So Yong Kim talks about her strategies for directing young children and the memories of her grandparents' farm in rural Korea that inspired her intimate second feature, Treeless Mountain.
Out in Los Angeles to promote Camera Obtrusa, a companion book to his 1987 film The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On, director Hara Kazuo looks back at the film that made him a legend in documentary circles.
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Park Chan-wook's Thirst plunges into American theaters, Margaret Cho unveils her fifth comedy concert, and... no martial arts experience needed to play Kato, apparently. All this and more in the latest edition of News Bites.
Green Hornet’s Kato Shrouded in Mystery
Little is known about Kato, the Green Hornet’s Asian sidekick/chauffeur -- in both the new comic and movie adaptations of The Green Hornet. Dynamite Entertainment has recently released cover designs and sketches by Alex Ross from Kevin Smith’s anticipated comic book adaptation of the Green Hornet, which appears to portray Kato as a woman instead of a man. Likewise, the casting role for Kato in Hollywood's recent Green Hornet movie adaptation remains vacant, as Hong Kong star Stephen Chow has passed on the co-starring role. Prior, Chow had also given up his directing position in the project due to creative differences, being replaced by Michel Gondry. Columbia studios reported Chow’s withdrawal as a "mutual and amicable decision by both sides to move on."
The new casting release calls for “ALL ASIAN ETHNICITIES, Male, 20's - early 40's. Brit Reid's manservant/chauffeur by day and Green Hornet's martial arts-skilled sidekick by night. Actor doesn't have to have Martial Arts experience.” Smith, who was initially hired to write and direct the Green Hornet movie project, now plans to create the new comic book miniseries based loosely on his original script -- “before Seth Rogen and Michel Gondry's version defines the character for the mainstream,” according to Entertainment Weekly. In the past, Bruce Lee played Kato in the 1996 The Green Hornet television series. With such a broad casting call, any high level of expertise does not seem likely. It appears the identity of the Green Hornet’s Asian sidekick/chauffeur Kato will remain a mystery for now. --Michael Lom
Park Chan-wook's Thirst opens in US July 31st
Park Chan-wook's latest film Thirst took home the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival and has been a huge box office hit in Korea since its domestic release in April. On July 31st, US audiences (in select cities) will be able to see what the hype is all about. The maker of Oldboy and the Vengeance series is no stranger to stylized shock value -- the Thirst teaser poster was first banned in Korea because it showed a priest engaging in sexual acts, being strangled by a beautiful woman. The never-disappointing Song Kang-ho plays said priest who volunteers for a medical experiment that goes terribly wrong. After being accidentally infused with vampire blood, the man in cloth who has spent his entire life sacrificing himself for good, is now overwrought with ravenous urges of lust and murder. Newcomer Ok-vin Kim plays the vulnerable, seductive, dangerous, unpredictable Tae-joo -- a woman we won't be able to get out of our heads for a while... For APA's review of the film, click here. --Ada Tseng
Japanese dog remake for Richard Gere
Richard Gere has taken a role in the Hollywood remake of Japanese film, Hachiko: A Dog’s Story. Based on the story of a faithful dog waiting for its master, even after its master has died, Japan's Hachiko was released in 1987. The American version involving Gere takes place in Rhode Island, yet uses a Japanese breed of dogs called Akita. The film has already premiered in June at the Seattle International Film Festival and will be released in August in the story’s country of origin, Japan. --Megan Chun
20th Century Boys comes to the US
Viz Pictures has obtained the licensing rights to release the live-action 20th Century Boys film trilogy. Viz Media already publishes the 20th Century Boys manga series in the US and will now distribute the DVDs as well. The first and second films are scheduled to be released later this year, while the remaining third installment will premiere to US audiences at the VIZ Cinema in San Francisco the same day it debuts in Japan, according to Seiji Horibuchi, CEO of VIZ Pictures. The 20th Century Boys live-action adaptations are directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi and based on the award-winning manga series written by Naoki Urasawa. --Michael Lom
5th Annual APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit
The 5th Annual APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit will be coming to the San Francisco in Berkeley, California from July 30th - August 2nd. The event will be a gathering of Asian and Pacific Islander American spoken word artists, poets, writers, musicians, thespians, activists, organizers and artists from all over the world. For more information about the 5th Annual APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit and registration details, visit here. --Kristie Hang
Margaret Cho in concert is Beautiful
Margaret Cho, known for her outspoken and unapologetic comedy, performs a standup routine in her fifth concert film titled Beautiful. It premiered on Showtime on July 3, but will continue to play until August 4. Aiming to expose the superficial understanding of beauty, Cho uses her raunchy yet hilarious comments to bring up issues concerning self-image and how that relates to finding a voice. Check Showtime for more details. --Megan Chun
Date Posted: 7/17/2009