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An Article Written by Tony (in Chinese, 2015)
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Safran



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 2290
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again many thanks for your helpful translation, Eri Very Happy ....and to Heike for her kind contribution too Very Happy
Makes me remembering and smiling too love Very Happy

The way is the goal / The journey is the reward
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Eri



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 861
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Tony said, they look similar. I agree.

¸U°êÄP (Chinese Actor in "I Am Somebody")




¬V¨¦将¤Ó (Japanese Actor, Shota Sometani)




Last edited by Eri on Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tin-Yau



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 961
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Eri!
Your translation is very clear. I read it again this morning. Maybe I shouldn`t post when I`m very tired and about to go to sleep. I apologize for the confusion! Embarassed

Yes there are similarities.

Btw, I like the movie "The Lunatics"!
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ham



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
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Location: Thailand

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much. Eri Smile
This article was translated into thai language, I found it
on a thai website. Smile
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Eri



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 861
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ham !

Is "I Am Somebody" going to be shown in Thailand ?

Unfortunately, I don't think it is going to be shown in Japan in near future.
It might be possible at some film festivals.

Here is a link for trailer.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JXQIRCMOGLk

and about the movie



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Tin-Yau



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Eri for the link and the article in english! This is a movie I`m looking forward to see.
And I don`t think it will be shown here in Germany as well, like most of the China or HK productions - unfortunately. Sad The only chance to see such things here is Berlinale. Idea Or buy the DVD.
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Safran



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting article....many thanks for sharing Eri flower
During Cannes Fstival, I watched various videos and interviews. There was a special "relaxed" one with Derek Yee, Tsui Hark and Johnnie To.....all 3 in relaxed and jokingly mood Razz....talking in English with «The Hollywood Reporter» about filmmaking in China.
Obviously this video was made in connection with the article above.( I tried to find the video on youTube and on Official Cannes site.....but regrettably couldn't find anymore)
Just on special Festivals like Berlinale, we Europeans will probably have the chance to watch on big screen....like Heike mentioned.....,or to wait for the DVD/BluRay release. Crying or Very sad
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yitian



Joined: 06 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Eri, for this extra reading on the movie about extra Wink Very Happy . I hope the movie will be shown in US somewhere on someday.

I found the article you posted (in pdf) and converted it into text, I post it below just in case sometimes the websites hosting pics go wrong Confused .

THE SECRET LIVES OF CHINESE CINEMA
THR.COM/CANNES Daily No7 May 20, 2014

Hong Kong director Derek Yee tells of how he secretly shot his latest film, I Am Somebody, in China’s answer to Hollywood, the vast Hengdian Studio in eastern Zhejiang province.

Self-financed through his film company, Unlimited Production Co Ltd, the move chronicles the lives of the small army of extras who work at the world’s largest film lot.

“In the eyes of many foreigners, China may appear a mysterious country. We have Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons; and at the same time we also have streets crowded with brainless rich people. But I digress --
let’s go back to our main subject of this article: Chinese cinema,” said Yee.

Outsiders may have studied the works of Zhang Yimou, Jiang Wen, ChenKaige, Feng Xiaogang, John Woo, Tsui Hark, Derek Yee and Johnnie To. They may have been captivated by the performances of Chow Yun-fat, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Ge You, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Gong Li, ZhangZiyi, and Fan Bingbing. Their familiarity with Chinese cinema may stem from the Chinese movies showcased at various film festivals. Or their line into China may be through the landscape of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau.

“But if you’ve never heard of Hengdian, you should start looking into this place, because it is tremendously significant to Chinese cinema,” said Yee.

Spread over 121 square kilometres, Hengdian is a vast movie studio, home to 13 lots, and larger than Universal and Paramount combined.

Hengdian World Studio was responsible for a quarter of all films and TV productions in China last year, and The Hollywood Reporter labeled it ‘Hollywood of the East’. It’s spread over an area around one tenth of Hollywood’s area. You may be familiar with Hollywood productions such as The Forbidden Kingdom and The Mummy 3 that were shot there.”

