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A Poet of Spatiality and Structure: Curator Shelly Kraicer on Johnnie To

  • MUBI
A prominent commercial filmmaker in Hong Kong since the mid-80s, the career path and status of Johnnie To is distinctive from contemporaries such as John Woo, Tsui Hark, and Wong Kar-wai. Solely committed to his national cinema, he made a point of never venturing to Hollywood and even formed his own production company, Milkyway Image, in 1996. Only in the mid-2000s when films like Breaking News (2005) and Election (2006) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival was Johnnie To given auteur consideration by Western critics and audiences. Even then, it was only his crime and action genre work, characterized by their elegant style and directorial control, that found critical success and was seen as commercially viable for international markets. With over 50 features under his belt, Johnnie To has a massive oeuvre not bound to any single mode and while he is one of contemporary cinema’s greatest formalist filmmakers, his fluency in visual storytelling transcends genre.
See full article at MUBI »

A Little Serenade: Johnnie To's "Three"

The latest Chinese film to sneak into North American theatres with little fanfare, targeting immigrant communities with single multiplex screens in a handful of major metropolitan markets, is the new film from prolific Hong Kong director Johnnie To. His first crime film since 2013’s Blind Detective (yet to see a Us release) and his first film set in a hospital since his 2000 farce Help!!!, To’s latest is a bottle episode, a side-swipe at a psychological thriller about a cop, a crook and a doctor battling to see who can best exemplify humanity’s hubris in the face of chance and fate. This conflict between free will and universal randomness lies at the heart of most of the films To has made in the twenty years since he established the Milkyway Image studio, uniting both his crime thrillers and his romances, though rarely has it been stated so explicitly.Taking
See full article at MUBI »

Review: ‘Three’ Is Another Dazzling Formal Exercise From Action Master Johnnie To

Review: ‘Three’ Is Another Dazzling Formal Exercise From Action Master Johnnie To
God bless Johnnie To. A prolific formalist whose lyrical flair for stories of cops and robbers regularly embarrasses the work of his Western contemporaries, the maverick Hong Kong auteur behind the likes of “Election” and “Running on Karma” is 36 years (and almost 70 features) into his career and he’s still making movies without a safety net.

“Three” is decidedly minor stuff for such a major filmmaker, but there’s nevertheless something remarkable about watching a master like To reverse-engineer an entire thriller from a single idea that he just had to try — in this case, a climactic shootout unlike anything you’ve seen before.

The raison d’être for To’s latest doesn’t become apparent until the final movements of this meticulously arranged 87-minute chamber piece, but the patient build-up to it is part of the fun. Confining the action to the crowded guts of a big Hong Kong hospital,
See full article at Indiewire »

Hong Kong Film Awards 2016 Results: ‘Ten Years’ wins Best Film

Controversial , low-budget dystopian Ten Years took the top honors at the Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday.

A local box office hit made up of five vignettes set in 2025, where locals are persecuted for speaking Cantonese not Mandarin.

Amidst increasing fears of mainland pressure and interference in Hong Kong and some cinemas refusing to screen the film, its success was a surprise even to the producers themselves.

Andrew Choi, one of the producers for the film, said “The meaning of this prize is that it shows Hong Kong still has hope. It reminds us that we could have courage to be creative. I would like to thank everyone who has watched it.”

According to the Guardian, this film with a budget of Hk$500,000 ($64,000) has earned Hk$6m, but its run stopped despite still playing to packed theatres.

State broadcaster, CCTV, pulled out from broadcasting the ceremony live unlike previous years,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Controversial 'Ten Years' triumphs at Hong Kong Film Awards

Controversial 'Ten Years' triumphs at Hong Kong Film Awards
The ceremony broadcast was banned in mainland China, reportedly due to the nomination of the politically-charged dystopian drama.Scroll down for the full list

Port Of Call emerged as a big winner with seven prizes from the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards, while controversial local independent production Ten Years was declared best film and The Taking Of Tiger Mountain’s Tsui Hark took best director.

