Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"The Message" trailer

"The Message" first trailer

The press conference in the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival.

"The Message" footage.
Presented in the press conference in the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival. It tells difficulties in the process of shooting and some scenes in the movie.


Zhou Xun Breaks up with Stylist Boyfriend

2009-06-24 17:55:06 Web Editor: Xie Tingting

"Perhaps Love" actress Zhou Xun has split with Li Daqi, her boyfriend of five years, Zhou's publicist said Wednesday.

In a press release sent to, Huang Feng says Zhou and Li chose to be friends after being separated for most of the time. "Both are passionate about their careers and have little time to be together," the agent says.

Li Daqi, who is a popular stylist, met Zhou Xun in 2003 when he worked with the actress-turned singer for her debut album, "Summer". Zhou admitted the relationship in July, 2004.

Zhou was once quoted by the media as saying that Daqi was the right man for her to marry.

Before Li Daqi, Zhou had a romance with actor Li Yapeng, who is now married to pop diva Faye Wong.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Confucius, he safe

Confucians the world over can relax. His moral integrity is intact.

From the set of a new biopic being shot in Zhuozhou, Hebei province, comes word that the great thinker will neither be shown embroiled in sexual encounters nor gravity-defying kungfu.

The $20 million project has created quite a stir, especially among enraged Confucius followers, amid rumors that the man regarded in China as a saint would be portrayed in a less-than-perfect light.

Fifty Confucian academic associations even wrote to director Hu Mei last month, urging her not to debase the man whose teachings have profoundly influenced Chinese culture for thousands of years.

"Confucius has no love affairs or kungfu scenes," Hu assured China Daily from the set.

She had just completed one particular scene in which Confucius is shown visiting Nan Zi, a well-known beauty, albeit with a reputation for being a "loose woman".

Wearing lavish headgear made of turquoise and gold, Nan Zi (mainland actress Zhou Xun) is seen walking slowly around Confucius (Chow Yuen-fat), who respectfullykneels on the floor of her sitting room in a ragged gown.

Nan Zi asks Confucius for the meaning of a love poem in The Classic Book of Poetry and how much of the book was about love between men and women. Trying hard not to make eye contact, Confucius replies: "In short, the poems are from sincere thoughts."

Some historical books reveal that Confucius did, indeed, visit Nan Zi but there has never been a reliable account of what happened.

According to Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian, one of Confucius' students, Zi Lu, felt unhappy that his mentor had even associated with such a notorious woman, but Confucius told him: "If I had done anything immoral, heaven would punish me!"

The Nan Zi scene is the reason many Confucius fans fear the film will be melodramatic and taint his image.

Hu says there is no need to worry. "Confucius is a man who appreciates women as other men do," she says, "but the relationship between the two is respect and appreciation."

Zhou Xun agrees. "She just appreciates his wisdom and is learning from him," she says.

Confucius is shown as a man with diverse skills ... but not including martial arts.

"Historical documents show that Confucius advocates the Six Arts, including driving a wagon and archery," Hu says. "In the film he is both a good driver and archer, but there won't be fancy kungfu scenes."

Does Hu not worry that without dazzling kungfu and romance her movie will have lost its two main draw cards? "Confucius is not nobody," she says. "He is a thinker, educator and ambitious statesman whose colorful life has thrilling ups and downs. They are more than enough."

Chow had four experts show him how to walk, talk and behave like an ancient scholar. The Hong Kong actor said the ancient Chinese is the most difficult part and he had lost 10 pounds since the filming started in March.

The impish star jokingly said he knew nothing about Confucius and had done no research because "the director will teach me what to do". However, Hu and other cast members claimed that he recited his lines fluently at every take and often raised detailed questions.

The 120-minute film follows the sacred philosopher's life from middle age to death and is expected to finish shooting by the end of the year.

Confucius' doctrine, which calls for compassion, virtue, ritual and harmony, has been enjoying a revival in China, having been banned during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76).

The Chinese government names those public institutes overseas that promote Chinese language and culture after him. There are now more than 300 Confucius Institutes around the world.

Professor Yu Dan gained overnight fame after giving a series of TV lectures on Confucius. In the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, thousands of actors dressed as ancient students recited excerpts from The Analects, a book recording Confucius' teachings.

A reputation stretching back 2,500 years is, it seems, safe after all.

Source: China Daily 05/28/2009


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Zhou Xun wins "Best actress" in the 9th Chinese Film Media Awards

The 9th Annual Chinese Film Media Award took place two nights ago in Dongguan. Finally Ann Hui On Wa with THE WAY WE ARE (TIN SHUI WAI DIK YUT YU YEH) became the big winner with Best Director, Best Picture and Media Salute Film Professional; Chan Lai-Wun won Best Supporting Actress. Hong Kong Film Award Best Actress Paw Hee Jing lost to THE EQUATION OF LOVE AND DEATH's Zhou Xun.

