Eclipse's Nikkatsu Noir boxset showcases Nikkatsu Studio's crime capers from the 1950s-60s, and it's enough to get any film geek off.
Featuring acts such as M.I.A, Bat for Lashes, Dengue Fever and the Black Eyed Peas, the Outside Lands Arts and Music Festival took over Golden Gate Park.
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Arnel Pineda scores the ultimate gig, watercolorist Jake Lee gets his due, and Nanking arrives in theaters. All this and more in the latest edition of News Bites.
Arnel Pineda in for the Journey of his life
Thanks to the powers of YouTube, legendary rock band Journey has selected Arnel Pineda, a Filipino singer, as their new frontman. Guitarist Neal Schon searched YouTube for a new lead singer and was blown away by Pineda's soaring rendition of "Faithfully." Pineda is taking lead vocals over from Jeff Scott Soto, a replacement for Steve Augeri who left the band for medical reasons, according the official Journey site. Pineda's first reaction to Schon's message was that it was fake and Schon had to convince him otherwise. Pineda will be leaving his cover band The Zoo to join Journey in the States. Now complete with five members, Journey has begun working on a new album set for release in spring/summer 2008. Don't stop believing; watch Pineda belt it out here. --Lisa Leong
Chinese American painter Jake Lee takes center stage
Though he preferred to be called a "California" artist than a Chinese American one, Jake Lee (1915-1991) was indeed one of the most significant Chinese American painters of the 20th century. His watercolors reveal the serene textures of Californian vistas and histories, from San Francisco's Chinatown to the oilfields of Signal Hill. Hosted by the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles and co-sponsored by the Automobile Association of America, "Sunshine & Shadows" provides the first overview of Lee's work and life, including 60 watercolors and private photos and letters. "Sunshine & Shadows" runs from Dec. 2007 to April 13, 2008. For more information, see the Chinese American Museum's website. --Brian Hu
Jamie Chung, from Real World to Manga
Jamie Chung will play Chi Chi in Dragonball, the live-action feature film based on the popular Japanese manga and anime series. Stephen Chow, the man behind Shaolin Soccer, is producing Dragonball, which follows a young spiky-haired boy named Goku (Justin Chatwin) on his quest to find the world's seven Dragon Balls to stop demonic villain Piccolo (James Marsters). As spunky Chi Chi, Chung is the love interest of grown-up Goku. Chung has previously appeared on the television series Greek, Samurai Girl, Veronica Mars, and Real World: San Diego. She is also the first actor of Asian descent to join the cast in Fox's Dragonball. --Lisa Leong
Lee Chang-dong receives retrospective at LACMA
Before Park Chan-wook, Kim Ki-duk, and Hong Sang-soo became South Korea's big three on the international film festival circuit, Lee Chang-dong established himself as the most significant presence in Korean cinema. In 2002, just as he was beginning to garner significant notice abroad (his Oasis won best actress at Cannes), Lee was appointed South Korea's Minister of Culture and Tourism, a position he held until 2004. His latest film, Secret Sunshine, is Lee's first film in five years, and has international critics curious about a director who some are hailing Korea's greatest filmmaker since Im Kwon-taek. The time is right then, for a retrospective. On January 4-5, 2008, the Los Angeles Museum of Art will screen all four of Lee's films to date: the crushing gangland drama Green Fish, the ambitious historical allegory Peppermint Candy, the stunning melodrama Oasis, and the sublime emotional rollercoaster Secret Sunshine. Lee Chang-dong, with special guest Quentin Tarantino, will be on hand to present the final night of films. --Brian Hu
Broadcast Critics lust for Caution
Ang Lee's Lust, Caution received nominations for Best Foreign Film and Best Composer (Alexandre Desplat) in the 13th Annual Critics' Choice Awards, to air live on VH1 January 7th. The Critics' Choice Awards are determined by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Based on Chinese novelist Eileen Chang's short story, the film Lust, Caution, delves into the political and emotional intrigue of espionage with the setting in Shanghai during WWII Japanese occupation. Oscar-winning director Ang Lee's film also received seven wins at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan earlier this December. --LiAnn Ishizuka
Nanking documentary in limited release
Shedding light on a relatively unknown period in history (at least to Americans), the documentary Nanking, directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, reveals the story of the Japanese invasion in Nanking (then China's capital) where the country was subjugated to months of aerial bombardment, murder, and rape on a horrifying scale. In spite of the destruction, a small group of Westerners banded together to establish a Safety Zone where over 200,000 Chinese found refuge. As producer Ted Leonsis says, "This is an anti-war film, this is an inspirational film about ordinary people doing extraordinary things to save lives for moral justice and their stories deserved to be told." The film opened in limited release by ThinkFilm on December 12. --LiAnn Ishizuka
Date Posted: 12/14/2007