23 de dez de 2006

27th Blue Dragon Awards

27th Blue Dragon Film Awards Winners are...
The Best of the Best

Picture: The Host.

Screenplay: Lee Hae-yeong and Lee Hae-joon, for Like A Virgin.

Cinematography: The War of Flowers.

Art Direction: Forbidden Quest.

Actor: Park Joong-hoon and Ahn Seong-gi, for Radio Star.

Supporting Actor: Byeon Hee-bong, in The Host.

Actress: Kim Hye-soo, in The War of Flowers.

Supporting Actress: Jeong Yoo-mi, in Family Ties.

New Actress: Ko Ah-seong, in The Host.

Music: Lee Byeong-woo, for The King and the Clown.

New Director: Lee Hae-yeong and Lee Hae-joon, for Like A Virgin.

New Actor: Ryoo Deok-hwan.

Director: Kim Tae-yong, for Family Ties.

THC Best Films of the Year

My Best 5 Movies of the Year

1.The Prestige (USA, 128 min)
director: Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, Memento)
with Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, David Bowie
info: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22872-2441195.html


2.Re-cycle / Gwai wik (HK)
director: Pang Brothers
with Angelica, Lawrence Chou, Lau Siu-ming
info:http://www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews_2/recycle.htm

3.Caché (FR, 2005, 118 min.)
director: Michael Haneke (best director Cannes 2005)
with Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil, Maurice Bénichou
info: http://www.cinemovies.fr/fiche_film.php?IDfilm=5197

4.Volver (SPAIN, 121 min.)
director: Pedro Almodóvar
with: Carmen Maura, Penélope Cruz
info: http://www.sonyclassics.com/volver/main.html

5.The Lake House (USA, 105 min.)
director: Alejandro Agresti
with: Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves
info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0410297/

22 de dez de 2006

Happy Xmas!















May your holidays
be filled with laughter,
fun, and the company
of good friends!

Happy 2007,
to all bloggers!

















Champion:
Sport Club Internacional (Porto Alegre)
Brazilian teams have won all Championships with Sport Club Internacional the latest winner 1-0 over UEFA Champions Barcelona.
Congratulations to the "colorados" all around the world!

18 de dez de 2006

57th Berlin International Film Fest

The Korean film Like a Virgin (about a chubby high school boy who decides to compete in traditional Korean wrestling to earn money for a transgender operation) directed by Lee Hae-young was officially invited to the Generation Section of the 57th Berlin International Film Festival (open on February 8th of next year).









Other Korean movies in competition will be: director Lee Yoon-ki’s Ad Lib Night for the Young Forum section and Hong Sang-soo’s Woman on the Beach and Lee Jae-yong’s Dasepo Naughty Girl for the Panorama section.

Golden Globe Awards 2007



















Golden Globe Awards

Babel's Rinko Kikuchi received the nomination for Best Actress In A Supporting Role.

Ensemble drama Babel (spanning several countries telling four inter-related stories) leads the nominations at next year's Golden Globe Awards, boasting seven nods including Best Dramatic Picture.

11 de dez de 2006

30th Cairo International Film Festival

Zhang Jingchu's Star

Chinese director Zhang Jiarui’s film The Road, which stars Chinese actor Fan Wei and rising actress Zhang Jingchu, scooped the 30th Cairo International Film Festival’s top prize, the Golden Pyramid.

And Zhang Jingchu (Tsui Hark's Seven Swords) also garnered the Best Actress award. Zhang won the Best Actress award for her role in Peacock (director Gu Changwei’s film) at the sixth Chinese Film Media Awards in Hong Kong, April 17, 2006.

5 de dez de 2006

THC Message

The Beautiful Country


The Beautiful Country (DVD/ USA,Norway/ 2004, 128 min.)
Director: Hans Petter Moland (Aberdeen)
Production: Terrence Malick (Thin Red Line)
Actors: Damien Nguyen, Bai Ling (Anna and the King, Taxi 3), Nick Nolte (Hulk, Hotel Rwanda),Tim Roth (Don't Come Knocking, Planet of the Apes).


In his first lead role, Nguyen plays Binh, a social outcast in Vietnam, called ugly and "bui doi" (less than dust) because of his mixed race. He makes a dramatic journey from Vietnam to USA, trying to find his american war veteran father (Nolte).

The Norwegian director Moland, about the Binh character “He’s one of the finest human beings, but you would’t pick him out of a crowd. He ultimately succeeds in keeping his goodness; he is not corrupted or hardened. It is a celebration of what human beings are capable of and what is grand about us. So it’s not about an immigrant, but about humanity.”

Damien Nguyen, the great surprise of the movie --- it’s amazing too see such a strong performance, considering that this is the first lead role for Nguyen. The actor was born in Viet Nam, but his family emmigrated to America when he was 3 years old. Living in Orange County, dropped out of college to pursue the acting career in Los Angeles.
Nguyen Says “... being second-generation Vietnamese American has always been an interesting experience. When I was growing up, I always felt trapped by the Old World customs and traditions. Trying to find my identity in this new world was hard when I felt labeled a certain way because of how I looked, talked, and dressed. Then when I became older, I began to wonder why I never took the time to really understand all those things, like my family and my ancestors, the things that made me who I really am. However, as an actor, I really am given a chance to search, to some degree, for who I really am. I realized it is possible for me to find the characters that I portray within myself.”


Learn more about Damien Nguyen in:http://www.asiaarts.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=26462
http://www.moviehabit.com/essays/moland_nguyen.shtml
http://movies.about.com/od/thebeautifulcountry/a/beautiful070605.htm
http://www.nhamagazine.com/back_issue/issue_0106/feature1_p1.html

29 de nov de 2006

Protégé (Poster, Hong Kong, 2007)

Poster of Andy Lau's new film "Protégé"

Andy Lau (Chinese Actor)






















Three Times Andy LauIf you seek the word “workaholic” at the dictionary, you´ll see Andy lau´s picture in there! I´m tired only by reading all the thing this guy does...maybe he has a secret twin brother or something?!

