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Thread: Dragon aka Swordsman aka Wu Xia

  1. #1
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    Dragon aka Swordsman aka Wu Xia

    Donnie Yen to star in Wu Xia
    CRI, August 11, 2010

    Donnie Yen has landed the lead role in director Peter Chan's new martial-arts film "Wu Xia" (provisionally "Swordsman"), the Beijing Times reports.

    Takeshi Kaneshiro, better known to Chinese audiences as Jincheng Wu, has been confirmed as Yen's co-star.

    Gong Li has been offered a role but has not yet accepted it, while Chan says a rumor of actress Tang Wei being involved is not true.

    Chan reckons there hasn't been a good Chinese sword film since Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" in 2000 but he hopes to offer some unique sword-fighting scenes in his movie.

    "Wu Xia" will start shooting at the end of the month in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
    Let's see, how many Donnie Yen projects are in the queue now?
    Monkey King - IMAX-3D featuring Donnie Yen
    Legend of Chen Zhen
    The Lost Bladesman
    maybe Ip Man 3...maybe...
    Did I miss any?
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    Rolling

    Peter Chan's new movie starts shooting
    English.news.cn 2010-08-24 08:47:44

    BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhuanet) --Director Peter Chan's new movie "Wu Xia" starring Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro, better known as Jincheng Wu, has started shooting at Teng Chong, a small town in Yunnan province, Sohu.com reports.

    Set in a small village in ancient China, the film tells about murderer on the run (Yen) and an officer of the law who captures him (Kaneshiro), who are appearing together for the first time.

    "Swordsmen" is Peter Chan's second film this year, the other being the romance "Waiting" (Deng Dai). His previous films included "The Warlords" ("Tou Ming Zhuang") starring Andy Lau, Jet Li and Jincheng Wu, in 2007.

    The female lead and other cast members are yet to be announced.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
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    more buzz

    I think with Ip Man, Karate Kid & Bodyguards & Assassins, martial arts are already rebooted.

    Chan returns to direct 'Wu Xia'
    'Bodyguards' producer wants to 're-boot' martial arts
    By Karen Chu

    Aug 25, 2010, 08:19 AM ET
    HONG KONG – Peter Chan Ho-sun will return to directing with “Wu Xia," a $20 million martial arts epic that reunites him with the star of his previous directing effort, 2007 “The Warlords” star Takeshi Kaneshiro, and sees reigning action king Donnie Yen (“Ip Man”) as both lead and action choreographer. Chinese actress Tang Wei, of Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” and this year’s Ivy Ho romantic comedy “Crossing Hennessy" rounds out the main cast.

    “Wu Xia," Chan’s first foray into the martial arts genre -- which he said would reboot with a new visual style -- is produced and financed under Chan’s own We Pictures, and sales will be repped by his sales outfit We Distribution. Chan produced the award-sweeping “Bodyguards and Assassins” last year under We Pictures. That blockbuster grossed over 300 million yuan (US$44 million) in China alone.

    Kaneshiro takes the role of a detective determined to catch a repentant killer, played by Yen, who has retreated to a remote village. Oscar-nominated production designer Yee Chung Man (“Curse of the Golden Flower”), award-winning costume designer Dora Ng (“Bodyguards and Assassins”), and director of photography Jake Pollock (“The Message," “Monga”) have joined the production.

    Filming will commence at the end of August in Tengchong in China's Yunnan province. Release is scheduled for the second half of 2011.
    Filming for Peter Chan's star-studded film 'Wu Xia' begins
    Posted: 26 August 2010 1249 hrs

    YUNNAN: Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen, Japanese heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro and Chinese actress Tang Wei have begun work on director Peter Chan's new film, a martial arts movie titled "Wu Xia" in Yunnan, China, reported Chinese media.

    "Wu Xia" revolves around a highly skilled swordsman named Liu Jin Xi (Yen), who is forced by circumstances to hide out in a remote village for many years. Tang will play Liu's wife.

    The constable Xu Bai Jiu (Kaneshiro) is extremely curious about Liu, and unwittingly brings down a whole heap of trouble for the protagonist as the film progresses.

