Feng Xiaogang takes viewers back to the 1970s in upcoming film Youth

Directed by Feng Xiaogang (I Am Not Madame Bovary)Youth follows the story of Liu Feng, played by Huang Xuan (Extraordinary Mission), as he goes from popular dancer in the art troupe to a soldier on the real battlefield.

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Huang Xuan to lead Feng Xiaogang’s latest film

Huang Xuan (The Interpreter) is on a roll! He was part of Zhang Yimou’s action-adventure film The Great Wall, recently wrapped up filming for Chen Kaige’s Legend of the Demon Cat and now he’s headlining Feng Xiaogang’s In Youth 芳华. Huang Xuan definitely deserves his success, and I’m glad directors and producers are starting to recognise his talent.

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Fan Bingbing denies she is Madame Bovary

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The “circular film format” was a hit with viewers at the Toronto International Film Festival, though it remains to be seen whether the domestic audience will feel the same.

The upcoming feature film I am Not Madame Bovary 我不是潘金莲 is based on the novel of the same name by Liu Zhenyun, and stars Fan Bingbing as Li Xuelian, a countryside woman who spends twenty years in court defending her reputation.

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Feng Xiaogang’s 2014 Spring Gala releases program

Do you remember Yang Liping’s gorgeous Peacock dance from last year?

Chinese New Year’s is on January 31, so the annual CCTV Spring Gala will broadcast the eve before. The official 2014 Spring Gala Weibo (everything’s released on Weibo now) recently released an official list of the upcoming programs for the Feng Xiaogang-directed show. You may recognize Yao Beina, Amber Kuo, Jackie Chan, Lang Lang, Yif, Yang Kun, Liu Huan, and  Sun Nan among them. Jane Zhang, formerly one of Hunan TV’s Supergirls, also promises to make an appearance. Also coming from Super Boys will be Wang Zhengliang and Hua Tianyu.  Personally, I’m looking forward to the “Butterfly Dream” acrobatics, and the song by Mongolian ethnic singer Wulan Tuya.

Welcome to the Year of the Horse! Look below the cut for a list of the upcoming programs.  Continue reading

Chen Kun Becomes “Dark Horse” of “The Founding of a Republic”

Chen Kun has been singled out in praise for his acting in the film Jian Guo Da Ye, commemorating the PRC’s 60th anniversary (today in China time), not an easy feat when the entire film consists of  stars. He was chosen to act in the film as Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek’s son, Chiang Ching-kuo, future president of Taiwan, because he  had a youthful air about him, as well a brooding pensive quality. He ended up playing it so well, that he was given more screentime while others were cut.

Here he sings red song Yin Shan Hong at the premiere ceremony a few weeks ago. He’s no Huang Ying, but I think he did a good job anyway.

I normally hate to talk  politics in general, but since I am posting about this movie, I’d like to clear up a few things about the political aspect.

Most people have a knee-jerk reaction to this movie, because it’s “propaganda”. Perhaps, but not like you think. Due to closer cross-straight relations, and a celebratory nature of the movie in general, this  will probably show the Nationalist side of the civil war as very sympathetic, which will in turn cause many Chinese youth to wonder what exactly the communists were fighting for in 1949 . And as much as the Mao-led government sucked afterward, the status quo before the civil war gave  every reason for revolution. Frankly, this movie will definitely be much more balanced  and less one-sided than The Patriot was to the British. Continue reading

IMAX Will Co-Produce with Hua Yi Feng Xiaogang’s New Movie

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IMAX Corporation CEO Richard L. Gelfond in Shanghai for "Tangshan Earthquake/Hua Yi" Press Conference

IMAX and Hua Yi had a press conference the other day stating that the two companies were going to be co-producing three Chinese IMAX films. The first fo these would be Feng Xiaogang’s Tangshan Earthquake. It  is expected to premiere July 10th 2010 in China, and will be shown in IMAX locations in major cities in North America, as well as the 25-30 IMAX theaters in China.

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Feng Xiaogang’s Tangshan Earthquake

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At the press conference for Jia You! Eastern Angels (the female version of My Hero) Wang Zhonglei, the Hua Yi president revealed  the details of director Feng Xiaogang‘s newest film, Tangshan Earthquake.

The Tangshan Earthquake occurred in 1976 and was the most destructive earthquake of the 20th century by death toll, with numbers in the hundreds of thousands, in contrast to the devastating The Sichuan Earthquake with a  death toll around 70,000.

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Feng Xiaogang and John Woo on the future of Chinese Cinema

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The above posters are for two Chinese movie that set new precedents in China this year. The one the left is Feng Xiaogang’s If You Are The One, which according to Variety, finally took away the title of “highest-grossing movie in China” from Titanic, and brought it back home. The on the right, John Woo’s Red Cliff didn’t do too shabby either, becoming the 43rd highest grossing movie world-wide of 2008, only second to Ponyo on the Cliff (Hayao Miyazaki’s latest) in terms of Asian films.

Both gave thoughts on the future of Chinese cinema. Actually while John Woo talked about presenting Chinese culture with Hollywood production values, Feng Xiaogang, who doesn’t have a career in Hollywood to worry about, was far less diplomatic, and flat out said, “We don’t need a foreign market at all, and in five years, our market will be too big to be overlooked” and then gave lots of statistics for support on how China is gaining on Hollywood.

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