Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"All about Women" review (3)

More interesting for its intentions than for what it actually achieves, Tsui Hark's romantic comedy "All About Women" scores high on energy but low on real laffs. Co-written by Tsui and South Korean helmer Kwak Jae-yong ("My Sassy Girl"), this wacky portrait of three femmes searching for lurrv in contempo Beijing provides meaty roles for its leads, especially mainland thesp Zhou Xun and Taiwanese up-and-comer Kwai Lun-mei. However, like so much of Tsui's work, pic too often undermines itself with technical trickery and incoherent plotting. Despite lotsa hype, "Women" failed to make the earth move at Asian wickets in December.

Film is at least a considerable improvement on Tsui's career nadir, last summer's mystery-thriller "Missing," starring Angelica Lee. Where that movie seemed to signal complete creative bankruptcy for the veteran Hong Kong helmer, "Women" at least looks as though it occupied his attention for more than a weekend. And like Li Shaohong's similarly rocket-fueled "Baober in Love" (2004) -- also starring the versatile Zhou -- it tries to push the envelope with a genre that's still in its early days in mainland cinema.

With her goofy glasses and myopic pratfalls, Zhou conjures up memories of Josephine Hsiao's classic comedy creation Lam Ah-chun as Fan-fan, a doctor in the ultrasound department of a pristine medical center. Fan-fan suffers from "selective sclerosis," turning as rigid as a board whenever she's touched by men. To snag a b.f., she starts researching love pheromones, developing a patch that wreaks predictable havoc.

At the other end of the scale is high-powered, 30ish exec Tang Lu (Kitty Zhang), a drop-dead looker who attracts men like bees to honey but can't make real friends with other women. Somewhere between the two femmes is 19-year-old Internet novelist and rock-band vocalist Tieling (Kwai), a tomboyish dreamer who has a fantasy man of her dreams (Stephen Fung) and takes out her frustrations through boxing.

After spending almost a half-hour introducing the trio, the script tries to knit the characters together into a meaningful whole. But beyond linking Fan-fan and Tang via a chaotic plot involving the former's love-patches, the pic goes almost nowhere in (a long) two hours.

Zhou's gift for physical comedy and her sheer acting smarts make her klutzy cutout the most sympathetic character. Though largely stranded in her own story, Kwai ("Blue Gate Crossing," "Secret") confirms she's one of Taiwan's most interesting young talents. Zhang, almost unrecognizable from her decorative role in Stephen Chow's "CJ7," is OK as the careerist bitch but lacks real personality.

Good-quality visual effects run the gamut -- from split-screen to graphics interacting with characters -- but pic's HD origins give the whole shebang a cold feel. Chinese title means "Women Aren't Bad."

Camera (Technicolor, HD-to-35mm), Choi Sung-fai; editors, Tsui, Hideyuki Mako, Chan Ki-hop; music directors, Lee Shih-shiong, Paul Lee; art director, Lee Ta-chi; costume designer, Poon Wing-yan; visual effects supervisor, Christopher Bremble (Base FX). Reviewed at Golden Village VivoCity 9, Singapore, Dec. 19, 2008. Running time: 119 MIN.



Zhou Xun for Violet

Zhou Xun became the spokewoman for Violet (aka JiangSu Violet Home Textile) in 2008. At the end of last year, she took some photos for the brand. Please enjoy!

The clip, Zhou Xun for Violet 2009.



Thursday, February 12, 2009

Zhou Xun avatar

By Speed, Amychan, long nhi & _Tinkermy_@


28th Hong Kong Film Awards Nominee List

They've announced the nominees for the 2008 HK Film Awards! I can't find much info on it out in english yet (they haven't updated the official site yet either).

But there's at least one article listing some of the nominees and I've also included a FULL LIST OF NOMINEES in CHINESE and (some) English Translations below.

Tin Shui Wai movie goes for glory

John Woo Yu-sen's recent Chinese historical epic Red Cliff, a biopic of Bruce Lee's kung fu master, Ip Man, and a documentary- like film about a working-class neighborhood, The Way We Are racked up the most nominations for the Hong Kong Film Awards, organizers announced yesterday.