    When asked about his new film, Chan, the long-time boyfriend of Hong Kong actress Sandra Ng, seemed very excited.

    "Ever since 'Courching Tiger and Hidden Dragon', there have been no great 'wu xia' (martial arts chivalry) films for almost a decade, so I wanted to try [making one].

    "I want to combine action, science, medicine and special effects to show just how strong 'wu xia' moves are, to show how different the effect of one strike is on the body of a person who has trained in the martial arts and someone who has not," Chan told reporters.

    Kaneshiro appeared more muscular than before during the film's commencing ceremony which was held this month, lending credence to rumours that he and Yen will have a large number of fight scenes in the film.
    Gene Ching
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    This has some awesome potential. I think Takeshi Kaneshiro will work really well with Donnie.

  5. #5
    how do you say wu xia??? is it like woo zee-ahhh or like woo zjow or what??? its hard to tell for a gwai loh(sp?) like me...

  6. #6
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    Sorry Syn7, I didn't see your question before

    Say it like 'woo shah'
    Peter Ho-Sun Chan's film scored seven-digit presales to Singapore and Malaysia and also sold to Indonesia.

    Peter Ho-Sun Chan's martial arts action mystery Wu Xia, now shooting in China with Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tang Wei, scored seven-digit presales to Singapore and Malaysia and also sold to Indonesia, We Distribution said at the American Film Market.

    Luxuries Resources bought Chan's $20 million period film for Singapore and Malaysia, and PT Teguh Bakti bought the film for Indonesia, We said Wednesday.

    Wu Xia marks Chan's return to the director's chair after producing last year's Teddy Chen hit, Bodyguards and Assassins. Chan last directed the Chinese box office hit The Warlords in 2007.

    Wu Xia stars Yen (Ip Man) Kaneshiro (Red Cliff) and Tang (Lust Caution) currently are on set with Chan in remote Yunnan province in southwest China, near the border with Burma.

    Yen plays a man with a past -- and wicked kung fu skills -- sought by a detective, played by Kaneshiro. Tang plays Yen's wife.

    Also starring as the villain is veteran actor Jimmy Wang Yu, best known for his role in Chang Cheh's One Armed Swordsman. Wu Xia will be Wang's first onscreen appearance in 17 years.

    At AFM, We Distribution also has the Chan-produced action-fantasy-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Incredible, directed by Vincent Kok and starring Sandra Ng and Louis Koo. That film will be released in Asia during the Lunar New Year period in late January-early February 2011.
    Tang Wei portrays a village woman in Peter Chan's 'Wu Xia'
    Updated: 2010-11-04
    Actress Tang Wei portrays a village woman in Peter Chan's new movie "Wu Xia" ("Fighting Master") currently filming in Tengchong, a small town in Yunnan Province, Sina.com.cn reports.


    [Photo: Sina.com.cn]

    Tang stars as the wife of a murderer who comes to the village to try to escape from government agents who are searching for him. In the movie, Tang also has two children - the first time she has been an onscreen mother.

    Chan has invited two A-list actors to star in the martial-arts movie. Donnie Yen plays the murderer on the run, and Takeshi Kaneshiro is the detective who is chasing Yen. Yen also is the movie's action choreographer.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  7. #7
    I am a big fan for sword fights.

    actually, my main thing is still with staff and spear.

    Jin cheng wu is a pretty face or not rugged enough

    or the face too white.

    He played well as zhu ge liang in red cliff.

    --

    looking forward to see the trailer and the movie.

    gong li is kind of old now, compared with other younger chinese female leading actresses.

    I meant that gong li may play an older female role.

    cheng pei pei always looks younger than her age.

    she played jade eye fox in crouching tiger

    --

    who are good chinese female actresses nowadays?

    bai bing bing, fan bing bing, crystal liu-----

    ---

  8. #8
    tang wei has the face but not the body

    just saying.


  9. #9

    Thumbs up

    Wang Yu was and still is one of my favorite male actors

    the du bi dao wang was classics

    one arm sword man.


  10. #10
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    A two-fer in the WSJ

    Thanks to Dean - he's always giving us great coverage!
    * NOVEMBER 11, 2010, 12:22 P.M. ET
    On Location With China's Movie Industry
    by DEAN NAPOLITANO

    TENGCHONG, China—In a remote and mountainous part of China's southwest Yunnan province on a cool autumn morning, three of Asia's top movie stars are waiting for the action to begin.

    Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tang Wei have traveled with the rest of the 200-plus crew to this isolated spot near the border with Myanmar, where they have been camped out since late August.

    "Wu Xia," from director Peter Chan, is a $20 million martial-arts drama slated for release next summer. The story, which takes place during the end of the Qing Dynasty, is about a repentant killer living a simple life in a secluded village and whose past catches up with him.

    Mr. Chan, one of Asia's most-successful filmmakers, is looking to put a new spin on the martial-arts genre with "Wu Xia," which translates roughly as "martial-arts chivalry." He's assembled an A-list cast, two cinematographers, an award-winning costume designer, and a visual-effects team from South Korea to bring what he describes as detailed authenticity to the film. Its ambition underscores the current trend in Chinese cinema toward highly polished blockbusters.


    On the run in 'Wu Xia'

    Still, there is little Hollywood glamour out here on location.

    Filming today is in a tiny village about an hour's drive from Tengchong, a city of several hundred thousand—relatively small by Chinese standards—in western Yunnan. Tengchong is home for the cast and crew during the shoot. Getting to today's location involves a convoy of trucks, buses, vans and cars—all of us sharing the road with villagers and livestock along a series of smooth two-lane highways and bumpy, unpaved paths through fields and forests. To get to the shoot, the crew and cast—sporting shin-high rubber boots to trek around in the mud—hike across steep terrain marked by rocks and puddles to the river valley below.

    "It's hard going down and exhausting going up," Mr. Chan says as he arrives on the set.

    Rain earlier in the week interrupted filming for a few days, but today the sun is out. "We've been shooting here for two months and I can't remember a single day other than today that it hasn't rained at least a little bit," he says. "We've been fighting the weather all the way through."

    But irony has its revenge: For a scene the next day, the crew has to create rain using two enormous water hoses.

    Actors and dozens of extras roam around the set in period costumes, looking more at home in the rural setting than the crew in their jeans and T-shirts.

    Curious locals watch the bustle and activity. Their dialect is unfamiliar to most of the crew, who come from places like Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Some villagers from the area have been hired as extras. Li Xingli, a 51-year-old farmer, says she isn't familiar with the movie's star cast. "But it's fun," she says with a smile, "and my husband supports me."

    Ms. Li, in fact, is working alongside three very recognizable actors.

    Mr. Yen is arguably Asia's leading martial-arts star following a string of recent hits including "Ip Man" and its sequel, "Bodyguards and Assassins" and "Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen." Mr. Kaneshiro—this is his third film with Mr. Chan—has been a top leading man for nearly two decades. Ms. Tang, with just a handful of films to her credit so far, is one of Asia's leading young actresses.

    The cast also includes Jimmy Wang Yu, one of Hong Kong's biggest action stars from the 1960s and '70s, in his first film appearance in more than 15 years.

    Mr. Chan sits under an orange tent about five meters from the actors. His blue director's chair faces a video monitor that shows what the audience will see.

    Messrs. Yen and Kaneshiro arrive on the set in full costume—Mr. Yen dressed as an ordinary villager with a long, single braid of hair that was customary of the era, and Mr. Kaneshiro looking elegant in a gray robe and early 20th-century brimmed hat that reflects his character's city origins—and prepare for a scene on a small cliff over the riverbank. A few takes later, the director and Mr. Yen huddle in front of the monitor to watch a playback. Mr. Yen returns in front of the camera to shoot another take after a couple minutes of quiet discussion, although to the casual observer subsequent takes all look the same.

    Mr. Chan later joins Mr. Yen, who also is the movie's action choreographer, for one of the film's action sequences. A character in the scene is pushed over a bridge. Above the heads of the crew, a highway of carefully placed cables and wires are wrapped around the forest trees. The stunt isn't simple. On one end are the men maneuvering the wire, and on the other end a stuntman dangles above the whitewater rapids far below. After several takes, they wrap for the day.

