daily

www1.hollywoodreporter.com

Infotainment China HCD6 101109 - The Hollywood Reporter

6dailythePusanSunday, October 13, 2009thr.com/pusanTHE ROBBERSMartial Arts/Drama / PIFF “Midnight Passion”Cast: Hun Jun (Red Cliff), Jiang Wu (Shower)Infotainment China Media Co-produce / World SalesA playful and action-packed story aboutbrotherhood, redemption and love.PIFF Screening:TOMORROW (Oct 14) 20:00 /CGV Centum City 1TOMORROW (Oct 14) 20:00 /CGV Centum City 3(Directors’ Q&A)GREAT LOVEPPP selection from Hong Kong directorPang Ho Cheung (Isabella).“We are imprisoned by invisible handcuffs, which arecalled social mores and morality… The main characterof this story, XiaoBei, is a total slut in other people’seyes; but in the eyes of those with disabilities, she isan angel sent by God, to save their dying heart. Suchlove may seem so little, but it is truly great.”PPP Meeting Seacloud Hotel#904:09:30am – 6:00pm Tuesday, 13 October10:00am – 1:00pm Wednesday, 14 OctoberMEMORY OF LOVEA moving and poetic story of love reclaimedPIFF “A Window on Asian Cinema”Director: Wang Chao (The Orphan of Anyang, Luxury Car)Co-Production with TF1 and RosemTerritories available include HK,TW,SING.PIFF Screening:Oct 13/17:30/CGV6Oct 14/ 14:30/CGV-AOct’15/17:00/CGV-6Screening Tomorrow!Set in the Tang Dynasty period, the story centers on two robbers who,while performing a heist in a small village, save a girl from being raped by anImperial Guard, and as result put the village in danger. One of the robbers fallsin love with the girl and faces a tough decision on whether to leave the villageto suffer the vengeance of the Guard, or stay and fight on its behalf.A playful and action-packed story about brotherhood, redemption and love.Connecting you to the China Film IndustryMeet us at Seacloud Hotel #904For further inquiries, please contact:+ 86- 1360 113 6922infotainmentchina@gmail.comwww.infotainmentchina.com


Q&AJohnnie To talksabout Frenchcinema’s influenceon his work andmaking films theHong Kong way.PAGE 4dailythePusanTuesday,dayOctober 13, 2009THR.com/pusan61Telling stories from homefront‘True Noon’By Elizabeth KerrAhistorical conflict between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan providesthe basis for “True Noon,” a reasonably stirringdrama that could take place almost anywhere on the globeright now, what with constantly shifting borders and nationstatesreconfiguring themselves. Without any grandiose gesturesor set pieces, director Nosir Saidov’s modest portrait of aonce functional town falling into chaos has little potential forbroad distribution but could nonetheless see a fairly long life oncontinued on page 9By Patrick FraterLawyers and producersMonday added their voicesto the recent calls for Asiato develop its own system ofcompletion bonding for movies.“True Noon”REVIEW“For films that have internationalambitions, completionbonds are necessary becausethat it what your partnersabroad will require,” said U.S.lawyer Howard Frumes at aseminar on modern filmBy Karen ChuThe notion of cinema asa means of diplomacyand national representationis particularlyevident at this year’sNew Currents section, the PIFFsidebar dedicated to introducingupcoming Asian directors.Showcasing 12 debut orsophomore features by filmmakersfrom 11 countries, themix is the most diverse yet,ranging from Korea, China,Thailand, India, Hong Kong,Japan, Malaysia, Iraqi Kurdistan,and the first feature filmproduced in the former SovietBy Patrick FraterMore call for Asian completion bondsNew Currents helmers get personalrepublic of Tajikistan in 18years.“True Noon,” the first Tajikistanifilm produced in the 18years since the Soviet Uniondissolved and the nation gainedits independence, took its directorNosir Saidov seven years toput on the screen. The countrywent through a devastatingseven-year-long civil war in the1990s, consequently becameone of the world’s poorestnations and saw its film industrydecimated. Saidov is nowhoping the film’s Asian premierein Busan will help revivefilmmaking and convince itscontinued on page 9Cambodia film org debutsfinancing organized by theKorean Producers Guild. “Thisdoesn’t need to be done in theexact same way as in the U.S. orEurope, it needs to be adaptedand localized. (But) it needs tocontinued on page 9Location managers now havean additional choice inSoutheast Asia, following therecent establishment of a filmcommission in Cambodia.The new Cambodia Film Commissionmade its market debutMonday at BIFCOM.Established earlier this yearwith finance from France’sAgency for Overseas Development,the organization is headedby Cedric Eloy as CEO andSovichea Cheap as director.“This is real low cost Asia, butthese days Cambodia has somuch more to offer too,” Eloysaid. “Regulation is done with alight touch. Our office acts as afilter for the ministry and can getshooting permits issued within acontinued on page 9WHAT’S INSIDE>Reviews PAGE 6-8


