Top 5 Ways James Wan Has Mastered Scary Films

Don’t know who James Wan is? Well you certainly ought to change that.

Responsible for films such as Insidious, The Conjuring, and the Saw franchise, James Wan has been shaping our nightmares for years now. The 36-year-old Chinese Australian filmmaker is overlooked far more than he should be. Many people know his films and yet they don’t know the man behind them.

At the young age of 11, Wan was already well-aware that he wanted to be a filmmaker. After he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, he instantly went on to make films with a fellow aspiring filmmaker, Leigh Whannell. The two have collaborated with one another for a handful of films which just so happen to be perfect for Halloween.

We encourage you to sit down with some popcorn, a protective blanket, and a James Wan film of your choice.

Still don’t understand why Wan is an Audrey favorite? Check out the Top 5 Ways James Wan Has Mastered Scary Films:

[Warning: Spoiler Alerts]

 

1. He understands that given the right setting, a doll can be our worst nightmare.
No seriously, these things are creepy.

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2. He understands the power of Audio.

Watch a James Wan film at the theaters and you surely won’t be disappointed with the audio. Many scenes use it very tactfully like this one from Insidious:

And lets not forget the way he manages to make a simple title score terrifying as it’s blasted at you at full volume:

 

 

3. Why yes, things popping up at us unexpectedly is frightening. 

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4. He understands that sometimes “less is more.”

Don’t get me wrong. Wan is brilliant at scary images that stay in your head in the worst way possible, but he understands that there needs to be variety.

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He can take a little girl pointing at a wall and horrify you. He can allude to a scary flashback without ever showing what happened, but still give you the creeps. Wan understands that sometimes, our own imagination can be much worse than anything he shows.

5. He makes you care about his characters and his storyline.

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You may have turned away from the stomach-churning gore in Saw, but you have to admit, the movie got you thinking. He made sure you paid attention and ended up questioning whether or not you would be able to do the same thing. Would you make the same mistakes?

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Often times, a flaw within horror films is that we simple don’t care about the characters. We’re afraid for death itself, but we don’t actually know too much about the characters who are about to die. Wan very tastefully avoids this mistake. He makes you actually like his characters. You end up hoping for a happy ending and it very successfully makes you more invested in the film.

So take it from us and make sure Wan is part of your holiday today. Happy Halloween!

 

Catch Booboo Stewart and Fan Bingbing In The New “X-Men: Days of Future Past” Trailer

There are many reasons to be excited about Marvel’s X-Men: Days of Future Past which hits theaters on May 23, 2014.

For one, there’s time travel. We get to see Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart as Magneto and Professor X — the roles they played in the earlier “X-Men” movies  AND we get to see Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, the actors who played the younger versions of  Magneto and Professor X in the 2011 prequel, “X-Men: First Class.”

Secondly, this Marvel film puts together a star-studded cast including Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page and Halle Berry.

And of course, we’re more than excited to see Eurasian actor Booboo Stewart and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing bring life to their much-anticipated characters.

 

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Booboo Stewart plays Warpath, a mutant who posses superhuman speed and strength.

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Fan Bingbing plays Blink, a mutant with the ability to teleport.

Fans have been anticipating the portrayal of these new characters and we’re sure these two actors will do them justice. Catch them both in the new trailer below:

 

 

See It Here: New Image, Film Teaser for Live-Action Version of “Kiki’s Delivery Service”

Though Hayao Miyazaki may be heading into retirement, the Japanese animator’s films, which include much-beloved titles such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, have clearly made their way into the hearts of millions (including our own!).

To the delight of many, a still coming from the set of the live-action version (see below) of Kiki’s Delivery Service was released earlier this year, and since then, fans have been waiting anxiously for more information about this new take of the Studio Ghibli favorite.

Kikis Delivery Service live-action first look

Much to our delight, a new image as well as a teaser has been released for the Takashi Shimizu-directed flick.

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The just-released film poster shows Kiki, played by actress (and former figure skater) Fūka Koshiba, smiling widely as  her black cat and best friend, Jiji, is in tow.  With smudges of dirt on her face, Koshiba already seems to embody the character’s precocious, yet lovable personality.  (We just have one qualm with the look though: while we think Koshiba looks absolutely adorable, we have to ask — where’s Kiki’s big red bow?!)

In this quick teaser, we’re placed in the shoes of the young witch-turned-mail courier as she zips through the skies.

One commenter on The Mary Sue translates the teaser:

Leaving on a journey from one’s [her?] hometown
Living in a strange town
Meeting people for the first time
New experiences
“Hope” and “Uncertainty” leaping/rising in one’s heart
A girl’s [or "girls' "] story

 

That famous work is finally made into a live-action movie

 

Witch Delivery Service [majo no takkyûbin]

 

Hi, [nice to meet you], I’m Kiki!