One: Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau has planed to finance a remake of "Five Venoms", by late martial-art film director Chang Cheh. The cast will probably include Edison Chen, Maggie Q and Lau himself, the film will be shot in english (?) with director Kirk Wong. Released in 1978, the original "Five Venoms" tells that a young kung-fu protege is ordered by his dying master to eliminate the evil ones among five of his previous proteges, known as the Five Venoms. Each of the Five Venoms has a lethal skill learned from a toxic animal. The young protege have to find and team up with the good one among the Five Venoms, to defeat the evil ones. Shooting would begin right after the Chinese New Year next spring.

Two: “Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon”, a US$25 million budgeted movie by Mainland China and Korea will narrate the story of general Zhao Yun's life story, and the role will be taken up by Andy Lau. Other actors includ: Sammo Hung as martial arts director, also will play Zhang Fei caracter; Maggie Q as Cao Cao's grand-daughter Cao Yin, and the lover of Zhao Yun and finally, Zhou Yu will be played by Leon Lai.The movie, directed by Daniel Lee, will start shooting in March 2007.


"Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon" is a dramatic chronicle of Chinese history from 184 to 280 AD, during which China split into three kingdoms: the Wei, Shu and Wu.Three:"Protégé” : In this action thriller, Andy Lau plays drug lord Jong who portrays himself as a businessman. His pregnant wife (Anita Yuen) does not know about his illegal drug business. Nick (Daniel Wu) is an undercover officer who has spent the last eight years penetrating the core of Jong’s drug sales ring and is working his way up to be Jong’s closest aide and “protégé”. Meanwhile, Louis Koo and Zhang Jingchu (as Jane) play husband and wife and are both linked with the drug business, with Jane herself being a drug addict. Louis Koo plays a drug trader and a heartless husband who even uses their 3-year old daughter in traficking drugs. In her struggle to quit drugs, Jane is entangled in an affair with both Jong and Nick.

43th Golden Horse Movie Awards


Taiwan's 43th Golden Horse Movie Awards


Best Actor: Aaron Kwok Fu Sing (After This Our Exile).

Best Actress: Zhou Xun (Perhaps Love).



Best Director: Peter Chan Ho Sun (Perhaps Love).

Best Film: After This Our Exile.

Best Short Film: The Secret in the Wind.

Best Documentary: My Football Summer.

Best Supporting Actor: Goum Ian Iskandar (After This Our Exile).

Best Supporting Actress: Nikki Shie (Reflections).

New Best Performer: Bryant Chang (Eternal Summer).

Best Original Screenplay: Ning Hao (Crazy Stone).

Best Cinematography: Peter Pau (Perhaps Love).

Sohn Ye-jin "Best Actress Award"


Actress Sohn Ye-jin has received her first best actress award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival, which was held in Taipei, Taiwan, for her role in the movie “April Snow”.

Sohn (“Lover’s Concerto”) acts opposite actor Bae Yong-jun (“Winter Sonata”) in “April Snow”, where she plays a woman who falls in love with another man while nursing her husband, who gets into a car accident with his mistress. The film’s director is Hur Jin-ho (“One Fine Spring Day”).

27 de nov de 2006

Asian Film Festivals

The winners list for the 11th annual Pusan International Film Festival (Korea):

Chinese director Yang Heng's debut feature, Betelnut, received the New Currents Award at the Festival, along with Malaysia's Love Conquers All, from director Chen Cuimei.

Betelnut follows the daily paces of two teenage boys in a riverside city in Hunan province - stealing motorcycles, chatting up girls and basically killing time in a backwater town where nothing ever happens.

Hong Kong actor, singer and producer Andy Lau was named Asian Filmmaker of the Year.

4° World Film Festival of Bangkok Awards (October 11-23/2006)

Best Film: Hong Kong's Isabella , directed by Pang Ho-Cheung, focuses on a new-found relationship between a father and his long-lost daughter, who he initially picks up as a one-night stand.


Best Script: Seeds of Doubt (Germany), the first feature of young Arab-German director Samir Nasr, which won two prizes at the Cairo film festival. It centres on the effects of 9/11 on the marriage of an Arab man and German girl and is told with compelling intensity.

Best Cinematography: Climate (Turkey) by brilliant director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, screened at Cannes where his earlier film Distance won two prizes. Climate is about the break-up of a marriage, during which the seasons outside reflect the turmoil of the protagonists, played by none other than the director and his wife.

Special Jury Prize: 12:08 East of Bucharest (Romania), which won the Camera d' Or Award at Cannes for its portrayal of the ousting of Romanian dictator Ceausescu as seen through the eyes of two ordinary individuals on a TV talk show.

People's Choice award: The Banquet (China), the opening film of the festival.

The Produire Au Sud film work-shop, which consisted of six film-maker teams from Southeast Asia, awarded Best Script to the young producer-director team of John Babalu Matulatan and Lucky Kuswandi from Indonesia for their script In the Absence of the Sun.

Asian Cine News


In Production:

Hong Kong star Stephen Chow upcoming movie "A Hope" (Chang Jiang Yi Hao), is currently been shooted in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. In the film, Stephen Chow plays a poor father who can't afford a toy for his son. He then decided to pick one out from the garbage, and the toy turns out to be from outer space, sending him off on an incredible adventure. "A Hope" is expected to be released in China next summer. (A)

"Diary" is a psychological thriller about the mental struggles of a girl (Charlene Choi, from the HK pop duo Twins) who creates her own realities in her diary. The movie also stars Shawn Yue (Initial D), as Choi’s boyfriend Ray, and Isabella Pang. Directed by Oxide Pang (The Eye, Re-cycle), Diary was filmed entirely in a house in Thailand. (B)


"Blood Vampire" is the live-action english-language remake of the hit Japanese animated film,staring South Korean actress Jun Ji-hyun ("Il Mare"), and will be directed by Ronnie Yu “Fearless")The $30 million production from Hong Kong boss Bill Kong and France's Pathe Entertainment is in preproduction. The live-action film is based on the Oshii Mamoru anime hit about Saya (Jun), a vampire employed by the U.S. government to hunt demons in post-World War II Japan. (C)

24 de nov de 2006

Chinese Movie Directors

New projects from awarded directors



Wang Xiaoshuai, 40, is one of the most active figure among China's Sixth Generation Directors. His latest film, Shanghai Dreams won the Grand Jury Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival. The director’s new project is titled Zuo You (Left Right).
Inspired by a true story, Left Right is about a divorced couple that discover their daughter is about to die from blood cancer. They have to born another child together and use the baby's umbilical cord blood to save their daughter. But they have already happily remarried. The cast includes Zhang Jiayi, Liu Weiwei, Yu Nan, Tian Yuan and Cheng Taishen. The is being shoot in Beijing, and the production studio has planned to premiere the film at the coming Cannes Film Festival in May next year.

