Asian Film Buzz – Muay Thai, Flying Swords and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Welcome to the inaugural Asian Film Buzz, MCM Buzz’s regular column on Asian Cinema. Let’s start things off with something fun in the form of the action packed new trailer for Bangkok Knockabout, a new film from martial arts choreographer and director Panna Rittikrai.

Rittikrai is perhaps best known for his work with Tony Jaa on the Ong Bak films and with Jaa still a member of the monkhood Rittikrai seems to be taking Thai martial arts cinema to another level even without him.

Keeping things in Thailand Wise Kwai bring us a trailer for the goofy looking Cool Gel Attacks. Directed by comedian Jaturong Mokjok Cool Gel Attacks has reasonably good looking special effects and some ludicrous slapstick comedy. Unfortunately there are no English subtitles but the trailer has enough entertaining physical comedy to make it worth a watch.

Celebrations are in order as Jackie Chan is set to release his 100th film. You may be questioning that mathematics but that’s how Jackie Chan’s production company are selling his new film at this year’s AFM. The film is entitled 1911, The 1911 Revolution, Xin Hai Ge Ming or The Xinhai Revolution depending on where you read it. Below is the official AFM artwork (via the Filmsmash Forums) which goes with the succinct 1911.

Also fast approaching the 100th film mark, although behind the camera rather than in front, is Japanese director Takashi Miike. With his Eiichi Kudo remake, 13 Assassins, storming through festivals the past year and with Zebraman 2 having just hit DVD in Japan, Miike has already started work on Nintama Rantaro, an adaptation of an anime series about child ninjas. The official site is already live and after a bit of digging through the site the following pictures emerged.

Following the sad passing of Satoshi Kon in August anime studio Madhouse has now confirmed that his unfinished film, Yume-Miru Kikai (The Dream Machine), will be finished and that production resumed last week. The news came as an official announcement from Madhouse and was reported in English at Anime News Network.

With Battle Royale returning to Japanese cinemas, this time in 3D, Toei has been shopping the film around to international distributors and Anchor Bay has picked up the US rights. Meanwhile, in the UK the non-3D release is receiving a very nice Blu-ray and DVD release from Arrow Video on the 29th of November. The less said about the new song for the 3D release the better.

Film Business Asia has confirmed that Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee is set for a US theatrical release by Indomina after they secured the deal for around $500 000. The film has been very successful in China and many have suggested that this is a return to form for Hark. Not resting on his laurels though Hark has been working on a thriller entitled Catching Monkey and a 3D remake of Dragon Inn entitled Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. The latter stars Jet Li and Zhou Xun and thanks to Sina we have our first look at Zhou Xun on the set.

The trailer for the intriguing new Thai film Insects in the Backyard appeared online recentlyand you can check it out below. If you live in Thailand though this is probably all you are going to see of it as Thailand’s official censor board has banned the film stating that “the film’s content goes against public order or morality.”

There is good news for fans of Jimmy Wang this week as the star of The One Armed Swordsman and the glorious The Man From Hong Kong is set to return to cinema screens after a 17 year absence in Peter Chan’s new film Wu Xia. The Wall Street Journal were lucky enough to visit the set and speak to Chan, snapping a few photos whilst they were there.

Director of the Ju-on films Takashi Shimizu is directing a new 3D horror entitled Rabbit about a small boy and a scary stuffed toy (a rabbit?). Not too exciting perhaps but The Hollywood Reporter bring the news that cinematographer Christopher Doyle is on board. This will be Doyle’s first foray into 3D filmmaking and it will be fascinating to see what he does with the medium.

The Hollywood Reporter also have the scoop from AFM on Sion Sono’s next project. The director of Suicide Club, Noriko’s Dinner Table, Exte and recent festival favourite Cold Fish will be working next with an as yet unnamed actress on a film entitled Guilty of Romance which will feature “hard sex scenes”. The Hollywood Reporter post describes it as follows,

“The Guilty story begins on a night that a woman’s body, cut in half and otherwise violated and attached to a mannequin, is found in an abandoned building.”

Fans of Japanese rock ‘n’ roll group Guitar Wolf (who starred in the rock ‘n’ roll zombie film Wild Zero) can rejoice on the 24th of November as the group will release their tenth studio album. The album is entitled Uchusenkan Love (Space Battleship Love) and you can check out the artwork and tracklist below,

1. Hoochie Coochie Space Man
2. Doberman Night
3. Space Battleship Love
4. Fire Eighteen
5. Voltage Sepahan
6. Namida Violence
7. Concrete Punk
8. Black Hole Mama
9. Dracula Melika
10. Hakata Daisakusen

And finally, courtesy of Network releasing, we have a new clip for the wonderful Hong Kong slasher Dream Home. The film is released in UK cinemas on the 19th of November and this fascinating, gory and intelligent film is definitely worth checking out.

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