Diary from Cannes 2013: Day 3 (May 18, 2013)
After getting a quick glimpse of the beautiful beach weather that Cannes is known for on Friday, Saturday was full of storms and winds. But that didn’t stop crowds from lining up outside the theaters with their umbrellas to wait for today’s lineup of films. Perhaps the rain actually increased the popularity of the screenings, as festivalgoers preferred ducking in to theaters for shelter, as opposed to ducking into overpriced restaurants.
The day started promisingly with the premiere of Bends, a debut film from Hong Kong’s Flora Lau. The quiet drama starring Carina Lau as a wealthy Hong Kong socialite and Chen Kung as her mainland Chinese chauffeur with a pregnant wife was a nice surprise, but perhaps the quality of the film shouldn’t have been so surprising, because it was clearly accepted into Cannes without the boost of a known auteur at the helm.
Diary from Cannes 2013: Day 2
May 17, 2013: A dramatic day for Cannes today, including gunshots and a jewelry heist. An employee for the luxury jeweler Chopard found that a safe holding $1.4 million dollars worth of jewelry had been stolen from the four-star hotel room the night before. Ironically, Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, about teenagers who steal possessions from celebrities, had just premiered the day before.
Later in the day, a mentally unstable man with a gun fired blanks into the air near a French television interview featuring jury members Christoph Waltz and Daniel Auteuil. Attendees fled the scene, but no one was hurt, and the man was arrested.
But the show went on, regardless. Today was the premiere of Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin:
As well as the premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly. He was honored with the French honour Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters for his efforts in the promotion of Indian cinema across the globe.
It was also the premiere of Asghar Farhadi’s The Past, his much anticipated follow up to his 2011 Oscar-winning film, A Separation. This time, an Iranian man’s trip back to France to sign divorce papers causes him to get re-entangled into personal complications of his soon-to-be ex-wife, played by Bérénice Bejo (The Artist). Family drama has never kept me literally on the edge of my seat.
The night ends with a Tony Leung and Carina Lau spotting at the gala screening of Jia Zhangke’s Touch of Sin. Carina Lau stars in Hong Kong director Flora Lau’s first feature Bends, which will be premiering tomorrow as part of Un Certain Regard….
Diary from Cannes 2013: Day 1
May 16, 2013: It’s my first time at the Cannes Film Festival, attending as a writer/editor on behalf of Asia Pacific Arts and Audrey Magazine. I’ve been told to expect a crazy circus — as there are hundreds of screenings for both the official Film Festival and the simultaneous Film Market — and I can’t wait.
The day before, Baz Luhrman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Amitabh Bachchan walked the red carpet for the Opening Night film, The Great Gatsby. Also in attendance was the superstar jury, headed this year by Steven Spielberg, which include Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman, Lynne Ramsay, Christoph Waltz, Cristian Mungiu, Naomi Kawase, Daniel Auteuil, and Vidya Balan.
Ang Lee has done more than anyone to bring attention to the Taiwanese film industry, shooting much of his 3D fantasy film Life of Pi in Taipei and Taichung — and always making sure to thank Taiwan in those Oscar speeches, even if his film is about gay cowboys in Wyoming. But Taiwan’s local films have had a recent commercial resurgence as well, catapulted by 2008′s super hit Cape No. 7. More recently, successful films include You Are The Apple of My Eye, Monga, and Seediq Bale, in addition to Taiwan/China co-productions like the ensemble romantic comedy Love. At the same time, Taiwanese dramas are as rampant as ever — and all of this brings us a wealth of new Taiwanese leading ladies.
A comprehensive list that spans decades would definitely include Taiwanese talents such as Sylvia Chang, Brigitte Lin, Lu Yi-Ching, Mavis Fan, Barbie Hsu, Rene Liu, Vivian Hsu and more. But for this year’s Women’s History Month showcase, we’re going to concentrate on young actresses ruling commercial Taiwanese film and television today.
Click on to see the ten ladies!
We’re giving away Blu-ray combo packs of Ang Lee’s award-winning film Life of Pi!
1. Like Audrey on FB & follow us Twitter
2. Leave a comment on this post with your name and Twitter handle!
FROM OSCAR® WINNING DIRECTOR ANG LEE COMES THE INSPIRATIONAL. EPIC JOURNEY, LIFE OF PI, ON BLU-RAY COMBO PACK & DVD MARCH 12
Life of Pi is the film that earned Taiwanese American director Ang Lee his second Best Director Academy Award at this year’s Oscars. Based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Yann Martel, the film stars newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi, alongside veteran actors including Irrfan Khan (as the older Pi), Tabu, Adil Hussain and Gérard Depardieu.
Lee brought what many thought was an un-filmable story onto the big screen. With the help of the visual effects company Rhythm and Hues Studios, the Life of Pi team staged a devastating shipwreck, turned a water tank in Taiwan into the middle of the Pacific Ocean and brought to life a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker shares much screen time on a lifeboat with Suraj Sharma’s Pi.