Chinese director Jia Zhangke’s (winner of the Venice Film Festival for Still Life) next project will be The Age of Tattoo. Based on the novel by Su Tong (Raise the Red Lanterns), is the story of a group of street kids in the final years of the Culture Revolution (1966 -1976), during which China was in chaotic social and political unrest.
The director says: "This time I want to do a movie with strong dramatic conflicts, in a new way," Jia told The Beijing News, "fight scenes might show up for the first time (in my movies), but (the actors) would not fly around. It will only be like fighting among hooligans, with bricks and cooking knives."

Apple is another film from young director Li Yu after movie Dam Street, which won her several awards abroad. This movie tells about the bizarre relationships and conflicts between two couples. The idea for the film was created by Li Yu and producer Fang Li, aiming to shed light on ethical conflicts caused by differences between social status levels. Chinese mainland actress Fan Bingbing and actor Tong Dawei play the poor couple who struggle at the bottom of the social status ladder. Hong Kong Golden Awards Best Actor Leung Kar-Fei joined the film as the husband in another couple, who is also Fan Bingbing's character’s boss.

China Cine News: Prince of Himalaya, Exiled


News on Big Screee

"Prince of Himalaya" is another Chinese production based on the tragedy Hamlet, by Shakespeare. Set in the ancient Tibet, Prince of Himalaya is actually closer to the original story than The Banquet (Feng Xiaogang's), another big chinese production.
Co-written and directed by filmmaker Sherwood Hu (Lanling Wang), it is shot in Tibet with a full Tibetan cast, speaking Tibetan throughout the film. The prince is played by first-time young actor Pubajia, who was discovered by the director at a bar in Jiuzhaigou, located in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan. Director Hu later sent Pubajia to Shanghai Theater Academy and paid his tuition. The prince's uncle is played by Duobujie (The Mountain Patrol).


After the Election, the Exile...
Hong Kong director Johnnie To's stylish new action film is Exiled, a 40 million yuan project, a loosely related sequel to To's earlier film The Mission: Exiled.
Cast members includ Anthony Wong, Francis Ng, Simon Yam, Nick Cheung and Richie Jen. The creator of the two 'Election' movies returns with a technically accomplished, highly entertaining gangster drama. Set on the eve of Macau's handover to China in 1999, the film opens with a 20-odd-minute scene that is a self-contained masterpiece. This new work is less complexly plotted and lighter on social criticism than Election and its sequel. As usual, it mixes tragedy and deadpan comedy into a highly entertaining, action-packed,and darkly comic gangster flick.

The Chinese film After This Our Exile, a family drama by director Patrick Tam, stars Charlie Yeung and Aaron Kwok, who plays father for the first time. The actor had won Best Actor at last year's Golden Horse Awards for the movie Divergence.
Charlie Yeung and Aaron Kwok play an on-again, off-again couple with a son. The plot focuses on the awkward relationship between father and son after the mother abandons the family. The two leads have both been nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the 1st Rome Film Festival.

17 de nov de 2006

Bong Joon-ho (Movie Director, South Korea)



Director: Bong Joon-ho
Writing New Chapter in Korean Film Historyfrom: KBS News http://english.kbs.co.kr/


Profile
Born in 1969; graduated from Jamsil High School, Yonsei University (Department of Sociology).


Filmography: “Barking Dogs Never Bite” (2000), “Memories of Murder” (2003), “The Host” (2005), “Different Trains” (2008).

Awards: Best Director Award, Best Script Award, Best Picture Award for “Memories of Murder” at 2003 Chunsa Film Festival ; Best Director Award for “Memories of Murder” at 2003 Daejong Film Festival; Int’l Critics’ Award for “Barking Dogs Never Bite” at 25th Hong Kong Int’l Film Festival.

Bong captivated the hearts of moviegoers with his blockbusters “The Host” and “Memories of Murder.” He has created three full length films so far, with two of them receiving rave reviews from critics and succeeding at the box-office, and the third one having become the most successful movie in the history of Korean cinematography. But if you take a closer look at how those films were made, you will see that all three movies presented Bong with unimaginable difficulties, which intensified every time he produced a new movie.

Bong seized the opportunity to debut as an ambitious filmmaker with his first work, “Barking Dogs Never Bite,” when he was working for Uno Film, which was later renamed Sidus FNH and went on to become the largest film production company in Korea. That opportunity was presented to him by the company’s CEO, Cha Seung-jae. But the film’s script that Bong showed Cha was strange enough to perplex his boss. It was a story about a part-time university lecturer who begins to kidnap dogs in his neighborhood because they keep barking and disturbing him. Another main character of the movie is an eccentric girl who has graduated from a trade high school and works at a local district office.

Bong’s debut quite naturally followed his career as an assistant director of the movie “Motel Cactus,” which was produced by Uno Film. But in the beginning, everybody found Bong’s ideas preposterous. His second movie, “Memories of Murder,” also presented him with serious challenges following the failure of “Barking Dogs Never Bite.” Few believed in the potential of “Memories of Murder”; nevertheless, it succeeded. Everybody thought Bong would be happy to begin work on his next movie. But when the subject of the new movie was revealed, it was ridiculed: it would be about a monster. Nobody would even listen to what Bong had to say about the subject.

Despite all expectations, “The Host” evoked applause and praise at its debut at the 59th Cannes International Film Festival. The film drew the spotlight when Bong announced his plan to make a movie about a monster living in Seoul’s Han River, because films about monsters were not popular at a time when Korean cinematography was expanding its adventure genre and rapidly polishing its techniques. “The Host” aroused curiosity while it was still being made. That curiosity snowballed when the film received praise at Cannes, and reached its peak when the movie’s promotional poster showing only the tail of the monster was unveiled.

