Frédéric Ambroisine from Paris, France, a filmmaker and aficionado of Hong Kong cinema, has made a three-part documentary on me. The three parts are available on his own or website http://fredambroisine.com/ or on dailymotion.com
The first time I met him, he impressed me with how much he knew about Hong Kong cinema, especially about my mother’s films from Shaw. They were very specific Chinese musicals and he knew them all.
Over the years, I would run into him in Paris, Pusan, Deauville, Hong Kong, just all over the world where there’s film. Good job Fred...and thanks.
It is great to see Mélanie rising to the top and getting amazing recognition in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. I met Quentin at Sundance just before he was casting for Basterds, I wish I could say I recommended Mélanie to him but I didn’t know he was prepping the film then.
Quentin Tarantino, Mélanie Laurent, Brad Pitt and Diane Kruger at Cannes for Inglourious Basterds
Me and Quentin Tarantino at Sundance Film Festival’s Director’s Brunch 2008
Mélanie Laurent as Sabine in Rice Rhapsody
Video on Mélanie and her character in Rice Rhapsody
She was fantastic to work with. Professional, lively, attentive, instinctive. One funny thing is whenever she had some cake or sweets on the set, it would really show. She would start dancing, singing and become very animated. That helped her character actually.
QT and Mélanie dancing on the Red Carpet
We wish Mélanie continued success.
I also happened to meet Zoe Bell from Tarantino’s Death Proof last week in L.A. She was the kick-ass heroine in the film that took on the psychopath Kurt Russell at the end. She had everyone cheering for her in the cinema.
QT cast Zoe in Death Proof after they had done Kill Bill together. She was Uma Thurman’s stunt double. She was great in the film and equally charming in real life. She also attended the Cannes premiere of Inglourious Basterds.
The Drummer, Kenneth Bi and Rosa Li were invited to The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago as part of the Hong Kong comes to Chicago program by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Organization.
Gene Siskel Film Center on the left
Gene Siskel on the left and Roger Ebert on the right; a small poster of the Hong Kong: New Action poster featuring 33 new directors
It was a great thrill to show my film at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Gene Siskel who passed away in 1999, was a great and respected film critic along with Roger Ebert.
Barbara Scharres (Director of Programming at the Art Institute of Chicago — Gene Siskel Film Center), Kenneth Bi and Rosa Li
The screening was on May 9th. The Film Center’s director Ms. Barbara Scharres introduced the film.
The new Millienium Park which featured the Frank Gehry building, Cloud Gate (aka the Bean) by Anish Kapoor, among others.
This was Rosa's favorite attraction in the city.“Cloud Gate” (aka The Bean)
Frank Gehry’s building in the middle of the Millenium Park The whole city had Tulips on display. It’s an amazing sight.
Rosa standing where Kevin Costner waited for the accountant in The Untouchables
Union Station across from The Sears Tower where The Untouchables’s
famous staircase scene was shot. Like people who meet actors in person,
“He’s much shorter than I expected.” The staircase looked much longer
in the film.
Me at the bottom of the staircase
We also visited the famous The Second City and saw a matinee show entitled The Best of The Second City. A great chance to see up and coming comic actors cutting their chops with a real audience.
Some famous Alumni are John Candy, Eugene Levy, Bill Murray and the more recent ones are Tina Fey and her costar on 30 Rock, (Jack McBrayer who plays Kenneth).
Tina Fey (bottom left corner), Steve Carell (bottom right corner), Dan Ackroyd (top lef corner), Nia Vardalos, can’t make out who the middle person is, Stephen Colbert and Bill Murray
Jack McBrayer (bottom left corner), John Belushi (top left corner) and Mike Myers (bottom center)
Also in anticipation of Michael Mann’s new film Public Enemies, we took a look at the Biograph Theatre where John Dillinger was shot to death outside the theatre. It’s actually a beautiful theatre.