Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen has won the top prize at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards for his directorial debut. Ilo Ilo was named Best Feature Film at Saturday's ceremony in Taipei, beating competition from Johnnie To's Drug War, Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin, The Grandmaster from Wong Kar Wai, and Tsai Ming-liang's Stray Dogs.
The drama, about a maid's awkward relationship with her employers, also earned Chen Best Original Screenplay and Best New Director honours, while its star, Yeo Yann Yann, was named Best Supporting Actress.
The accolades will give Chen a big boost ahead of the 2014 Oscars, where Ilo Ilo, which was a winner at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May (13), has been put forward as Singapore's official entry for the Foreign Language Film award.
It was also a big night for Wong Kar Wai - martial arts film The Grandmaster claimed Best Leading Actress for Zhang Ziyi, in addition to four other wins in craft categories, while Stray Dogs landed Best Director for Tsai Ming-liang and Best Leading Actor for Lee Kang Sheng.
Best Supporting Actor went to Xuejian Li for Back to 1942.
The winners for the Golden Horse Awards, which celebrate the best in Chinese-language cinema, were decided by a jury led by Oscar winner Ang Lee.
Chinese director Tsai Ming-Liang is planning to walk away from the movie industry following the release of his new film. The Taiwan-based 55 year old announced the news to reporters during a press conference for Stray Dogs, aka Jiaoyou, at the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Thursday (05Sep13), ahead of the drama's big premiere.
He said, "I hope this is my last film. This statement is for real, that is my hope..."
Tsai told the media he has tired of working in entertainment due to the the "constant pandering to popular taste" and revealed a severe illness he suffered while shooting Stray Dogs made him realise how precious time really is.
He refused to detail the exact nature of his ailment, but said he was "sick enough that I felt I might die at any moment".
However, Tsai is refusing to completely rule out a return to filmmaking, confessing, "I also believe in fate and destiny, so I don't know what awaits me."
Tsai's announcement comes just days after producer Koju Hoshino revealed his director pal Hayao Miyazaki was also planning to retire after premiering his new animated film, The Wind Rises, in Venice.
Oprah Winfrey and actor James Earl Jones will lead a prayer service on Sunday at New York's Yankee Stadium to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The two-hour service, called "A Prayer for America," will start at 3 p.m. According to Reuters, singer/actress Bette Midler will sing "Wind Beneath My Wings," while country singer Lee Greenwood will perform "God Bless America." Tenor Placido Domingo, the Harlem Boys and Girls Choir and the Amor Artis Choir and Orchestra will also perform at the service.
Master violinist Isaac Stern died Saturday of heart failure in a New York hospital, The Associated Press reports. Known as one of the greatest string players of his generation, Stern, 81, was president of Carnegie Hall for more than forty years, and worked to improve productions and programs.
Paul McCartney is planning a concert to benefit New York City firefighters following the attacks on the World Trade Center. The former Beatle is now scouting venues for the concert, Reuters reports. McCartney said in a statement, "I also have a connection there, because my father was a fireman in Liverpool during World War II."
Millions of dollars worth of art by Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Joan Miro and Roy Lichtenstein was damaged or destroyed by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, AP reports. It is not yet known whether the works, reportedly worth about $10 million, are salvageable. Glimpses of Lichtenstein's 30-foot sculpture "Modern Head" have been seen on TV news clips covered with dust and debris.
The 39th edition of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's revered New York Film Festival kicks off Friday. The festival opens with Jacques Rivette's Va Savoir! and closes on Oct. 14 with Jean-Luc Godard's In Praise of Love. The festival will also feature work form Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang, Japanese director Shohei Imamura and Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira. According to filmlinc.com, most films will screen in the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Walter Reade Theater and the Avery Fisher Hall.
Miss Oregon Katie Harman was crowned Miss America 2002 Saturday in Atlantic City, AP reports. Harman, 21, was the first Oregon participant ever to win the pageant. A speech communications major at Portland State University, Harman promised to do what she can to help the nation recover from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The event was hosted by Tony Danza, who appealed to viewers for donations to the September 11th Fund, a charity set up in wake of the attack.
Yasmine Bleeth, who was arrested last Wednesday after police found syringes and cocaine inside the rental car she crashed into a highway median in Romulus, Mich., was reportedly on a 36-hour cocaine binge, according to PageSix.com. Bleeth was with boyfriend Paul Cerrito at the time, whom she met in the Malibu rehabilitation center, Promises. Vicki Cerrito, Paul's mother, runs a strip club in Warren, Mich., called Jon-Jon's.