Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Last Tycoon - 2013 Calendar [Roast Pork Sliced From A Rusty Cleaver] (飲水思源)



February - Chow Yun-Fat

March - Huang Xiaoming

April - Sammo Hung

May - Francis Ng

June - Gao Hu, Yuan Quan (Yolanda Yuen)  Xin Baiqing

July - Yuan Li

August - Mo Xiaoqi

September - Chow Yun-Fat, Sammo Hung, Francis Ng

October - Mo Xiaoqi, Chow Yun-Fat

November - Chow Yun-Fat, Yuan Quan

December - Tong Fei, Huang Xiaoming, Feng Wenjuan (Sina)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Remembering 1942 [Roast Pork Sliced From A Rusty Cleaver] (飲水思源)

Or is it "Back to 1942"?

I really like the first poster. Feng Xiaogang's new film opens later this month.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Yorker: A Movie China Doesn’t Want You to See [Roast Pork Sliced From A Rusty Cleaver] (飲水思源)

[From last week]

Yang Jia

Here’s a movie that China doesn’t want you to see. It’s a marvellous work of cinematic art, but it’s also a horrifically fascinating and deeply poignant view of a non-independent judicial system at work: its subject, in effect, is procedural injustice. “When Night Falls” is directed by Ying Liang—whose work I’ve written about here often; he’s one of the world’s best young filmmakers—and it doesn’t yet have U. S. distribution. As I mentioned in May, before I had a chance to see the film, the Chinese government took stern steps against the movie and its director at the time of its première at the Jeongju Film Festival, attempting to purchase the film (the better, of course, to suppress it), subjecting the filmmaker’s family to interrogations, visiting the filmmaker (who is now essentially in exile in Hong Kong) in the hope of persuading him to change it, and threatening him with arrest should he return home.

It’s a fictionalized account of a true story, concerning a young man, Yang Jia, who was convicted, in 2008, of stabbing and slashing six police officers to death. Later in the year, he was executed. The background to these incidents (or accusations) concerns Yang’s arrest for riding an unlicensed bicycle; he charged that he was beaten in police custody and his attempts to bring charges or seek other redress were rejected. After Yang’s arrest, he became (according to the filmmaker Edmund Yeo) “a hero among many Chinese.” Meanwhile, his mother, Wang Jingmei, was—as soon as she was informed of his arrest—hustled off to a mental hospital, compelled to sign official documents against her will and better judgment (and without benefit of legal counsel), and held there for a hundred and forty-three days. Then she was hustled off again to the prison where her son was being held. After a brief visit with him, she was sent home to Beijing.

The first ingenious twist to Ying’s movie is that it focusses on the mother of the accused, played by the actress An Nei, and looks closely at her actions and experiences in the two days following her release, when all of her time and energy went to her efforts to help her son (who is not a dramatized character in the film and is only seen in still photographs). Ying depicts the immediate interest of activists in the case, one of whom reveals that Ai Weiwei posted about the case and explains that many “netizens” are among her supporters. Another activist turns up with a video camera to chronicle Wang’s confrontation with the legal system (even bringing it to the courtroom in which two judges announce the order for Yang’s execution) and declares that the judicial proceedings are a mere cosmetic to mask state crimes.

Ying is fascinated by the functioning of law in China. His second feature, “The Other Half,” is centered on a provincial law office, where the documents that cross the protagonists’ desk offer a sense of the roiling chaos beneath the official surface of order. (It’s distributed here by dGenerate Films, an indispensable source for contemporary Chinese independent films as well as for information about the film, the filmmaker, and his recent travails.) In “When Night Falls,” Ying’s direction is even more severely controlled and precise; it’s as if his tensely concentrated attention to Wang and the minutiae of her quest, including her carefully handwritten legal filings and her quest to photocopy and mail them, calls more clamorous attention to the entire silenced world of political pressure, manipulations, decisions—the entire dehumanized yet despicably human mechanism of power—to which she and her son are subjected.

There’s a brilliant shot, midway through the film, in which Wang returns home after the courtroom session and simply wants to be alone. Ying’s camera stays low in the hallway of her building, watching through the bannister rails as she and her supporters troop up the staircase. By not following them, but merely continuing to gaze at the empty space they’ve passed through, he captures their harsh and poignant dialogue on the soundtrack (“What’s wrong with this society?” “This case is relevant to the future of the People’s Republic of China’s legal system”), as if to highlight more intensely its universal import.

The facts of the case are well known; it’s no spoiler to say that, despite Wang’s efforts, her son was executed, and the scene in which Wang learns this is a quiet masterpiece of imagination. Her gestures—drinking from a teapot, tearing leaves from a calendar—have both a spontaneous nobility and a futile comedy that are as grand and as poignant as a scene from Griffith. “When Night Falls” is a work of memory, reconstruction, and empathy that blends a coolly analytical style with a fierce yet quiet passion. Its precise and intimate scope, its canny sense of refracted representations, turns its lightly idealized modernism into a powerful version of political documentary. No wonder the Chinese government is unhappy with it.