    "With Peter Chan, everyone knows it's going to be a powerful, dramatic movie," Mr. Yen says. "That's one of the main reasons why I want to be in this film in the first place."

    For Mr. Kaneshiro, he says working with Mr. Chan is more important than the script.

    "The character changed as we talked about the script," he says. "I didn't know how to do this guy," but one day they decided to give the character a Sichuan accent and everything fell into place.

    Ms. Tang also describes developing her character with Mr. Chan—a new experience compared with how she has worked on previous films. "He just told me … follow my instinct," she says. "I really love it, because it's really flexible and very similar to film as a student in college."

    During the week, minor mishaps abound on the set: A stunt coordinator slips on a rocky ledge, leaving large scratches along the side of his body; the continuity girl is bitten by a wild dog in a bamboo forest; and an assistant production manager is shoved around by a group of tourists eager to get to a scenic waterfall blocked by the film crew.

    "I think working in China is somewhere between Hong Kong and Hollywood," Mr. Chan says.

    As movie budgets in China grow, the film industry has adopted a system that's more similar to Hollywood. "Production costs are getting higher and we have crews that are more professional," he says. "In a way we have developed, learned, adapted and adopted a certain management system of Hollywood big movies, but at the same time we still have retained a lot of flexibility."

    Write to Dean Napolitano at dean.napolitano@wsj.com
    * November 11, 2010, 11:33 AM HKT
    Director Peter Chan Takes on Martial Arts With ‘Wu Xia’
    By Dean Napolitano


    Actress Tang Wei on location in Yunnan province for ‘Wu Xia’

    Director Peter Chan on the set of his latest project.

    Since his directorial debut 19 years ago, Peter Chan has become one of Asia’s leading filmmakers, cranking out box-office hits while filling his office shelves with best-director awards.

    He began with a string of popular Hong Kong comedies and dramas in the 1990s, then ventured to Hollywood to direct the 1999 romantic comedy “The Love Letter,” which starred Kate Capshaw and Tom Selleck. In China in 2005 he directed the musical “Perhaps Love” with Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhou Xun, followed in 2007 by “The Warlords,” a period war epic starring Jet Li, Andy Lau and Mr. Kaneshiro. Now, he’s turning his hand to the martial-arts, or wu xia, genre. The Wall Street Journal caught up with Mr. Chan on the set of his latest film, itself titled “Wu Xia.”

    Q: How do you plan to “redefine” the martial-arts genre with “Wu Xia”?
    A: All our period films seem to be mixed with martial arts and action. But period films actually have many different genres—love stories, thrillers, crime dramas—and I think we never see these period films in complete authenticity. We never see the details of life, and we never feel like we’re transported in time.

    Q: What attracted you to the story?
    A: “Wu Xia” is about a man who’s in hiding, but his identity is unraveling and he needs to deal with his past. I always believed that wu xia and the gangster genre are pretty similar. Once you step into that world you can never get out.

    Q: What’s driving higher production costs in the Chinese film industry?
    A: There’s only one thing that drives up costs—demand versus supply. The camera operator that we’ve worked with three times has doubled his salary in every movie I’ve worked on with him. There are too many movies that need good people.

    Q: How is working in China compared with Hollywood?
    A: We still have the ability to improvise, which is not very possible in Hollywood because it’s so expensive to make films in America. The studios developed a system to be in complete control of production to make sure everything is scientifically calculated. It’s just like any big corporation.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  11. #11
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    First trailer!

    Wu Xia - Trailer 1

    The Weinsteins Ride 'Wu Xia' For World Outside Asia, France (Cannes)
    11:25 AM 5/11/2011 by Scott Roxborough


    Cannes Film Festival
    The acquisition of Peter Ho-Sun Chan's martial arts noir picture, premiering Saturday, is one of the first big deals at the festival.

    CANNES - The Weinstein Company has landed one of the first big deals in Cannes this year, taking worldwide rights outside of Asia and French-speaking Europe for Dragon (Wu Xia), the martial arts film noir from director Peter Ho-Sun Chan (Bodyguards and Assassins), which premieres in a Midnight Screening here Saturday. Dragon stars Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tang Wei and features Hong Kong legend Jimmy Wang Yu (One Armed Swordsman) in his first film role in 17 years.

