Could the company that helped catapult the legal music download market with iPods and iTunes now kick-start the online movie market?
Rumors of Apple Computer Inc's plans to launch a movie download service gained momentum this week after the company sent invitations to the media, saying “It's Showtime,” next week.
The media event scheduled for Tuesday is set in San Francisco and coincides with the opening day of the Apple Expo in Paris.
Sources at several Hollywood studios confirmed Tuesday they were in talks to sell their films through iTunes. But substantial disagreements between studios and Apple remain to be resolved and Apple's movie service could launch with a limited number of films, according to two studio executives who asked to remain anonymous because talks were still ongoing.
Speculation of the iPod maker adding full-length feature films to its online iTunes Music Store have swirled for months. Already, the Cupertino, California-based computer company has become a multimedia powerhouse with its song and TV show downloads. Analysts said it would only be a matter of time before Apple started distributing movies online.
Meanwhile, at the Venice Film Festival: Hong Kong director Johnnie To (杜琪峰) said Wednesday that he followed no rules while shooting his latest film Exiled, which was making its premiere at the 63rd Venice Film Festival.
“During the shooting, I always did things spontaneously, without following a precise preparation or precise rules,” he told a news conference.
The film is set in Macau in 1998 and is about two hit men from Hong Kong sent to take out a renegade member who's trying to change his life.
“Macau was a very suitable place to shoot the movie, with its narrow alleys,” To said. “If we had shot in Hong Kong, we couldn't have called it Exiled.”
To's most recent films were the gangster movies Election and Election 2. Election was a big winner on the Hong Kong film awards circuit this year, bagging the best film prize at both the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Hong Kong Film Critics Society awards.
Russian director Ivan Vyrypaev said Wednesday that the title of his movie, Ejforija, or Euphoria, was inspired by the overwhelming love shared by the two main characters.
The film was making its premiere at the 63rd Venice Film Festival, where it is competing for the Golden Lion, to be awarded tomorrow.
“In psychiatry, euphoria means an unexplainable sensation of yearning for maximum pleasure,” Vyrypaev told reporters. “My hero receives something from this shared love that he cannot explain. This made me think about euphoria.”
The film, starring actress Polina Agureeva, is the story of an unexpected love between a man and a married woman.
“This film is, above all, an experiment,” Agureeva said. “My character ... was demanding and tough, but very interesting.”
Vyrypaev, also a playwright, has won some of Russia's most prestigious theater awards. Ejforija is his directorial debut.
Hollywood starlet Lindsay Lohan says her plans for a trip to Iraq to rally the troops is still on. She called the idea her “tribute” to Marilyn Monroe, who made a similar visit to US soldiers stationed in Korea in 1954.
“There's not really much that I can say, but I love her, she's an icon, and what she did when she went to visit the troops meant a lot to them. I really respect her for that,” Lohan said in Venice, where she is promoting the film Bobby.
The Lido waterfront is in love with Lohan. The party girl and tabloid favorite has been the paparazzi's number one target of the festival so far. Photographers have chased the 20-year-old and her boyfriend Harry Morton along the glamorous beach. For the record, Lohan denied rumors that the couple are engaged.
The British press focused on the boos from some journalists at a press screening of Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, starring his fiancee and Oscar winner Rachel Weisz.
The Briton stars alongside Hugh Jackman in a story spanning three different eras, but initial critical reaction has been poor, showing that a slot in the prestigious main competition is not always a good thing in Venice.
Still, Weisz and Aronofsky can take heart. The Da Vinci Code was loudly booed after its first screening in Cannes this year but went on to enjoy one of the biggest box office openings in history.
Warren Hsu (許華仁) sees chocolate making as creating art and performing magic. Zeng Zhi-yuan (曾志元) “talks” to his cacao beans and compares the fermenting process to devotedly caring for a child. Despite their different products and business models, the two helped put Taiwanese chocolate on the map in 2018 at the prestigious International Chocolate Awards’ (ICA) World Finals when Hsu’s Fu Wan Chocolate (福灣) claimed two golds, five silvers and two bronzes, while Zeng took home four golds. That year, Taiwanese chocolatiers burst through the gates with a total of 26 medals, an impressive feat given that many locals don’t
Chen Zhiwu (陳志武) says that the COVID-19 crisis puts into sharp focus that we are in a new cold war, with China and the US being the two protagonists. “It’s almost literally in front of us,” says Chen, Director of Asia Global Institute and Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Hong Kong. Political observers were hesitant, Chen says, even up to the beginning of this year, to confirm a new cold war was underway. “But ... the coronavirus has made clear the clash in values and way of life between what China would like to pursue, and what
SEPT. 14 to SEPT. 20 When then-county commissioner Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) announced that movie theaters in Yilan County no longer needed to play the national anthem before each showing, the authorities were displeased. It was Sept. 13, 1988, over a year after the lifting of martial law, but the decades-old tradition where moviegoers had to stand and sing the anthem still endured. Of course, Chen sugarcoated his decision: “Considering the environment of the theater, the contents of the movies and the reactions of the audience, we believe that it’s actually disrespectful to play the anthem before each showing. We
In Japan — where they take their cats very seriously — they call Yuki Hattori the Cat Savior. He is so popular that he saw 16,000 patients last year, and crowds regularly queue up to hear him talk about neko no kimochi (a cat’s feelings), while people from all over Japan make the pilgrimage to his practice. Sometimes clients turn up from further afield. “One flew in from Iraq for a personal consultation,” Hattori says, “without his cat, due to border quarantines.” In Japan’s rarefied world of cat doctors, the vet Hattori is very much a superstar — but now there