 

You/we can meet her!

 

Cute, no?  But unfortunately, American audiences may have to wait to see the movie.  Because while the film is slated for release in Japan next March, no US release dates have been announced.

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Jackie Chan’s “Chinese Zodiac” Premieres in The U.S.

Story by Taylor Weik.

Audrey Magazine got up close and personal with the legendary Jackie Chan and actress Yao Xingtong to discuss the U.S. premiere of Chan’s award-winning film, Chinese Zodiac

After almost 10 months since its Hong Kong release, CZ12, also known as Chinese Zodiac, international superstar Jackie Chan’s newest –– and last –– big action movie as a director, was released in select AMC American and Canadian theaters October 18.

Filmed on location across five continents and seven countries, CZ12 takes audiences on a global adventure as Chan’s “JC,” a modern day treasure hunter, is hired by a group of antique dealers to track down six bronze sculptures that are missing from the original set of 12 representing the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. With the help of his team of explorers, a Chinese artifact student and a French heiress, JC races through French vineyards and braves the jungles of the South Seas in search of forgotten relics.

With a diverse number of locations comes a diverse cast, a casting decision that Chan owes to his many years of observation in the entertainment industry.

“I wanted to show the whole world that good guys and bad guys can be of any race,” Chan explains. He specifically mentions a band of pirates that shows up to sabotage one of JC’s missions. “If you notice, I cast a black guy, a Filipino guy, a Japanese guy, and so on. In Hollywood movies, the bad guys are always black. I always thought to myself, ‘Why are they always black?’ They’re not.”

The action-packed film is one of Chan’s most ambitious to date. Not only did Chan spend a hefty amount of money producing the film –– one of the major fight scenes cost more than $10 million to shoot –– but he also broke two Guinness World Records during the process for “Most Stunts Performed by a Living Actor” and “Most Credits in One Movie,” the latter of which includes 15 credits, among them Actor, Director, Producer, Co-Writer and Fight Choreographer.

Chan owes his ever-expanding list of credits to his developing urge for creative license. As Chan began to make more movies over the span of his 50-year career, directors began to allow him to choreograph fight scenes and even add comedy to the scripts. Eventually, he wanted to do it all.

“I spent six years writing the script [for CZ12] while I was in America,” Chan says. “During Rush Hour 3, during The Forbidden Kingdom, any time I had a break, I’d be sitting there writing my script. Fighting is always good, but I wanted to make people laugh.”

CZ12’s cast brings in numerous actors, from American actor Oliver Platt to a cameo appearance by Chan’s own wife, Joan Lin. Yao Xingtong, the 2009 nominee for Best Actress in China’s Golden Rooster Awards for her role in Blossom, plays Coco, a bright Chinese student and passionate activist who fights to return stolen cultural treasures to their countries of origin.

“It’s been very fun,” Xingtong says of the time she spent filming with the cast and crew. “Jackie worked hard and took care of all of us. In China, we all like to call him ‘Big Brother.’”

Since its release, CZ12 has earned over $160 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing action film and second highest grossing Chinese film of all time in China. It has also won Best Action Choreography at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards.

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Hailee Steinfeld to Appear in 10 Films By Next Year

Yahoo has nicknamed Hailee Steinfeld “the hardest working 16-year-old in Hollywood” and for good reason. This well-earned title may have a thing or two to do with this quarter-Filipina actress being scheduled to appear in 10 films between now and next year. Suddenly, we feel pounds of guilt for ever complaining about our “busy schedules.”

At the age of 13, Steinfeld rose to fame with her role as Mattie Ross in the 2010 film True Grit. The young actress gained an unbelievable 10 Oscar nominations for that role alone– an achievement that actors well into adulthood strive for.

Much to the surprise of her new fans, Steinfeld disappeared for a few years after True Grit. She tells Yahoo that she was simply waiting for the right project. As it turns out, although we have not seen her on the big screen since True Grit, the young actress has been keeping herself busy through her teenage years and has found a heap of projects that are worthy. Clearly, we never should have doubted her.

One of these much-anticipated projects is already available for you to check out. Steinfeld stars as Juliet in the latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet directed by Carlo Carlei. And next month, Steinfeld will hit us with another anticipated film Ender’s Game. Acting alongside Harrison Ford, Steinfeld will bring the popular science fiction novel to life.

Check out the trailer for Romeo and Juliet below and stay tuned for more updates on this amazing actress.

 

Kick-Ass Asian Leading Ladies: Audrey Cover Girls Edition

Recently, Buzzfeed released the story 27 Asian Leading Ladies Who Kick Ass. They described these actresses as women who defied the various stereotypes often imposed on Asians. Among this list of very talented actresses were some of Audrey Magazine‘s past cover girls:

 

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MINDY KALING
Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts
You know her fromThe Office, and her hilarious book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Current project: Her self-produced star vehicle The Mindy Project is going into its second season.

From Audrey Magazine: “As confident as I feel, it takes an almost comically confident person to be able to say they were destined to be in movies and television. I don’t think I was destined, but I think I am of the personality type where the rejection or odds of something doesn’t scare me.”

 

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MAGGIE Q

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
You know her fromMission: Impossible IIILive Free or Die HardBalls of Fury
Current project: Since 2010, Maggie has starred in The CW’s Nikita, which is now going into its fourth season.

From Audrey Magazine: “When I first started acting, there were times where I absolutely didn’t know who I was, and because of that, the confidence didn’t follow. You feel lost and you’re always trying to find something that matters to you. But the older I get, the more I understand what my values are, who I am, what I believe in. And because of that, I’m able to have confidence.”

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JAMIE CHUNG

Hometown: San Francisco, California
You know her fromThe Real World: San DiegoSucker Punch
Current project: Jamie plays the recurring role of Mulan on ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

From Audrey Magazine: “I just want to do the things I love and spend time with the people I care about and cut out the bullsh-t. Life is too short. … And that goes for food, too. If I want a burger, I’m going to eat a burger.”

 

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RINKO KIKUCHI

Hometown: Hadano, Japan
You know her from: Her Oscar nominated-role in Babel, this summer’s Pacific Rim
Current project: Rinko is in the upcoming movie 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves.

From Audrey Magazine: “Since Babel, I’ve had few roles in international films since there are so few roles for Japanese, [but] I want to continue working in the United States.”

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ELODIE YUNG

Hometown: Paris, France
You know her fromThe Girl with the Dragon TattooG.I. Joe: Retaliation
Current project: Elodie’s latest project, 10 Things I Hate About My Life, is slated for release in late 2013 and stars Evan Rachel Wood.

From Audrey Magazine:  “If I’m hired for an action film, there’s no point in me not trying everything, or at least as much as I can. This is not Shakespeare. It’s not about what I’m going to say. I’m not going to have a beautiful monologue. It’s about the action. As an actor, you should invest yourself as much as you can. I want to give 100 percent. It’s more fun that way.”
To read the full stories, purchase issues of Audrey Magazine and subscribe HERE

Struggles of Modern-Day Cambodia According to Filmmaker Kalyanee Mam

Story by Kanara Ty

The Cambodian American experience has often been defined by one event — the Cambodian genocide that took place from the mid- to late-’70s, led by the Khmer Rouge. However, in recent years, there has been a cultural movement amongst 1.5- and second-generation Cambodian Americans to reconcile the past and move forward — namely, through the medium of filmmaking.

Human rights lawyer-turned-filmmaker Kalyanee Mam is one of them.

“We have been so stuck on this  narrative about the Khmer Rouge,” says Mam. “It’s because it’s so exotic to people. It’s easy to sell violence, it’s easy to sell bloodshed. I think we need to take our- selves away from our past and look for- ward to the future. Our future will not be anything unless we do something about our present.”

Mam is taking up that task in her feature directorial debut, A River Changes Course, due for theatrical release in October. The award-winning documentary (it won the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival) follows three individuals — Sari Math, Khieu Mok, and Sav Samourn — whose lives are impacted by some modern-day problems in Cambodia, including deforestation and overfishing due to large land and fishing concessions. While the film takes on a heavy topic, the images of Cambodia presented in the film portray a beautiful country that leave you with a heartfelt and lasting impression. The film may be activist, but the last thing on Mam’s mind is violence.

“I don’t believe in violent ways of changing things,” says Mam. “I believe in slow movements in helping raise people’s consciousness. After [audiences] watched the film, it was on their minds for weeks. The images stayed with them. The images that dig into the subconscious — those are the images that last and continue to inspire people.”

Human rights is something Mam became passionate about after her first trip to Cambodia during the summer of 1998, where she worked as a research intern at the Documentation Center of Cambodia. “The first time I went back, I completely fell in love with the country. It was like a summer romance. It was such a beautiful experience. I grew to understand the country and people more,” says the 36-year-old. “Now it’s no longer a romance. Or a young love. It’s a more mature love. I understand its weaknesses. I understand the corruption. I understand the complexities. I accept Cambodia for everything that it is.”

Initially, Mam chose law school as the vehicle to fight for human rights, but she found it frustrating. “I thought the law would aid me with the mechanisms and tools to assist people who had undergone human rights violations,” she says. “But I felt the law was not broad enough. It was so defined and so specific. There were all these boundaries, rules and regulations. People’s lives are not so restricted. People’s lives are much more complicated.”

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After graduating from UCLA School of Law, Mam worked as a legal consultant for the Mozambique Ministry of Labor, as well as the Iraq Ministry of Justice. But she soon realized that she wanted to do more than just provide legal counsel for human rights victims.

“After I left Iraq, I felt like I left a part of me behind,” she says. “I was still concerned with my friends who were still there. Everyone was trying to escape the country. I was helping them legally, such as seeking asylum. I knew that wasn’t enough.” So Mam decided to make a documentary. She had been interview- ing her friend and her colleague on the down low while she was in Iraq so she had all these transcripts. She eventually turned those interviews into an award-winning documentary short, Between Earth and Sky, which focused on three Iraqi artists.

That led to work on the Academy Award-winning documentary Inside Job, which examined the global financial crisis of 2008, where Mam worked as cinematographer, associate producer, and researcher. And now with A River Changes Course, Mam is embarking on a campaign to screen the film in every single village in Cambodia, with the help from the Documentation Center of Cambodia.

“If every single person in Cambodia sees this film and sees what’s happening to [the subjects], then [they’ll realize] it’s happening to every person in Cambodia. That knowledge [would be] overwhelming,” says Mam. “It’s the first step towards raising consciousness of Cambodians living in Cambodia, and also it empowers them to do something about their situation. If everyone feels empowered to do something, you can imagine the ripple effect from that.”

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here.  

Watch a Young Asian Girl Age into an Old Woman in Five Minutes

You read that correctly. Danielle, a five-minute video from filmmaker Anthony Cerniello, is nothing short of amazing. Cerniello wanted to emulate the aging process by creating a person, Danielle.

Clearly, this is no ordinary time-lapse video. Far more extreme than a “selfie a day”, Danielle shows the aging process of a young girl to an elderly woman.

Danielle was not shot over the course of a girl’s lifetime. Instead, Cerniello combined the faces of multi-generational family members. According to Colossal:

Last Thanksgiving, Cerniello traveled to his friend Danielle’s family reunion and with still photographer Keith Sirchio shot portraits of her youngest cousins through to her oldest relatives with a Hasselblad medium format camera. Then began the process of scanning each photo with a drum scanner at the U.N. in New York, at which point he carefully edited the photos to select the family members that had the most similar bone structure. Next he brought on animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle who worked in After Effects and 3D Studio Max to morph and animate the still photos to make them lifelike as possible. Finally, Nuke (a kind of 3D visual effects software) artist George Cuddy was brought on to smooth out some small details like the eyes and hair.

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The final product is visually stunning. Make sure you don’t blink for even a second — you’ll miss out on years of aging.

Proof That Chang Chen Looks Good Doing Pretty Much Anything

One of the stars of The Grandmaster, Taiwanese actor Chang Chen is definitely a movie star, in the best sense of the phrase. He’s been casted in a number of films, including Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together, Three Times (for which he was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival), and the Ang Lee visual stunner, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

But besides being an incredible actor, we’ve come to notice that Chang Chen is one of those rare people that seems to be able look incredibly handsome pretty much all the time, during both the most exciting and banal of tasks.

What sorts of things, might you ask? Well, things like…

 

…taking a picture.
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…drinking water
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…riding a bike.
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…throwing a sweater over his shoulder.ChangC_4

…enjoying a cup of espresso.
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…sitting down in a room.
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…holding his face in his hands.
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…holding an umbrella.
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…and most impressively, getting ready to kick some butt in The Grandmaster.
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What’s your favorite Chang Chen look?

Celebrating Chennai Express: Shah Rukh Khan’s Best Movie Looks (in GIFs)

In honor of Shah Rukh Khan’s latest film Chennai Express, out August 8, here are his best looks:

 

1. The “I Know I’m Here For Your Wedding/Engagement Party, but You Know You Love Me” look.

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2.  The “I’ll Save You From the ______” look.

…Fire

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…Tiger

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…Overbearing Father

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3. The “Oops, I Got Stuck to You, but It’s Not Creepy because This is How You Realize I’ll Love You More Than Anyone Else in the World” Look

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4. The “Don’t Think You Can Escape Me, I’m Always In Your Heart” Look

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5. The “I’m Acting Like a Spoiled Brat, So Your World Can Be Even More Blown When Upcoming Lessons in Humility Turns Me Into The Perfect Man For You” look.

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6. The “I’ll Catch You When You Fall” Look

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7. The “Now I’m Just Showing Off” Look

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8. The “I’m Not Ashamed to Cry” Look

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9. The “I PromiseYou. Everything Will Be OK” Look

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And of course…

10: The “I Will Love You Until The End of Time” Look

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