    Yen and Wei play a simple papermaker and his wife living in the late Qing Dynasty with their two sons. Their simple life is torn apart when Detective Xu (Kaneshiro) arrives in their village to investigate the death of two bandits killed during a robbery. His questioning dredges up dark secrets that threaten the lives of the entire village.

    TWC picked up all rights to Dragon outside of Asia and French-language Europe from WE Distribution. TF1 picked up Dragon for France in an earlier deal. After the critical and box office success of his Bodyguards and Assassins and Warlords producer/director Chan is one of Asia's hottest talents and Dragon is hotly-anticipated.

    "During the production, Donnie (Yen) was telling me that Wu Xia becomes more and moor like a Weinstein movie," said Chan. "So it's no coincidence that Harvey likes the film."

    For his part, Harvey Weinstein called Chan "true artist and with Wu Xia he has created a dream project, combining two of my favorite genres: film noir and martial arts."

    TWC expects to bow Dragon in the U.S. later this year.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  12. #12
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    this trailer looks **** good...and this movie looks **** good. i cant wait. but im tired of seeing donnie in these wuxia/folk hero movies...he always shines brighter in modern day actioners.

  13. #13
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    Cannes - "a special place for martial arts films"

    Come on now, Doug, would you rather see Donnie as play a beautician?
    CANNES Q&A: 'Wu Xia' Director Peter Ho-sun Chan
    8:41 AM 5/12/2011 by Karen Chu

    The director-producer talks to THR about his first official Cannes selection, "Wu Xia."

    Peter Ho-sun Chan is one of the first directors from Hong Kong to set his gaze on the Chinese market, one of the blessed few who holds a place in China’s “Hundred Million Club,” and the most valuable filmmaker in Hong Kong by consensus. As much a producing magnate as a blockbuster director, Chan has established since the early 1990s a number of production and distribution outfits that have made their mark on Hong Kong cinema, from UFO (United Filmmakers Organization), Applause Pictures, to We Pictures, the rising powerhouse that made the award-sweeping hit Bodyguards and Assassins in 2009, and his latest directorial effort, Wu Xia, an eerie thriller about a murderous clan set in the martial arts world that is also his first entry on the Cannes official selection. In between flying across Beijing, Bangkok, South Korea, and Hong Kong to finish the film’s postproduction in time for the festival, he talked to The Hollywood Reporter’s Karen Chu about his new take on the martial arts genre, and how he navigates the film industries in Hong Kong, Hollywood and China.

    The Hollywood Reporter: It’s the first time one of your films has been chosen in the Cannes official selection. How are you feeling?

    Peter Ho-sun Chan: I’m very excited. Cannes has always been a special place for martial arts films. The films I made in the past weren’t usually suitable for Cannes, and the films I’ve made in China in recent years were for all the New Year or Chinese New Year period, so the timing didn’t work. Wu Xia fits the time frame because it’s set to be a summer release. Then again, the reason for us to decide to launch Wu Xia in Cannes went back to all the way to 1975, when King Hu’s A Touch of Zen was selected for Cannes; and the same thing for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Cannes is the predominant launching vessel for martial arts film.

    THR: You’re a fan of martial arts films. So why did you wait so long to try your hand in this genre?

    Chan: I’ve never made a martial arts film before, to a certain extent because it’s such an established and even drained genre, there’s very little room for originality left. But at the same time, it gives me a chance to give it a new spin. I’ve also never made anything as visual-driven as Wu Xia. My films had always been dialogue- or character-driven. I’ve been thinking how to revitalize this genre and at the same time make it exciting to me. That’s when I saw a television program about the physiology of a gunshot, about the physical impact on the different organs and how it kills someone. Then it hit me that martial arts is the same. What we usually see is the choreography; we see how flashy it is, or how fantastical it can be. But all those seemingly fantastical moves can be explained in terms of physics. For example, I like to think about how does light body skill work, or acupuncture points, or the impact of a punch. How much physical damage would it do to our internal organs? How do people die from these injuries? It’s all a mystery; no one would question it. Of course I can’t explain all of it, otherwise I’d be a martial arts expert, but I’d like to find an explanation in a logical and medical way, in terms of physics or mechanics.