“The Host” showed the powerful result Korean cinematography can achieve when fusing drama with spectacle. The monster, the main reason for public curiosity, fully met the expectations of viewers, while the drama portraying a family’s efforts to find a girl kidnapped by the monster created tense suspense in the movie. Adding to the thrilling plot was the realistic depiction of life in Korea and black comedy that occasionally permeated the tense moments in the film, placing “The Host” in a different position from Hollywood blockbusters. “The Host” is yet additional evidence of Bong’s ability to find success against all odds. His secret probably lies in his confidence that he says grows stronger whenever he receives criticism. “The Host” became the most successful movie in the history of Korean film, and remakes based on it will soon be produced in Japan and even the United States, which had expressed worries that the movie was anti-American.

Bong has given hints about his fifth movie, “Different Trains,” which will be produced in English in cooperation with director Park Chan-wook (Park’s company, Moho), who produced “Old Boy,” as well as a multinational production crew. The new film is based on the French cartoon “Le Transperceneige,” which won the grand prize of the 1986 Angouleme International Comics Festival. It is a story about the last survivors of a sudden ice age that hits the Earth: two different trains carrying the survivors: one carrying politicians and high-profile figures indulging in drinking and drug use, and the other one carrying ordinary people who must scramble to find food to survive. Bong will make an omnibus movie this year in cooperation with renowned French filmmaker Leos Carax. Next year, he will produce a movie about a mother and a son, and afterward will launch the production of “Different Trains”.

"Ashes of Time" Director´s Cut


Great news for Wong Kar Wai fans!


Wong's experiments into the Hong Kong genre of martial arts cinema resulted in provocative piece "Ashes of Time". Now, he created a new cut for this film, hoping to bring this film closer to his original vision. The film, shot by Christopher Doyle, and based on a novel by the legendary Louis Cha, starred Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Tong Leung Chiu Wai, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Jacky Cheung, Li Bai, Carina Lau, and the late Leslie Cheung. The director's cut of Ashes of Time is set to be released in 2007, and will be handled by Fortissimo Films.

31 de out de 2006

Blood of the Dragon (China)



Kung Fu Classics

Blood of the Dragon (DVD, China, 1973, 96 min.)
by Pao-Shu Kao; with Yu Wang, Chiao Chiao, Fei Lung, Yeung Yeung.

Talvez você tenha visto esse filme em alguma sessão da tarde na TV. Eu lembro dos meus irmãos assistindo filmes de kung fu quando éramos crianças (enquanto eu era fã dos musicais naqueles dias).
De qualquer modo, esse Blood of the Dragon parece meio 'cult', se não é com certeza. A qualidade da cópia em DVD é horrível, o som tem falhas, a cor está seriamente danificada. Deixando isso de lado, a estória é bem divertida, a coisa do "exército de um homem só" funciona muito bem. As clássicas batalhas de espada, o alto e carismático Yu Wang enfrentando sozinho um pequeno exército, até o trágico e sangrendo final.

"The Departed" review

Special Movie Review
The Departed: no departure (by David Bordwell)
"I’d love to join the applause that welcomes Scorsese back, but for these and other reasons I have to sit on my hands. For me, the inventiveness of the Asian tradition still reigns supreme in the crime genre. I grant that Infernal Affairs accepts the energy-aesthetic, with its swooping camera moves and its 3.2 second ASL. But the camera gives its actors room to breathe, and it spares some time to define a scene’s locale."
read all comment at:
http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=18

18 de out de 2006

THC Music "Love and Rock Vol. 1"

1. Your Eyes Open [Keane]
2. Just Breathe [Anna Nalick]
3. Semi Charmed Life [Third Eye Blind]
4. This Years Love [David Gray]
5. Looking At The World...[Mike Doughty]
6. High [James Blunt]
7. Hands Open [Snow Patrol]
8. I Can't Seem To...[The Clientele]
9. Life is Short [Butterfly Boucher]
10. Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking [Snow Patrol]
11. Fortress [Pinback]
12. I Me You I'm Yours [Jim Noir]
13. Old Habits Die Hard [Jaegger, Stewart]
14. The Reason Why [Rachael Yamagata]
15. When You And I Were Young [Clientele]
16. Silence is Easy [Starsailor]
17. May Angels Lead You In [Jimmy Eat World]
18. I Do [Better Than Ezra]
19. You Only Live Once [Strokes]
20. Drifting [Jay Chou]

15 de out de 2006

Choi Min-sik Cine Biography

1962 – born in Seul, South Korea.

1982 – graduates actor at Drama and Film department of Dongguk University. Works mostly in theater.


1989 - Kuro Arirang, Park Chong-won's first film.1992-93 – stars in Park Chong-won's film Our Twisted Hero, inspired by writer Yi Munyol ´s homonym book; Our Love This Way.

1993-94 - works in tv dramas, like Moon Over Seoul with old friend actor Han Suk-kyu; and Sara Is Guilty.

1997 – Choi plays a tough-talking police investigator in Song Neung-han's No.3.

1998 – Kim Jee-woon's debut film The Quiet Family.

1999 – plays a North Korean agent in Swiri (Shiri), Kang Jae Gyu's blockbuster, co-starring Han Suk-kyu and Song Kang-ho; gets Best Actor prize at Grand Bell awards. Stars a korean theater production of Hamlet. Plays a husband who discovers his wife's infidelity in Ji Woo-chung´s Happy End (Asia-Pacific Film Festival 2000, Best Actor).

2001 – Plays a small-time gangster in Failan, a melodrama directed by Song Hae Sung, from Jiro Asada´s novel, “Love Letter “, co-starring Cecilia Cheung. Wins Best Actor Award at 2002 Deauville Asia Film Festival.

2002 – In film Chihwaseon (Drunk on Women and Poetry), directed by Im Kwon-taek (Best Director at Cannes), played the famous nineteenth-century Korean painter Jang Seung-up.

2003 – Park Chan-wook's Oldboy (based on manga by Tsuchiya Garon and Nobuaki Minegishi) is considered his best work until now, a tour de force, gave him world star status (Best Actor at Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards). Oldboy won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Fest.

Choi and the film directors: "When I'm working with a director, I don't force my own world...A movie is a work of art made by the director. An actor shouldn't try to change the director's world from outside, but rather, the actor must enter the world of the director, like a member of an orchestra would enter the world of the conductor."

2004 – A music teacher in Springtime; and a North Korean commander in Taegukgi : The Brotherhood of War; directed by Ryu Jang-ha.