The Hollywood Reporter | Tuesday, October 13, 2009| news‘Elly’ nabs 5APSA nomsBy Patrick FraterSINGER PHOTO: CHUNG SUNG-JUN/GETTY IMAGESIranian film “Darabaye Elly”(About Elly) topped theshortlist for the Asia PacificScreen Awards, with a total offive nominations.Nominees were announcedMonday in nine award categoriesafter a record 212 entriesfrom 43 countries.Also showing strongly withthree nominations was “Nanjing!Nanjing!” (aka “A City ofLife And Death”), “Mother” andforeign-language Oscar-winner“Departures,” with two nominationseach.Nominated for best picturewere “Elly,” “Nanjing” “MeiLanfang” Australia’s “Samson &Delilah” and Palestinian “TheTime That Remains.”“The 2009 nominees representthe extraordinary breadthof talent that exists in our regionin a year when thequality of Asia-Pacific films isexceptional,”said APSA chairmanDes Power.“The responseindicates that thefilmmakers of“Paju”EXTRAFor a completelist of APSAnominationsgo to THR.comAsia-Pacific value our missionto acclaim their work and take itto a global audience.”Japan is strongly representedin 2009 with a total of sevennominations followed Chinawith six. India, Iran, Russia andSouth Korea all received fivenominations.Winners are decided by aninternational jury and will bepresented on Nov. 26 in Australia’sGold Coast. ∂Due to strong demand an extra marketscreening of “Paju” will be heldtoday at 5:30 p.m. at the CGV CineChef de File A. Badge holders only.Director Bryan Singer and Kim Ji-Woon attend an Open Talk session on Sunday.Singer wants return to ‘X-Men’By Karen ChuDirector Bryan Singer apologizedfor not doing “X-Men3,” revealed plans to return tothe franchise, and admitted to be adictator, though not to the extentof Michael Bay or James Cameron.Singer was in Busan for “Trick‘r Treat”, the Michael Doughertydirectedhorror pic he producedand presented as a part of the“Midnight Passion” PIFF sidebar.“Sorry I didn’t do (‘X-Men 3’),”Singer said to the Huaendae Beachcrowd during the Open Talk dialoguewith Korean director Kim Ji-Woon of “A Bittersweet Life.”Singer directed the first two filmsin the “X-Men” franchise, but leftto do “Superman” in 2005. “Butwhat you see on screen in fourhours with those two films tooksix years of my life, and I wanted todo ‘Superman.’ I only get to liveone time, here, so I wanted theopportunity to do something different.If I could divide myself intotwo people I would have done ‘X-Men 3’,” the director said.Singer is now in talks with Foxfor “X-Men” sequels. “I’m stilllooking to possibly return to the‘X-Men’ franchise, I’ve beentalking to Fox about it,” he said.In the laidback setting, the“Usual Suspect” and “Valkyrie”helmer talked about his controllingnature, “I’m a bit of a controlfreak, and I’m very anal about theways things should happen, IBy Patrick FraterVietnam will celebrate the1,000th anniversary ofHanoi with the launch nextyear of the country’s first filmfestival.“Vietnamese film is at a veryearly stage of development,” saidNgo Thi Bich Hanh, vp sales andacquisition at Vietnam Media.“The idea of the festival is to createa big event and help people tolearn to love cinema.”Running Oct. 27-31, the VietnamInternational Film Festivalwill comprise public screeningsof some 50-60 movies and a 10-title competition section. Theemphasis will be strongly on Asiathink in life and on set,” he said.“But on the set, I’m a little bit of adictator, though not like MichaelBay or James Cameron.”The director expressed his envyof the control Kim and the Koreanfilmmakers have with final cut.“In Korea, the filmmakers aregiven a lot more freedom and thefinal cut. Final cut is very rarelygiven to directors now in Hollywoodbecause the cost of moviesin the Hollywood system has risenso high, that the risk is much togreat to leave in the hands of thefilmmakers, so we, the ones makingfilms in the US$100-200 millionlevel, have the responsibilityto help the studio feel secure intheir investment.”That doesn’t mean that filmmakersshould not strive to gettheir own vision on the screen.“But at the same time our taskis to work with the studio to getwhat we want on the screen – notnecessarily what 10 executives ina committee want, but what wewant,” he said. ”It takes a littlemore finesse and persuasion asopposed to simply having the cutright.” ∂Vietnam unveils first festand Southeast Asia in particular.“The world cinema sectionwill mostly be crowd pleasers,while the competition will focusmore on art house films andAsian premieres,” Ngo said.“One of the prizes will be selectedas an audience award, comewith a distribution deal and$30,000 of in kind promotionand marketing support.”The event is backed by VietnamMedia and the Cinema Departmentof the Ministry of Culture,Sport and Tourism. Screeningswill take place at the soon-toopenBHD-MPV Global multiplex.The announcement wasmade Monday night at a party atPusan’s Paradise Hotel. ∂Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 62