Port Of Call, which came into the night with the most nominations at 13, pulled off a clean sweep of all the acting prizes: best actor for Aaron Kwok (his first Hkfa win), best actress for newcomer Jessie Li, best supporting actress for Elaine Jin, as well as best new performer and best supporting actor, both of which for Michael Ning.

The crime thriller also won best screenplay for writer-director Philip Yung and best cinematography for Christopher Doyle.

However, the biggest award of the evening went to Ten Years, which beat heavyweights
See full article at ScreenDaily »

A Look Inside Metrograph, New York City’s New Independent Theater

Let’s start with this obvious point: few cities need another repertory outlet less than New York City, which provides enough decent-to-outstanding options every week (or day) to fully occupy any caring customer. And so when a new theater, Metrograph, was announced this past August, the largely enthusiastic response — people taking note of a good location, a dedication to celluloid presentations and new independent releases, its strong selection of programmers, and other services (e.g. a restaurant and “cinema-dedicated bookshop”) — went hand-in-hand with some people’s skepticism, or at least a certain raising of the eyebrows. The question of necessity was premature, but such is the influx of available material that it should inevitably come up.

It’s safe to say their first selections silenced those skeptics. Metrograph’s slate is strong in a way that’s uncommon; one could say it’s exactly the sort that a cinephile with
See full article at The Film Stage »

Daily | Goings On | Metrograph, Nd/Nf, Doc Fortnight

The Metrograph will open in New York on March 4 with the series Surrender to the Screen: Watching the Moviegoing Experience featuring Terence Davies's The Long Day Closes (1992), Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre sa Vie (1962) and much more before presenting its Jean Eustache retrospective, three films by Frederick Wiseman, Johnnie To's Office and on and on. More goings on: Babak Anvari's Under the Shadow will open and Kirsten Johnson's Cameraperson will close the 45th edition of New Directors/New Films. Ebertfest will screen Brian De Palma's Blow Out (1981), Oscar Micheaux's Body and Soul (1925) featuring Paul Robeson's onscreen debut, Paul Cox's new Force of Destiny, Mark Polish and Michael Polish's Northfork (2003) and Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) with Orson Welles. And more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Daily | Goings On | Metrograph, Nd/Nf, Doc Fortnight

The Metrograph will open in New York on March 4 with the series Surrender to the Screen: Watching the Moviegoing Experience featuring Terence Davies's The Long Day Closes (1992), Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre sa Vie (1962) and much more before presenting its Jean Eustache retrospective, three films by Frederick Wiseman, Johnnie To's Office and on and on. More goings on: Babak Anvari's Under the Shadow will open and Kirsten Johnson's Cameraperson will close the 45th edition of New Directors/New Films. Ebertfest will screen Brian De Palma's Blow Out (1981), Oscar Micheaux's Body and Soul (1925) featuring Paul Robeson's onscreen debut, Paul Cox's new Force of Destiny, Mark Polish and Michael Polish's Northfork (2003) and Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) with Orson Welles. And more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Teaser Trailer for Hong Kong Thriller ‘Trivisa’ , Produced by Johnnie To & Yau Nai Hoi

Plot

Three dangerous criminal rivals cross the border from China to Hong Kong in search of fortunes.

Starring Gordan Lam,Richie Jen, Jordan Chan and featuring 3 directors : Frank Hui ,Jevons Au Man-Kit,Vicky Wong, Trivisa is set to premier at the Berlin International Film Festival .

Trailer

Source: Media Asia

Johnnie To and Yau Nai Hoi last teamed up for the excellent ‘Eye in the Sky‘, so we have high hopes for this one.

Johnnie To will be back in the directors chair later this year ( Office, Three )
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Daily | Goings On | Nd/Nf, Metrograph, Jack Cole

MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center have announced the first eight titles lined up for the 45th edition of New Directors/New Films: Clément Cogitore's The Wakhan Front, Anna Rose Holmer's The Fits, Yaelle Kayam's Mountain, Pietro Marcello's Lost and Beautiful, Gabriel Mascaro's Neon Bull, Raam Reddy's Thithi, Marcin Wrona's Demon and Zhao Liang's Behemoth. Metrograph, New York City's new two-screen indie movie house, has announced its first season of programming, including Rainer Werner Fassbinder's top 10 films, a Jean Eustache retrospective, three films by Frederick Wiseman, Johnnie To's Office and much, much more. We're rounding up more goings on. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Daily | Goings On | Nd/Nf, Metrograph, Jack Cole

MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center have announced the first eight titles lined up for the 45th edition of New Directors/New Films: Clément Cogitore's The Wakhan Front, Anna Rose Holmer's The Fits, Yaelle Kayam's Mountain, Pietro Marcello's Lost and Beautiful, Gabriel Mascaro's Neon Bull, Raam Reddy's Thithi, Marcin Wrona's Demon and Zhao Liang's Behemoth. Metrograph, New York City's new two-screen indie movie house, has announced its first season of programming, including Rainer Werner Fassbinder's top 10 films, a Jean Eustache retrospective, three films by Frederick Wiseman, Johnnie To's Office and much, much more. We're rounding up more goings on. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Glasgow Film Festival unveils 2016 programme

  • ScreenDaily
Glasgow Film Festival unveils 2016 programme
Festival to host 60 UK premieres, including Time Out Of Mind [pictured] starring Richard Gere and Disney’s Zootropolis.

Glasgow Film Festival (Gff) has announced its full programme for its upcoming 12th edition, running Feb 17-28.

This year’s festival will host 60 UK premieres, 59 Scottish premieres, four European premieres and three world premieres among its line-up of 174 films. As previously announced, it will be bookended by the UK premieres of Hail, Caesar! and Anomalisa.

Richard Gere will attend Glasgow for the UK premiere of his new film Time Out Of Mind, while other guests include Ben Wheatley for the Scottish premiere of High-Rise, Game Of Thrones star Natalie Dormer for the UK premiere of The Forest, Joachim Trier for the UK premiere of Louder Than Bombs, veteran director Peter Greenaway and stuntman Vic Armstrong.

“The festival keeps moving forward, with new developments like our Industry Focus conference, whilst also maintaining our roots as an audience-focused festival where everyone can come
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Metrograph, New York City’s Newest Indie Theater, Unveils Impressive First Slate of Programming

Each weekend we highlight the best repertory programming that New York City has to offer, and it’s about to get even better. Opening on February 19th at 7 Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side is Metrograph, the city’s newest indie movie theater. Sporting two screens, they’ve announced their first slate, which includes retrospectives for Fassbinder, Wiseman, Eustache, and more, special programs such as an ode to the moviegoing experience, and new independent features that we’ve admired on the festival circuit (including Afternoon, Office 3D, and Measure of a Man).

Artistic and Programming Director Jacob Perlin says in a press release, “Jean Eustache in a Rocky t-shirt. This is the image we had in mind while making this first calendar. Great cinema is there, wherever you can find it. The dismissed film now recognized as a classic, the forgotten box-office hit newly resurrected, the high and the low,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Five Flavours Serves Up John Woo, Taiwanese Wuxia Films And More For 9th Edition

Poland's top destination for Asian cinema, the Five Flavours Film Festival, is setting the table for its 9th edition, which kicks off on Friday this week (November 12th). Opening with the recently restored version of A Better Tomorrow (1986) and closing with Sono Sion's Love and Peace on the 20th, this year's festivities will feature a retrospective on John Woo, a look at Taiwanese Wuxia Films, a program on Japanese female directors and plenty more.Among the 11 films playing in the New Asian Cinema Competition will be The Last Reel, detailing the tragic story of Cambodian cinema, the one-take Filipino psychodrama Shadow Behind the Moon and powerful Korean indie A Girl at My Door with Bae Doo-na. Other notable films screening include Johnny To's Office,...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Los Cabos launches Tastes, American Specials

  • ScreenDaily
Los Cabos launches Tastes, American Specials
Top brass at the Mexican festival have expanded the table to include culinary cinema and Us favourites from the circuit

The Tastes sidebar includes the Mexican premiere of Cooking Up A Tribute by Luis González and Andrea Gómez, which profiles El Celler de Can Roca, viewed in some circles as the world’s best restaurant, which closed temporarily to tour America.