2005 – Ryoo Seung-wan´s Crying Fist; Park Chan-wook ends his “revenge trilogy” with Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.The director Ryoo Seung-wan, on Choi´s personality: “I noticed that Mr. Choi is always joking, eating snacks, and generally not paying much attention to filming but when the camera light turns on and I shout 'action!', he suddenly snaps right into character and becomes a different man.”

Choi talks about Crying Fist: "This film was very hard work and the character I played didn't suit my style, but what attracted me to this role was the fact that it is about an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation. This project was meaningful and quite satisfying for me. The movie may seem rather crude at first but it is a deep penetrating look at human nature and the way a man is made or ruined under pressure. I believe that the inspirational message of this movie is needed in today's society of indifference. There's a saying that goes: 'a sliver under my fingernail hurts more than a crack in another man's skull.' This is the kind of thinking that needs to change. I recently heard stories of people committing suicide in the Kangnam area and it really pierced my heart as I was able to see the kind of pain these people go through while filming this movie."

2006 – The Year of Politics – In february, the actor returns a government decoration in protest against decision to halve the screen quota for domestic movies. Choi said the medal (the Og-Gwan Order of Cultural Merit), once a symbol of pride, was now “nothing more than a sign of disgrace, and it is with a heavy heart that I must return it." In march, Choi joins film students at a rally to protest against a cut in the screen quota reserved for Korean movies in domestic theaters, in Seoul. And more protests in may: Choi Min-Sik, Bong Joon-Ho and others, make night vigils in front of the Palais des Festivals, at the 59th Cannes Film Festival, protesting against the reduction of the South Korean screen quota system, trying to aware the people about the struggle of their cinema to keep its identity and independence, against the American hegemonic cultural policy.

New projects: Directed by Yoon Jong-chan, Hamonica and Friend is “a story of homeless people who live in the underground subway station, and even though they look miserable, each people have their own friendship, humor, hope and love.”

5 de out de 2006

Jackie Chan Plans Less Action, More Acting



HK star Jackie Chan plans to retire from action movies. After more than one hundred films made, and the natural limitations of the age, he is thinking about new chalenges in the profession. Chan talks to the press: "I must say that I've been willing to change my roles for some time. I've been quite fed up with the roles I've been playing. I want to put myself to the test in future, interpreting different characters...And then we all know that the life of an action hero is quite short. In future I would like people to consider me as not just a martial arts character but for other roles as well."

In the meantime, kung fu master Jet Li has declared his intention of quiting the action films too. And in despite of being younger than Jackie Chan, and looking in very good shape, Li seems to have some health issues this days. His latest action film, Fearless, maybe will be the last one. Let´s hope that´s not truth.With this sad news, one has to wonder, what will be the future of the kung fu action films? Who will be the sucessor, or sucessors of this great stars? I can´t think about anyone, do you?

30 de set de 2006

Asian Cine News

'I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK': A love story about a girl (Im Soo-Jung, “A Tale of Two Sisters”) who thinks she's a cyborg, and a young man (pop singer Rain) with a compulsive theft disorder, and imagine that can steal the abilities and personalities of other people. The movie is scheduled to be released in early December.



Jackie Chan's new film "Rob-B-Hood" premiered in Beijing. Chan plays a gambling-addicted thief who, along with two other crooks, kidnaps the infant grandson of the richest woman in town. The co-stars are Louis Koo, Michael Hui, Gao Yuanyuan and Chen Baoguo. The director of the HK$130 million project is Benny Chan.

Taiwan stars Sylvia Chang and Rene Liu are working together once again (after "20, 30, 40") on the movie "Happy Birthday", based on Liu's short novel "I Want to Go with You". It´s about a decade-long love story that persists through sending and receiving birthday cards. Hong Kong star Louis Koo and director Jingle Ma will join the project, scheduled to be release at the end of November.

Director Ning Hao's next project is "Crazy Racer", tells the story of two mail carriers from different express companies who compete with each other, and their flying speeds are used by a group of mobsters to deliver dynamite. The original lineup from "Crazy Stone" will also star in the new "Crazy" series, including lead actor Guo Tao. Andy Lau will play a traffic policeman. The film starts filming at the end of this year.

Director Feng Xiaogang is about to start shooting his new film, a war epic called "The Assembly Call”. The story is set in 1948, at the turning point of the last Chinese civil war and ends in 1956, three years after the end of Korean War. The film is inspired by Yang Jinyuan´s short story "The Law Suit", based on a true story.

The kung-fu film "Fearless" will be released on DVD at the end of the year with a longer director's cut, since 40 minutes of the movie where sacrificed at the editing room, according to director Ronny Yu. Yu and Jet Li worked together on the script, the life story of kung-fu master Huo Yuanjia.

 
The winner of Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival, director Jia Zhang-Ke's “Still Life”, starring actress Zhao Tao, was shot in the old village of Fengjie, which has been destroyed by the building of China's Three Gorges Dam. The film recounts the story of people who come back to Fengjie during the upheaval. A miner comes back to the village to look for his wife, and a nurse for her husband.

Chow Yun-Fat's latest movie "The Postmodern Life of My Aunt", directed by Ann Hui and co-starring Si Qin Gao Wa and Zhao Wei, is set in modern Shanghai, and tells the story of a highly-educated woman's dramatic life after she retires. It will open in Chinese cinemas at the end of this year.

25 de set de 2006

Fearless (China)



...the story of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuan Jia (1869-1910), the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.
Jet Li´s "Huo Yuan Jin" (Fearless) hits 2 at USA Box Office.
see all about the film at the official site:
http://www.jetlisfearless.com

10 de set de 2006

63th Venice Film Festival

VENEZIA 63
The Venezia 63 Jury of the 63. Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica, chaired by Catherine Deneuve an comprised of José Juan Bigas Luna, Paulo Branco, Cameron Crowe, Chulpan Khamatova, Park Chan-wook and Michele Placido, having viewed all twenty-two films in competition, has decided as follows GOLDEN LION for Best Film:


Sanxia Haoren (Still Life) by Jia Zhang-Ke



Congratulations to Jia Zhang-Ke

HORIZONS
The Horizons Jury of the 63. Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica, comprised of Philip Gröning (President), Carlo Carlei, Yousri Nasrallah, Giuseppe Genna and Kusakabe Keiko, has decided to award...
... HORIZONS PRIZE to:

Mabei shang de fating by Liu Ji

31 de ago de 2006

Venice: Asian Films in Competition

63rd Venice Film Festival (launched 30 August 2006)
Venezia 63 –
Asian Films In Competition...

