical film Perhaps Love, played two roles in Ming Ming, and stole the thunder from Zhang Ziyi in The Banquet, Zhou continues to weave a spell on audiences with her performances. Zhou will show her chops in the upcoming Tsui Hark chick flick She Ain't Mean, along with Gwai Lun Mei (Secret) and Kitty Zhang (CJ7).

As time runs out, we pose one final question to the feather-light Zhou: Is she a fragile person? Tipping the scales at a mere 41kg, the actress answers with surprising confidence. "I think everyone has a fragile side. But I'm not afraid of many things, so I don't have many weak moments. My parents raised me to be proud of who I am, even though I carry scars around with me." Spoken like a true queen of hearts.
Source: http://www.firstmoviemag.com/reviews/features/zhou-xun

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Stung by break-up, she vowed to STAY SINGLE

3 years on, top China actress Zhou Xun is cheered by new beau and new film

IN the Tsui Hark movie All About Women, she plays a man-obsessed doctor who invents a pheromone patch to seduce men.

In real life, Chinese actress Zhou Xun is driven by pure hormones and will go for the man she wants. 'I am the forward type that takes the initiative,' she said in a phone interview with The New Paper from Beijing. 'If I like a guy, I will show him that I like him.'

The 32-year-old, who once swore that she would stay single for two years to get over her break-up with Chinese actor Li Yapeng (he married pop star Faye Wong in 2005), is now in a happy relationship with her stylist, Li Daqi.

So did she make a move on her current boyfriend?

Zhou Xun replied: 'I would say that we mutually wooed each other.
'If you go after someone who doesn't like you, the two of you won't be able to get together anyway.'

In 2005, the actress had confided to China Daily that she was deeply hurt by her former beau and was extremely depressed for the two years after their separation, thus the vow to stay single.

She had said then that the break-up hit her hard: 'I felt disappointed and I didn't want to speak to other people. Sometimes, I went out with friends and was so quiet that they probably forgot my existence.'
She had also said that 'only light music' could ease her depression then.

But things changed after she met fashion consultant Daqi. He had been introduced to her by Taiwanese singer Rene Liu, from whom Zhou Xun had sought fashion advice at 2003's Venice Film Festival. After that, Zhou Xun was reported as saying: 'I see sunshine in my life just being in love with him (Daqi).'

The actress, who appeared in the black comedy The Equation of Love And Death, and horror movie Painted Skin this year, is also delighted with something else now: the release of All About Women, her third movie of the year. The Chinese media had called it 'the Zhou Xun year', and she admitted that 'the heavens' have been kind to her.

She told The New Paper: 'The last of my films for this year is a comedy. It gives everyone a chance to laugh and celebrate the coming of the Chinese New Year.'

Born in Zhejiang, Zhou Xun graduated from the Zhejiang Arts Institute and made her film debut in 1991's Inside An Old Grave, a made-in-China horror movie. However, it was not until she starred in Chinese arthouse director Lou Ye's film noir Suzhou River in 2000 that critics took notice of the gamine star. She soared to fame in 2002, after she played the spunky heroine Huang Rong in the drama serial Legend Of The Condor Heroes.

The Chinese media now dubs her, together with China actresses Zhang Ziyi, Zhao Wei and Xu Jinglei, as one of the four most promising female stars in the country.

Starring opposite Zhou Xun in All About Women is Hong Kong actress Kitty Zhang, who plays a woman who doesn't believe in love. There is also Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun Mei, who plays a champion boxer and rock-band leader. The three women each explores the dangerous addiction of the elusive pheromone patch as they navigate through their relationship problems. The movie opens in Singapore on 4 Dec.

Zhou Xun said of her character: 'She keeps reading 'How to fall in love' articles in magazines because she's desperate to have a boyfriend. 'When she chances upon a pheromone patch, she uses it to seduce men. It's really funny seeing her go through the process.' Her character's nerdy image did not help. Zhou Xun said: 'I put on glasses that were so thick, people said I looked like a frog!' But the hardest part about the role was filming a bed scene with Hong Kong actor Stephen Fung. She said they had to do several takes, but just 'could not get it right'.

In the movie, her character has a disorder such that she turns frigid whenever a man touches her, so Zhou Xun said she had to pretend to be 'as stiff as a plank'. 'Finally they got Stephen to pin my thigh down and even then, the scene did not turn out as well as the director (Tsui Hark) hoped.'

Her boyfriend Daqi, also happened to be the set designer of the movie and he constructed the bed scene. Was it awkward for her? 'The bed scene wasn't something to be ashamed about as it was all work. He's (Daqi) very understanding that way,' she said. Despite the difficult scene, Zhou Xun said that both Stephen and Tsui Hark 'were a dream to work with'.
She added: 'Stephen's very good with magic tricks. He was always doing tricks to make us laugh.'

When asked to talk about the type of man she likes, she immediately mentioned Daqi's name. She gushed: 'I like him because he's a good man. 'I understand him really well as he expresses himself easily and talks about everything with me.' While the film may be all about women, Zhou Xun is certainly all about her man.


