Sunday, May 9, 2004

Asian films at Cannes

In addition to Apitchapong Weerasethakul's Tropical Malady and Wong Kar Wai's 2046 up for the Palm d'Or at Cannes this year, quite a few more Asian films are featured.

One that I'm pretty excited about is House of Flying Daggers, the second martial arts film from Zhang Yimou. Featured out of competition, House of Flying Daggers is about a blind girl (Zhang Ziyi) who falls in love with a policeman (Takeshi Kaneshiro). Andy Lau is also in the cast. Singer-actress Anita Mui died while the movie was in production. Her role was written out of the movie.

More period martial arts action can be found in Sword in the Moon from Korea, which is in the Un Certain Regard category.

Back over in the Palm d'Or competition are two more Korean films: the kidnapping thriller, Old Boy, by JSA director Park Chan Wook, and the romantic comedy Woman is the Future of Man by Hang Sang-Soo.

The first anime feature to be shown at Cannes, Innocence (Ghost in the Shell 2) by Oshii Mamoru, is in the main competition, as well as Hirokazu Kore-eda's Nobody Knows.

Also in the Un Certain Regard category is Passages, the debut film by China's Yang Chao. It's about some twentysomething characters as they cope with China's fast-changing society.

With Quentin Tarantino as jury president, the jury includes Hong Kong producer-director Tsui Hark. I wonder if those two will compare notes?

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