Archives For aftershocks (tangshan dadizheng)

I can feel it in the air. Award season is approaching. I think Indie Spirit Awards are also done with submissions, and their nominations should arrive come early December.

In the meantime, the Academy Awards has released the list of the 65 countries (or not-countries… Greenland?) that will be competing for 5 spots as “Best Foreign” nominees, as well as their 8 short documentaries.

Here are some of the reviews of the ones I’ve seen.

Let’s talk wild guess predictions in here. Which countries will be the 5 chosen ones?

Mexico’s Biutiful seems like an easy assumption.

China’s Aftershocks seems to be a good candidate for several reasons besides “film”. Whatever your thoughts on melodrama are, I mean… you really need to be a sour grape not to feel something for the family in that film. Either that, or you’ve never been in a natural disaster. Having said that, it is because it’s a melodrama that it’s perfect for Oscar. Moving family drama that deals with catastrophe with a really powerful and magnificently handled Earthquake scene that was a box office hit in China. It’s just good business.

Also, China being nominated is controversial. Anything to do with China since 2008 is controversial. Controversial always brings ratings. Also nominating China is just plain good business. If China gets nominated – I dunno, what are the chances of some state channel broadcasting the Oscar? Just imaging 2/3 of China’s internet population watches the Oscar that night. That’s 200 million viewers. Anything in China is big.

If there’s no China, it must be another cheese movie… like South Korea’s A Barefoot Dream. An underdog story of a kiddie football team and a coach. It shall make you feel happy xD

Canada’s Incendies?

and… I dunno what else. Peru’s chances? From what I have seen, and what I’ve heard. It could very well get into the nine before they select the final five. I’ll have a better grasp once the 9 are out xD

Some very exciting news – First, it seems I’ve seen more than TWO of the Foreign submissions this year LOL. Of course that’s without considering the 9 films that will go through the other stage, and the 5 that will be chosen. I’ll probably get a 1/5 ratio at the most.

Second of all… China chose Xiaogang Feng’s earthquake drama Aftershocks to represent them. *jumpy claps* Now, this is my weakness. I love tear-jerking dramas. Anyone who’s lived through an earthquake should and will be affected by the story, anyone who’s lived through a hurricane, typhoon, any catastrophic natural disaster. Aftershocks is for you. But this is not to say that Aftershocks is exploitative of the tragedy, because this “earthquake” film is little about the earthquake and all about the people affected by it.

Considering the technical achievement this is, and how human and audience-friendly this drama is, I think this might have high chances of passing to the “chosen 9”. *crosses fingers*

Here are some of the submissions I’ve seen and reviewed:

The updated titles via Indie Wire!

Bam! I’m into making lists now. xD

To push distributors, and tickle their curiosity, as well as showing them it can also be good business to bring Asian flicks. Plus, cinephiles would love a little more variety in their local theaters, and I bet regular moviegoers wouldn’t mind one or two non-Hollywood blockbusters… after all, we already watch everything subtitled! We don’t have an issue with them like some… other… people.

If Americans (and Canadians) complain about the little variety of Asian films outside martial arts, or auteur cinema – well, really. Stop complaining. It’s even worse down here. If you got 5 releases a year (just an assumption), then we get one… if we’re lucky. Sorry, I’m not so campy with J-horror… I’m a little tired. I must be too old for it now. LOL

Continue Reading…

YAM011 is READYYY!!!

August 15, 2010 — Leave a comment

I just spent nearly 2hrs. posting this somewhere else, and I still need to email everyone. LOL

Without further ado,

YAM011.

Hi, some American [and Peruvian] distributor, you should totally buy this.

Newsweek has a very interesting article on Xiaogang Feng and his latest IMAX flick, Aftershocks (aka. After Shock, Aftershock), which has just beaten James Cameron’s Avatar in the biggest Chinese opening for a film. Aftershocks is the first ever non-American IMAX film… so of course Aftershocks opened in more than 4 000 screens – which is also a first – and it only made about $5.3M on a day, but it is still a feature. I mean, not everyone pays $15USD to get into the theater.

So when I think of IMAX… I think National Geographic under the sea films, Star Wars, and The Dark Knight. But let me tell you, Aftershocks is playing a complete different game. Aftershocks is a drama… it’s a tear-jerking, heart-tugging drama. It depicts the story of a family that was forever affected by the 1976 7.8 magnitude in the city of Tangshan, which had a reported death toll of 240 000 people.

When I first heard about Aftershocks, not being familiar with Feng’s style, I thought “Oh, China is making their big Hollywood Disaster Film on IMAX” and boy, was I wrong. Sure, the film counts with a luscious (and devastating) sequence that last several long minutes of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake… which felt like a mega-earthquake on screen. However, after that scene, which pretty much starts the film, it aptly turns into a drama telling the struggle of a mother that had to choose between her daughter and her son, and the hurt of a daughter that believes to have been abandoned.

The film lasts about 2hrs, and I was possibly in tears in the first few minutes as the earthquake struck, and the audience immediately feels connected to the mom and her kids. It instantly reminds me of writers telling me “You need something big so your reader believes the connection can happen,” and for the viewers watching Aftershocks, this big event is the devastating earthquake.

When you thought the worse of the crying was done, a brand new wave came over you and you were at it again. I think I was bawling for a good 1.30hr of the film. LOL

A good solid 4/5

Oh how I wish this opened in America so there could be ANY nomination for actress Fan Xu, though the whole cast was remarkable.