    THR: What made you a fan of martial arts cinema?

    Chan: It all started from Jimmy Wang Yu. My fascination with Wang and director Chang Cheh was founded on a sense of heroism. When I was a teenager, everyone in my generation idolized these martial arts heroes — from Wang, David John Chiang, Lung Ti, to Bruce Lee a little later. They existed in a fantastical world that appeals to all of us.

    THR: You’ve made Wang one of the stars of Wu Xia, alongside Donnie Yen in the lead. He’s a bit ubiquitous nowadays, isn’t he?

    Chan: The choice is first and foremost based on film business calculations. It just makes sense to try and get the hottest star, the box office guarantee of the moment. If I want to make a martial arts film with lots of fight scenes, it only makes sense to get a star that can perform the action scenes himself. Of course box office guarantee is also a flip of the coin, someone who’s a guarantee might become box office poison if he’s in too many films. But other than that, I’m also not used to making action films and shooting fight sequences. I might have a lot of ideas and ask a lot of questions, which helps in the sense that I’m asking these questions for the audience as well, and these questions might challenge whoever that’s choreographing these fight sequences and stimulate their imagination. Donnie helped me directed a fight scene in Bodyguards and Assassins, which I think is the most appealing fight scene that in all of my recent films. That scene made me realize if I were to shoot an action film one day, then I must find an action choreographer whom I trust. So the heart of it, although some people might not believe it, is that I might need Donnie as my action choreographer more than I need him as my onscreen lead. And there’s no way I could get him as an action choreographer and not as an actor, unless I pay him an actor’s salary for the work of an action director; he’s so in demand now.

    THR: Your work has taken a turn away from the lighthearted romantic comedies that made your name in the 1990s, into epics like The Warlords, or Wu Xia. What was the reason behind this change?

    Chan: After a certain age we’d all aspire to wisdom and the deeper meaning of life. Every time I make a film, it’s usually about some questions that I can’t find the answer to, and then I’d try and find the answer through a subject or a character. It’s usually about the why. The Warlords was about the corporate world and our lives nowadays. What if we have certain ideals and it turns out you can only achieve it at the expense of sacrificing your brothers, but those ideals are for the bigger good for humanity? Wu Xia is another exploration of people’s dark side. Can a murderer turn a new leaf?

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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    ...continued from previous post
    THR: You’re one of earliest Hong Kong directors to work and succeed in China in recent years, the second director ever to break the. What had been the upside and downside of your experience in China? How did it compare with your experience in Hollywood, when you made The Love Letter in 1999?

    Chan: There are upsides and downsides anywhere you work. The Chinese film industry has turned out for much better in the last few years, the only remaining major problem is the censorship. But as I always say to my director friends, you haven’t worked in Hollywood, the censorship there is even trickier. The only difference being the censorship in Hollywood is not imposed by the state authorities but the studios. The studio bureaucracy is much more troublesome than the Chinese bureaucracy. At the end of the day if you know all the rules about censorship and you try to work around the rules, then theoretically it won’t be that difficult to deal with. Every place has its own rules. Hollywood has its rules, which are business rules, and principles that are fuzzier. They’re only made by a bunch of executives who don’t have the power to make decisions trying to outguess, speculate and challenge each other and to take credit from each other. They’d ask us to make cut after cut, and then when the moment came when someone had to make a decision they’d throw it out for test screenings. Wouldn’t that be harder to please than the Chinese censors?

    THR: So compared with that, how hard could it be to deal with the film authorities in China?

    Chan: In some ways it’s even easier to deal with the authorities in China, because they are official, they are not the investor, they are the authorities and they have their set of policies. I’m not saying it wasn’t difficult at first, but things can be difficult anywhere. Every place has its own censorship rules for film, however unfair. As for the upside, the finance, the market, and the audience are what is great about working the Chinese film industry right now. When the audience is more discerning, it’s harder to guess what works and what doesn’t. Then everyone needs to be more original, and relies less on formula. Without formula controlling you, filmmakers won’t be dictated by the investor asking you to put this star and that together and make a cookie cutter film. That was so prevalent in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 80s and 90s. We don’t need that anymore, because we know that the more formulaic and more seemingly foolproof a film is, the audience is less likely to accept it.