q&aTuesday,THR.com/pusanOctober 13, 2009While it is common wisdom to suggest that theHong Kong film industry is no longer what itwas in the days when Shaw Bros. and GoldenHarvest ruled the roost, or that the sector is becomingswamped by the influence of mainland China, Johnnie Toremains an archetypically Hong Kong director whose staris still on the rise. To is old school Hong Kong in that he isprolific, frequently uses improvised locations and minimalistscreenplays, often works on multiple productionsJOHNNIE TOHow and where did “Vengeance”come from?Johnnie To: So many people I’vemet at film festivals have promisedto set me up with a meetingwith Alain Delon, who I’ve longadmired. But when (French distributor)ARP actually delivered,I got together with mywriter (and producing partnerWai Ka-fai) to come up with aconcept. We presented thescript to Delon, but he backedoff. We still liked the script andso did ARP so we decided toproceed, but there was a year ofhiatus in which I made “MadDetective”and “Sparrow.”Then in February last yearduring Berlin, Michele (Halberstat,head of ARP) told me shewould set up a meeting betweenme and Johnny Hallyday thefollowing month. I knew nothingof him, but when I met him Iwas fascinated by his presenceand thought he’d work well forthe project.So you’ve done an internationalmovie, but in the Hong Kong way?To: Yes. The director has fullcontrol over all creative andproduction aspects of themovie. We can add things orchange things as we like. Here,except for the two French actorsand the editor, the entire crewwas from Hong Kong.Is it in English, French or Cantonese?To: None of my movies have alot of dialogue (laughs). Whenyou have French interactingwith (HK) locals they speakEnglish and when the localsspeak amongst themselves theyspeak Cantonese.at the same time and collaborates again and again with thesame cluster of actors and technicians. But To’s greatestskill is his ability to add extra layers of meaning or impactwhile working within commercial genres, particularlygangster and comedy films. Another To strength is anunwillingness to stand still. The helmer recently sat downwith The Hollywood Reporter contributing editor PatrickFrater about revenge, French cinema’s influence on hiswork and making films the Hong Kong way.Is the sense of place as importantin this movie as it often is in yourpictures?To: The story is actually set inMacau, but most of it was shotin Hong Kong. The parts ofMacau we shot have a colonialEuropean look, whereas HongKong is more modern. We’vechosen to mix them up here.This is a story of vengeance thatcould happen anywhere. Butwhat we choose is the local colorsthat bring it out.And what is this “revenge movie”actually about?To: Revenge is an act. It isingrained in one’s head. Somethingyou have to do. But whatthis film is trying to examine iswhat is the role of revenge ifmemory does not play a part.Studiocanal seems to be recruitinga band of top Asian directorsto remake films from its library. Isthere a natural connectionbetween the French and HongKong film industries?To: HK cinema and French cinemahave influenced each otherat times in the past 40 years.The cycle may now be turningso that French people are againinterested in working withAsian talent. But not every filmwill work, they need to be stylish.Maybe, too, the rise ofChina as a great power is havingan influence on the way peopleview Asian culture.So which French films influencedyou?To: I grew up watching a lot ofFrench thrillers, but at the timeI was too young to pay attentionto director’s names. A lot ofpeople compare my movies toJean-Pierre Melville, and,thinking back, I saw a lot offilms starring Alain Delon, so Iguess it would be Melville.You have a reputation for workingwith the same actors again andagain. What does this help?vital statsNationality: Hong KongDate of birth: April 22, 1955Film in Pusan: “Vengeance”Selected filmography:“Sparrow” (2008), “Election”(2005), “Exiled” (2006),“Breaking News” (2004), “Love ona Diet” (2001)Notable awards: Golden Horsebest director for “Breaking News”and “The Mission”; best directorHong Kong Film Awards for“Election” and “PTU” (2003)To: Many are old collaborators.First they trust my vision, secondI don’t have to explain everything.It makes my filmmakingmore convenient. Anthony Wongis a very solid