Best Actress Zhou Xun two nights ago personally accepted the award. She revealed that she was busy with her new film with Chow Yun Fat. Originally they planned to dine together but due to the award she had to cancel. Zhou Xun apologized to Sister Bau. "I am very emotional, I have been making movies for over ten years. Receiving everyone's recognition is not easy. I remember when I won the first time, I was very scared and shaken on stage." Best Supporting Actress Chan Lai-Wun frankly said that this film has brought her endless joy and joked that she hoped the director could bring her joy once more. She also wished Chinese film to continue radiate. Hui On Wa honestly said that she would keep working hard on movies, but she joked, "I am already working very hard on my movies, so I wouldn't work even harder." She also joked that THE actually was a story about three old women, her, Sister Bau and Chan Lai Wun.

A celebration was held after the award show. Multiple Best Actress award winner Zhou Xun was asked about her screenplay selection. She said that she had three conditions, a good script, a good director and a character that could touch people. She said, "I won't mind the cast, since I have to play my own character well." As for any character that Zhou Xun felt he could not handle, she said, "For now I still haven't thought for one. I had a habit over the years, I would be tense the night before the shoot began that I could not sleep. I would keep thinking about how to play the character well. The reason for the tension I still haven't been able to find a resolution for." Sister Bau honestly said that she would not be disappointed about the loss to Zhou Xun. She pointed out that last time when she won the Hong Kong Film Award Best Actress, she apologized to her as well. She praised that Zhou Xun was a good actress and deserved to win the award. As for Nick Cheung Ka Fai's claim that no one watched ATV programs, Sister Bau disagreed. "I don't think no one watches. I am very happy with working at ATV, as long as the audience enjoys it I am satisfied."



Decipher Confucius' alleged romance

What was previously believed to be a romance story in a biopic of Confucius turns out to be a short episode of poem discussion.

Members of the media were invited on Wednesday to the set of the upcoming film "Confucius", starring Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-Fat as the ancient sage. Filming is currently underway near Beijing, where Confucius meets with the notorious concubine Nan-zi.

In the hotly discussed scene, Nan-zi, played by mainland actress Zhou Xun, welcomes Confucius into her room, and asks him for interpretations of poems.

Zhou Xun says her character's gesture is not meant to appear as flirting or tantalizing, although historical records describe Nan-zi as "beautiful and lustful".

Some movie-goers have voiced disapproval ever since media reports emerged indicating that the film would not only focus on Confucius' academic establishments, but his love life as well.

Yet, according to director Hu Mei, Confucius and Nan-zi's meet-up will be the only scene featuring the two together in the film.

"I don't know how to explain this scene to you," Hu Mei told reporters, "but I can assure you that it's beyond a romantic scene."

Maybe you have to discover the scene's underlying meaning on your own when the film hits Chinese theaters this October.

According to the book "Analects of Confucius", Nan-zi, an imperial concubine of the Wei Kingdom in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), admired Confucius and invited him for a meet-up at her palace. Confucius agreed to go out of courtesy, but his disciple Zi-lu was not pleased. When Confucius came out of Nan-zi's place, he told Zi-lu, "If I did anything against morals, let God abandon me."


A Difficult 'Message'

2009-06-08 13:12:38 Web Editor: Xie Tingting

Zhou Xun says she had suffered emotional breakdown while trying to portray her role in the WWII espionage film "The Message".

Award-winning Chinese actress Zhou Xun says she had suffered emotional breakdown while trying to portray her role in the WWII espionage film "The Message".

"I often felt exhausted, and literally collapsed several times," the Asian Film Awards' best actress said Sunday at a press conference in Beijing, where producers announced October 1, China's National Day, as the film's release date.

Calling "The Message" the most challenging film she has ever been involved in, Zhou says much of the time she had to rely on alcohol and sleeping pills.

The pressure was also felt by other crew members, according to co-director Gao Qunshu.

Difficulties mainly come from the incomplete scripts. "The Message", set in Japanese-occupied China in 1942, tells a story of a Japanese spy chief trying to identify a Chinese agent, Lao Gui, from a gathered group of suspects. Zhou Xun's character, a code-breaker named Gu Xiaomeng, is among them.

To ensure the film's biggest attraction, the actor who plays Lao Gui has been kept under wraps and is not in the script. Zhou Xun says like their characters, the actors were always guessing who Lao Gui was while trying to fit in the story.

Gao Qunshu and Kuo-Fu Chen, who are co-directing the film, have reportedly prepared several versions of the ending, and will decide Lao Gui's impersonator when they edit the film, based on each actor's performance.

"The Message", produced by leading entertainment producer Huayi Brothers, is the company's tribute to the 60th birthday of the People's Republic of China.


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