Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Noir Served Asian, Italian Style

In a recent post I lamented that U.S. studios aren't interested in making crime films anymore, but on other shores things are different. Here's further evidence that the film noir genre thrives overseas:

CANNES - The Weinstein Company has landed one of the first big deals in Cannes this year, taking worldwide rights outside of Asia and French-speaking Europe for Dragon (Wu Xia), the martial arts film noir from director Peter Ho-Sun Chan (Bodyguards and Assassins), which premieres in a Midnight Screening here Saturday. Dragon stars Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Tang Wei and features Hong Kong legend Jimmy Wang Yu (One Armed Swordsman) in his first film role in 17 years.

"The Double Hour," a spiffy new Italian film noir (see photo above), combines mystery and suspense with a love story in a twisty plot that’s worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. Viewers are kept guessing until the final denouement. The romantic leads, Ksenia Rappoport and Filippo Timi, though little known at the time, won best male and female acting awards at the 66th Venice International Film Festival in 2009. The Double Hour also received the Young Cinema Award at the Venice event.

The title refers to the moment on a digital watch when the minutes and hours are the same, for example 12:12. When this coincidence is noticed, the observer gets to make a wish. “It’s about the second chance or one’s capacity for grabbing that chance when it comes,” says director Giuseppe Capotondi. A Samuel Goldwyn Film release, the movie debuted in New York and Los Angeles in April, followed by a national rollout.

Thanks to Below The Line and

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