performer and Iknow that if he improvises a lineit is because it comes from hisunderstanding of the character,not just for his own enjoyment.You are also known for working onmany projects at the same time.Yet quite recently there was ayear when you didn’t have a camerain your hands. What happened?To: Reputations linger. I haven’treally been like that in the pastthree years and I don’t want towork on multiple projects. I willaim to set my schedule better inthe future. Actually, after completing“Sparrow,” there was a12-month period before I started“Vengeance.” In that time Iwas very busy developing thescript for “Red Circle.”Other top Hong Kong directorssuch as John Woo, Tsui Hark andPeter Chan have recently setthemselves up in Beijing. Are youplanning to quit Hong Kong?To: The mainland market is onlygoing to continue to grow. Imake films according to theprojects I have. I won’t go toChina because everyone else isgoing to China. If I have a projectthat should be done in Chinaand is best done in China, thenit will be. ∂ILLUSTRATION: CHRIS MORRISLos Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 64


THR | Tuesday, October 13, 2009| about townPHOTOS: CHUNG SUNG-JUN/GETTY IMAGESOh Kwang-RokPIFF HighlightsAbove, Director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang andAditya Assarat attend the Meet theGuest “Hello, Bangkok! Hello,Busan! event on Sundayat the PIFF Village. Atright, DirectorsBryan Singerand Kim Ji-Woon workthe crowd atthe Open Talksession at the PIFFVillage outdoor stage.Below, festival goersand locals alike tookadvantage of a breakin the clouds for anafternoon stroll onHaeundae Beach.Pierre VinourRita HuiLos Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 65


eviews“A Good Rain Knows”‘A Good Rain Knows’By Maggie LeeSpring rain, bamboogroves, Chinese poetryand stinky noodles arethe piquant ingredientsthat season a pair oflovers’ surprise reunion in “AGood Rain Knows.” Hur Jinho’slatest film set in Sichuanmarks the first time he shootsoutside of Korea. This is probablyhis most conventional filmto date, but he hasn’t sold outor disappointed fans. Mostly, itis bashfully romantic and lacedwith broad humor, but at criticalmoments, Hur evokes lovewith a touch as soft and sure asa heartbeat, and coaxes affectingperformances from mainlandChinese actress GaoYuanyuan and Korean heartthrobJung Sang-woo.The Korean-Chinese coproductionhas sold to Japanand Chinese speaking territories.Korean theatrical releasecollected about $150,000 forweekend opening. The film canexpect decent niche distributionin Europe.Korean executive Park Dongho(Jung) goes to Sichuan for abusiness meeting. Whilestrolling through a park dedicatedto Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu,he runs into college alumni May(Gao). They enjoy a few daystogether sharing poetry and localfood in spite of the hilariousinterceptions of his gooseberrycolleague Nam.The lovers’ courtship is conductedin the slow, slow, quickrhythm of a social dance. Theyreminisce, test the waters, flirt,lunge into passionate expression,and hold back again. Towards theend, one finds out May has herreasons for blowing hot and coldtowards Park’s advances.Hur has the ability to makesuperstars look as natural asordinary people on screen. Heapplies this to location shooting,retaining the real crowds andchaotic noises. The scene wherePark and May join a street dancereflects his spontaneity, while ashot of a site ravished by theWenchuan earthquake putstheir little amorous interlude inperspective.Hur is obviously as enchantedwith the beautifully understatedGao as Park is with May.In Hur’s past works, the anglealways tilts towards his invariablyprecious and indecisivemale protagonists. “A GoodRain” also introduces the chaosand excitement of Sichuanthrough Park’s newcomer’seyes, but as soon as Mayappears, focus shifts to her. Mayconceals an emotional undercurrentthat goes deeper thanthe impromptu feelings rekindledby Park, and it is herfragility and strength in overcomingmuch greater trauma(symbolized by her forgetting,and re-learning how to ride abike) that makes this more thanjust a love story or scenicimpressions of Sichuan.Camera movements alsoreflect their mood swings by followinga cadenced pattern ofintensely emotional close-ups,serene long shots of naturalbackdrops, punctuated withstartling movement, like theexhiliarating continuous take ofMay running breathlesslytowards Park at the airport and atraffic incident filmed witheffects of an earthquake. Hur’scharacteristically limpid lightingis especially noticeable in capturingoutdoor locations glisteningwith the drizzle of rain.> ASIA FILM MARKETSCREENINGBOTTOM LINEA cadenced cross-cultural romanceset in Sichuan.PRODUCTION: Pancinema, ZonboMedia, Ho Films, Taurus Films.CAST: Jung Woo-sung, Gao Yuanyuan.DIRECTOR-SCREENWRITER: Hur Jinho.SCREENWRITER: Lee Han-eol.PRODUCERS: Myungsun Pack, ChenWei Ming, Hur Jin-ho, Yim Yeon-hak.EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: MyungsunPack, Chen Wei Ming, Lee Kang-bok.DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: KimByung-seo. ART DIRECTOR: Lv Dong.MUSIC: Lee Jae-jin. EDITOR: Choi Jaikeun.No rating, 102 minutes.Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 66