By Charlene Chua
Date: December 02, 2008
Source: http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/show/story/0,4136,185419,00.html

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The many faces of Zhou Xun

SINGAPORE: The movie’s called All About Women, but really, it’s all about Zhou Xun.

After all, 2008 has been dubbed by regional Chinese media as “the Zhou Xun year”, what with the Tsui Hark-helmed movie, which opens Thursday, marking her third silver screen appearance this year, right after black tragic-comedy The Equation of Love and Death and the MediaCorp Raintree Pictures co-production Painted Skin.

The 32-year old actress from Zhejiang, China, first caught international attention in 2000’s Suzhou River, snagging the Best Actress award at the 15th Paris Film Festival.

She then set the precedence for her inclination towards playing diverse roles by impressing in the arthouse smash 2001 Beijing Bicycle, and continued to further stake her claim as one of China’s best film actresses with the critically-acclaimed Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress (2002), Perhaps Love (2005) and The Banquet (2006).

Flexing those acting chops once again, Zhou shines in All About Women, Tsui’s otherwise predictable screwball comedy inspired by the director’s own 1986 Peking Opera Blues. The actress takes the term “multi-personality disorder” to a whole new level with a rambunctious display of many disparate personalities.

With the attention of the international film world set on her, hungry to discover the next Zhang Ziyi or Gong Li, you’d think Zhou would be yearning to follow Hollywood’s call. You’d be wrong.

The doe-eyed waif, who was never formally trained in acting, takes a rather apathetic approach to the bright lights of Tinseltown. “Whether or not it’s Hollywood, the most important thing is the quality of the script,” Zhou said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2006.

Who can blame her? With an impressive 22 films and a slew of awards under her belt, the daughter of a movie projectionist father is living her dream on the silver screen. And now she’s got another dream: Girl wants to be a rock star.

In All About Women, your character Fan Fan seems like far cry from all your previous roles. What was that process like?

I was quite worried after taking on the project, thinking, ‘How do I pull off a comedy?’ almost every day. It was pretty frustrating for me during the first week of the shoot. But it was a good thing; I knew I was taking on a role I had never tried before.

It was quite nerve-racking at the beginning of the shoot. It wasn’t the pressure from the director, but my reaction towards acting in a comedy. I always thought I had a sense of humour... Finally, I get this chance to display my funny side! With Tsui Hark’s experience and proper directions, I’ve become a comedienne!

I’m pretty nervous and curious how the audience will react to it. Whatever I find funny, people might think otherwise.

Well, you certainly look different in the film. How did they new look sit with you?

The look I found very hilarious was the wacky hairstyle and the really thick 800-degree glasses. I couldn’t stop laughing looking at myself looking like this for the first time!

It wasn’t very comfortable wearing the glasses initially — I was feeling giddy and couldn’t see properly. Now, it’s my favourite prop from the movie. I kept it as a souvenir after the shoot.


What was it like playing a character with multiple personalities?


Well, this film helped to fulfil one of my little dreams, which is to become a rock singer. I go to rock concerts all the time in Beijing and I’ve always wanted to experience the feeling of being on stage as a rock star. The last scene in the film is about Fan Fan being overwhelmed by the reaction from the audience after her rock performance on stage. It was fantastic!

Your boyfriend Li Daqi also worked on the film as a stylist/art director. Was it strange working together?

We actually spent less time together even though we were working on the same film project. During a shoot, we seldom discuss work in case we influence each other. It was only until I watched the making of the movie that I could then better understand the reasons behind the set designs he did for the film.

You’ve worked with many acclaimed directors throughout your career. What was it like working with Tsui Hark?

Years ago, we spoke about working together for another film project. We didn’t talk about it again until he asked me about doing a comedic role last year. Of course I took it up immediately and that’s how All About Women came about.

It was very enjoyable working with Tsui Hark. He’s very adorable and full of charisma at the same time. My performance in the movie was also based on my observations of him in real life! - TODAY/rose

By Genevieve Loh
Date: 03 December 2008
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Painted Skin" Taipei premiere

“Painted Skin” yesterday night held its Taipei premiere, and main leads Vicki Zhao and Zhou Xun specially dressed up to attend this event. Both said that the thing they miss most about Taiwan is its food. While Vicki was doing her make-up, she had already started to plan what she would eat: “Ever since leaving Taiwan, my brain just cannot forget Taiwan’s snacks, Dong Shan duck’s head, pineapple crisp and spicy pot are all foods that I must eat this time, no matter how busy I am!”

Zhou Xun, who hasn’t come back to Taiwan ever since winning the Golden Horse award for her film “Perhaps Love” 3 years ago, this time brought her stylist boyfriend Li Da Qi to accompany her, and the 2 were wearing couple coats as they arrived at the airport. To Zhou Xun, this soon-to-be Taiwanese daughter-in-law, Taiwan is already her second home, but she said, “Actually I am not familiar with many places, because every time I come, my schedule is full with promotional activities, and I can only look out my car window to see attractions and hotels.” Although Zhou Xun will be in Taiwan for a longer time this time, her work arrangements are even more, and she can only comfort herself saying, “Just let Taiwanese fans look at me then, attractions and food can only wait for next time!”

Translated by: Sarah @ http://asianfanatics.net
Source: http://asianfanatics.net









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