Cool facts about upcoming Fall 2005 movies
#1
USA Weekend offers an unusual (and unusually interesting) article with fun facts about upcoming movies. Here is a sampling:

The Chronicles of Narnia (Dec. 9) When the four Pevensie siblings slip through their magical wardrobe into wintry Narnia, they discover a world where snow forms from four kinds of paper (including one used in the lining of diapers), insulating foam, Epsom salts, detergent and polystyrene. And although the snow looked incredibly real, none was good enough to make a proper snowball.

Memoirs of a Geisha (Dec. 9) Ziyi Zhang's dance solo is one of the most riveting moments in the film. Choreographer John DeLuca's initial inspiration for the dance came when he saw a picture of 8-inch black lacquered platform sandals a courtesan wore in a Kabuki play. The shoes were difficult to dance in, but they forced the wearer into movements simultaneously beautiful and dramatic.

The New World (Dec. 25) Director Terrence Malick's wife and one of the producers took a break from shooting this film about the settlement of Virginia to go for a hike. As they wandered by a fennel field, they heard shouting. Realizing they had blundered into the background of a shot, they fell to the ground, right into a mud puddle. They had no idea when the scene ended, so they stayed there for quite some time. "We became intimately familiar with the insect life of a fennel field," says producer Sarah Green.

Read the rest here (including some "King Kong" and "Harry Potter" tidbits):
http://usaweekend.com/05_issues/051030/0...ywood.html
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#2
wow theres loads on there chicken little the ones you've mentioned, LOADS!
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#3
I am certainly looking forward to Memoirs of a Geisha despite the fact Ziyi Zhang (Chinese), Michelle Yeoh (Malaysian-born), and Gong Li (Chinese) are all cast in the roles of Sayuri, Mameha, and Hatsumomo respectively. Why cast Chinese actors (all famous to boot) in Japanese roles? I can imagine WWII victims in China and Japan would not be happy with such cross-cultural casting.

I think the producers assume Westerners will not be able to tell the difference between Mongol and Chinese, Northern Chinese and Southern Chinese, Japanese and Korean, Malaysian and Indonesian, and so on. Do they really think Westerners are that ignorant?

Despite this "miscasting" I will still watch this movie; it looks wonderfully made and stunningly choreographed. All three of these ladies are wonderful actors, and I am sure they will play the parts with great finesse. But casting Chinese into Japanese parts...I still think the square peg doesn't fit in the round hole.

~ Matt
"So they were told when the moon would rise, the best time to leave with your soul, she's gone but towards the light, watching her whole life unfold..." Crowded House - Catherine Wheels
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#4
That's very curious about the Chinese casting of Japanese characters. I had not thought of that. The only thing that comes to mind is that these actors are known in the United States for various roles they've played in other films that have done well here.

None the less, there's a wealth of talented Japanese actors, it seems odd they'd cast this way, then.
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#5
It is probably to take advantage of the recent interest in Chinese films (Crounching Tiger, Hero, House of Flying Daggers et al).
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#6
Boomstick Wrote:That's very curious about the Chinese casting of Japanese characters. I had not thought of that. The only thing that comes to mind is that these actors are known in the United States for various roles they've played in other films that have done well here.

Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang are very well known actresses and very talented. They've certainly risen to internation fame in recent years, and Ziyi Zhang has proven her acting chops in movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The House of Flying Daggers. The House of Flying Daggers was a top grosser in China, and that country's official choice for the 2004 Oscar Awards (Best Foriegn Language).

Michelle Yeoh has done most of her work in Hong Kong (China) and is considered the "queen of martial arts" even though she has no formal martial arts training (she's a dancer). It has already been mentioned that she was a lead in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which is a heavily Chinese-influenced (but westernized) film.

It has already been mentioned that Gong Li (sometimes credited as Li Gong) is Chinese, but she's also considered one of the best Chinese actresses. Her list of film credits is long and distinguished. She initially rose to fame for her starring role in the movie Red Sorghum, which was critically acclaimed, but more recently in The Story of Qui Ju, also critically acclaimed.

So the choice of these actresses doesn't really strike me as all that surprising. They have vast followings in China, and are somewhat "sanctioned" by the Chinese government. Their appeal is international, and they're all at the top of their league.
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#7
I agree, that they're all talented, RR. I don't know much about the film other than it's based on a book. Your comment about them being 'sactioned' by the Chinese goverment, do you mean to say that this is a Chinese production of a book with Japanese characters?
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#8
Movies are traditionally bad at careful ethnic casting.

Tia Carrera has palyed every ethnicity known to man, and Penelope Cruz is the Standard Issue Latina/Greek/Arabic character. Catherine Zeta Jones is both mind-numbingly hot and Welsh, but plays Spanish in the Zorro films.


As far as Asian characters, Hollywood uses the same handful of actors and extras to play Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese, assuming correctly, that the average American can't tell.
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#9
Boomstick Wrote:I agree, that they're all talented, RR. I don't know much about the film other than it's based on a book. Your comment about them being 'sactioned' by the Chinese goverment, do you mean to say that this is a Chinese production of a book with Japanese characters?

Hiya Boomstick, I think you will find that RR means that the actors are 'sanctioned' rather than the movie! :confused:

Also, don't get me wrong; I think all three of these ladies are wonderfully competent actors, and could probably act rings around many of their Hollywood counterparts. I actually think Ziyi Zhang would make a perfect Sayuri...she seems to often portray the right demeanour to pull off that part. I think what initially motivated my comments was the Sino-Japanese tension since WWII. Such casting seems almost insensitive in light of the debate that, even today, rages across the China Sea over the Rape of Nanking in 1937/8.

Another point, the girl from The Last Samurai, Koyuki, who played Katsumoto's sister-in-law Taka, could have got a part. Having said that, I was not a casting agent in the production of this movie, so there may be reasons. Reasons I hope that are not English driven.

MOAG is clearly an English production, which indicates it is geared to a Western audience. It would be interesting to compare a Japanese production of the same movie.

A movie like this will seem weird being in English. I would almost be more inclined to want to see it in Japanese and subtitled; that would make it more authentic...possibly.

~ Matt
"So they were told when the moon would rise, the best time to leave with your soul, she's gone but towards the light, watching her whole life unfold..." Crowded House - Catherine Wheels
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