THR.com/pusanTuesday, October 13, 2009‘The Executioner’By Elizabeth Kerr> KOREAN CINEMA TODAYBOTTOM LINEApolitical and unsubtleexamination of the death penalty’simpact on its executorsSALES: Mirovision Inc. PRODUCTIONCOMPANIES: Motion Pictures, BalconCAST: Cho Jae Hyun, Yoon Kye Sang,Park In Hwan, Cha Soo Yeon.DIRECTOR: Choi Jin Ho.No rating, 96 minutes .Executioners” is oneof Korea’s few prison“Thepictures, and becauseof its rarity on the cinematiclandscape there, it mines all thefamiliar tropes and charactersviewers have been trained toexpect from the sub-genre.Though not incompetent or dull— its swift running time flies by— there’s nothing new in “TheExecutioners.” Overseas releaseseems unlikely when the filmlacks the lurid violence usuallyfound (and appreciated) in convictdramas, and it’s not innovativeenough for a long life on thefestival circuit. Domestic releasecould be the film’s only real theatricaloutlet.Oh Jae-kyung (Yoon KyeSang) is a rookie prison guardassigned to an oppressively grayfacility to help out veteran BaeJong-ho (Cho Jae Hyun, “BadGuy”). Also working the ward isKim Chul-gu (Park In Hwan,“Thirst”), a veteran with thehoary “a year to go before retirement”looming over him. Whenserial killer Chang Yong-du issentenced to death and the publicstarts screaming for blood,the Ministry of Justice decidesto carry out its first executionsin over a decade — a blatantlypolitical move. Also going to thegallows (how old school is that?)is Kim’s prison buddy Lee Sunghwan,the oldest con in the joint.Though “The Executioner” issuitably bleak in an old fashioned,anti-“Oz” kind of way,director Choi Jin Ho throws outthe oldest dialectic in the book:“The Executioner”The way we personally reconcilelife and death, and the distinctionswe make between whoshould live and die. Chang isblissfully vile, where as Lee isdrawn as everyone’s favoriteuncle; Oh is gung-ho in his job,practically volunteering fordeath duty, but waffles on makinga decision on whether or nothis girlfriend should go throughwith an abortion.Choi avoids passing judgmenton the subject or on his characters,but that doesn’t mean wecan’t. As Bae, Cho has the requisitesteely attitude for a movieprison guard, but he has alwaysbeen a compelling screen presence.His eventual breakdowncomes as no surprise, particularlyfollowing Chang’s entirelygruesome execution (one of thefilm’s few sequences of genuinetension). The weak link is Yoon,who doesn’t make much of thearchetype of the young hotheadOh is. The most intense emotioncomes when Lee and Kim seethe former’s execution throughtogether — but that too is as olda convention as they are (the onewhere the veterans play out afarewell together). ∂‘Nightmare Elevator’By Maggie LeeElevator”employs the ultraminimalistset-up of“Nightmarefour strangers trapped in an elevatorto make a mystery-blackcomedy that literally takes theaudience for a ride. Working froma fist-tight screenplay in threeacts, each act is a reversal of preconceptionsand expectations,and calls for a change in actingmode, which the four leads delivereffortlessly. High concept andlow budget requir ments makethis desirable stuff for a remake,whether for screen, TV or theater.One reason why Japanese cinemaconsistently produces highquality work is the vast pool of literatureavailable for adaptation.“Nightmare Elevator,” adaptedfrom a bestseller by HantaKinoshita, is one example. TVveteran/first-time screen directorKeisuke Horibe acquits himselfwell by adopting a functionalapproach. He elucidates themathematical plot without anyartistic claptrap.The first 45 minutes of “Nightmare”is confined within the titularelevator, with the briefest,most elliptical of flashbacks. JunOgawa (Takumi Saito), a handsomeand suave salaryman isroused from unconsciousness,and told there's been an elevatordisorder by three strangers. Theyare Tominaga (Masaaki Uchino),dressed and speaking loudly likean Osaka gangster, a jogger Makihara(Fuyuki Moto) and Kaoru(Aimi Satsukawa), a doll-likeGothic Lolita.Ogawa loses control when hefinds out that no one’s cell phoneis working. His wife Manami hasjust called to say she’s gone intolabor. He recalls in flashback hispromise to never leave her side inneed, or else he’d swallow 100needles as penance. “One will do,”she said. Whether his hysteriasprings from concern for Manami,or from fear of divine retributionarouses curiosity.This is just the first of manyrevelations. Firstly, none of themare the building’s occupants. Secondly,all of them have a reasonfor going there, but are reluctantto divulge why. Eventually, thejogger, who claims to have psychicpowers, makes them spill thebeans. The next two acts areunpredictable changes of sceneswhich alter our perceptions. Thefilm smoothly segues into blackcomedy territory where everycontinuedon page 8Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 67


