Ji-woon Kim’s “The Good, the Bad, the Weird” is set in the 1930s, with a criminal boss giving a dangerous assignment to a hired gun. If you’ve watched a fair number of movies, you might get the feeling that you’ve seen this before.
Given the 50 years of tension between the Chinese government and Tibetans, China can’t be expected to support the documentary film, “The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom.” According to an article in Salon magazine by Andrew O’Hehir, Chinese film officials responded to the film’s inclusion in the Palm Springs International Film Festival by yanking two high-profile Chinese films from the festival’s lineup.
Peter Chan’s Chinese battle epic, “The Warlords,” opens with a creepy voice narrating, “He told me — that dying was easy and living was hard.” But who is speaking? And who is he speaking about?
“Formosa Betrayed” begins with a huge flurry of action. The film is set in 1983 at Taiwan’s Chiang Kai-shek International Airport, and soldiers surround a trio of running men. Shots go off and one Chinese man falls to the ground. Armed officers pull a second Chinese man, Ming (played by Will Tiao), out of sight. The third man, American FBI agent Jake Kelly (played by James Van Der Beek), ends up in an office with Susan Kane (Wendy Crewson), the American Liaison to Taiwan. Before the soldiers rush in, he must explain his actions to her.
Each year, South Korea’s Jeonju Film Festival supports three filmmakers to shoot a half-hour film using digital cameras. Each filmmaker receives a budget of 50 million Korean won (about $44,000). The results from last year’s show featured three up-and-coming Asian directors using their electronic tools in distinctive manners.
Chung-ryoul Lee’s documentary “Old Partner” begins with pain. An old man climbs a long set of steps to a temple. He carries a cane. He pauses after each step. He inhales sharply after each step, wondering if he will ever get to the top. The notion of enduring pain and suffering continues throughout the film.
By Irfan Shariff NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY International action film star Jackie Chan wants to prove that he can do more than just stunts. With the release of “Shinjuku Incident,” Jackie Chan proves he has a dark side. From acclaimed Hong Kong director Derek Yee, “Shinjuku Incident” takes Chan’s character, Nick (a.k.a. Steelhead), and smuggles him […]
Alexander Sokurov’s “The Sun” opens in an awkward fashion. On the surface, life seems ordinary enough at the Imperial Palace of Japan. A servant brings in breakfast for the emperor on a tray. A second servant reads off the itinerary for the day. The emperor must attend a meeting with his war ministers. Then he will study marine biology, his favorite subject.
2009 brought a wealth of Asian and Asian-related films to American theaters. Here’s a quick look back at 10 films you should have seen — and if you haven’t, you should hunt these down at your local video store:
“Ninja Assassin,” the new film from director James McTeigue, begins with a Japanese tattoo artist working on a yakuza’s back. Blood flows down from the tattoo needle. With only short respites, blood also flows throughout the rest of the film. Blood isn’t enough, however, to compensate for the film’s anemia in other areas.