Red Cliff picked up 15 nominations and Wilson Yip Wai- shun's profile of Lee's martial arts teacher Ip Man got 12. But the biggest surprise among the leading contenders was veteran director Ann Hui On-wah's The Way We Are - a little-known movie about a single mother in Tin Shui Wai.

The other best picture nominees are Hong Kong comedian Stephen Chow Sing-chi's sci-fi CJ7 and Gordon Chan Kar- seung's ghost thriller Painted Skin. Woo, Yip and Hui are also up for best director, competing against Benny Chan Ho-man (Connected) and Johnnie To Kei-fung, who was nominated for Sparrow, a playful look at a pickpocket gang.

Former Cannes winner Tony Leung Chiu-wai received a nod for best actor for playing a Chinese general in Red Cliff.

He faces off with action star Donnie Yen Chi-tan, who played Ip Man, Simon Yam Tat-wah in Sparrow, Nick Cheung Ka-fai from the police thriller The Beast Stalker, and heartthrob Louis Koo Tin-lok, who portrayed a gangster who struggles to give up a life of crime in Run Papa Run.

China's Zhou Xun, the lead in Painted Skin, is the biggest star in the best actress competition, but she faces stiff competition from Hong Kong's Prudence Liew Mei-gwan, who won the Chinese-language equivalent of an Oscar at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards in December for playing a sex worker in True Women for Sale.

The other nominees are Paw Hee Ching from The Way We Are, Barbie Hsu Hsi-yuan from Connected, and Karena Lam Ka- yan from the romance Claustrophobia.

The winners will be announced on April 19.

They didn't mention that super-star Race Wong was nomined for her supporting actress role in True Women For Sale, directed by Herman Yau. Also congrats to Heiward Mak, nominated for Best New Director for her film 'High Noon'



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Zhou Xun is nominated as "Best actress" in 28th Hong Kong film Awards

The 28th Hong Kong Film Awards held a press conference yesterday afternoon, and announced the full nomination list for the 19 categories. ‘Red Cliff’ is nominated in 15 categories including ‘Best Film’, ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Male Lead’. Following closely behind is ‘IP Man’ and ‘Painted Skin’ who is nominated in 12 categories. Due to the role Xiao Wei in "Painted Skin", Zhou Xun is nominated as "Best actress". Some categories of nomination as below:

Best Film:

The Way We Are
Red Cliff
Yangtze River 7
Painted Skin
IP Man

Best Director:

Ann Hui - ‘The Way We Are’
Johnnie To - ‘Sparrow’
Benny Chan - ‘Connected’
Wilson Yip - ‘IP Man’

Best Actor:

Louis Koo - ‘Run Papa Run’
Simon Yam – ‘Sparrow’
Tony Leung – ‘Red Cliff’
Nick Cheung – ‘Witness’
Donnie Yen – ‘IP Man’

Best Actress:

Bau Hei Jing – ‘The Way We Are’
Prudence Liew – ‘True Women For Sale’
Barbie Hsu (Da S) – ‘Connected’
Zhou Xun – ‘Painted Skin’
Karena Lin – ‘Intimate Lover’

Best Supporting Actor:

Zhang Feng Yi - ‘Red Cliff’
Stephen Chow – ‘Yangtze River 7’
Liao Qi Zhi – ‘Witness’
Gordon Lam – ‘IP Man’
Louis Fan – ‘IP Man’

Best Supporting Actress:

Nora Miao – ‘Run Papa Run’
Chen Li Yun – ‘The Way We Are’
Vicki Zhao – 'Red Cliff’
Race Wong – ‘True Women For Sale’
Sun Li – ‘Painted Skin’

Best New Performer:

Monica Mok – ‘Ocean Flame’
Kitty Zhang – ‘Not All Women Are Bad’
Liang Jin Long – ‘The Way We Are’
Lin Zhi Ling – ‘Red Cliff’
Xu Jiao – ‘Yangtze River 7’



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Zhou Xun gets Hong Kong citizenship!

Chinese actress Zhou Xun's application for Hong Kong citizenship was successful and she had collected her new identity card in January. Zhou revealed that though she is currently discussing a few movie deals with various producers, she has a stronger a desire to sing

Since the Hong Kong government introduced the "Quality Migrant Admission Scheme" in 2006, it has become a trend among Chinese artistes to apply for Hong Kong residence under the scheme; most recently, Zhou joined Tang Wei and Hu Jun in January as a Hong Kong immigrant under the scheme. Zhou told reporters that her application was purely for job convenience; she will still focus on the Mainland market.