    THR: How do you think all the hot money going into the Chinese film industry from investors who had never before been in filmmaking would affect the industry?

    Chan: Let me give you an example. The new investors would certainly go to the top tier directors, there are maybe five or six of them, who have no worry whatsoever about financing their films. The finance model is beneficial to directors, which is not seen anywhere else in the world. A lot of the times the directors even own all the rights. My finance model at the moment is that I have a lot of minority investors and no majority investor; each of the investors contributes about 10 to 20 percent, not exceeding 30 percent for any one investor. Then, at the day’s end, I own the property. I don’t have to answer to anyone. Even if they have equity investment, they’d have profit sharing but not necessarily equity.

    THR: What about your partnership with China’s Poly Bona, which dissolved last year?

    Chan: When I had the deal with Poly Bona, each of us holds 50 percent, but I found it too restraining. Now I keep all the individual investors not more than 30 percent.

    THR: Would you ever revive your partnership with Poly Bona?

    Chan: No, not with Poly Bona, and not a partnership like that.

    THR: Why not?

    Chan: Well, I have a much better deal now.

    Peter Ho-sun Chan's Vital Stats
    Nationality: Hong Kong
    Date of Birth: Nov. 28, 1962
    Selected Filmography:
    As Director: Alan & Eric: Between Hello and Goodbye (1991), He’s a Woman, She’s a Man (1994), Comrades, Almost a Love Story (1996), The Love Letter (1999), Perhaps Love (2005), The Warlords (2007), Wu Xia (2011)
    As Producer: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Father (1993), Twenty Something (1994), Jan Dara (2001), The Eye (2002), Golden Chicken 1 & 2 (2002 &3), Protégé (2007), Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Coming in from Cannes...

    reviews are very positive...

    Exhilarating martial arts film "Wu Xia" modernizes genre
    Maggie Lee Reuters
    May 15, 2011, 3:35 p.m.

    CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - Bursting with light and color, and a torrent of martial arts action both swift and savage (arguably the best that lead actor Donnie Yen has choreographed for years), "Wu Xia" is coherently developed and stylishly directed by Peter Ho-Sun Chan to provide unashamedly pleasurable popular entertainment.

    "Wu Xia" created buzz before its premiere with acquisition by The Weinstein Company, which will release the title stateside as "Dragon." Almost as picturesque as "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," the film, showing out of competition at Cannes, has a chance of expanding overseas audience base beyond Asian genre ghettos.

    Set in 1917, on the cusp of China's transition from monarchy to republic, "Wu Xia" depicts the internal moral struggles of a detective and a paper-maker who may be a renegade mass murderer. Unfolding like a noir mystery in which "Colombo" meets "CSI." It represents Chan's ambition to bridge the gap between Chinese and international tastes by giving a modern spin to the genre, while paying homage to the golden age of Hong Kong martial arts films through the special appearances of legendary action star Jimmy Wang Yu and Kara Hui.

    Donnie Yen plays the said paper-maker Liu Jinxi, who has settled in an idyllic, hospitable village in Yunnan for 10 years after marrying single mother Ayu (Tang Wei). The peaceful life of his family of four is disturbed when he accidentally kills two robbers who threaten his paper workshop. The incident has detective Xu Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) sniffing in his backyard. Xu is convinced that Liu's real identity is Tang Long, a runaway member of the 72 Demons, a dwindling clan of Tanguts (former rulers of China's neighboring Xixia kingdom) for whom rape, pillage and massacre are a way of life.

    What makes the exposition novel in the genre is the attempt to peel away layers of oriental mystique surrounding martial arts through Xu's quasi-scientific or homeopathic theories of investigation, such as forensic science, physics, acupuncture and qigong, which also adds an endearingly nerdy side to his character. However, the CG-rendered charts of human anatomy are used too frequently until they interfere with the flow of action.

