Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language World War II film Letters from Iwo Jima was named this year's best picture Wednesday by the National Board of Review, in the year's first major film awards.
The movie tells the story of the battle for the Pacific island from the point of view of the Japanese commander and his soldiers as they prepared to die in the fight for the strategic island.
Martin Scorsese nabbed the best director prize for The Departed, which also scored a win in the ensemble cast category.
Forest Whitaker landed the prize for best actor for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, while Helen Mirren nabbed best actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.
The National Board of Review is a well-respected film review and education organization, composed of film professionals, educators and historians, without commercial ties to the movie industry.
Oscar-winning actor-director George Clooney is buying the rights to produce a film version of best-selling author John Grisham's non-fiction book The Innocent Man, reports said Thursday.
The book is the true story of a miscarriage of justice that saw Oklahoma man Ron Williamson sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Williamson spent 11 years on death row before being freed.
Several of Grisham's novels, including The Firm, The Pelican Brief and A Time To Kill have already been made into Hollywood movies.
Meanwhile Clooney, People magazine's sexiest man of this year, has lost his dear pet pig of 18 years, Max, celebrity newsite TMZ.com said Monday.
Max, who died Friday, had suffered from arthritis and partial blindness.
The 45-year-old star and producer of Good Night and Good Luck often said that Max had been his longest-lasting relationship.
Clooney and Max hooked up after he broke up with actress Kelly Preston, and in 2001 it was accidentally run over by a friend of Clooney's.
Max was the second pet Clooney lost this year after a bulldog died at his house.
Brazil's state tourism body applauded US film critics on Tuesday for trashing a horror movie in which tourists get slaughtered in the country and said it was taking measures to offset any damage to its image abroad.
Some Brazilian media went into a frenzy over Turistas, quoting disgusted Brazilian viewers who went to see it in the US where it hit the screens last Friday.
In the movie directed by John Stockwell, young American backpackers are attacked and mugged by locals, lured by bikini-clad beauties only to get drugged by spiked "caipirinha" cocktails. They then have their internal organs removed by a crazy surgeon who runs a human organ trafficking ring.
Jeanine Pires, president of the tourism body Embratur, said it had instructed its overseas publicity agency to repair any damage from Turistas.
"Surveys show that most viewers do distinguish between pure fiction that appears in a horror movie and reality," Pires said.
The movie was rated "rotten" on the popular Rotten Tomatoes film rating web site (www.rottentomatoes.com).
"A wholly predictable bit of slasher unpleasantness and a muddled cautionary tale on the American propensity for foreign misadventures," critic Dennis Lim wrote in the Los Angeles Times.
Piracy in China cost the film industry US$2.7 billion of potential revenue last year, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), an organization formed by major Hollywood film producers, said Thursday.
"It's not just Hollywood films," MPA Vice President Michael Ellis told journalists in Beijing. "Everybody is getting ripped off."
According to a study commissioned by the American industry lobbying group, 55 percent of the loss was shouldered by the local Chinese film industry, and just 21 percent by MPA member companies.
The main reason why MPA members seemed to suffer relatively small losses is local rules that severely constrain market access available to foreign film producers, Ellis said.
"We can only bring in — internationally not just Hollywood — 20 revenue-sharing films a year," he said.
Rampant piracy in China, a market potentially as big as Japan, is fueled by the fact that so few movies are available, he said.
"The China movie piracy rate based on independent research is 93 percent," Ellis said.
"Unless you open up the market and you build a legitimate film industry here ... you would always have this vacuum," he said.
However, there is some progress in fighting piracy in China, as the government has shown recognition of the problem and the court system has developed," he said.
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten