Entertainment Spotlight

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’
By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with...

Arts & Entertainment

Wong Kar Wai Leads Jury at 2006 Cannes Film Festival

Posted by Stephen Rakower on Wednesday, 04 January 2006

Wong Kar-wai will preside over the jury of the 59th Cannes Film Festival, May 17-28, 2006.

Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai will preside over the jury of the 59th Cannes Film Festival, May 17-28, 2006. He is the first Chinese president in the Festival's history.

As Tears Go By, about a low-level triad member thinking about leaving the gangster life for love, was the first film presented by Wong at Cannes in 1989.

His next foray at the festival in 1997 with his film Happy Together, a tale of a strained relationship between two Chinese gay lovers living in Buenos Aires, proved successful when he was the first Chinese to be named best director at Cannes.

In the Mood for Love, starring Tony Cheung Chiu Wai and Maggie Cheung as married lovers in a furtive affair in 1962 Hong Kong, was nominated for the Palm d'Or in 2000 and solidified Wong on the International Film circuit. His 2046 screened at the festival in 2004 and was hailed by reviewers as a "sublime exploration of inner time".

"Each city has its own language. In Cannes, it is the language of dreams. Yet it is difficult to judge one's dream much less compare it to another, Wong said in a statement issued by festival organizers.

According to Gilles Jacob, President of the Festival, "We are particularly delighted to have Wong Kar Wai as jury president. His films immediately strike us by their plastic splendour and nostalgic amorous emotion in the great romantic tradition."

"There is an old Chinese saying: One can never expect the wind, but should always keep one's window open," said Wong. "Along with my fellow jurors, I look forward to sharing the dreams created by some of the most gifted talents in contemporary cinema. And our goal will be to keep our windows open as wide as possible."

Wong's next film, The Lady from Shanghai starring Nicole Kidman, is in pre-production.

'Memoirs of a Geisha' star Ziyi Zhang nominated for Golden Globe

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Ziyi Zhang, who stars in the recently released "Memoirs of a Geisha," has been nominated for best actress in the 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Ziyi Zhang, who stars in "Memoirs of a Geisha," has been nominated for best actress in the 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

In the movie based on Arthur Golden's 1997 novel, Ziyi played a poor fisherman's daughter, Chiyo, who is sold to a geisha house or okiya, and through rigorous training becomes Sayuri, the top geisha in Kyoto during the pre-World War II era.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association comprises 86 voters, most of them freelance writers for foreign publications, while the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has 5,800 who are eligible to vote for the Oscars. The Golden Globes will be presented on Jan. 16, 2005 and televised on NBC.

Brokeback Mountain is a favorite of San Francisco Film Critics

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain is a favorite of San Francisco Film Critics

The love story "Brokeback Mountain" won three major awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Based on the short story by Annie Proulx, "Brokeback Mountain" chronicles a lifelong romance between two cowboys who first meet as young men herding sheep in 1960s Wyoming. The film, which is playing in limited release, was directed by Ang Lee and stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Australian actor Ledger, previously best known for lighter films like "A Knight's Tale," showed heartbreaking range in the part of Ennis Del Mar, which won him the SFFCC's Best Actor award.

The group honored Reese Witherspoon with its Best Actress award for her sharp and sure portrayal of June Carter Cash in the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line."

Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress awards went to Kevin Costner, for his wry and tender supporting work in the comic drama "The Upside of Anger," and to Amy Adams, who stole the show in "Junebug" as a naive expectant young mother in rural North Carolina.

Best Documentary was awarded to Werner Herzog's "Grizzly Man," which examined the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, an animal rights advocate whose passion for grizzly bears ultimately cost him and his girlfriend their lives.

The complex French thriller "Cache" ("Hidden"), directed by Michael Haneke, took the top prize for Best Foreign Film. "Good Night, And Good Luck," a drama about the feud between Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950s Red Scare, won Best Screenplay for writers George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

The SFFCC gave its Marlon Riggs Award, awarded annually to a member of the Bay Area film community for courage and innovation, to Jenni Olson for her experimental feature "The Joy of Life," which expands the parameters of narrative, documentary and personal cinema while capturing...

Brokeback Mountain is one of American Film Institute's Ten Best

Posted by AC Team on Monday, 12 December 2005

American Film Institute names Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" as one of the ten best movies of the year.

American Film Institute names Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" as one of ten movies receiving AFI Awards for 2005. "Capote", "Crash", "The 40-Year Old Virgin", "Good Night and Good Luck", "A History of Violence", "King Kong", "Munich", "The Squid and the Whale", and "Syriana" complete the picks for AFI movies of the year.

AFI's almanac records the year's most outstanding achievements in film and television. AFI TV programs of the year include: 24, "Battlestar Galactica","Deadwood", "Grey's Anatomy", "House", "Lost", "Rescue Me", "Sleeper Cell", "Sometimes in April", and "Veronica Mars".

AFI AWARDS celebrate the collaborative nature of film and television by recognizing film and television creative ensembles as a whole-those people in front of and behind the camera.

AFI will honor the creative ensembles for each of the honorees at a luncheon on Friday, January 13, 2006, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

About the American Film Institute
AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, maintains America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and explores new digital technologies in entertainment and education through the AFI Digital Content Lab and K-12 Screen Education Center. AFI.com.

New York Film Critics love Ang Lee, 2046 and How's Moving Castle

Posted by AC Team on Monday, 12 December 2005

"Brokeback Mountain" named Best Picture of 2005 while director Ang Lee was named Best Director for the same film by the New York Film Critics Circle

"Brokeback Mountain" scored with the New York Film Critics Circle with nods for Best Picture, Best Director for Ang Lee and Best Actor for Heath Ledger. The 30 member group voted for its 71st annual awards for excellence in cinema today at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.

Wong Kar Wai's "2046" was selected as Best Foreign-Language Film, with "2046" lensmen Christopher Doyle, Lai Yiu Fai and Kwan Pun Leung sharing honors for Best Cinematography. Hayao Miyazakis animated adventure "Howl's Moving Castle, " was named Best animated feature.

Werner Herzog will be honored for two of the Best Non-Fiction Films for his documentaries "Grizzly Man" and "White Diamond" and Best First Film was given to filmmaker Bennett Miller for "Capote." "The Squid and the Whale" written by Noah Baumbach was voted Best Screenplay.

Reese Witherspoon was named was named Best Actress for "Walk the Line." The award for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress went to William Hurt and Maria Bello for their work in "A History of Violence."

The New York Film Critics Circle is comprised of critics from daily and weekly newspapers and magazines based in New York. The group is the oldest critical group in America and its annual awards are considered a precursor of the Oscar nominations. Newsday film critic Gene Seymour, the NYFCCs current chairman, will host the groups award dinner January 8, 2006, at Ciprianis 42nd Street in Manhattan.

NYFCC official website, www.nyfcc.com.