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Maya Lin explores different Wave Fields, Slumdog Millionaire goes public, and Spielberg and Will Smith have decided it's time to play Oldboy. All this and more in the latest edition of News Bites.
New Wave Sweeping Its Way In!
Maya Lin, a Chinese American architect, is best known for her work on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. -- where she designed a minimalist, granite memorial that contained a wall with the names of thousands of casualties from the Vietnam War -- and her other renowned Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama -- where she commemorated 40 people that died in a struggle for equality of African Americans. Her latest work titled Wave Field, is an 11-acre minimalist work at the Storm King Art Center that consists of seven rows of hills shaped like ocean waves in a slopping valley. Lin takes what one may think to be an identifiable image such as that of a water wave and makes her observers look at her ocean waves from a different perspective. Her waves consist of three installations. The last installation has waves that are so tall that they reach 12-18 feet over one's head. Her goal with Wave Field is to make people think about things in a different light. Wave Field, like her other two memorials mentioned earlier, combines her love for minimalist art, architecture, and memorials. To check out Maya Lin describing Wave Field more in length, click on a video from The New York Times. Also included in the video is a segment on how Maya Lin uses the garbage she has at home to make artwork. There is art made from her FedEx Boxes, from her children's toys and bottle caps from drinks. She says she does this to show how much junk a person acquires. --Kristie Hang
Slumdog Millionaire out this week
If an uneducated orphan can be one answer away from being a millionaire, an indie-style film with an unknown cast might very well be the top contender for the Academy Award. In fact, Slumdog Millionaire has already won the prophetic Toronto Film Fest Audience Award and has also scored 100% on RottenTomatoes. Helmed by Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire is an adaptation of Vikas Swarup's novel Q&A. The film follows 18 years old Jamal's (Dev Patel) incredible journey from the slum of India to the hot seat of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. As his flawless picks shock the audience, Jamal's flashbacks unfold the heartbreaking stories behind each of his answers -- and reveal the tremendous price he paid for the one grand prize that will change his destiny. For Los Angeles residents, Slumdog Millionaire opens Nov 12, 2008 at Arclight Hollywood and The Landmark Westwood. It opens in wide releas on Thanksgiving weekend. --Winghei Kwok
Oh Boy! Spielberg & Will Smith Set to Remake Oldboy
First it's the J-Horrors, now it's the K-Thrillers? We're still scratching our heads about the report: director Steven Spielberg is teaming with actor Will Smith to do a Hollywood remake (or unmake) of the Korean cult hit, Oldboy. What? According to Spielberg's DreamWorks representatives, rights to the remake are underway and the film is set to be distributed by Universal. A high-grossing art house film in Seoul, Oldboy, based on director Chan Wook-park's manga thriller, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Min-sik Choi (Swiri) plays a kidnapped businessman forced under arrest for fifteen years until he is released to get his revenge. Will Smith is set to take Min-sik Choi's place in the Hollywood version. There's no doubt that gaining mass appeal will be easy for Spielberg and Smith, but Oldboy is a far darker cry from what we're used to seeing from the American director and actor. So it begs the question, will they live up to those scenes of tongue-slicing and octopus-eating? --LiAnn Ishizuka
Is Jaden Smith Karate Kidding?
For the love of Pat Morita, why? Jaden Smith (The Pursuit of Happiness), the 10 year-old son of superstar Will Smith is slated to star in a remake of the 80s kitsch classic The Karate Kid. Another contrived remake of an 80s movie? Tubular! The film will be produced by franchise's original founder, Jerry Wintraub, and the senior Smith himself. China Film Group Corp. will co-produce the film, which will shoot next year in Beijing. Despite the different setting, it'll retain the same concept: bullied kid learns how to stand up for himself and other valuable life lessons from a presumably geriatric guru. The big question is who's going to fill in that eccentric mentor role left behind by the irreplaceable Mr. Miyagi? I think it would be awesome if they penciled in Billy Blanks and have him teach the young Smith the spiritual (and lucrative) art of Tae Bo. Wouldn't that be gnarly? Just leave Back to the Future alone, ok Hollywood? --William Hong
Putting in the Final Touches
Chinese megastar Jet Li is in the final stages of negotiation to join Academy Award-nominated American actor, director, producer and screenwriter, Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham (known for The Transporter series) in Stallon's upcoming action film The Expendables. The main characters in The Expendables are sent to infiltrate a South American country to overthrow its cruel dictator and liberate the population. It's a job that no others can do. If Li signs on, principal photography will take place in February both in Costa Rica and Louisiana. The producers are hoping for a big number of international presales at the American Film Market and are hoping Li to officially signs on. --Kristie Hang
Soul of Shaolin Kicks China on Broadway
Since this summer's Beijing Olympics, the focus on China has generated a surge of interest that is not just about the environmental issues of pollution or the criticisms of tainted baby formula. Robert Nederlander Jr.'s Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment and the Eastern Shanghai Cultural Film and Television Group are co-producing the first theatrical Chinese-produced play to premiere on the Broadway stage. Promising to wow audiences with performances by Chinese experts in traditional Shaolin Kung Fu, the play, Soul of Shaolin features a coming-of-age story about a young boy raised to be a Shaolin Master. With the success of American theatricals like Aida touring China in an 11-city run since September, this will mark China's turn in the spotlight. Shaolin will officially open on January 15, 2009 at Broadway's Marquis Theatre in New York to celebrate Chinese New Year (officially on January 26). Shaolin has previously played in Beijing, Sydney and Macau. --LiAnn Ishizuka
Date Posted: 11/14/2008