1分快三玩法

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Technicolor Tinsel


With Christmas just around the corner, film critic Howard Elias picks a selection of favourite holiday movies that he never tires of watching

Technicolor Tinsel


With Christmas just around the corner, film critic Howard Elias picks a selection of favourite holiday movies that he never tires of watching

Culture > Entertainment


 

Technicolor Tinsel

December 11, 2019 / by Howard Elias

 
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Edward Scissorhands (1990)

If your cable company offered the Fox network in 1987, you would have already been familiar with Johnny Depp from his TV show 21 Jump Street. But Edward Scissorhands is the film that made him a bona fide movie star. As the title suggests, Edward has a pair (a few pairs, really) of scissors for hands. He is left “unfinished” when his creator (played to perfection by the wonderful Vincent Price) dies before he can fit Edward with a pair of human hands. Many years later, Edward is found by a local townswoman (Dianne Wiest), who looks past his “disability” and only sees his abilities and good heart. The rest of the town takes Edward in, and his life starts to have purpose and meaning. His fortunes change, however, when he falls in love with Kim (Winona Ryder), who is already dating a very jealous guy. Through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, Edward becomes a pariah, running away, never to be seen again. But Kim, who is now an old woman, has never forgotten him. Edward Scissorhands is guaranteed to put a lump in your throat when you watch Kim become enraptured by the ice crystals floating down around her.


 
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Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Remade several times across a variety of media, the original Miracle is still the best. When New York department store Macy’s is forced to find a last-minute Santa Claus for its famous Thanksgiving Day Parade, they didn’t expect they’d be hiring the real Saint Nick. But neither company supervisor Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) nor her daughter Susan (an eight-year-old Natalie Wood) is convinced he is who he says he is – they think he’s crazy. Veteran actor Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the jolly old man from the North Pole. Watch this and you may just start believing in miracles!


 
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Home Alone (1990)

Here’s another one that launched a movie career. This time it’s the then-10-year-old Macaulay Culkin, who stars as the cute and highly resourceful Kevin McCallister. After being accidentally left at home when his family takes off for a Christmas vacation overseas, Kevin relishes his new-found, unfettered freedom. But he gets more than he bargains for when a pair of half-wit thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) try to break into the house… or perhaps they get more than they bargained for. Critics may not have liked Home Alone as much as audiences did, but there’s no disputing that Kevin’s face slap has become one of Hollywood’s most memorable and imitated images.


 
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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

James Stewart said that of all the films he made, this was his favourite. It’s one of my all-time favourites, too. Stewart plays George Bailey of the fictional town of Bedford Falls, set somewhere in upstate New York. George is the richest man in the town, though he barely has two nickels to rub together. Instead of having money, he has the undying devotion of his family, his friends and his town – the lines separating the three being very blurry. The only person who is working against him is the town’s wealthiest man, the miserly Mr Potter (Lionel Barrymore), who is jealous of George. When a clerical error puts George’s business on the verge of bankruptcy, he decides that his life isn’t worth living. That’s when Clarence shows up. Clarence is an angel who must save George’s life in order to earn his wings. Clarence decides to turn back time to show George how life would be in Bedford Falls if he had never existed. With Clarence’s help, George sees that he truly has a wonderful life. You’d have to be a heartless person not to break into tears during the final scene. I get misty just thinking about it… and I’ve seen it dozens of times. If there is one film that shows the true meaning of the holiday season, this is it.


 
 

Trading Places (1983)

Here’s yet another movie that launched its star to new heights. Fans of the TV show Saturday Night Live already knew and loved Eddie Murphy, a comedian and actor who electrified every skit he was a part of. Murphy was still basking in the rave reviews for his debut film 48 Hours (with Nick Nolte) when Trading Places hit movie screens. In this one, he and fellow SNL 1分快三玩法alumnus Dan Aykroyd play two guys who are unwittingly caught up in a “nature versus nurture” experiment perpetrated by a pair of wealthy, immoral commodity brokers, played by veteran actors Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy. The two codgers make a $1 bet with each other to see if they can take a scammer off the street and turn him into a successful broker, while at the same time turn one of their star employees into a bum. Their plan succeeds until the younger men figure out the game, at which time they turn the tables on the old men. It’s madcap zaniness, with fine performances throughout.


 
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Die Hard (1988)

Many actors and actresses have tried to make the leap from TV to the big screen, and many have failed, but Die Hard is yet another film that launched the movie career of not one but two of its stars. Bruce Willis was already a household name in North America from his then-four-year stint co-starring alongside Cybill Shepherd on TV’s Moonlighting, but his movie career was going nowhere fast until the character of New York City cop John McClane came along. In Die Hard, McClane decides to surprise his estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), at her company’s Christmas party in Los Angeles when German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman, in his feature film debut) takes everyone hostage. McClane manages to slip away unseen and proceeds to take on Gruber’s group singlehandedly. While the weather outside might be frightful, it isn’t much better inside. McClane’s “yippee-ki-yay” phrase also entered mainstream culture and was used in each of the four sequels that were spawned from this movie.


