HK Entertainment News Roundup
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Maggie Cheung won but Asian cinema misses Palme d'Or.

Maggie Cheung poses with her prize.

CANNES, France : Asian cinema may have missed the jackpot, the Palme d'Or, but was still a winner of the 2004 Cannes film festival, taking home honours and basking consistently in the limelight during the 12-day bonanza.

When it came down to the wire, politics nudged art off centre-stage, giving Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" top prize over the film all the critics were talking about -- Chinese movie "2046" by cult Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai.

South Korea is one of the few countries outside the United States where domestic productions outnumber foreign films in box-office takings, and "Old Boy" by director Park Chan-wook, the Cannes runner-up that won the Grand Prize, has been one of the country's biggest hits.

Asians walked home with Best Actress, Best Actor, the runner-up Grand Prize and a shared special award for Thailand's first-ever bid at the Palme.

After almost missing its deadline for screening at Cannes, "2046" took Cannes by storm. It was the most-liked movie by a worldwide panel of critics listed in the film industry magazine Screen International.

The same panel was cool about Thailand's debut Cannes film, "Tropical Malady" by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, though the jury, along with a few French critics, were over the moon over the two-part avant-garde tale featuring gay romance and a walk through the night jungle on the tracks of a mythical tiger.

The much talked-about "Flying Daggers" is Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou's second foray into the popular epic martial arts after "Hero" of 2002. Also at Cannes and also liked was Johnnie To's action movie "Breaking News."

Asian film, which is grabbing an ever-growing share of Cannes, festival after festival, this year accounted for six of the 18 films competing to win the coveted Palme d'Or trophy.

On the acting front, performers from Asia hogged the screen.

Maggie Cheung gave an emotionally-strong performance as a junkie pop-star mother in "Clean" directed by her French ex-husband and was rewarded with a Best Actress prize. "He is the director who understands me the most," she said. "Because you know we were very close."

The 39-year-old Chinese actress, who has starred in several films by Wong Kar-wai, notably in the 2000 movie "In The Mood For Love", made a name in the West in 1992 in "New China Woman".

A Japanese film about four small children deserted by their mother and left to fend for themselves -- "Nobody Knows" by Hirokazu Koreeda -- was listed as one of the favourites at the end of the fest and its teenage star Yagira Yuuya was named Best Actor.

"It was the fruit of a whole year of work with these children," said Koreeda on accepting the award on behalf of the boy, now 14 years of age.

News from and AFP.

Friday, May 21, 2004
Hong Kong's take at Cannes

Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai's much-hyped futuristic movie 2046, premiered at Cannes yesterday and Wong's arrival at Cannes allayed fears that the movie might not make it in time for the festival. It is one of six Asian films in competition.

The movie has been four years in the making and was reportedly still being edited in Thailand when the festival opened last Wednesday.

Reports say its stars Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Zhang Ziyi have the most screen time in the final cut, while Maggie Cheung, Gong Li, Faye Wong, Carina Lau and Takuya Kimura only have supporting roles.

Still, most of the cast members, including Kimura, showed up for the film's premiere.

Zhang has already arrived at the French Riveria resort. She checked in on Monday at the Hotel Martinez where Gong is also a guest.

On Friday, Hong Kong director Johnnie To's thriller, Breaking News, will be shown out of competition. Kelly Chen will be showing up for it's premiere at Cannes too and donning a Christian Dior gown.

Cheung, meanwhile, is likely to walk the red carpet that day with her former husband, French film-maker Olivier Assayas, at the premiere of their movie, Clean, which is up for the Palme d'Or.

China's Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers will be shown out of competition and all of its A-list stars - Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhang Ziyi - showed up for the occasion.

News from, the-sun, and singtao news.

Monday, May 17, 2004
[Singpao News]

Leo Ku had a successful LIVE concert in Hong Kong on Saturday, signalling his comeback to the music industry. He sang tunes from his female counterparts like Joey Yung and Sandy Lam while Ronald Cheng was his guest artiste. He was moved to tears by his fans' unwavering support after being away from the music industry for some years.

Fellow celebrities like Alex Fong Lik Sen, Cookies, Kenny Bee, Paco Wong and even Vivian Chow were spotted at Leo's gig.

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