Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wheat in Shanghai, Storm Warriors in Shenzhen

Fan Bingbing

Director He Ping

Wang Jiajia, Huang Jue

Du Jiayi (right)
CRI: "Wheat" Premieres in Shanghai ( (

CRI: "Forever Enthralled" Bids for Oscar

Storm Warriors in Shenzhen

Ekin Cheng, Charlene Choi

Aaron Kwok, Tan Yan

Charlene Choi
in Shenzhen to promote Storm Warriors (

Sun Honglei and Kelly Lin meet the press in Chengdu
My Fair Gentleman (

Taipei Times - Short takes
In feudal Japan, a blind musician with lethal sword skills (Haruka Ayase from Oppai Volleyball and Happy Flight) sets out to find her blind masseuse father, encountering the usual bandits and deadly political intrigue. This is an update of the famed series centering on the blind Zatoichi character, who could be this forlorn young woman’s father. Critics admired the film’s visuals and noted its retention of genre conventions rather than a modern reworking of theme and character, notwithstanding the female lead.

Another manga-based film from Japan, this one turns to the curious sport of relay marathons and the relationships among the members of one team. Naoko (Juri Ueno) is a manager for the team, but her ability to deal with the best of its runners is compromised by memories of a fatal accident some years before. Of more interest than the manga-based, baseball-themed Rookies: Graduation, which opened last month, if only because marathons have better scenery.

The Little Finger and the Forbidden Body
A mannered Japanese incest potboiler from 2005, this is being promoted as an earlier feature starring Hiroyuki Ikeuchi (Ip Man). Ikeuchi gets it on — and on — with his sister, only to later block the memory of the experience. But his line of work in a red light district doesn’t let his repressed past stay buried. Actor-director Kei Horie seems to have a thing for grim subject matter. Also known in English as Finger and Body and The Whole Body and the Little Finger — the mind boggles. The Baixue theater in Ximending is the best possible place for a movie like this.

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