 
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Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

Although six-year-old Margaret O’Brien (“Tootie”) steals every scene she’s in, Judy Garland is the obvious star in this love letter to the city that is the home of the Gateway Arch, and was the host to both the World’s Fair and the Summer Olympics in 1904 (though the latter is not mentioned in the film, probably because the Fair completely overshadowed the Games). The story is based on the real-life experiences of novelist Sally Benson, whose book was serialised in The New Yorker in 1942. Like the fictional Smith family, Benson’s family moved from St Louis to New York City. The Bensons, though, left before the World’s Fair started and didn’t return. Meet Me in St Louis features some now-classic tunes including “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, both sung by Garland in her inimitable style. It was directed by Vincente Minnelli, who met Garland on this film and married her right after.

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Ten Reasons to Watch Last Year at Marienbad


Part of this year’s Hong Kong French Film Festival, director Alain Resnais’s revolutionary 1961 film L’Année Dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad) is a must-see – and its cultural legacy as pertinent as ever

Ten Reasons to Watch Last Year at Marienbad


1分快三玩法Part of this year’s Hong Kong French Film Festival, director Alain Resnais’s revolutionary 1961 film L’Année Dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad) is a must-see – and its cultural legacy as pertinent as ever

Culture > Entertainment


Ten Reasons to Watch Last Year at Marienbad

November 13, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Image above: still from the film

1分快三玩法Giorgio Albertazzi and Seyrig on set

  1. Best/worst. A triumph of so-called “Nouvelle Vague” (new wave) French cinema, some call the film cinema’s most divisive picture, with others saying it’s moviemaking at the most exaggerated edges of the avant-garde. British filmmaker Peter Greenaway calls Marienbad “the most successful film of all time”.

  2. 1分快三玩法Non-linear storytelling. Director Alain Resnais hired novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet, one of the masters of “Nouveau Roman”, who wrote an inimitable script rejecting all chronological constraints and classical narrative formats.

  3. Cinematic style. The film was revolutionary in introducing a whole new psychological dimension by constantly mixing reality and imagination, along with the camera’s fluidity and the obsession with detail. The same scenes are sometimes restaged with the actor in separate outifts, at different angles, and with less or more furniture.

  4. Delphine Seyrig. The film was the breakthrough for the leading actress. Her character is never addressed by name in the film, but is simply referred to as “A”. Similarly her leading man, Giorgio Albertazzi, is “X”. The film’s premise revolves around X saying the two had a romantic encounter the previous year, while A denies any knowledge or recollection of it.

  5. 1分快三玩法Interior dream. The entire film is an interior designer’s nirvana. Three Bavarian castles were used to shoot an ancient baroque castle and gardens, turned into a luxurious hotel. Nothing was shot in Marienbad; it was actually Nymphenburg.

  6. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Although uncredited, the iconic French designer created Seyrig’s ultra-chic dresses. The film features pieces from Chanel’s haute couture collection and one look on Seyrig made a big impression: a black chiffon dress was immediately given the moniker of the “dress à la Marienbad”, a reinvention of Chanel’s famed little black dress from 1926. The French luxury house helped restore the film for last year’s Venice Film Festival.

  7. 1分快三玩法Retail envy. Renowned French actress Brigitte Bardot, after having seen the film, told Coco Chanel she wanted “to have the same dress as Delphine Seyrig”. 

  8. Dress code. Resnais and Chanel’s creation instigated more than just a trend. It was an entirely new philosophy of costume design. In their wake, many Nouvelle Vague directors encouraged their actresses to wear not costumes but everyday clothes, sometimes picked from their own wardrobes.

  9. Cultural legacy. Among legions of references, famed director Stanley Kubrick acknowledged a huge debt to the film when he made 1980’s The Shining, acclaimed photographers Helmut Newton and Irving Penn took inspiration from Marienbad for their fashion shoots, and indie rock  group Blur’s To the End video pays homage to it.

  10. Karl Lagerfeld. The late designer’s spring/summer 2011 ready-to-wear collection for Chanel was an explicit reference to Coco Chanel’s designs for Last Year at Marienbad, and the film’s décor and music inspired his runway show, staged under the glass dome of the Grand Palais. Lagerfeld loved the feathers Seyrig wore with one of the film’s looks, saying: “There were feathers and I admit it inspired me, as before I had never thought to do something using that inspiration.” 