When the movie was shown this summer at the Locarno Film Festival, Ying won Best Director and An won Best Actress. It’s surprising that the movie didn’t turn up here at the New York Film Festival; it’s vastly superior to the one Chinese film (“Memories Look at Me”) that was screened there. I hope that “When Night Falls” finds American distribution soon, and that it finds its place onscreen here, and in history—and that its director, Ying Liang, remains both safe and productive. New Yorker

And Windy has stormy eyes [Roast Pork Sliced From A Rusty Cleaver] (飲水思源)


This video reminds me of Van Gogh's Starry Night. Call it Scary Night.

An old beach pass from a visit to Avalon/Stone Harbor, NJ
I wonder what's left of the beach

You can donate $10 by phone by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ai Weiwei's 草泥馬 Style [Roast Pork Sliced From A Rusty Cleaver] (飲水思源)


SCMP: Ai Weiwei Bemoans Block On His 'Gangnam' Parody

Dissident artist Ai Weiwei criticised the government on Thursday for removing from Chinese websites his parody of Korean pop sensation Psy’s Gangnam Style video.

Ai, a world-renowned artist and China’s most prominent dissident, and staff of his company performed Psy’s famous horse dance in his Beijing studio and posted the video late on Wednesday to Chinese sites such as Tudou, the equivalent of the blocked YouTube site.

Ai, 55, called the video “Caonima”. “Caonima” means “grass mud horse” but the word, which sounds like a very crude insult, has also been taken on by Chinese internet users, and by Ai himself, and featured in postings mocking the government’s online controls.

“We only filmed for a bit over 10 minutes but we used a whole day to edit, and eventually put it online at midnight,” Ai told reporters.

“After we had uploaded it, a few hours later ... we found that a lot of people, tens of thousands, had already watched it. Now, in China, it has already been totally removed, deleted entirely, and you can’t see it in China,” Ai said.

Ai said Psy’s Gangnam Style song and dance was a grass-roots expression of individualism that should be allowed in his country.

“Overall, we feel that every person has the right to express themselves, and this right of expression is fundamentally linked to our happiness and even our existence,” Ai said.

“When a society constantly demands that everyone should abandon this right, then the society becomes a society without creativity. It can never become a happy society.”

Ai, whose 81-day detention last year sparked an international outcry, has regularly criticised the government for what he sees as its flouting of the rule of law and the rights of citizens.

Last month, a court upheld a US$2.4 million tax evasion fine against him, ending a long legal battle with the authorities. He can be jailed if he does not pay. (SCMP)

Friday, October 12, 2012

SCMP: 'Gangnam Style' Fever Hits Hong Kong As Film Producer Releases Spoof Cover Music Video


Hong Kong film producer Wilson Chin is so hooked on the hit record 'Gangnam Style' that he has released a spoof cover video featuring local celebrities.

Chin, the man behind the movies Summer Love and Lan Kwai Fong, stars in the video alongside Canto-pop singers Leo Ku and Ekin Cheng, veteran actor TV host Eric Tsang and actress JJ Jia.

The video, which he posted on his Weibo page, was shot at various locations around Hong Kong and is gathering momentum on YouTube and Youku.

'Gangnam Style', by South Korean rapper Psy, shot to number one around the world after the video went viral.

Chin's effort comes a month before Psy visits Hong Kong. (SCMP)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

More Zhang Jingchu - Weibo [Roast Pork Sliced From A Rusty Cleaver] (飲水思源)


From Zhang Jingchu's weibo, mostly fashion related.

Probably from the recent Dior show in Dalian (9/22)

August Bund magazine spread
Wearing a little number from Moschino at a Guangzhou charity event last month

August cover of Jessica Magazine

Advert series for Marino Orlandi an Italian leather bag brand

Less glam, but still undeniably cute
Showing off her new cap in Guangzhou

Eating bamboo rice in Guilin

In Rome for the shooting of "I Trust You"

Monday, October 8, 2012

More "Switch" Stills [Roast Pork Sliced From A Rusty Cleaver] (飲水思源)


Lau, Andy Lau !

Lin Chi-ling, Andy Lau

Lin Chi-ling

Andy Lau, Lin Chi-ling

Lin Chi-ling

Zhang Jingchu

Lin Chi-ling

Tong Dawei

Villain Tong Dawei, as a Japanese gangster, also has a dozen "witches" who do his evil bidding. The are dubbed his constellation with associated zodiac signs. And, surprise (no?), they have their own group weibo besides individual ones. Most are former/current Moko models, fitting the film's fashion-action film prism; one is a former child star, another a beauty pageant winner, one is noted for her resemblance to Lin Chi-ling - she seems to have done some adult modelling, also. (Sina)

A handy scorecard

Cherry Wang Kunpeng as Libra in action

Zou Na - Sagittarius

Scorpio, Alice Bahaguli gets her kicks