In espionage movie "Sound of the Wind", Zhou played the role of a decoder, Gu Xiaomeng. She said she has a love-hate relationship with the role. To wear a cheongsam for a movie "was dream come true". She had experience wearing cheongsam when she was a child and had always wanted to wear it again as a grown-up but she did not expect her dream to come true so soon.

However as a spy, she also had to wear the military uniform. "I feel stifled and restricted in the uniform. I have to stand very straight in the uniform and cannot relax. That's very tiring," she said.
She revealed that filming for "Sound of the Wind" will go on till April. "There are a few other movies which I'm getting in touch with; but recently I have this burning desire to sing," she said



Monday, February 09, 2009

Chinese mainland actress Zhou Xun has become a Hong Kong citizen

Media reports say the actress received a Hong Kong citizenship certificate under the "Quality Migrant Admission Scheme" at the end of January.

In recent years, the mainland has seen a notable rise in the number of actors and other artists applying for Hong Kong citizenship. Piano prodigies Lang Lang and Li Yundi and actors Hu Jun, Zhang Ziyi and Tang Wei obtained Hong Kong citizenship under this program.

Zhou played down the media hype about her citizenship change, saying she became a Hong Kong citizen because it was more convenient for her work. She added that she would remain focused on the mainland film industry in the future, according to the reports.

Zhou plans to soon resume her work in the spy film "Feng Sheng," or "Sound of the Wind," produced by Huayi Brothers, the country's leading entertainment company. She said she had bittersweet feelings about her current role, in that she regretted having to stand straight in an army uniform in the film, but was delighted that she could fulfill her dream of also wearing a traditional Chinese "qipao."

Zhou will complete her work on the film by the end of April. In the meantime, she said she had a growing interst in recording more songs, according to the reports.

As an internationally acclaimed Chinese actress and singer, Zhou was once regarded as one of the "four young dan actresses" in China in the early part of the decade, along with Zhang Ziyi, Xu Jinglei and Zhao Wei.

She had reinforced her positive image in a slew of new movies released last year, including "The Equation of Love and Death," "Painted Skin" and "All About Women," all of which were well received by her fans.



Actress Zhou Xun becomes Hong Kong resident

Updated: 2009-02-08 19:11

HONG KONG -- Zhou Xun, an internationally acclaimed Chinese actress who co-starred with Zhang Ziyi in the movie "The Banquet", has become a Hong Kong resident under a talent migrant scheme.

Zhou, born in Quzhou of Zhejiang Province, applied to become a Hong Kong resident to further her career, Sunday's Beijing News quoted her assistant Ju Shuo as saying.

The focus of her work would still be on the Chinese mainland and she has no plan to settle down in Hong Kong yet, said the assistant.

Zhou won the best actress award in the 15th Paris Film Festival for her role in the movie "Suzhou River" in 2000. She also won more than 10 domestic movie awards for best actress or best supporting actress.

Prior to Zhou, film actress Zhang Ziyi, who starred in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Memoirs of Geisha", and Tang Wei, the actress in Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" had obtained Hong Kong resident status under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.

The scheme, which is quota-based and seeks to attract highly skilled and talented persons, aims to enhance Hong Kong's economic competitiveness in the global market

Hong Kong, a film making hub for the Chinese-speaking world, has played a prominent part on the world cinema stage. Hong Kong-based stars such as Jackie Chan, comedian Stephen Chow, and singer Andy Lau have gained wide popularity on the Chinese mainland.

Source: xinhua


Sunday, February 01, 2009

"Sina" reporters visit the filming set of True Legend

On January 18th, "Sina" reporters visited the filming set of True Legend at the China Movie & TV Industry Zone in Huairou County, Beijing. On the day of the set visit, they filmed a challenge match between Vincent Zhao and a westerner, and also a scene with Vincent Zhao and Zhou Xun. Zhao said in the film he fights from the beginning to the end. It was Zhou Xun's first day shooting on the Beijing set and her last day on the project. The production has moved to Beijing since the end of October and it is expected to wrap up soon.



Zhou Xun: "Happy New Year"

Zhou Xun and Sohu wish everybody a happy new year!!!



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