The Hollywood Reporter | Tuesday, October 13, 2009| reviews‘Be My Guest’“Be My Guest”By Elizabeth KerrThere have been any numberof films that meld theconventions of horror withcomedy to brilliant effect overthe years. “Scream” and “TheEvil Dead” spring to mind. Inthat vein, “Be My Guest”throws its hat into the ring tomiddling effect. A furious laboractivist confronts a family on aday-trip in the country, and thetorture he inflicts upon them isthe basis for an unusually shrill> MIDNIGHT PASSIONBOTTOM LINEHorror-comedy that can’t decidewhat it wants to bePRODUCTION COMPANIES: 503wCAST: Kim Byung-chun, Lee Hyun-jung,Kim Jin-su, Kang In-hyung, Kim Kkobbi,Lee Kyung-young, Park Young-su.DIRECTOR: Park Soo-young.No rating, 79 minutesexamination of the fragility ofthe family unit.The generally hysterical toneof “Be My Guest” is likely tokeep it from a wide release outsideits native Korea and theundisciplined storytelling willstop it from crossing over elsewhere.Specialized genre festivalsmight show modest interest,but even that’s a stretch.Mr. Um (Kim Byung-chun)takes his wife, kids Tae-hyunand Ju-hyun and brother-inlawMin-ho away for a day to thekind of isolated country housethat’s perfect for a “Friday the13th”-style murder spree. Fasterthan you can say JasonVoorhees, angry laid-off workerKim (Lee Kyung-young) startspicking off the family one at atime — a leg here, an arm there,a couple of ears. Eventually abattle of wits develops and the(literally) crippled family getsthe upper hand when a helpfulpasserby lends assistance (yes,at an isolated country house).But Tae-hyun (Kang In-hyung)kills Kim with an unregisteredgun and that puts the GoodSamaritan in a tricky spot. Italso sets off a second bloodbath.“Be My Guest” uses elementsof cheesy, low-budget slasherfilms without saying much at allabout the Um family and itswillingness to rip itself apart orthe uneasy relationship betweenmanagement and labor thatstarts the story. Problems lie inthe slapsticky comedy and theabsence of a clear vision: Are wemeant to be concentrating onthe family's penchant for violenceor on the damage big businesscan do when it puts its bottomline above its workers?Things just get muddier whenthe cover-up of Tae-hyun’scrime begins. Horror can be agreat metaphor for the topics soflittingly touched on here withno real follow-through. ∂‘Nightmare’continued from page7thing that could go wrong does,or does it really?The characters’ lack of mobilityis compensated by fast-pacedand juicy dialogue that acceleratestension. The confined spaceposes a challenge to cinematography,but D.O.P. Kou Kitanobucomes up with a variety of cameraangles and P.O.V.s that forestallsmonotony. Costumesheighten theatricality throughthe strong, clashing color paletteof lime green, beige, black andred-and-black.> ASIA FILM MARKETSCREENINGBOTTOM LINECleverly plotted mystery depictselevator to the gallows.SALES: Nikkatsu Corp. PRODUCTION:Nikkatsu Corp., Smoke. CAST: MasaakiUchino,Takumi Saito, Aimi Satsukawa,Fuyuki Moto. DIRECTO-SCREENWRITER: Keisuke Horibe.No rating, 105 minutes.‘A Man Who Ate His Cherries’By Elizabeth KerrAman with alimony troubles isat the center of “A Man WhoAte His Cherries,” a beautifullyshot film that’s appealing inits ordinariness. Reminiscent of“A Light in the Fog” because of itsblack and white cinematographyand focus on the mundane, thesame distributors and festivalscould likely show interest. There’san enormous difference in thetwo films’ thematically, however,that may bode well for “Cherries.”Reza (Hassan Pourshirazi) is afactory worker who goes homeone night to discover his wifeZari has packed up and left him.His inability to have children hasfinally become too much for her.Soon enough he’s served withdivorce papers and demands forher dowry — what the rest of uswould call alimony. Zari planson buying a house, and is willingto deal: 25 million tomans cash,and she’ll drop the rest. WhileReza is trying to find a way tofinance his wife’s move up thestandard of living scale, a colleaguewho lost two fingers in anindustrial accident returns towork, announcing that hereceived a respectable payoutfrom the company.