The 62nd Cannes Film Festival has four films competing that have directors from the Greater China region, as well as one grand jury member and a short film jury member. There was also one Chinese actress who was supposed to be making one of her first appearances in a film after five years of inactivity, but some hack named Tarantino had to make a cut and his film Inglorious Basterds will be all the lesser for the lack of Maggie Cheung, no matter what excuses he gives. Have a litle foresight before you ask someone of her caliber to cameo next time, jerk.
Pedro ALMODÓVAR – LOS ABRAZOS ROTOS (Broken Embraces)
Andrea ARNOLD – FISH TANK
Jacques AUDIARD – UN PROPHÈTE
Marco BELLOCCHIO – VINCERE
Jane CAMPION – BRIGHT STAR
Isabel COIXET – MAP OF THE SOUNDS OF TOKYO
Xavier GIANNOLI – A L’ORIGINE
Michael HANEKE – DAS WEISSE BAND (The White Ribbon)
Ang LEE – TAKING WOODSTOCK
Ken LOACH – LOOKING FOR ERIC
LOU Ye – CHUN FENG CHEN ZUI DE YE WAN (Spring Fever)
Brillante MENDOZA – KINATAY
Gaspar NOE – ENTER THE VOID
PARK Chan-Wook – BAK-JWI – (Thirst)
Alain RESNAIS – LES HERBES FOLLES
Elia SULEIMAN – THE TIME THAT REMAINS
Quentin TARANTINO – INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Johnnie TO – VENGEANCE
TSAI Ming-liang – VISAGE (face)
Lars VON TRIER – ANTICHRIST
While there are four Chinese/Taiwanese directors, it’s actually not that meaninful for Chinese-language film, because two are completely non-Chinese films, with Ang Lee taking on something very American, Woodstock, and Tsai Ming-liang‘s Visage is basically a French film with an all French cast. I’m torn between being proud of Ang Lee for being one of the most successful directors in Hollywood, let alone one of the most successful Asian directors, and at the same time being mad at him for abandoning Taiwanese cinema for something that gives him more fame, more money.
Furthermore since Luo Ye’s film Spring Fever, won’t be shown in China because SARFT pretty much hates everything he does apart from the odd film here and there, his film is probably not for Chinese audiences, and Variety’s review states, “As Lou has seemingly catered more and more to Euro tastes (and Western sensibilities), his vision and imagination have become progressively more restricted.”
So we’re left with Johnnie To’s Vengeance as the one remaining representative of Chinese film even though the lead is a French legend. Looking forward to it.
For a film that really is “frowned upon” by SARFT, Spring Fever’s stars showed up in the media all the time. Sina basically followed them to France, and have been photographing their every move, particularly Tan Zhuo and Qin Hao who seem to pretty open to having their picture taken. These pictures below give you idea…it shows them 1) at the airport going to Cannes 2) getting dressed to Cannes 3) on the red carpet 4) lounging around by the beach. There were plenty more of them….pictures of them with random Chinese celebs, pictures of them posing for mini-photoshoots at random places in France, etc. but by then, even Qin Hao’s hotness wasn’t enough to keep me from getting really sick of seeing the two of them. It’s an interesting to see exactly what an actor does at Cannes though, if you’re interesting in all the nitty gritty details.
Shu Qi was given the honor of being one of the grand jury judges at this thing. Surprisingly she didn’t look as happy as I thought she would, with these pictures actually showing some of her more ecstatic expressions. In If You Are the One she was actually able to play a love-sick emo character without being completely annoying, which is something rarely seen. So she should enjoy that accomplishment and her temporary power over the directors in competition. Let Ang Lee pass her up for Zhang Ziyi in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon indeed. Woodstock’s going down ‘yall.
Speaking of Zhang Ziyi , she showed up towards the end of the festival after first going to Sichuan for earthquake charity work. She served on the grand jury one or two years ago, and is now on the short film jury. She also did a little publicity work for Sophie’s Revenge.
Do these pictures not say it all?
Pick a good one Shu Qi!
Ang Lee is one of the best directors in America at capturing moments of time in American history (to the point where I think his Chinese films like CTHD and Lust Caution could use a lot more work). In particular Ice Storm comes to mind as a really good depiction of the 70s in America.
What was that quote from?
I still can’t imagine why Ang Lee was chosen to direct “Taking Woodstock”… I’ve always heard that it’s one of those events where you’d have to have lived through it to know how to describe it, much less portray it. From what I’ve seen of the event, the saying seems true, and Ang Lee’s no exception – he’s not going down; by the looks of reviews, he’s gone down already.
I’m wary about “Vengeance”. I’ve heard that it’s an action flick reliant on action and “stylishness”, with less mind being paid to dialogue and characterization. The trailer and descriptions make it sound like a hammy action-gratification film more than anything. The unrealistic (and copious amounts of) explosive blood in the trailer didn’t help things – the first thing that came to mind was the quote, “I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode.”