Fri, Aug 24, 2007 - Page 17 News List

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The late Edward Yang is to receive a posthumous award at the Pusan International Film Festival.


Late Taiwanese director Edward Yang (楊德昌) will be named Asian Filmmaker of the Year at the Pusan International Film Festival this October, organizers said Wednesday.

Yang, a leading Taiwanese new wave director who died in June at 59, is to be recognized for his contribution to the development of Asian cinema.

He won Best Director at Cannes for his 2000 film A One and a Two (一一), the story of the emotional struggles of a businessman and the lives of his middle-class family in Taipei as seen through three generations.

A seminar will be held in Yang's memory during the Oct. 4 to Oct. 12 festival. Kaili Peng (彭鎧立), Yang's wife and artistic partner, will receive the award on his behalf.

Former winners include another Taiwanese new wave director, Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢), and Hong Kong actor and producer Andy Lau (劉德華).

Asia's largest film festival is held annually in the southeastern city of Busan. It uses the old spelling for the city.

Organizers also announced the setting up of an Asian Cinema Fund to offer filmmakers a chance to make high-quality films and enhance their creativity.

The fund totals US$840,000 and will fund development, production and post-production support for Asian documentaries and independent feature films.

Jet Li (李連杰) has vented his frustration that his Hollywood movies have not been able to clear censors in China.

The Chinese native said on his official Web site Monday that his 2000 movie Romeo Must Die wasn't shown in China because it involved Chinese gangsters; his 2001 film Kiss of the Dragon (龍吻) was banned because it featured Chinese police killing on foreign soil.

Li said filmmakers were careful in handling his 2003 movie Cradle 2 the Grave. Wary of a Chinese backlash, they changed the character of a Chinese police officer, who steals nuclear material, to that of a Taiwanese police officer, but the movie still didn't clear the censors.

Li said Chinese censors objected because Li, a Chinese martial arts champion, had played a Taiwanese person.

With his 2005 movie, Danny the Dog (不死狗), also known as Unleashed, Li said he tried to convey an anti-violence message, but still couldn't win over Chinese censors who raised concerns about racism. Li plays an animal-like assassin who tries to break away from his criminal life.

"Many foreign filmmakers wonder how you can make an action movie that can show in China,'' the actor said.

China carefully controls media content and only allows in about 20 foreign movies a year. The Chinese government often edits or bans foreign films it considers insulting to China's reputation.

In a recent example, censors cut scenes of Chow Yun-fat (周潤發) depicted as a bald, scarred pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, saying the images insulted Chinese people, state media reported.

Li said he respects Chinese movie regulations, but added "films don't always have to be realistic. In films there are many unrealistic things ... . It is my hope that audiences can mature and develop to see the difference between a movie and real life.''

An English-language western starring Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) and South Korea's Jang Dong-gun has been put on hold because Jang has been injured.

"Jang Dong-gun suffered some injuries several months ago, which meant the movie Laundry Warrior had to be put on hold," Zhang's manager, Ling Lucas, said.

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