While Indian audiences may not be impressed, Smitha Radhakrishnan wonders if underneath the clichés, there is diversification to be appreciated in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Chandni Chowk to China.
When it comes to contemporary independent Chinese cinema, the International Film Festival Rotterdam provides a slice of the real, the surreal, and the virtual.
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Evangelion (Can) Advance, Chinese writers quickly pay tribute to Michael Jackson, and can Kambhaqt Ishq believe in box office love? All this and more in the latest edition of News from Abroad.
Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance Achieves Box Office Success
Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance continues to dominate the Japanese box office at #1, earning ¥1.5 billion ($16 million) in its first ten days of opening. The film had already earned ¥512,180,200 (about $5.371 million) just in its opening weekend. Compared to the first film Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, which grossed a ¥2 billion box office total in over 4 months, the second installment is earning returns twice as fast. Written by Hideaki Anno, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance is the second installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, a theatrical remake of the original anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, and it's produced by Anno’s Studio Khara. Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance will make its first international premiere at the Animotion 2009 Film Festival in Bonn, Germany, from July 31 to August 2. Also, the film is scheduled to be released later in Hong Kong in September 2009. --Michael Lom
Kambhaqt Ishq ("Damn Love") Opens Big
Reaping the benefits of a 2,000 plus screens and one of the widest releases in Bollywood history, the Bollywood love flick has reeled in $10 million in it's opening weekend. That includes $700,000 in US, 300,000 Lire in UK, and an overwhelming $6.9 million in India. Perhaps credit can be given to big name cameos in the film such as Denise Richards, Sylvester Stallone, and Brandon Routh, but all eyes are on top Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and actress Kareena Kapoor. Without a doubt, Ishq had been touted as one of the most anticipated films of the year. --Timothy Natividad
Chinese Writers Pen Jackson Biography Instantly After His Death
According to The China Daily, two Chinese writers worked for forty eight hours straight to produce a biography of Michael Jackson within hours of his death. The book, called Moonwalk in Paradise, hit stores last weekend. Although both writers had never met Jackson, one of them, Jiang Xiaoyu, was a self-proclaimed fan, having previously written blogs and reviews about Jackson. The writers were quoted as to have wrote the book based on their "accumulated knowledge about the King of Pop." The newspaper also stated that at least 10 other Chinese publishers were planning "instant" books about Jackson as well. --Kristie Hang
John Woo's Flying Tigers
Prolific action film director John Woo embarks on his newest project, a World War II picture telling the story of the Flying Tigers. There have been multiple attempts to put the Flying Tigers, the American aviators who helped train the first batch of Chinese fighter pilots in the war, onscreen. Finally gaining the support of the Chinese government, Flying Tigers is set to launch as a celebration of the 30 year anniversary of restored diplomatic relations between China and the US. The pilots were officially called the 1st American Volunteer Group based in Yunnan province between 1941 and 1942. While the film boasts a hefty $160 million budget, Woo claims that they are not in a hurry to slap the movie together, instead opting to take time to do the story justice. --Timothy Natividad
Blind Japanese Pianist Takes Top Prize
Twenty year old blind Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii has become the next big classical music star, after winning one of the world's most prestigious awards without a score. Blind since birth, Tsujii won the top prize last month at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in the United States, becoming the first blind pianist to win the prestigious award.
Tsujii practices on average five hours a day during the school week and up to eight hours before concerts and recitals; however, instead of tracing over a score written in braille with his fingertips, he listens to recorded piano pieces over and over until he has memorized every detail. Since his win, he has performed with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux in France and the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others. He shared first place with nineteen year old Haochen Zhang of China. Tsujii and Zhang were the first Asian pianists to win the competition, held in Texas. --Kristie Hang
Nickelodeon's Guts is adapted for Chinese television
Tiao Zhan Xiao Yong Shi, a Chinese adaptation of Nickelodeon’s game show Guts, will be airing this summer on China Central Television. The show entails child contestants to compete in physical challenge incorporating basketball, mountain climbing and even high jumping. Although the show’s material is not amazingly profound, the fact that MTV Networks International will be able to air the show nationally in China signifies the continuous success MTVNI has experienced the past 14 years and the strengthening of MTVNI’s business that will continue in China. --Megan Chun
Tatsuya Fujiwara and Kenichi Matsuyama in Kaiji
Fans of the popular Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji manga series can satiate their appetites with an upcoming film project based on the tale of fantastical gambling. Due in theaters on October 10, the film boasts the dynamic acting duo of Death Note stars Tatsuya Fujiwara and Kenichi Matsuyama. With big name director Toya Sato, big figures are anticipated for Kaiji. Although, there is much to live up to the $80 billion in domestic sales reeled in by Death Note in years past. --Timothy Natividad
Date Posted: 7/17/2009