Mon, May 28, 2012
Entertainment > Movie > 2012 Cannes Film Festival

Asia on the road in Cannes film festival

2012-05-27 23:44:44 GMT2012-05-28 07:44:44(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

For Asian professionals in the film industry, the world-famous Cannes film festival on the French Riviera has always been a hard-fought battle far away from home.

Although barely eligible to contend for the festival's coveted top prizes, Asia never intends any slight, either leaving no stone unturned to grab the red carpet spotlight or screaming themselves hoarse in the film market.

The 65th Cannes film festival is set to ring its curtain down on Sunday night after 12 days of glamorous star-gathering and intensive film-feast, while Asia has tirelessly made their appearance in all sections of the festival, as well as on street posters and magazine covers.

A total of three films from Asia have been selected into the competition for the Palme d'Or race along with 19 other films mostly from Hollywood and Europe, in additions to many entries into other secondary sections.

To start with, Chinese cinema has been a frequenter at Cannes, in spite of the fact that it has had no films competing for the Palme d'Or over the past three years. This year, the Chinese-language romantic thriller "Dangerous Liaisons" seems to be well received by critics and press at its Cannes premiere as an official selection of the Directors' Fortnight sidebar to the festival.

All seats were taken at the Theatre Croisette where audience gave a huge round of applause at the end, while added screenings were also requested and French local media gave it a generous coverage the next day.

Set in the 1930s Shanghai, it has been the first Chinese film adaptation of the well-known French novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Choderlos de Laclos, upon which the 1988 film starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich was also based.

Other highlights include Cannes-favored Chinese director Lou Ye's "Mystery" as the opening film of the festival's "Un Certain Regard", or new talent section, and the trailer of Wang Jiawei's "The Grand Master" starring Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi released at the festival's short video about new film surprises.

In addition, fantasy blockbuster "Painted Skin II" and action thriller "Switch", both star-studded and high-cost, were the two major Chinese films being marketed at this year's festival, while Chinese actresses continued to stun worldwide photographers on the red carpet.

For South Korean cinema, this year is certainly worth celebrating with two entries in the competition race, namely "In Another Country" starring French actress Isabelle Huppert and "The Taste of Money" by Im Sang-soon, although the latter has been put on critics' list of the worst.

Filmmakers and stars from South Korea seemed to be rather shy and inexperienced as most of them kept waving their hands in front of hundreds of cameras from the beginning to the end of the red carpet walk.

India also has a high record of four films entering into official sections except for the top prizes, with stylized drama "Miss Lovely" climbing to the front page of several festival publications. The authorities also aim to cast off the stereotyped Bollywood image via specially promoting the action film "Gangs of Wasseypur".

According to Rudramp Batta, an official in charge of Indian films marketing at Cannes, the film reflects the new dynamics of Indian cinema that can be both artistic and commercial, and thus a series of screenings, cocktail parties and debates have been held during the festival to attract international buyers.

As for Thailand that has little involvement in the festival's official sections, it also made itself a shining star at a grand party with the presence of its princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, who is also an active actress in recent years.

At the eye-catching event hosted by Thai commerce department, an elaborate video was played to hundreds of journalists and potential buyers to introduce the best Thai films and stars in English as well as to recommend the latest film "Together" starring the princess.

There is little doubt that Cannes can be enchanted by the eastern flavor, and in the mean time Asian filmmakers and stars consider it as an irresistible glory to simply be part of the festival, as well as a fast track for international fame.

The Palme d'Or and other top prizes are to be revealed on Sunday night, and the Cannes trip for Asian cinema has been pleasant in general, with a few attending directors and producers stressing that a prize from the international film festivals is only one of many ways to recognize a good piece of work.

As Chinese director Sun Jianjun said, "The top prize for a good movie often comes from the box office and the audience."

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