“It’s got teahouses, karaoke bars, restaurants, hotels. It drives the local economy. Cast and crew from all over the world. And everyday in Hengdian is like a film festival, because you never know which celebrity you may run into! But there is so much more to Hengdian than what appears on the surface. We’ve all seen the White House in the movies, but we don't get a view into the inner workings or the blueprints. And it’s a bit like
this in Hengdian,” said Yee.

Central to the fabric of Hengdian are the extras, known ‘Hengpiao’ in Chinese, hundreds of whom live around Hengdian waiting for their big break.

“Some people call them ‘background’ or ‘live props’, but to me, these are the pillars of Chinese cinema. They are passionate, dedicated, good-looking. They are necessary to every production, but they are anonymous. They are waiting for their big chance, and as we say in Chinese, ‘a day of winning is better than ten thousand years of waiting.’ To these extras, Hengdian is definitely more realistic than Hollywood.”

Yee, however, also believes that Hengdian’s remote location – four hours from Hangzhou, around six from Shanghai – makes it a challenging place.

“With such distinctive advantages and disadvantages, what’s next for Hengdian? Would filmmakers and extras be able to realize their dreams there? These mysteries have turned Hengdian into an unsolved puzzle of the
Chinese cinema.”

Yee’s fascination with Hengdian began in 2012 when he went to visit fellow director Tsui Hark. He went on to meet over 300 movie extras in person, trying to understand their motivation for coming to Hengdian. These are the elements he has gathered together into I Am Somebody, written and directed by Yee himself.

The film began principal photography in early 2013, and it stars the actual extras in real life.

Under his direction, the maids, the servants and the corpses that fill the movies interact with movie stars for the first time. Together, they have interwoven an emotional tale on the reality of life, one that should appeal to both Western and Chinese curiosity.

“Through the development of a small town in the eyes of a movie extra, we see the future from the past and present. I believe this is the sentiment shared by every filmmaker. In reality, we’re all nobody.”
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hanasan



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although a bit slow, I also tried to translate Tony's article. Very good English exercise and I enjoyed the process a lot Smile .
Look forward to the film on 3rd next month Very Happy

The Sound of Meteors
by Tony Leung Chiu Wai

I have not seen Derek Yee for three years since the release of ‘The Great Magician’ in 2012. We were both busy with our own stuff.
I heard that he has shot a movie called ‘I Am Somebody’ in Hengdian Film Studio, which is about extras. What I was curious about the most is not why he would like to make this film, but how he’s going to make it. This handsome and talented big guy has never been a background actor because he took the leading role from the very beginning. How is he going to show the lives of extras through the film?
Well, the other day, Derek invited me to watch a movie. And hence I had the honour to see the film, ‘I Am Somebody’, in advance.
The film was out of my expectation. If you ask me to describe it in one word, I would say ‘comfortable’. Yes, it is the most comfortable, fresh and pure movie I have seen this year. And it is my favourite type of movie as well. It passes messages and makes you think. The laughing and crying are all from the bottom of the heart, without being forced at all.
It seems that Derek has changed. He becomes more mature.
Maybe he will not be happy to hear about this.

Back to year 2001, I was shooting “Hero” in Hengdian Studio.
It was my first time there. The weather’s getting cool and there were not many people there at that time. Everyday, I went to the shooting site by bicycle, and then went cycling around after work. Sometimes when I got bored, I would also set off some fireworks in open spaces. It was fairly quiet at night in Hengdian, and some folks there were scared by the fireworks and screamed out. I then hid myself and pretended that it was nothing to do with me.
On Nov. 19th, the news said there would be Leonid meteor shower at night. After work, at midnight, the crew and I went to the roof and eagerly waited for the meteor shower. Suddenly, a meteor shot across the sky, then another one. We were so excited and cheered for it. But then we were a bit scared by the numerous meteors and back to silence.
In that extremely quiet environment, I heard some sounds like ‘thiu’ ‘thiu’ and was wondering where it’s from. I didn’t know that it was the sound of meteors crossing the sky until another one shot across, with this sound, right above of my head.
I never know that the meteor has a sound as well. It is so noisy in the cities and people are too busy to listen to the meteors.
I have very good impression to Hengdian because of that meteor shower.