Paprika (Japan - 90’)

Director: Kon Satoshi (anime).

Mushishi (Japan - 131’)
Director: Otomo Katsuhiro
Starring: Joe Odagiri, Makiko Esumi, Nao Omori.

Fangzhu (Exiled) (Hong Kong, China - 98’)
Director: Johnnie To
Starring: Anthony Wong, Francis Ng, Nick Cheung, Josie Ho, Simon Yam.

Hei yanquan (I don’t want to sleep alone)
(Taiwan, France, Austria - 115’)
Director: Tsai Ming-Liang
Starring: Lee Kang-Sheng, Chen Shiang-Chyi, Norman Atun.

Sang sattawat (Syndromes And Century) (Thailand, France, Austria - 105’)
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Starring: Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Sophon Pukanok,

Jenjira Pongpas.

30 de ago de 2006

Asian Cine News



Asian Cine News

The next project of Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Ka-Fai (Election) will be "The Blue Ocean and A Brave Heart”. Based on a true story, the film tells of a canoeist (Huang Jue) who overcomes difficulties to finally snatch the gold medal in the Olympic Games. Tony Leung will play his coach. Producer Li Xiaowan and screenwriter Chi Shao'ai teamed up for the project.

Director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) is wrapping up´his latest project, "I'm A Cyborg (But That's Ok)", film about a girl who believes she´s a robot, starring actress Lim Su-Jeong (A Tale of Two Sisters) and pop singer Rain.

Speaking of sci-fi flicks, the new film of director/actor/writer Stephen Chow apparently will be titled “LONG RIVER 7” , refering to a satellite.

Recycle (HK)

25 de ago de 2006

Asian Cine News



Asian Cine News

the last samurai - Another remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai" (1954), is supposedly in preproduction. This good, or very bad news, depending on the point of view, was announced by Donnie Yen. The chinese actor was invited by the Weinstein brothers to be part of the future hollywood project.


Golden Boy - The “Oldboy” director Park Chan-wook was invited to joint the jury of the 63rd Venice International Film Festival. The jury president will be french veteran actress Catherine Deneuve. Last year, Park’s film "Sympathy For Lady Vengeance" won the CinemAvvenire (Cinema of the Future) award in Venice, the Little Golden Lion and the Best Innovated Film award. Next Park´s project, "Cyborg Girl", will be released at the end of year.

"Operation Condor" Trilogy - The Hua Shang Bao newspaper reported that Hong Kong star Jackie Chan is making preparations to film the third installment of his "Operation Condor" (1987) and "Armor of God" (1991) series. Chan plans to direct and cast mainland Chinese actors, returning to his leading role of treasure hunter Asian Hawk.

Fist and Fun – before we can see another chapter of the “Operation Condor”,Chan and
Jet Li will be working together for the first time on planned project "Monkey King" by Hollywood director Rob Minkoff.

Korean Blockbuster - "The Host" directed by Bong Joon-ho stomped past the 10 million viewer mark, already. The movie about a monster from Seoul's Han River became only the fourth Korean film to surpass that milestone after "Silmido”, "Taegukgi" and "The King and the Clown." But “The Host” set the record for the shortest period in reaching the milestone just 21 days after its release. (http://english.chosun.com/)

23 de ago de 2006

Shutter (Thailand)

Shutter (DVD/ Thailand, 2004, 105 min.)
Directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom Wongpoom
Screenplay: Banjong Pisanthanakun; Sopon Sukdapisit
With: Ananda Everingham (Thun), Natthaweeranuch Thongmee (Jane),
Achita Sikamana (Natre), Unnop Chanpaibool (Tonn).




One night, a young photographer (Thun) and his student girlfriend (Jane) accidentally run down a woman. They had been drinking hard at a party, so they run away of the crime scene. Some time later, strange shadows appear at some Thun´s photos and, tormented by guilt, he and Jane start investigating the possible link between the photographs and avenging spirits.
This is a very well done film, a hit at its home Thailand, good actings, impecable production, but don´t expect Pang Brothers or Shimizu brillancy, it´s more like “I´d follow the manual of asian thriller movie step by step” with sucess. And you won´t enjoy it less, for sure!

19 de ago de 2006

China Cine News: Ang Lee, Tony Leug, Venice Fest



Telegraphic News
 Adaptation - The names of some cast members of director Ang Lee's new project Lust, Caution were released after much speculation. The lead actress will be Tang Wei, a new film star in China's mainland. Based on a short story by Eileen Chang, the story of "Lust, Caution" is set in the Japanese occupied Shanghai during the Japanese aggression in the 1940s.

Painful Affairs – the new production of the HK directors team Andrew Lau and Alan Mak is a police thriller, entitled Confession of Pain. Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai (as Lau, a police officer) and Takeshi Kaneshiro (as ex-cop, alcoholic private detective Yau). Aditional casting include actresses Xu Jinglei and Shu Qi.

It´s all true - Yuanmingyuan is the new documentary film of the awarded chinese director Jin Tiemu. The modern digital production tells the story of Yuanmingyuan; full of exquisite landscapes, the Old Summer Palace was once the world's largest and most luxuriant royal garden. Its construction began in 1707 during the Qing Dynasty and took more than 100 years to finish. "Yuanmingyuan" is set to be screened in China this September.

“And the winner is...” - The Hong Kong Film Critics Association announced the winners of the 11th Golden Bauhinia Awards last Sunday. The musical “Perhaps, Love” won six awards, including best director (Peter Chan), best actress (Zhou Xun), and best music. Johnny To´s “Election” received the top award of best film, and Simon Yam was crowned best actor.


Golden Lion - Chinese director Feng Xiaogang's martial arts epic The Banquet, starring incensed young actress Zhang Ziyi, will have its world premiere at this year's Venice Film Festival on Sept. 3. The 20 million U.S. dollars film, coproduced by Huayi Brothers and the Hong Kong Media Asia Films Company, will be released across Asia on Sept. 15.

