September 28, 2006


Demonstrating its new role as China's sidekick, Hong Kong announced that it would submit THE BANQUET as its "Best Foreign Film" entry to the Oscars. China has been trying to choose between THE BANQUET, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, CURIOSITY KILLS THE CAT and THE ROAD for its Oscar submission so it helped that they had somewhere to dump THE BANQUET that would let them save face but would also keep them from having to submit a movie that's gotten, largely, not-so-great reviews from the foreign press.

And, of course, the very rich Huayi Brothers company president swore that THE BANQUET would be submitted for an Oscar this year by China, so now that the shine is off their film Hong Kong is a useful escape valve for embarrassed SARFT officials.

God forbid they try to submit ELECTION 2 which will most likely be getting a US release around Oscar time.

Now rumor has it that China will probably submit Zhang Yimou's CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. Yesterday I talked about how there were rumors that SARFT thought a big period movie would be the wrong thing to submit to Academy voters but now the word is that it's exactly the right thing. Stay tuned.

Incidentally, Taiwan is submitting BLUE CHA CHA, the acclaimed story of a woman just released from prison, if anyone cares.

And check out the over-sized poster for THE BANQUET after the jump:


September 28, 2006 at 11:10 AM in News | Permalink


I can't believe I'm getting excited over another Chinese historical costume drama! I thought I was getting sick of these, but I was so wrong...

Posted by: Anthony | Sep 28, 2006 11:53:51 AM

This is a disgrace, Election 2 is more representative of HK on every level, but at the end it doesn't really matter, since none of those films really stand a chance of being nominated.

Posted by: hlau | Sep 28, 2006 12:23:04 PM

I caught The Banquet at the TIFF, my expectations were low, I was quite impressed with how the Xiogang and his writers got away with riffing in such an unusual direction with the source material (that would be Hamlet): i.e. change the point of view of the narrative, change the major plot points and even purpose of the narrative, amp the melodrama up to 11, and yet still retain much of the overall effect of Shakespeares play nonetheless.

The Banquet is in short, a fantastic film.

Posted by: Triflic | Sep 29, 2006 10:37:38 AM

As good as Election 2 is, and it is bloody fantastic!, therein lies the problem, it is just far too bloody. Extended meat-grinder sequences, oi! I think that much of the success of Election 2 comes from all the hard ground-laying work in Election, with out that, Election 2 would feel undercooked.

(FYI, same goes for Refn's Pusher 2, which is the best of that crime trilogy, but much of the 'world establishing' grind-work is done in the first part to allow the second one to breathe...

OK, I ramble.

Posted by: Triflic | Sep 29, 2006 10:40:31 AM

The plot Thickens

From 24 Framespersecond via Variety

'Golden Flower' - gets Oscar nod

"While the decision will surprise nobody it comes with a whiff of controversy. The bug budget film was long the favorite to win the support of the Film Bureau, with Feng Xiaogang's ‘The Banquet’ the only other movie with much of a chance. But the way for "Golden Flower" was cleared when "Banquet" was put forward by Hong Kong instead. To qualify for the Oscar run, ‘Golden Flower’ was given a limited screening in a single theater in Beijing starting Sept 20. But the movie is not likely to be given conventional public release until December. The decision may be questioned by the producers of Zhang Yibai's comedy ‘Curiosity Killed The Cat.’ They say they will call for a public hearing in China and alert AMPAS to possible rule violations. These concern the last minute change of venue from Shenyang to Beijing for the public screenings and the requirement that the print shipped to Los Angeles be substantially the same in content and form, as the version in general release in the submitting country"

Posted by: DJH | Sep 29, 2006 11:45:26 AM

How come no one tires of yet another HK gangster flick?

Posted by: oj | Oct 2, 2006 2:41:45 AM

Because Election 2 wasn't JUST another HK flick, it was THE HK film. It had a message that people HK could understand and relate to.

Posted by: brian | Oct 2, 2006 4:00:09 PM

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