    As a self-conscious homage to the brawny, starkly violent martial arts films of which Chang Cheh's classic "One Armed Swordsman" series (starring Jimmy Wang Yu) is exemplary, Yen's devises close-contact combats with a graphic, muscular, vicious style that aims to kill with a single strike. The three-act structure each showcases a climactic combat in distinctly different styles. Liu's fight with a female Tangut (Kara Hui) is the most inventive, as it takes place in an ox pen where they have to skirt nimbly, yet dangerously around a stampede of buffalo.

    After going through the motions in a recent string of dramatically unsatisfactory works, Yen and Tang both return to acting form, emoting in a quietly stirring manner. Aubrey Lam's subtle and understated script not only affectingly depict the pure but steadfast bonds of a simple family, but capture the neurosis of both Liu and Ayu, who separately grapple with their scarred pasts and fear that happiness is transient. The most fascinating character, however, turns out to be Xu, for whom the investigation becomes a personal moral and intellectual quest, in which he weighs the impartial efficacy of law against natural human compunctions of remorse and compassion. He too has to exorcise demons from the past, thus deepening the theme of redemption, which applies to Xu as well as to Liu.

    Jake Pollock's luscious widescreen cinematography adds a dash of fairytale color to the moist, glossy rolling hills, meadows and bamboo bushes of the ethnically rich Yunnan countryside. While hard rock score of Peter Kam and Chan Kwong Wing (the composing duo of "Bodyguards and Assassins," produced by Chan) tends to be too relentlessly energetic at times, sound is used expertly for maximum threatening effect, especially in the presence of the chief of the 13 Demons (Jimmy Wang Yu).
    Cannes 2011 Review: Peter Chan's Awesome Martial Arts Film 'Wu Xia'
    May 15, 2011
    by Alex Billington
    Peter Chan's Wu Xia

    I love most martial arts movies, but there are a few in particular that stand out above others, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (which premiered in Cannes in 2000), and Wu Xia is one of those exceptional films. Now I know why Cannes chose to feature it. Wu Xia (being titled either Swordsmen and/or Dragon in English) is the latest film from Chinese director Peter Ho-Sun Chan, also of The Warlords a few years ago, and it's awesome. While it does have a few fantastic fight scenes, he never sacrifices story for spectacle, which pays off as it's a film that I enjoyed from start to finish and will definitely be revisiting in the future.

    The easiest - and honestly best - way to describe Wu Xia would be to say it's A History of Violence but set in early 1900s China, about a paper maker named Liu Jinxi (played exceptionally by Donnie Yen) living peacefully with his family in a small rural Chinese town. Obviously that description hints at the fact that he has a rather intriguing past, and he may just be a martial arts expert even though he's hiding it now. When two thugs attempt to rob the town's general store, Jinxi miraculously defeats them, making it look like it was all just an accident. But when an investigator comes to town and starts to look closer at the incident, he begins to notice that Jinxi may not be the peaceful family man he claims, stirring up his sordid past again.

    The one word that kept coming to mind watching this film was indeed "awesome". It's much more of a drama than a martial arts epic like True Legend, but it has a strong enough story to make up for that. And while there aren't a lot of fight scenes, the few we do get are awesome. When the investigator comes to town, he "revisits" the general store crime scene and watches (by putting himself "into the scene") the action take place, trying to discover how Jinxi was able to defeat them. Chan uses slow motion and beautiful cinematography which, unlike with Zack Snyder, is actually integral to the story because it's used to show how every tiny inflection, every last millisecond, is important in martial arts/kung fu. It's exciting to watch.

    Donnie Yen is unquestionably the driving force in Wu Xia and carries the weight of the entire film on his shoulders, delivering a fantastic performance that has made him one of my favorite international actors. The rest of the cast, including Wei Tang as Jinxi's wife, is great as well. While I could complain about the lack of fights, that would be unnecessary for this film, and if anything would suggest that they trim about 10 minutes from some of the drama in the middle to tighten it up. But besides that, this is a film that I totally loved. It's exceptionally entertaining, even comical at times, and totally awesome in every sense of the word.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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