×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BUSAN: ‘Paradise’ Director Defends Opening Film

BUSAN — Why was Taiwanese director Doze Niu Chen-zer’s period drama “Paradise in Service” selected as the opening film of this year’s Busan festival? Asked this unanswerable question at the film’s Thursday press conference, Niu came up with a sincere reply, if not quite to the point: “I think Chinese and Korean people are the best to share this film with.”

The reason: Both have a history of civil conflict that has led to family separations, a key theme of the film, set in an era of Cold War tension on Quemoy (now commonly known as Kinmen), an island group that was a flash point between China and Taiwan. The story, which revolves around a military brothel the 19-year-old hero (Ethan Juan) is assigned to manage, takes a view of its soldiers and prostitutes that one questioner characterized as “romantic,” but Niu insisted was the researched truth. The sex workers, he added “were good people — they gave comfort to those who were suffering.”

The film also gave a good feeling to the nominators for this year’s Golden Horse awards — Taiwan’s Oscar equivalent for Chinese-language films. “Paradise In Service” scored five nods, including supporting actor (Chen Jian Bin) and supporting actress (Chen Yi Han). Both thesps, as well as stars Ethan Juan and Wan Qian, were on hand to express their appreciation to Niu. Chen Jian Bin, who played a homesick soldier, mentioned an additional inspiration. “My grandfather had a similar experience,” he said. “He really wanted to go back to his hometown (on the mainland), but never could. Playing this role helped me better understand what he went through.”

More Film

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    'Spotlight' Director Tom McCarthy Remembers Steve Golin as 'A Warrior and a Mensch'

    It was a brutal process to get “Spotlight” made. The movie was dead at least three times before we shot it because of financing problems, studio problems, deadlines, actors’ availability and the time of year we could shoot. There were moments when Steve and I were just going at it. We’d have hilarious late-night correspondence. [...]

  • "A War Within"

    SF Studios Scoops International Sales to 'Grandpas,' 'A War Within' (EXCLUSIVE)

    SF Studios has scooped international sales rights to Santiago Requejo’s heartfelt comedy drama “Grandpas” and Kasper Torsting’s WWI-set Danish love drama “A War Within” in the run up to Cannes. Both films are third-party pickups. “Grandpas” is a high-profile Spanish movie starring Carlos Iglesias (“Crossing Borders”), Roberto Álvarez (“Talk to her”) and Ramón Barea (“Everybody [...]

  • 'Gemini Man' First Trailer Drops With

    Will Smith Faces Off Against Himself in Ang Lee's 'Gemini Man' Trailer

    Will Smith battles a familiar antagonist in the official trailer for Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” — himself. Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media dropped dazzling new footage of the futuristic sci-fi drama, scored to a haunting version of “Forever Young,” that sees Smith playing an elite assassin. Things get tricky when he finds out the man [...]

  • Werner Herzog

    Film Constellation Boards Werner Herzog's Japanese Film 'Family Romance' (EXCLUSIVE)

    London-based sales house Film Constellation has boarded Oscar-winning director Werner Herzog’s Japanese-language narrative film “Family Romance,” which will have its world premiere in the special screenings section at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Herzog, the movie was shot last spring and summer in Tokyo and Aomori, Japan, with non-professional actors (Yuichi Ishii, [...]

  • Avengers Endgame Box Office: Can It

    'Avengers: Endgame' Expected to Shatter Box Office Records

    “Avengers: Endgame” has its sights set on world domination. Disney and Marvel’s upcoming superhero epic should light the box office on fire when it launches this weekend, with the hopes of setting domestic, international, and global records. In North America alone, “Avengers: Endgame” is expected to earn between $250 million and $268 million in its [...]

  • Katie HolmesAT&T Presents: Untold Stories Luncheon

    Katie Holmes, Kal Penn Help Decide Winner of $1 Million Filmmaker Grant

    Tribeca Film Festival and AT&T gave one young filmmaker a million and one reasons to rejoice at the “Untold Stories” third annual competition. After a nerve-wracking 10-minute long pitch in front of over 850,000 live stream audience members and a panel consisting of celebrities and industry leaders, filmmaker Kate Tsang was awarded $1 million Monday [...]

  • Reed Hastings seen on day one

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' Compensation Jumps 48% to $36.1 Million

    Netflix chief Reed Hastings is being handsomely rewarded for calling the shots at the streaming giant. His compensation package, which is largely in the form of stock options, climbed 48% in 2018 to $36.1 million. That’s up from $24.4 million in the previous year. Hastings’ salary is a relatively modest $700,000, but his stock options [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content