Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Lusciously lihai (formidable) femme fatale meets dapper cantokiller in a
new kung-fu fantasy flick by Taiwan auteur Ang Lee filmed on location in
Beijing, Xinjiang and the misty mountains of Anhui.
After dabbling in Civil War drama (Riding With the Devil) and probing the
psyche of small-town America (Ice Storm), Lee brings his lens to bear on a
Qing dynasty punch-up which stars Bond girl Michelle Yeoh and Hong Kong
heartthrob Chow Yun-fat.
Currently shooting behind a phalanx of tight security at the Beijing Film
Studio, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is Lee's first Mandarin film since
the 1994 art house hit Eat, Drink, Man, Woman and features Yeoh as a
ruthless bounty hunter tasked with tracking down China's leading liumang
(fugitive). Martial arts magic will be provided by Hong Kong fistmaster Yuen Wo Ping,
who schooled Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne in the slick moves that
spelled success for Hollywood timebender The Matrix.
Leading underground label Badhead Music will commemorate a half-century of
class struggle in October with a triple-barreled sonic salute from the
mainland most promising audio anarchists.
The alternative arm of hugely successful Modern Sky Records will soon out a
long-awaited second album from noise kings NO, as well as debut efforts
from mandogoths Mu Ma and edgy experimentalists She Tou.
Industry insiders say the label is also eyeing Nanjing punk prophets PK14
as well as tapping other waidi (provincial) bands to push China's garage
rock horizons beyond Beijing's borders.
But Badhead's alternative steamroller may be frozen in its tracks after an
expected year-end album release by overdrive surffuzz wizards Cold Blooded
Animal, whose ultraintense live shows have jaws dropping among capital
Rag traders from Peking to Canton are turning their backs on monochrome
copy with a revolutionary series of mass-market magazines targeting the
country's growing ranks of cash-flush nouveau-cool.
Capitalizing on surging interest in non-official culture, the radical chic
reads promise an injection of enlightened ideas for an industry dominated
by foreign fashion fetish and mindless Mandomush.
Forging the way is Nanjing literary lout Wang Gan and New Culture Monthly
which deals up a heavy dose of post-modern punk in columns such as "Fashion
Assassin and workshop: Mianmian.
Guangzhou-based art critic Chen Tong will join in the New China paper chase
with Vision 21, a funky, revved-up read which will highlight the works of
20-somethings as they take pop potshots.
Sexy Shanghai scribe Zhao Bo will lend support by giving the high-culture
Writers and Artists a stylist spin by canning interviews in favor of
open-ended 'dialogues' between well-known cultural pioneers and
Beijing punks are mourning the loss of their leading breeding ground
following closure of the gritty westside Scream club in early September.
The seminal Haidian university district venue gave birth to a new
generation of Chinese hardcore and nurtured infant bands such as Brain
Failure and Anarchy Jerks to spiritual maturity.
But crass culture does not money make and the doors were shut after posing
took precedence over profit.
Closure came just weeks before release of the mainland's first-ever punk
compilation-a two-tape, 40-song magnum opus which sold a stunning 20,000
units in its first three days on the
And finally, Hong Kong's tourist authorities have tipped their hat to
screen siren Shu Qi for boosting the former colony's flagging tourist tally.
Droves of domestic day trippers have descended on the outdoor set for I
Love 007-a made-in-Hong Kong action flick which stars the sultry former sex
queen as a leather-clad, spike-heeled spook.
The frenzy fueled a boom in overseas arrivals as shrewd Japanese profiteers
flogged weekend Shu Qi scoping trips for the true believers.
But the tide will quickly ebb as Shu is set to spend the next few months in
Japan shooting a series of Wulong tea commercials, a prize project which
forced her to turn down a leading role in Ang Lee's chopsocky star fest.