Danny, the Dog

Danny the Dog (DVD, 2003, 102 min.)



by Louis Leterrier; screenwriter: Luc Besson
martial arts coreography by Yuen Wo Ping; music by Massive Attack
with Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins, Kerry Condon.

Even if you disapprove Mr. Li playing such a medodramatic role (being nursed by an old blind musician and his naive teen stepdaughter), can´t miss the excellent action, the always brilliant martial arts coreography by the master Yuen Ping. And only french Luc Besson to come up with such a crazy funny story.

The Eye 10

 The Eye 10 (DVD, Hong Kong-Thailand, 2005)
by Pang Brothers; with Chen Po Lin (Ted), Isabella Leung (April), Kate Yeung (May), Kris Gu (Gofey), Ray McDonald (Chongkwai).


Pang Brother´s last film inside this kind of “trilogy of the spirits”, The Eye 10 turns back to its sucessors, The Eye 1 and 2, with a revisionist but, at the same time, ironic and openly comic looks. You can count on the frighting moments, anyway. This film has the flavor of the classic american teen horror movies, enjoying the group histeria factor, but keeping an eastern vision of the spirits world, in contraposition to the usual psicokiller plus urban legend staged until the exaustion it the hollywood productions. It´s a must see for the genre´s fans. With all the theme´s recycling one must wait to see what´s next in the filmography of this creative chinese directors. (see the post of june 29)

News: The Pang Brothers took home the Most Creative Award, at the 11th Golden Bauhinia Awards, for their box office hit, the horror flick "Re-Cycle"; the brothers will do the remake of their 1999 action thriller "Bangkok Dangerous", with Hong Kong actress Charlie Young and Hollywood star Nicolas Cage.

6 de jul de 2006

China Cine News

Coming soon...

aChinese Hamlet: veteran "master of humor" director Feng Xiaogang´s latest movie "The Banquet" is an epic drama, a big budget movie (150 million yuan), staring Zhang Ziyi, Ge You, Zhou Xun, Huang Xiao Ming and Daniel Wu. It centers on the royal power struggle in ancient China, a tragic and romantic story.

aThe romantic Johnnie: Johnnie To's new film is an art house love story! Writed by awarded An Xi , the untitled film will star Chinese mainland actress Li Bingbing and Taiwan actor Zhou Yumin . Shooting will begin this August.

aChinese Wall: choreography master Yuen Wo-Ping will return to the director's chair for "The Great Wall". The story is set between the Qin and Han Dynasties and is about fighting the nomadic invaders from the north, the Xiongnu, known as the Huns in the West. The director has invited Jet Li to be the leading man, yet to be confirmed.

aFunny Alien: Stephen Chow will start directing and staring in his new film, working-titled Wai Xing Ren (The Aliens) next month in Ningbo city (director´s hometown). In the sci-fi flick, Chow will play an astronaut who accidentally lands on an alien planet, where he becomes some sort of father figure of an alien boy, with help from a female translator android (Zhang Yu Qi). The film has a budget of $12.5 million US, and it is expected to have a lot of CGI.

aZhang Yimou will shoot his new film "The City of Golden Armor" (or "Curse of the Golden Flower"?) at Tiankeng, a famous scenic spot in Chongqing. A Tang dynasty inn has been built for the shoot as well as other facilities. Chow Yun Fat stars as the emperor and Jay Chou as a rebellious prince.

aAn adapation of the novel “Lust, Caution”, by Zhang Ai Ling is Ang Lee's new project. Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") is currently in preproduction of the film. The leading male role will be Ge You, and the leading woman role is yet to be determined.

aA live-action version of "Mulan" is set to begin shooting in October. Director Stanley Tong announced the new film’s schedule in Beijing, noting that the crew will travel to Yunnan province for its first shoot this October. Mulan is a traditional chinese story that has been told for centuries , about a young woman who disguised herself as a man to take her father's place in battle some 1,500 years ago. The film, with its 200 million yuan budget, has yet to reveal the lead actress.

29 de jun de 2006

Asian Thrillers

"Hide and Seek"

1.The Eye (DVD, Hong Kong/ 2002)
Director: Pang Brothers
Actors: Angelica Lee, Lawrence Chou
A blind young woman gets her vision back after a surgery and, with a very creepy bonus, starts to see evil spirits.

2.The Eye 2 (DVD/ Hong Kong/ 2004)
Director: Pang Brothers
Actors: Shu Qi, Jesdaporn Pholdee
As the first “The Eye”, the malevolent spirits are all around, frigthening the living ones. A girl is dumped by her boyfriend and, after a failed suicide attempt, starts to see spirits that, aparently, are trying to make harm to her unborn child.



3.Dark Water (DVD/ Japan/ 101 min.)
Director: Hideo Nakata
Actors: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno
A divorced young woman struggle to raise alone her daughter. They move to a suburbian building, were strange things happen, like growing stains on walls, and visions of a child´s angry ghost. It´s a very dark and sad tale, and a very interesting study of the women position in the opressive niponic society.

Legend of Gingko, Shinobi and Azumi

3 Action-Fantasy Films:


Moyuru Tsuki: The Legend of Gingko(“Danjeogbiyeonsu”: South Korea, 2000, 117 min.)
Director: Je-hyeon Park
Actors: Jin-shil Choi, Kyung-gu Sol, Mi-suk Lee, Seok-hun Kim, Yoon-jin Kim.

A not so well mixed pack of period action flick and fantasy melodrama. A fashion this days in the east cinema, this “genre” has better examples inside the japanese cinema. Two primitive tribes in war, a lot of bloddy fights, enchanted swords, tearful romances, make this a very uneven story. It´s worth to rent it if you´re curious about the previous movie career of the fine actress Yoonjin Kim, made a star to the west with the Lost TV series.



Shinobi (Heart Under Blade) (DVD/ Japan, 2005)
by Shimoyama Ten; with Yukie Nakama, Jô Odarigi, Tomoka Kurotani, Erika Sawajiri, Kippei Shiina, Takeshi Masu, Mitsuki Koga.

Imagine Romeo and Juliet having the X-Men powers, and living inside of a japanese epic. A good example of anime turned sucessfully into live-action film.