Tastes includes the world premiere of Baja Tastes by Roberto Najera and the Latin American premiere of Sergio Herman: F***ing Perfect by Willemiek Kluijfhout.

B-Side curates some of the most popular recent films about music and the line-up features the Latin American premiere of Johnnie To’s Office, the Mexican premiere of Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope (pictured) and Hervé Martin-Delpierre’s Arcade Fire: The Reflektor Tapes.

American Specials showcases Mexican premieres of Us films with a strong point of view. The roster includes The Hollow Point by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, Daniel Noah’s [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Lff 2015: Office Review

  • HeyUGuys
For a film with such a curious central concept (a 3D musical based in the world of high finance) and remarkable talent involved, it’s surprising director Johnnie To and playwright turned screenwriter Sylvia Chang’s adaptation appears so tousled, hollow and inebriated. To crafts a swirling expedition through the frenzied, pecuniary backdrop of a Chinese finance

The post Lff 2015: Office Review appeared first on HeyUGuys.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Daily | London 2015

The 59th BFI London Film Festival opens tonight with Sarah Gavron's Suffragette and screens over 240 films before wrapping on October 18 with Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs. We have reviews of every title but one in the Official Competition: Lenny Abrahamson's Room, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Cemetery of Splendour, Sean Baker's Tangerine, Jonás Cuarón's Desierto, Terence Davies's Sunset Song, Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation, Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution, Laszlo Nemes's Son of Saul, Jerzy Skolimowski's 11 Minutes, Simon Stone's The Daughter, Johnnie To's Office and Athina Rachel Tsangari's Chevalier. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Daily | London 2015

The 59th BFI London Film Festival opens tonight with Sarah Gavron's Suffragette and screens over 240 films before wrapping on October 18 with Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs. We have reviews of every title but one in the Official Competition: Lenny Abrahamson's Room, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Cemetery of Splendour, Sean Baker's Tangerine, Jonás Cuarón's Desierto, Terence Davies's Sunset Song, Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation, Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution, Laszlo Nemes's Son of Saul, Jerzy Skolimowski's 11 Minutes, Simon Stone's The Daughter, Johnnie To's Office and Athina Rachel Tsangari's Chevalier. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Weekly Rushes. 23 September 2015

  • MUBI
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Above: Xiao Kang, a new short film by Tsai Ming-liang starring Lee Kang-shen, made as a trailer for the 2015 Viennale.Fall festival season is about to begin, and our local favorite Mill Valley Film Festival (October 8 - 18) has revealed its lineup, which includes such Notebook favorites as 45 Years, The Assassin, and Taxi.Speaking of festivals, the New York Film Festival is set to begin this weekend, and Notebook contributor Ricky D'Ambrose is premiering a new short there.Above: terrific fan posters for films by Hong Sang-soo made by Choi jee-woong. (Coincidentally, in the Us we're currently showing Hong's In Another Country and The Day He Arrives.)We love it when A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis dig into the contemporary movie climate at the New York Times. And we love even
See full article at MUBI »

Tiff 2015. Top Picks & Coverage Roundup

  • MUBI
Below you will find our favorite films of the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, as well as an index of our coverage.Top Picksfernando F. Crocei. The Assassin, Sunset Song, In Jackson Heights, Francofonia, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, Anomalisa, Right Now, Wrong ThenII. 45 Years, Office, Blood of My Blood, 11 Minutes, Yakuza Apocalypse, The Apostate, How Heavy the Hammer, High-Rise, The Family Fang, Bleak Street, No Home Movie, Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton, In the Shadow of WomenIII. The Idol, Spotlight, Eva Doesn’t Sleep, The Clan, Campo Grande, A Copy of My Mind, The Other Side, Hitchcock/TruffautDANIEL Kasmani. In Jackson Heights, Office, Fireworks (Archives), Engram of ReturningII. Spl 2: A Time for Consequence, Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton, The Event, Something Horizontal, Anamolisa, Navigator, Fallen Objects, Afternoon, Palms, 11 MinutesIII. Neon Bull, The Reminder, Analysis of Emotions and Vexations, Terrestrial, Blood of My Blood, 45 Years, Francofonia,
See full article at MUBI »
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