In addition to Lee’s Best Director win, Life of Pi took home three other Academy Awards (Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Original Score), earning the most Oscar wins of any film this year.
The film is currently available on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.
By now, the story of Journey’s Neal Schon discovering Arnel Pineda on YouTube — and subsequently crowning him Journey’s new lead singer in 2008 — has become classic underdog folklore amongst Asian Americans and Filipinos around the world. However, Steve Perry fans might have needed a little bit more convincing. Pineda, a singer/songwriter from the Philippines who was singing Journey cover songs with his band The Zoo, may have been a curious choice to officially headline the popular American rock band.
Five years later, the 30-year-old band Journey has had a resurgence, thanks to Arnel (and his undeniable pipes). Their international tours continue to sell out, and the band is currently performing in Japan with no breaks until September, after they make stops in Singapore, UK, Germany, and the US.
As soon as award-winning documentarian Ramona Diaz (Imelda, The Learning) heard about Arnel, she knew there was a story there. It took some convincing, as the original members of Journey weren’t keen on having a filmmaker follow them around on tour, but soon she was on the road, capturing Arnel Pineda’s first year as the lead singer of Journey.
And Pineda is such a sweetly charismatic subject. A huge Journey fan himself, Pineda cannot believe he’s even included in their band photos. It’s his first time performing in front of such massive crowds. A ball of energy onstage, he needs to learn how to balance making the songs his own, yet not steering too far away from the Steve Perry sound that Journey fans have come to love. On the flip side, the members of Journey treat Arnel as a younger brother, protective over the fact that they’re taking a singer who grew up homeless in the Manila slums and throwing him into a crazy rock ‘n roll circus.
But before they know it, the Filipino fans start showing up in middle-of-nowhere America. And they are there not for Journey. They are there for Arnel.
The documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey opened in limited release on March 9, 2013. For more information, go to their official website: Everymansjourney.com.
2013 marks 100 years of Indian cinema — home of the unique film genre affectionately referred to as Bollywood — and through the century, there have been many memorable leading ladies, from Nargis, Sridevi and Rekha to Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta and many many more.
For this year’s Women’s History Month, Audrey Magazine highlights some of our favorite Indian actresses ruling contemporary Hindi cinema today. This is the first in our series of Asian Women in Film, where we will be featuring leading ladies from all of Asian cinema.
Here are 10 names to know:
When the former Miss World (2000) began her career in Bollywood, from her 2002 debut in the Tamil film Thamizhan to her damsel-in-distress role to Hrithik Roshan’s superhero in 2006′s Kriish, there was often more talk about her skimpy outfits than her acting skills. Then 2008 happened: Chopra had six films come out that year, and while the first few were unsuccessful, late 2008 brought the release of Fashion, the first role that got critics talking about her talent rather than her looks — especially when she swept all the major Indian Film Awards that year for Best Actress. Since then, even if the film she’s been in haven’t been acclaimed, people tend to point out Priyanka Chopra’s performance as the best part. Case in point: the awards she’d picked up for playing a murderess in 7 Khoon Maaf and an autistic woman in Barfi! in the last two years.
Vidya Balan has been acting in feature films for a decade, but she broke out into stardom recently with her role in The Dirty Picture, the biopic about the adult film actress Silk Smitha who was popular in the 1980s and 90s. The role earned her Filmfare and National Film Awards for Best Actress in 2012, and she followed it up with the crime thriller Kahaani, in which she plays a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband.
Kajol (also pictured at the top of the article) has been a household name since 1995′s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), which kickstarted a filmgoing craze (it is the longest running Indian film in history, and as of Jan 2013, the film is still playing in a theater in Mumbai, 17 years later) as well as a timeless romantic pairing (Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan have acted in six films together). But in recent years, Kajol has brought an even greater depth to her performances. Just check her out as the blind woman in Fanaa or the grieving mother in My Name is Khan. You’ll feel like a really beautiful, soulful woman just punched you in the stomach.
Deepika Padukone made her debut in 2007′s Om Shanti Om, playing two characters that looked identical though they’re from different time periods (it can happen, just go with it). But she gave both characters enough nuance to prove to audiences that she was more than a tall, strikingly-beautiful model — even though she was definitely tall and definitely strikingly beautiful. Since then, she’s taken on different types of characters, from the modern-day romantic lead in Love Aaj Kal to the downward-spiraling toxic friend in Cocktail.
Another actress who got her start in a Shah Rukh Khan film (2008′s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Anushka Sharma soon ventured out on her own and found another leading man that she seemed to have good chemistry with, on and off screen. Acting opposite co-star Ranveer Singh (quick tangent: check out his abs in Audrey’s Daily SHAG here) in Band Baaja Baaraat and Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, Sharma really showcased her natural charisma and ability to lead a film. In 2012, she reunited with Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Whereas in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, she played the mourning, subdued wife whose life and belief in love needed to be re-ignited by Shah Rukh Khan’s charm, in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, she was the mini-Shah Rukh Khan, who “Shah Rukh Khan”-ed Shah Rukh Khan himself. I know it sounds confusing. But just watch the movies.
Born in Hong Kong to a Kashmiri Indian father and an English mother, Katrina Kaif often seems to have a maturity beyond her years onscreen. By 25, she was playing the Chief Minister party leader in the political thriller Raajneeti — and somehow pulling it off. After memorable turns as a civil rights activist circa 9/11 in New York and a diving instructor helping Hrithik Roshan get over his fear of water (and workaholism) in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, she helped jaded modern audiences believe in “old school” true love again in last year’s blockbuster Yash Raj film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Farah Khan has been in the industry for what seems like forever: as a choreographer, she is responsible for so many memorable Bollywood dance sequences that it’s almost impossible to count, but some of our favorites include “Chaiya Chiaya,” “Shava Shava,” and “Maahi Ve.” In addition to her choreography, she’s directed memorable films such as Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. In 2012, she won a Stardust Best Actress Award for her on-screen debut Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. But even when she’s behind the camera, she is an incomparable leading lady.
Sonam Kapoor (daughter of Anil Kapoor, who international audiences know from Slumdog Millionaire and TV’s 24) made her debut in 2007 with Saawariya, opposite Ranbir Kapoor. At the time, Saawariya got a lot of attention, because although the two of them were newcomers to the industry, the film was co-produced by Sony Pictures, and it was the first Bollywood movie to receive a North American release by a Hollywood studio. Since then, Kapoor has landed girl next door roles in romantic comedies, such as Aisha and I Hate Luv Storys.
A descendant of the legendary Kapoor family, Kareena Kapoor is continuing the legacy started by Prithviraj Kapoor and cemented by Raj Kapoor, as Kareena was most recently named the highest ranking female actress in Forbe India’s Celebrity 100 list. A power player in the industry, Kapoor has been one of India’s highest paid actress in years, starring in blockbusters including Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, Salman Khan’s Bodyguard, Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One, and most recently reuniting with Aamir Khan in Talaash: The Answer Lies Within.
There are many more, but here are 10 to start with. Who are your favorite Indian actresses?
High school: such a pivotal time in young women’s lives for college/career decisions, familial tension, first loves, first rejections, no-holds-barred attitude and unexpected self-discoveries.
And when high school years are depicted on American film and television, extracurricular activities may involve solving murder mysteries (Pretty Little Liars), and unrequited love is sometimes best told through song (T.V. Carpio’s cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in Across the Universe).
One could argue that Tamlyn Tomita’s Kumiko was the ultimate Asian American high school “girl-next-door” crush, even if, back in 1986, the Karate Kid had to travel all the way to Japan to be in the right neighborhood. But in the past 25 years, there have many memorable Asian American girls – as well as British Asians, Asian-Scots and Asian Canadians that we snuck onto the list — that we can look up to (or reminisce with) in these classic tales of high school.
Below are our Top 10 Asian American High School Girls Next Door:
You may know Korean American actor Tim Jo as the sweet, innocent alien teenager Reggie Jackson on the ABC sitcom The Neighbors, but what happens when you switch out his character’s signature polo shirts and khakis… and dress him up like a Korean pop star?
In the meantime, some Audrey Behind-the-Scenes Extras: Tim Jo’s self-described “incredible” story of how he got to Los Angeles.
We’ve all heard of the stories of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as babies — culturally American but legally not. But what happens if you’ve been in the US legally for decades, but still can’t obtain a green card to stay in your home country because of holes in the US immigration system that the government has no plans to fix?
ISSUE: Fall 2012
STORY: Ada Tseng
In 2006, Ana La O’ — at the time an undergraduate at UCLA — wrote a cover story for the alternative weekly newspaper LA Citybeat titled “The Hidden Classes,” about the first wave of undocumented immigrants that could afford to attend California public colleges after 2001’s AB 540 law allowed them to pay in-state tuition rates. The students she interviewed had been brought over to the United States as kids and educated in the American school system, yet they were unable to work legally and in danger of being deported to countries they hadn’t lived in for 15 to 20 years.
“It was the first time that I had spoken to people who had the same kind of psychology that I did,” says La O’, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines when she was 11 months old. “I totally understood everything about being culturally American, but not having the same rights, feeling in limbo, and working toward this degree without knowing what I could actually do with it when I graduated.”
Except that La O’ was not an undocumented (what some call “illegal”) immigrant. By 2006, La O’ had been living in the United States legally for 21 years. Yet, for the next five years, she would continue to struggle to get a green card, until she was so fed up with the holes in the United States immigration system that she voluntarily self-deported in 2011, leaving her family and friends to move to the Philippines. Being plopped into a country she hadn’t lived in since she was a baby seemed like a better option than the hoops she would have to jump through just to be considered for – let alone acquire – a green card, after 26 years of living in this country.