Showtimes:

November 16, Hong Kong City Hall, 8pm; November 19, Broadway Cinematheque, Yau Ma Tei, 7.50pm (; )

Alain Resnais and Delphine Seyrig on the set of Last Year at Marienbad

Still from the film

1分快三玩法Still from the film

Images: © Georges Pierre/L Pierre de Geyer (Alain Resnais and Delphine Seyrig on the set of Last Year at Marienbad, Giorgio Albertazzi and Seyrig on set); © 1960 Studiocanal – Argos Films – Cineriz – all rights reserved (three stills from the film)

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Over the Top


As the Chinese entertainment industry booms, actors have enjoyed unprecedented attention. However, the lesser-seen voice actors are the hidden forces that overdub and add flavour to their performances. In 2011, the TV drama Empresses in the Palace, which focused on the struggles of concubines during the Qing Dynasty, was a massive hit – and the amazing dubbing job for the leading actress drew more attention to the industry. 2018’s reality TV show The Sound also focused on the dubbing industry and among the contestants, voice actor Bian Jiang gained a great deal of popularity. CDLP chats with the man behind the scenes

Over the Top


As the Chinese entertainment industry booms, actors have enjoyed unprecedented attention. However, the lesser-seen voice actors are the hidden forces that overdub and add flavour to their performances. In 2011, the TV drama Empresses in the Palace, which focused on the struggles of concubines during the Qing Dynasty, was a massive hit – and the amazing dubbing job for the leading actress drew more attention to the industry. 2018’s reality TV show The Sound also focused on the dubbing industry and among the contestants, voice actor Bian Jiang gained a great deal of popularity. CDLP1分快三玩法 chats with the man behind the scenes

Culture > Entertainment


Over the Top

April 3, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

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So how many series do you usually dub in a year and how long does it take for each?

It really depends on the market. In my case, I usually dub about ten series a year and I also dub animation, games and advertisements. The dubbing industry has been booming over the past few years. It usually takes a month to dub a TV drama of 30 to 40 episodes. As for animation, we basically need two days to dub three episodes.

Describe what the dubbing industry is like today.

1分快三玩法Beijing is the centre of this industry. I joined in 2004, and there were only 200 or 300 people during the ten years from 2004 to 2014. More and more people want to become dubbing actors, and I think there are more than 1,000 now. As for job opportunities, some companies just reach out to me. After they are happy with the collaboration, they contact me again for more work. 

Can you describe a typical work day and the overall environment for someone who works in the industry?

We used to start at noon and end at midnight – or even later. Many dubbing actors had health problems after staying up late for a long time. But it has changed now. We start so late because of the terrible traffic in the morning. Another reason is that the throat isn’t in very good condition in the morning. As for our workplace, there’s a recording room with a TV, an operation platform, a microphone and a chair. We can only enjoy cool air during break time, as the air conditioner must be turned off when recording. In the summer, it’s pretty common that we sometimes can’t breathe and have to rest for a while. We have our own studio, but we sometimes need to work in other studios. Actually, the job isn’t very stable.

What training is necessary to become a qualified voice actor? Do you have to do anything special to protect your throat?

1分快三玩法When I was in university, I took acting and dubbing lessons. About 80% of the time was about acting and lines. It was after graduation that I truly learned professional dubbing skills. 

Actually, for those of us who took acting lessons, we could understand them faster than dubbing actors who had a different major. I always tell my younger workmates that they aren’t dubbing; they are acting. I never do anything special to protect my throat, but some people in the industry indeed do this. I think my throat is pretty tough, as three days is all it takes for me to recover if I’m in bad condition.

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The Sound brought a lot of attention to the industry in 2018. Has your life changed a lot since the show?

I wouldn’t say my life has changed a lot – but it’s true that more people know me now. Some people recognise me at airports and train stations. Also, more people like the industry and I have earned respect.

How do you get yourself into character, especially when you’re trying to express complicated emotions?

We can’t make any sudden moves when recording, as the microphone is very sensitive. When emotion is needed, sometimes I pinch myself or grab a table, trying to get immersed into the character. When I had just started my career, there was a time that I recorded one scene with a long monologue for four hours – I lost count how many times I tried to get it right!

It seems that one characteristic of a great voice actor is if the audience doesn’t notice your existence… 

1分快三玩法All I can do is put myself into the characters with all my heart. 

Some audience members notice that the same voices appear across a variety of different series, which makes them feel a bit weird.

In fact, there isn’t a good solution to this problem. When I dub monsters and animation, I change my voice a little bit. However, when it comes to real people, I always use my real voice. I usually pay a lot of attention to the actors’ emotions and styles to match. It’s true that audience members who know me well will recognise my voice instantly. We don’t have a superpower to show off our voice in various ways.

