Examining Akira Kurosawa’s use of movement

In a recent documentary on film and its components, Tony Zhou breaks down the innate understanding of famed Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. Regarded as one of the most influential figures in the world of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 films during his 57-year-long career. Zhou opens the clip by asking what is the first thing looked for when judging a shot, “Is it balance, leading lines, golden ratio, color, light or shapes?

All of which are noted as being essential in the production of effective cinema, but none more so than movement.

Kurosawa was famed for his use of movement within that of what he produced, offering a masterclass into the differences within motion and how to effectively combine them. From the resonance of using it in the background to the importance of it as a focal point, Tony Zhou along with others discuss the importance of such a factor and how Kurosawa mastered its application.

Check out the video above to discover a little more about such an influential figure and his embrace of movement.

Sony stands up to North Korea and will show ‘The Interview’ on Christmas Day

As you’re likely aware, Sony‘s servers were recently hacked revealing private information of employees and celebrities alike. Amidst the cyber attack, an ulterior motive was revealed, one that threaten theaters and moviegoers who opted to see the film The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogen.

As a result Sony pulled the comedy from theaters. Since then rumors have swirled around that The Interview may go straight to DVD, stream via YouTube or go directly to the iTunes marketplace, however today, the production company has announced that it will premiere the movie in over 200, mostly independent, theaters around the States on Christmas Day.

President Obama is publicly behind the turn of events, after calling Sony’s decision to cancel the film’s release a “mistake.” Said a White House spokesperson, “As the president made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression.

Seth Rogen also tweeted, “The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn’t give up!

While James Franco added, “Victory! The people and the President have spoken!

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Shanghai singles revolt against Valentine’s Day, buy up all odd-number movie seats

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Some people like Valentine’s Day and some people don’t, but the least we can do is stay out of one another’s way. Gushy types can do their romantic stuff, and more cynical types can boycott in whatever way they like best. Everybody wins, right?

Well, a personal boycott wasn’t enough for one jilted lover in Shanghai. He decided to organize a mob of internet singletons to buy up odd-numbered movie seats for showings of a popular romance movie to ensure couples wouldn’t be able to sit together on the 14th.

The group focused on evening showings of Beijing Love Story at the cinema of a popular shopping mall in Shanghai, but according to the Shanghai Morning Post, they managed to buy up every odd-numbered seat for every showing on Valentine’s Day.

The organizer explained his motivation online, saying, “Planning to see a movie on Valentine’s Day? Sorry, you won’t be able to find two seats together. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? Give us single folk a chance!

He also mentioned he’d recently split with his girlfriend.

Source: AFP BB News

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Shanghai singles revolt against Valentine’s Day, buy up all odd-number movie seats

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Hong Kong filmmakers reflect on the territory’s multiple identities

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Hong Kong has long been a place where East and West rub along, mostly, but not always, combining to good effect. Now, 16 years after the former British colony became one of China’s Special Administrative Regions, the friction is different.

To the consternation of Beijing and the SAR’s government, there has been growing pushback from a chunk of the Hong Kong population that blames Chinese influence for spiraling property prices and endless delays to full democracy. Many feel their Hong Kong values are being diluted.

Hong Kong’s film industry, however, appears to be showing other well-established H.K. traits: flexibility, adaptability and compromise where it makes good business sense.

There is a huge market opportunity in China; many companies from Hong Kong have moved to China. The 21st-century Hong Kong filmmaker will have to be versatile and international,” says Roger Garcia, executive director of the Hong Kong Film Festival Society.

I expect Hong Kong filmmakers to survive by working in Hong Kong, China and Hollywood, on different kinds of films, not ones that necessarily try to be universal,” Garcia says.

Clearly, the “Golden Age” of H.K. film, when the tiny territory was producing upward of 300 films per year, has been confined to history. However, Hong Kong is still making 50 or more films per year, which is not bad for a population of 7 million. And many of its filmmakers are learning how to be both Hong Kongers and Chinese.

The Hong Kong cinema industry has been handed considerable privileges in China, including the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement that (among other things) allows H.K. firms to own majority stakes in Chinese film companies. There is also the more recent inter-government deal that allows H.K.’s movies largely unfettered access to the 100 million Cantonese residents of Guangdong province.

While there have been some stumbles resulting from different working practices, and missteps due to misunderstandings of different Chinese audience tastes, Hong Kong filmmakers have learned to work in the developing China industry. Many Hong Kong-China co-productions have been among China’s top films for most of the past 10 years.

Possibly the best example of such versatility is Pang Ho-cheung, a feisty H.K. screenwriter and director who relocated to Beijing, but has recently made typically local Hong Kong films including “Vulgaria.” His black comedy “SDU: Sex Duties Unit” has little chance of getting a mainland release, due to its language, crude sexuality and depiction of police corruption.

H.K. films are doing quite well at the moment. These things are always cyclical. And now we may be in the up-cycle. There is far more variety than many people think,” says Winnie Tsang, who runs Hong Kong’s leading indie distributor Golden Scene, and recently enjoyed hit success with H.K. indie production “The Way We Dance.”

Tsang adds, “We can’t compete with the big CG films, but we do have people who speak for us. And Hong Kong has great talent, whether you are talking about Pang Ho-cheung, Johnnie To or Dante Lam.”

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Hong Kong filmmakers reflect on the territory’s multiple identities