Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Selasa, Mac 31, 2009

#373. In the Yakuza’s Grip

An emotional reunion among the illegal Chinese immigrants in Japan, in Shinjuku Incident.Shinjuku Incident brings together multiple award-winning director Derek Yee and international action star Jackie Chan.

TO Derek Yee Tung Sing, there is no shortcut to success. As one who comes from a family of filmmakers, Yee knows better than others what works for a production.Not one to compromise his artistic integrity, the multiple award-winning filmmaker has a solid track record of movies that are both commercially successful and artistically acclaimed.Dedicated to his art, Yee takes his time to conduct research on issues that interest him and explore its myriad possibilities, and he will not be rushed. His latest release – Shinjuku Incident – took about 10 years to materialise.

Written and directed by Yee, the movie depicts the plight of Chinese immigrants in Tokyo, where they make up about a third of the population.The movie features action star Jackie Chan, hearthrob Daniel Wu, mainland Chinese beauties Xu Jinglei and Fan Bingbing, Japanese stars Naoto Takenaka and Masaya Kato, Paul Chin, action choreographer Chin Kar Lok, Lam Suet and Cambodian-born Ken Lo.“The first time I came across the subject matter in the news was in 1997 or 1998 in Yazhou Zhoukan, the Chinese version of Asiaweek. It is a Hong Kong-based news weekly on international affairs.

“I’ve always liked to do my own research and collect material for my own productions as it is all part of the process (of filmmaking) for me. So, I’d been following the story,” said Yee in a telephone interview from Hong Kong.Up till the past few years, he had not had any direction for the screenplay. The material had been accumulating for several years before he decided to embark on the project.“In Japan, there are illegal immigrants from all over the world, even from South America and Malaysia. I’ve always been interested in such news so I’ve been closely observing the developments.“Basically, I like to derive my topics from reality. I’ve gleaned much about the Japanese triads from media reports, and compiled the issues to form the story.”

It took him a long time to develop the movie, a process that he enjoyed.“Protege (2007), which deals with drugs, also took me a long time. I spent many years chatting with my friends in law enforcement, particularly in the narcotics department.”He had formed the framework for Shinjuku Incident in his mind but only started writing the screenplay a couple of years ago.At that time, Chan’s partner Willie approached him for suitable scripts.“But I was not in a hurry – it took another year or so before things started rolling,” said Yee, who was contented to wait for Chan.

Yee has known Chan for almost three decades. “We were not with the same company, and I was still very new at directing then. Although we wanted to make movies together, it was not the right time.“He was making only action movies because that was what the audience wanted from him. As for my films, they didn’t have much action in them.”

Even with Chin, one of Hong Kong’s top stuntmen and action choreographer directing the action scenes, Yee maintained that the fight scenes are not excessively staged.“The movie is quite true to life but not really like a documentary. It was not easy to find a balance. Although there is action, Jackie’s character in the film is not a fighter. He may fight but doesn’t do somersaults or stuff like that.”

Yee also assured Chan that his character would not negatively affect his image, saying “lots of Western stars play villains with personalities that show an honourable side as well as a darker one”.“Jackie is now more adventurous when picking films to act in. In this movie, a large portion of the dialogue has him speaking in Japanese.” Chan has always wanted to be in control during filmmaking. But in recent years, industry stalwarts have noticed that he has changed a lot.“In this movie, he even assured me that he would just take instructions from me. But of course, for action scenes, I leave it in the hands of experts like him.”

Shinjuku Incident will not be released in China. Yee explained that the main issue was that the country did not have a film rating system. “This means that in China, children can be admitted to every movie screened in the cinemas.“The action in Shinjuku Incident is so real that it gives people the impression of extreme violence. We tried doing a more moderate version, with all the violent scenes removed. But, our producers in Hong Kong and China who watched both versions said that it felt incomplete.“For example, if Daniel’s character did not get bullied so badly, then Jackie’s character would not have responded as he did.“The cuts would affect the storyline. For us to release a movie like that would reflect badly on us. Our concern was beyond box-office returns. So, we decided to preserve the original cut, with the full support of the movie’s producers.”

Yee said that even his previous movies like Protege also took a long time to get through the Chinese censors.“But they eventually did get through, which means that the Chinese market is opening up and is now more liberal than before.“We have to remember that even in Hong Kong, the movie rating system enforced now actually took many years to be worked out. Since China is progressing so speedily, it wouldn’t be long before market forces compel them to put a ratings system in place,” said Yee.

The 51-year-old filmmaker has bagged seven wins and received 17 nominations for directing, screenwriting and acting.Beginning his entertainment career as an actor in 1975, Yee is featured in some 50 films, playing the leading man in 40 of them.He ventured into directing in 1986 when his directorial debut Lunatics won two awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards (HKFA).C’est La Vie, Mon Chéri became one of the top grossers of 1993/94 and swept six major awards at the HKFA. In 1995, he was named best director for Full Throttle, at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards (HKFCSA). A decade later, Yee again won for best director and best film at the HKFA for One Night in Mongkok (2004) in addition to the best director award at the Golden Bauhinia Awards and HKFCSA.

Confirming recent reports in mainstream Chinese newspapers, the auteur admitted that he was looking forward to working with Cecilia Cheung Pak Chi again.“I have several scripts in hand, which are suitable for her. So I shall wait till she decides on whichever she’d like to do.”The Hong Kong filmmaker even went as far as to compare Cheung to multiple award-winning actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai.Cheung was named best actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Bauhinia Awards for Yee’s romantic drama Lost in Time (2003).

Main cast of Shinjuku

JACKIE Chan plays Steelhead, a tractor repairman from Heilongjiang, China, who enters Japan illegally after losing contact with his gilrfriend Xiuxiu.

Daniel Wu plays Jie, Steelhead’s timid fellow villager, who has settled into life as an immigrant in Japan.

Xu Jinglei plays Xiuxiu, Steelhead’s girlfriend who goes to Japan to study and ends up marrying yakuza boss Eguch i, then changes her name to Yuko.

Fan Bingbing plays Lily, a mama-san at a local nightclub, who later becomes Steelhead’s lover.

Naoto Take naka plays Inspecto r Kitano, a Japanese policeman who feels indebted to Steelhead after being saved by him.

Shinjuku Incident, distributed by Golden Screen Cinemas, opens in cinemas nationwide on Thursday.

Source : The Star

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan

Catat Ulasan

Layar Reader

Layar Komuniti II

Empunya Diri

Foto saya
Nature Luver, Movie Buff, Bookworm, Photogeek, Bread Krazy,

Layar Frenz I

Layar Subscribe

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe in NewsGator Online

Add to My AOL

Subscribe in Bloglines

Layar Frenz II

Layar Community

  ©Layar 2009 Template by Our Blogger Templates

Back to TOP