Foreign series and movies are dubbed in Putonghua for local audiences. What’s your opinion about these shows?

I used to dub a lot of foreign shows, but now I don’t do that as often. The process and the emotional expression, as I see it, are the same as dubbing Chinese shows.

The Japanese dubbing industry is very mature and professional. Is it the future of the Chinese industry? 

The Japanese industry is pretty mature, but the Chinese one has just started. As the industry chain is different, I think we will have a different one with our own characteristics. But we can learn from our Japanese counterparts, for sure.

What moments make you feel most fulfilled and most upset as a dubbing actor?

When I am performing, the fans’ cheers and their warm welcome make me feel the most fulfilled. At that moment, I feel all my effort is paying off and I also gain the motivation of working harder. On the flipside, for the past ten-plus years, I have been working in the same way, without any change – and it’s pretty boring. When I’m in the studio, I can’t feel the sunshine. I can only get excited by different characters.

You have a lot of fans today. What’s your plan for the future?

I will try to find more excellent people for my office. I think my keeping up with trends is making progress already.

Image provided to China Daily

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The Great Outdoors


Get some fresh air and groovy tunes at China’s flourishing music festivals

The Great Outdoors


Get some fresh air and groovy tunes at China’s flourishing music festivals

Culture > Entertainment


 

The Great Outdoors

November 21, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

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As the traditional record industry has seemingly been in decline in recent times, many music companies have shifted their focus to the profitability of outdoor music festivals – and over the past few years, these gatherings have become a fashionable statement for the younger generation in China. Unlike some countries that have a long tradition of outdoor festivals, China is relatively new to the game, with a boom in the late 2000s coming in the form of a few standout events. Last year, the country hosted 269 such festivals.

Held in the spring, the Strawberry Music Festival has been staged since 2009 and hits multiple cities every year. For the 2018 incarnation, musicians from China and around the globe – with headliners including the UK’s Alt-J, Taiwan’s Tsai Chin and Japan’s Wednesday Campanella – joined the party, representing more than 100 bands across several themed stages. 

Founded by the Beijing Midi School of Music, the unofficial birthplace of China’s underground rock movement, the Midi Music Festival has developed from humble roots as a student band showcase in 2000 into a powerful brand with dozens of famous acts performing every year. Midi enjoys a reputation as the Chinese version of Woodstock – this year’s camping-based festival was held across four days in Suzhou, featuring a slew of top bands, DJs and electronic music artists. For a long time, Midi has also promoted a healthy, positive and sustainable lifestyle; in 2016, its theme was Away from Drugs, Close to Music, while 2018 was Say No to Plastic Meal Boxes. 

With its beautiful scenery on the Zhongdu Grassland in late July for three days every year, the Zhangbei Grassland Music Festival (held since 2009) is another top campout festival that’s great for enjoying a vast array of music and watching the stars from your tent. Beyond the tunes, there’s a variety of entertainment options including outdoor movies, a kite zone and a space for circus performers. Once the weather warms up again, perhaps it’s time to head outside…

Images: ©盐盐志; Weibo: @迷笛; Weibo: @2018兰州草莓音乐节

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On My Honour


Among all the mobile games in China, there’s one that’s been crowned royalty: Honour of Kings

On My Honour


1分快三玩法Among all the mobile games in China, there’s one that’s been crowned royalty: Honour of Kings

Culture > Entertainment


 

On My Honour

September 26, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

In China, Tencent has been one of the most dominant internet-based companies, particularly for its QQ and WeChat, the latter of which is the country’s most popular communication application. Another superstar product created by Tencent Games is Honour of Kings. Launched in November 2015 for iOS and Android, this online game has been hugely successful, especially among young people. Users can play dozens of hero roles such as warriors, assassins and archers, fighting with or against each other in the game. One major reason for its massive success is that users can play it on their phones rather than on a computer or console, thus making it more readily accessible.

1分快三玩法As the official professional league of Honour of Kings, King Pro League (KPL) is held biannually, including a spring season that starts around March and an autumn season around September. The spring season final was held on July 8 in Shanghai, with about 18,000 people packed into the Mercedes-Benz Arena as they cheered on their favourite contestants. The audience was divided into blue and red factions, each supporting one of the two competing teams, with the winner taking home a purse of RMB 5 million.

The 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta has officially announced that electronic gaming, or eSports, will be a demonstration sport this year, with games including Arena of Valor (the international version of Honour of Kings), Clash Royale, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer and StarCraft II. Discussions are also underway to make eSports an official competition event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou. As the rapidly developing gaming industry booms, we’ll have to keep watching to see if Honour of Kings remains at the top.

Images: Facebook: 王者荣耀

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