Azumi (DVD, Japan, 2003)
by Ryuhei Kitamura
with Aya Ueto; Kenji Kohashi; Takatoshi Kaneko; Yuma Ishigaki; Yoshio Harada; Yasutaka Sano; Tak Sakaguchi; Shinji Suzuki.

Inspired by the original manga and playstation 2 videogame, it´s a very well done and fun fantasy/adventure movie. Azumi is a teenage swordswoman trained, with the company of some skilled young men, to kill the insurgents of the empire. The director Kitamura manages to balance with great sensibility the action scenes and the storytelling, making a very enjoyable film to watch.

13 de jun de 2006

Joint Security Area / Mountain Patrol




Joint Security Area (DVD/ South Korea, 2000, 109 min.)
By Chan-wook Park; with Byung-hun Lee, Young-aeh Lee, Kang-ho Song.

The unexpected friendship between army soldiers, at the border of the divided Koreas, and it´s tragic consequences. Park directed the fantastic “Oldboy”.
(if you like JSA, don´t miss Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War)





Kekexili (Mountain Patrol )(DVD/ China, HK, 2004, 95 min.)
By Lu Chuan; with Duo Bujie (Ritai) and Zhang Lei (the reporter Ga Yu).
Awards: Golden Horse at the Taiwan´s Film Festival (Best Picture and Cinematography, Best Asian Film at Hong Kong Film Awards, Special Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.


The true story of a group of courageous men that, as volunteers, had tried to protect the tibetan antelopes from the skin hunters, in the mid 90´s. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful, the characters have great empathy; true heroes, the kind we don´t see a lot this days. Oh, and for the girls, be careful with that Zhang Lee guy, that smile could kill you!

9 de jun de 2006

Jackie Chan´s The Myth and New Police Story

Jackie Chan´s
The Myth
(DVD/ Hong Kong, 2005)
by Stanley Tong
with Jackie Chan, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Kim Hee-Sun, Yu Rong-Gaung, Ken Lo
If you´re a Jackie Chan fan like myself, you´ll see this and all of his films, even if the critics are bad. Well, I did expect a lot more from The Myth, but the looks of “big budget production” were just an allurement, a fine bait. It´s lacking heart, and not money to Mr. Chan´s movies, this days.




New Police Story (DVD/ Hong Kong, 2005)
by Benny Chan Muk-Sing; with Jackie Chan, Charlie Yeung , Nicholas Tse, Daniel Wu, Francis Ng, Charlene Choi.
After watching with disappointment the dvd of The Myth, it would be easy to disqualify this one. But looking with a certain dispassionate feeling, It wasn´t so bad, after all. New Police Story is a mix of “GenX Cops” and “Time and Tide”, but with the Jackie Chan extra special bonus! Only that I still prefer the old Police Story franchise.

7 de jun de 2006

Crazy Action in China

Only for the brave ones (warning: crazy editing, dubious acting skills and a lot of fun!)

 

Wheels on Meals (DVD/ Hong Kong, 104 min.)
by Sammo Hung; with Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung
“The horror, the horror!” Seriously, only for die hard Jackie´s fans. The 80´s clothes and hairdos can make you sick.


The Evil Cult or Kung Fu Cult Master (DVD/ Hong Kong, 1993, 90 min.)
by Wong Jing; with Jet Li, Sammo Hung, Sharla Sheung.
Again, only for kung fu fanatics, or if you bought it for five bucks, like myself. The director wasn´t present at the footage, or the editor is nuts, or both; Sammo Hung is crazy fun; we wait too much to see Jet Li do something, like fight (the sex jokes would be better at Stephen Chow´s lips). Oh, and the story doesn´t end, so look for the next chapter, if you dare.


The Twins Efect (DVD/ Hong Kong, 2003)
by Dante Lam & Donnie Yen
with Ekin Cheng, Charlene Choi , Gillian Chung, Anthony Wong, Jackie Chan
This is the “so bad that is good” kind of film. If you don´t resist the kuteness of the new generation of HK movie stars, you´re in heaven, baby!


The White Dragon (DVD, China, 2004, 92 min.)
by Wilson Yip; with Cecilia Cheung, Francis Ng, Andy On
By the dvd´s cover picture, you may wrongly think that it´s another subproduct of the chinese epic-romance movie fashion. Actually it´s just another example of the Hong Kong´s new generation talent, a silly mix, at least to the west, of satire and melodrama, epic and teen movie flick (oddly, films like Clueless and Crouching Tiger... were reminded through the screening) . The film has it´s moments, specialy for the cantonese pop culture fans, so if your´re not a teen girl, don´t bother watching it.

28 de mai de 2006

CANNES Film Festival News

CANNES, France (Reuters)


Director Ken Loach's "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" , a moving drama about the Irish struggle for independence in 1920, won the "Palme d'Or" at the Cannes film festival on Sunday.

The Golden Palm, the highest cinema award outside the Oscars in the United States, went to one of Britain's most highly respected and socially active film makers, and was a fitting choice for a festival were political pictures stole much of the limelight.
The 69-year-old film maker told Reuters in an interview earlier in the festival that the Irish fight for independence against an empire imposing its will on a foreign people had resonances with the U.S. occupation of Iraq today.

The Grand Prix, or runner up prize, was awarded to "Flanders" directed by France's Bruno Dumont. The movie is an examination of war and its effect on those who fight and those left behind told through the story of the young and taciturn farmhand Demester, who is called up to fight a war in an unspecified country.

While Dumont does not define the cause of the conflict, brutal images of desert landscapes, troops under fire from Arab snipers and executions of soldiers caught by the enemy will be seen by audiences as a clear reference to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The ensemble female cast of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" including Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura, won the best actress prize.

The best actor category also went to a cast, in this case that of "Indigenes" screening as "Days of Glory" in English, about the role North African troops played in defending France during World War Two. The cast includes Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri and Sami Bouajila.

Almodovar won best screenplay for Volver, his bitter-sweet tale of abuse, abandonment and reconciliation which was the critics' favorite to take the Palme d'Or before the awards were announced.

Best director went to Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for "Babel", a sweeping portrayal of barriers -- personal, cultural and national -- which was shot on three continents and stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

The Jury Prize went to Britain's Andrea Arnold, who was in Cannes with her first feature film "Red Road", about a woman whose job is to monitor the grim streets of Glasgow through security cameras that seem to be on every corner.
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