“Cherries” is surprisingly freeof politics (other than the matrimonialkind) and has an accessibletone that separates it frommuch Iranian cinema. Reza’sdomestic angst, common in somany homes around the world,gives the film a sense of universalitythat is recognizable anywhere.The bland, urban Tehranthat Zari strikes out in on herown is not too different from anyother city, and her difficulty navigatingit has been experienced bywomen in countless cities.It’s clear things are headingfor disaster of some sort whenthe fingerless co-worker reappears.By that point Reza hasreached desperate levels, and itdoesn’t take an Andre Bazinscholar to figure out where thefilm is going. Pourshirazi is suitablylow-key as the frazzledReza, going about his search fora way to support his wife with adeliberate but anxious calm.“Cherries” holds no stunningrevelations or heretoforeunknowntruths, but it’s a nicereminder that average Iranianssuffer the same miseries as therest of us. ∂> NEW CURRENTSBOTTOM LINEDivorce Iranian styleSALES: Sherherazad MediaInternational PRODUCTION COMPANY:Sherherazad Media InternationalCAST: Hassan Pourshirazi, AshaMehrabi, Reza Afshar, MaryamKhodarahmi. DIRECTOR: PaymanHaghani. No rating, 77 minutesLos Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 68


The Hollywood Reporter | Tuesday, October 13, 2009| newsNew currentscontinued from page 1government of the necessity of ahome grown film industry in theCentral Asian country, wherelocals embrace pirated Hollywoodand Bollywood movie DVDs.“Before the Soviet Union collapsed,filmmaking funding camedirectly from the central government,but now the Tajikistanigovernment is clueless about howmuch a film costs, so they offeredvery little budget,” said Saidov,whose black comedy was financedby a state-owned company andthe Tajikistani Cultural Ministry,funds which took him seven yearsof persuading to obtain. “After thecivil war, the film industry inTajikistan was completelydestroyed. The government hasno idea that films can travelaround the world and show ourculture and national condition topeople across the globe.”Contemplation about nationalconditions was also the centraltheme in actress-turned-helmerJiang Wen-li’s directorial debut“Lan,” an autobiographic storyabout growing up in rural Chinain the 1970s, before Deng Xiaoping’seconomic reforms transformedthe country. “There’s ahuge difference between Chinathen and now; the people possessgreater material wealth, but thelives in those days were moreemotionally and spiritually fulfilling,”said Jiang, whoseonscreen work includes ChenKaige’s “Farewell My Concubine”(1993) and “And the SpringComes,” which won her a bestactress award at the Rome InternationalFilm Festival in 2007.Childhood memories likewisecolored Iraqi Kurdistan directorShawkat Amin Korki’s secondfeature “Kick Off,” an anti-wartragedy that highlighted humanityin the face of military brutality.“I grew up in a very difficultsituation during wartime,” saidKorki, whose family fled Iraq toIran when he was 2, “and I wantto show the horrors of war andtell the stories of my country.”The film is a co-productionbetween Korki’s own Narin Film,the Iraqi Kurdistan cultural ministryand Japan’s NHK, a dealmade when Korki attended theTokyo International Film Festivalwith his debut “Crossing theDust” in 2006.For Thai first-time directorAnocha Suwichakornpong, allegorywas the best way to offer acritical look at Thai society andpolitics. Her US$150,000“Mundane History,” now generatingbuzz in Busan after its worldpremiere on Sunday, is a politicalcritique “disguised as a familydrama.”“The family itself is a microcosmof Thailand itself,”Suwichakornpong said. Fittingly,the film was partly financed byherself, her family and friends,and it has received funding twicefrom the Rotterdam Festival.Similarly showing a locality isHong Kong first-time featuredirector Rita Hui’s thriller “DeadSlowly,” funded by the government’sArts Development Council,which involved a rapist-copplotline that seemed to have beenripped from the city’s headlines.Two of the directors will behonored with the New Currentsaward and cash prizes ofUS$30,000 each, determined by afive-person jury headed by Frenchdirector Jean-Jacques Beineix andpresented in the Closing Ceremonyon Oct. 16. ∂‘True Noon’continued from page 1the festival circuit.In the mountain village ofSafedobi, Kirill (Yuriy Nazarov)is training his apprentice Nilufar(Nasiba Sharipova) tobecome the town’s next weatherobserver. Originally fromRussia, Kirill is hoping she cantake over from him full time so> NEW CURRENTSBOTTOM LINETale of division that is becoming ahallmark of the former SovietstatesSALES: Small Talk Inc.PRODUCTION COMPANY: TalkoManagement Ltd. CAST: Yuriy Nazarov,Nasiba Sharipova, NasriddinNuriddinov, Shadl Saleh.DIRECTOR: Nosir Saidov.SCREENWRITER: Safar Haqdadov.PRODUCER: Rustami Joni.EDITOR: Dilovar Sultonov.No rating, 83 minutesCambodiacontinued from page 1couple of weeks. Many of ourlocations could pass for otherplaces in Asia.”He said that the country is alsoimproving other technical facilitiessuch as lighting and gripequipment, trained operators anddisused factories that have beenused as studios by the BBC forfour months.