August 31, 2006


Johnnie ToJohnnie To keeps casting 'em, and bless him for it. First it was nearly-vanished 90's star Mark Cheng providing the performance of his career in ELECTION 2, and now it's nearly-vanished 90's star Ellen Chan who says that she's in EXILED and that she gets to fling around a little of the sexy stuff.

Chan is probably best known for ETERNAL EVIL OF ASIA in which any number of horrible things happen to her, often while she's naked. She's also played a psychotic lesbian in THE LOVE THAT IS WRONG and a minor role in MEN SUDDENLY IN BLACK.

In case anyone missed it, EXILED will be getting its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Then it looks like TRIAD ELECTION (the retitled ELECTION 2) won't be getting a theatrical release in 2006 as planned. It'll still play at the New York Film Festival but according to ComingSoon it'll be released in 2007 instead.

Finally, rumors are laid to rest about Johnnie To's upcoming projects. Shan Ding, his assistant, gives the following news:
- To won't start shooting his Mainland movie, LINGER, until he returns from Venice and Toronto in mid-September. Cast in the movie are Li Bingbing and Vic Chou (of boy band F4).
- THE SPARROW, Johnnie To's pickpocket movie, is still being shot and is an ongoing project. Sort of like PTU and THE MISSION.

And, finally, let's all feel good about David Richardson, a man who proves that there are second acts in American lives. An editor who started off working on movies like CYBORG 2, Jean Claude Van Damme's REPLICANT, and Uwe Boll's HOUSE OF THE DEAD, he is now the editor of Johnnie To movies like BREAKING NEWS, THROWDOWN and EXILED. Although he is editing Uwe Boll's DUNGEON SIEGE I like to think he's just doing it to see the Matthew Lillard outtakes which are probably hilarious.

(Thanks to a sharp-eyed reader for keeping us up to speed)

August 31, 2006 at 10:17 AM in News | Permalink


It's been reported elsewhere (including lovehkfilm.com) that The Sparrow opens on September 14th in HK. To's assistant seems like a reliable source, but it also seems strange that people on the ground in HK would think this was opening in 2 weeks if it wasn't. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Posted by: fred | Aug 31, 2006 11:30:35 AM

I can says that THE SPARROW won't open in Hong Kong in 9/2006.

It is just another fake rumor in Internet.

Posted by: no name | Aug 31, 2006 11:38:27 AM

Good for Ellen. She's great in Eternal Evil of Asia - not the most dignified role in the world.

Posted by: David Austin | Aug 31, 2006 1:28:22 PM

And let's just take a moment to give a shout-out to ETERNAL EVIL OF ASIA. When I moved to Hong Kong, my wife and I arrived during a particularly dry period. Nothing good was playing and the reason we moved had been the movies. It was as if Hong Kong was telling us: "Bad idea. You should have stayed home."

It was August and it was moist. On top of that, we were living in a tiny room in the Mirador Mansions in TST while we both looked for work. Tensions were high. Our clothes were always wet. Our thighs were chafed.

Then, one night as we walked home from an extravagant HK$40 dinner that we had sprung for in an attempt to reverse the deleterious effects of our all-pot-noodle diet we passed by a theater on Nathan Road, now long gone. Outside were bewitching-looking lobby cards for ETERNAL EVIL OF ASIA and that title. There was evil. It was in Asia. It was eternal. How could we resist. She took a little convincing since the lobby cards played up a lesbian angle that was entirely absent in the movie. My wife is an odd duck. To her, lesbians in a movie is a negative, whereas to me they're an unalloyed positive. I'm not sure why she feels this way, although we have attempted to discuss it. To her, it's a cop-out. A cheap pandering to male tastes. I suspect homophobia and have suggested she go to a consciousness-raising class but my pleas for her to open her mind fall on deaf ears.

Anyways, we went into ETERNAL EVIL OF ASIA and came out 89 minutes later feeling like we'd been through a bath that hadn't just cleansed our bodies, it had cleansed out very souls. Ben Ng, Ellen Chan, Julie Lee, Elvis Tsui -- they were like priests exorcising all the hate that had been stored up in our bodies. They cast a spell on us that protected us from evil things. And there were no lesbians in the movie at all.

You can read more about the movie and less about my life here:

But ETERNAL EVIL OF ASIA will always hold a special place in my heart. The first good movie I saw after moving to Hong Kong.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Aug 31, 2006 2:26:40 PM

Amen. Few movies would have the courage not only to turn Elvis Tsui into a literal penis-head, but to then also have him wet himself in fear. A class act, all the way.

Posted by: David Austin | Aug 31, 2006 4:27:41 PM

Awesome, I saw Ellen on Eric Tsang's game show last week and thought that somebody should cast her in something. Good for her.

Posted by: Brian | Aug 31, 2006 4:38:19 PM

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