The Shanghai Restoration Project released the music video for their track “Uproar in Heaven” from the film “Shanghai Calling.” They use scenes from the film starring Daniel Henney, Eliza Coupe, Bill Paxton, Zhu Zhu, Geng Le, and Alan Ruck to illustrate experience of life as an expat in Shanghai. Follow Daniel Henney’s character Sam as he arrives in China to his experiences around the city for his job. You can get the track on or amazon.
Based on a true story, a former US Air Force pilot, Ray Harris (Barry Primus) navigated the B-29 bomber plane during World War Two in Japan. Now in his late 80s, Ray enrolls in a memoir class as an attempt to build new friendships and record his experiences on paper while he is still able. Ray befriends Sally (Takayo Fischer), a Japanese woman who has also enrolled in the class. Through their many revealing conversations with each other regarding their memoirs, Harris soon realizes that his connection with Sally extends far beyond the classroom. Sally’s family lived in Japan during World War II, in one of the neighborhoods that Ray bombed. After discovering he piloted the plane that destroyed her hometown in the war, he faces sacrificing this rare new friendship he’s made during the later years of his life. When Ray realizes this, he’s faced with the decision of how to explain his actions to Sally.
The story speaks heavily toward the lasting impact of war, and the importance of human connection through friendship.
Look for the film to hit the festival circuit in mid-2013.
In the short film “Police Guys“, a pair of cops (Jon Lee Brody and Stephen Kramer Glickman) get much more than they bargained for while on a stakeout. It’s packed with comedic references to police dramas, life as an actor, martial arts stunts, and visual effects. Get ready for this cop duo show you what they got.
Police Guys : short film (contains adult language)
Jia Li has become an Australian citizen after 4 years of hard work and study, during which time she has built up a client base working for Serena, a nasty hairdresser, who takes advantage of her, paying under the counter with no job security.
Having finally paid her dues, gaining citizenship she thinks she will be able to bring her family to Australia. Instead of giving her a better job, Serena sacks her. On returning home she finds she’s being evicted to make way for an upmarket redevelopment.
Lost and bewildered she turns to her ex-boyfriend Kong for help, a mid-level triad member, but finds herself unable to ask him for help and runs, returning to her apartment to find her former co-worker Daisy on her doorstep.
Daisy a half Chinese half Japanese Harajuku girl communicates with Jia only through monosyllabic responses in Japanese, a sophisticated texting computer and a simple set of gestures and understandings. Daisy invites Jia to stay with her while she gets back on her feet. Jia reluctantly accepts until she finds a new home.
Kong furious for losing Jia again embarks on a quest to get Jia back whether she wants him or not. Conflicted between love and keeping face and the obligation he owes toward her family for their help of his family in coming to Australia.
Moving into Daisy’s up market flat Jia spends the evening talking about their families and dreams.The next day Daisy transforms Jia with a makeover into a hip streetwise young thing. They go to see her former client Jenny Chan a Chinese real-estate agent.
Jenny challenges Jia to take control of her life and gives her the alternative opportunity to open her own salon. She offers her a shop owned by an acquaintance, John Simkins. Jenny convinces Jia to trust in herself and start her own hair salon. Jia and Daisy inspect the shop with John Simkins. They hear how he started his working life and met his wife there. Jia haggles on the price and terms, in the end getting the office for what she can afford.
Meanwhile Kong continues to search for Jia, more and more angrily. He ends up finally Serena’s salon where he beats up Serena for braking their agreement to employ Jia. There he learns that she has sacked Jia contrary to their agreement. For Jia and Daisy the day disappears in a whirlwind shopping spree which provides the equipment for the salon but also wipes out most of Jia’s funds. Kong meets up with some of his triad peers and their girlfriends in a city restaurant. Jenny’s PA May tells him that she saw Jia and can get her address.
Returning to her former place of work to get the client contacts in her diary, Jia reluctantly faces Serena, brushing aside her threats and standing up to her taking her dairy and leaving a furious Serena powerless.
Back at the new salon Daisy is cleaning when Kong arrives. He and Daisy exchange words in an escalating argument that is interrupted by Jia’s arrival. Kong demands that Jia return to him or she will have to pay for protection. Daisy steps in the gap and offers her money. Kong lashes out at Daisy, hitting Jia instead and knocking her to the ground.
Stunned by the blow Jia’s world spins. Finally getting to her feet, she picks up the fallen money and demands Kong to take it and never come back. She makes it clear that his family’s obligation is over. Caught between obligation and honour Kong has lost. He leaves Jia and Daisy the masters of their domain.
Today iconic Japanese director Akira Kurosawa would have been 103 years old. To celebrate, his birthday, prolific life and career, Criterion Collection is making 24 of his films free all weekend on Hulu, including classics like “Rashomon” to the epics like “Seven Samurai” to his final film “Madadayo.”
Arguably the most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa had a career that spanned from the Second World War to the early nineties and that stands as a monument of artistic, entertainment, and personal achievement. His best-known films remain his samurai epics Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, but his intimate dramas, such as Ikiru and High and Low, are just as searing. The first serious phase of Kurosawa’s career came during the postwar era, with Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, gritty dramas about people on the margins of society that featured the first notable appearances by Toshiro Mifune, the director’s longtime leading man. Kurosawa would subsequently gain international fame with Rashomon, a breakthrough in nonlinear narrative and sumptuous visuals. Following a personal breakdown in the late sixties, Kurosawa rebounded by expanding his dark brand of humanism into new stylistic territory, with films such as Kagemusha and Ran, visionary, color, epic ruminations on modern man and nature. You can watch the 24 films FREE here.