“Natural landscapes are alreadyFinancecontinued from page 1happen for the future developmentof Asian film financing.”“One of the reasons for thedecline in Hong Kong movieproduction from the timewhen we were producing over300 films a year was the lackof financial sophistication,”Nansun Shi, a leading producerfrom Hong Kong. “I rememberhaving to seek out banks forcontract discounting.”Satoru Iseki, who recentlyproduced “Rainfall,” thethat he can be reunited with hisfamily. The only problem withhis plan is that Nilufar is aboutto be married to Aziz, the son ofa rich local who expects thenewlyweds to move into thefancy house he built them.Things take a turn for the worsewhen, out of the blue, the armymoves in and announces thatthe town sits on a new internationalborder, erects a barbedwire fence, and tells everyone totake their concerns to the districtcouncil. Nilufar and Aziz’snuptials become fraught withdanger — literally and figuratively— and it’s not long beforetragedy ensues.If a fence suddenly went upin any random border town onthe American/Canadian border,residents that one timecrossed freely suddenly needingpaperwork would be littlemore than inconvenienced. Forthe denizens of Safedobi, however,the disruption is nearlydisastrous. Trade, health care,one of our great strengths, but thegovernment is looking to expandon that with the creation of a ‘naturalreserve for cinema’ completewith jungle, seaside locations andfacilities,” Eloy said.International films that havepreviously shot in Cambodiainclude “Tomb Raider,” Korea’s“R-Point” and the recent“Same, Same But Different,” byGerman director Detlev Buckwhich premiered in Locarno andplayed at last month’s Torontofestival. ∂Gary Oldman starring detectivestory that was the first Japanese-producedmovie to use acompletion bond, said hehad first encountered bondsin Europe in the 1970s andthat he had first been involvedwith one when NipponHerald was part of 1983 movie“Merry Christmas Mr.Lawrence.” But in Japan, where“production committees” ofequity investors dominatebonds are largely absent.“Now we need gap financing,bank involvement andcontract discounting in Asia,”he said. ∂schooling and courtship areamong the workaday eventsthat are made nearly impossibleby the boundary. The village —once distinct as simply Upperand Lower Safedobi — finds theworld around it has changedover night.Saidov makes his point evenmore vivid by keeping thingsmatter-of-fact and occasionallycomical. The villagers don’t letcivics interfere with their livesat first, and just mosey up to thefence and haggle with eachother from opposite sides. ButNilufar’s wedding brings justhow serious the issue is intosharp relief. “True Noon” neverconsiders nationalism a problemfor its characters; with theexception of Kirill, everyone isfrom Safedobi and that’s howthey identify. What the filmdoes consider is the hand centralized,distant bureaucracieshave in creating nationalismand how fundamentally fragileour social connections are. ∂Los Angeles 323.525.2000 | New York 646.654.5000 | London +44.207.420.6139 | Beijing +86.10.6512.5511 (ext. 121) | THR.com/pusan | day 69


eaking news> latest reviews> special reports> downloadable PDFsdailiestheTHE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — the global leader with the most comprehensivefilm festivals and market coverage of any entertainment news daily.For the complete picture, go to THR.com/festivalsPusanInternationalFilm FestivalOct. 8-16, 2009Pusan,South Korea> The Hollywood Reporter isthe Festival’s official dailyAmericanFilm MarketNov. 4-11, 2009Santa Monica,USAHong KongInternational Film& TV Market(FILMART)March 21-April 6, 2010Hong Kong,China> The Hollywood Reporter isthe Festival’s official dailyFestivalde CannesMay 12-23, 2010Cannes,FranceBerlinInternationalFilm FestivalFeb. 11-21, 2010Berlin,GermanyTorontoInternationalFilm FestivalSept. 9-18, 2010Toronto, ONCanadaFOR ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES PLEASE CONTACT:Los Angeles: Lauren Marani New York: Paul Mauriello+1 323 525 2022 +1 646 654 5629Europe: Alison Smith Asia: Ivy Lam+44 20 7420 6143 +852 2880 3405

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines