May 26, 2007

Made-In-East-Asia Movies And Drama Serials

It seems that the world is getting smaller everyday. With the Internet and increasing air travel, living internationally seems to be an ever increasing trend. It is the same in the world of movies and dramas, collaborative projects that span across multiple countries are becoming increasingly common especially co-productions between East Asian countries. Nevermind the language barrier, if the actors and actresses cannot communicate in each others languages just have them read the dialogue in their own native tongue and the dubbers will take care of the rest ;-P

Just look at the growing number of Korean actors in Japanese productions... A recent example is Korean hunk Lee Byung Hun starring in the much anticipated Japanese film Hero starring Takuya Kimura and Matsu Takako. This film is expected to be a hit as it is a movie remake of the highly-rated 2001 TV serial of the same name that also starred Takuya Kimura and Matsu Takako. Lee Byung Hun plays the role of a Korean investigator who assists Kimutaku's character - public prosecutor Kuryu Kohei with his investigations in South Korea.

In Association With
Another example of a Korean star in a Japanese production is Mr. Winter Sonata himself Bae Yong-joon who recently acted in the Japanese version of the hit Korean drama series Hotelier (top left pic). The original Hotelier (left pic) was a star making vehicle for Bae Yong-jun in 2001 and it was his biggest hit before Winter Sonata came along in 2002. In the Japanese version, Yon-sama (as he is affectionately known in Japan) makes a guest appearance as Shin Dong Hyuk - a character with the same name as the one he played in the original Hotelier. Other cast members in the TV Asahi drama include Ueto Aya and Seichi Tanabe.

How about Korean actors in Chinese drama productions? These are almost a dime a dozen ever since the Korean Wave exploded in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South-East Asia. Ones I know of include Jang Nara in the Chinese television serial The Mischievous Princess 刁蛮公主(one of the first Korean actors to star in a Chinese production) in 2005, Jang Dong-gun in the big-budget Chinese movie The Promise in 2005. And just recently, Chae Rim (who btw is the Best Actress award nominee at the Shanghai Television Festival for her role in Dalja's Spring) in The Mischievous Princess 2, a sequel of sorts to the one that starred Jang Nara.

OK... Korean actors are making inroads into Japanese and Chinese productions but how about the other way around? Apparently this is also happening... Taiwanese actor Chang Chen stars in South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's latest film Breath, that was in competition at the Cannes film festival that just ended.

Remakes and adaptations of literary works from countries other than your own are also becoming more common. Japan's Fuji TV recently made a TV dorama on the Chinese literary classic Journey To The West / Saiyuki starring SMAP member Shingo Katori as Son Goku (Sun Wukong). And how about Hana-Kimi or Hanazakarino Kimitachie (花ざかりの君たちへ) ? This was originally a Japanese manga that was made into a hit Taiwanese TV serial starring Ella and Wu Zun. The sheer popularity of the Taiwanese TV adaptation of this and other Japanese mangas could have prompted the Japanese TV stations to realise they have not been effectively using all the gems (manga) that was theirs for the taking all along and they are now making their own version of this popular manga starring Maki Origita, Shun Oguri and Toma Ikuta.

So as the world is getting smaller, we could be seeing more and more Made-In-Asia movies in the coming years. How about a Made-on-Earth movie then? It could be "Coming Soon" too...

[Picture from and]

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May 13, 2007

Very short trailer clip of Ang Lee's Lust, Caution

Sorry, haven't been posting as often as I should... I will post more interesting East Asian movie and drama posts very soon, promise :-)

But for now, check out the URL below for clips of Ang Lee's Lust, Caution in this promotional advertisement by Focus Features for their upcoming releases in the second half of 2007. You will need to wait some time for the mov file to load though. The screen shots of the movie are somewhere in the middle of the clip.

Enjoy the clip :-)

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