Back to 30 years ago, when I was still having my dull life as a home electronics salesman, my only thought about my future was that maybe I could get promotions, if there are no accidents, until sales manager.
Although this is not too bad, sometimes I felt like it’s not the life I want. But at that time, I didn’t know what I really wanted to do.
Thanks to an old friend who kept talking about his fantastic plans to me and asked me to quit my job and apply for the artist training course together with him, I was finally persuaded by him and made that important step.
I did appreciate this while my mother was really angry at that time because this guy, Stephen Chow, made his son quit the stable job and go to the training course which was full of uncertainties. I still remember what she said: ‘Listen boy, I won’t give you a penny for this!’
She did keep her promise and I had to rely on my savings in that year. I walked to the course with only ten dollars with me every day. If I slept over and had to take a taxi, I would have nothing for lunch that day.
Maybe I have told Derek about this before? The experience of the boy, Guopeng Wan, in the film is exactly the same as mine. Not only from Wan, but also from each of the other extras in the film, it seems that I have seen what I used to be thirty years ago. I couldn’t help laughing when I saw their confusion at the beginning of being an extra and each time they act overly in the film.
The only difference is that they had their clear goals before going to Hengdian, but I only found it’s the kind of life I really want after I joined the training course. What I want is to be an actor, not a super star, not for any awards, just simply being an actor.
The word ‘actor’ means a lot to me. In 2013, I encountered some extras when I was working in Los Angeles. They all have their own jobs to make a living, such as being a waiter or a cleaner. But when I asked them about their jobs, they would still say: ‘I am an actor.’
I believe that someone must be very passionate about acting if he or she says this. To me, to be an actor is to make the acting perfect without any conditions. It is not related to anything else.
Over the past years, many people asked me what I would be if I were not an actor. Even now I still don’t know the answer for this. I can’t do anything else except for acting. From the very beginning of being an actor, I have a strong obsession that whatever the character is and no matter how long I will be in the film, I will try my best to make you remember me, even if there is only one second.
I worked very hard to achieve this. Although I may not say this is my original ‘dream’, to be a real ‘actor’, I have to achieve it.
And because of this, even today, I will forget that I am Tony Leung when I am on the set.

I have seen quite a few Japanese movies at home recently. I like them especially those leading by Shota Sometani. I have an impression that Wan in ‘I Am Somebody’ looks similar to Sometani. Their ignorant faces dissolved the pressure of the story itself and made me feel relaxing during the process of watching it.
The story of ‘I Am Somebody’ itself is not an easy one and all of the leading roles are new faces. But Derek is so smart that he knows that the only way to successfully accomplish this project is to cast real extras. It has been his style since ‘The Lunatics’ to clearly understand and greatly trust the actors and actress. I still remember his eyes when he looked at the actors. It’s like ‘Yes, I am right. You are the one.’
Sometimes you will feel unpleasant for this, but he’s always right.

The young folks were discussing about success in the film, and I also thought through this when I watched the movie. In my view, success is not about fame or wealth, but about whether you can really enjoy the whole process of your work. Of course it is good to have dreams and targets, but you will overlook the process if you only focus on the targets. It is just like when you go jogging, if your goal is to get to the destination only, you will forget enjoying the scenery along the way.
Sometimes we don’t know how to treasure good things; sometimes we are too conceited; sometimes we have too many complaints; sometimes we feel unfair. These are all because we are not able to put down ourselves. If we learn how to put down, we may obtain more.
To realize dreams, having target and being bold are not enough. We need the thinking and realizing process as well. And once we experience this process, it becomes less important to achieve whatever the results.

For most of us, extras are only passers-by. Like the meteors that occasionally shoot across the sky, they will not be staying in our lives for long.
However, even as weak as meteors, they have their own routes and sound in that particular second, late at night, when they shoot across the sky. And somebody may hear it.
And it is the same for the extras. These nameless people finally met the man called Derek Yee after their hard work for so many years.
This time, I hope more people can hear the sound of the meteors, even if for one second only.

24th May, 2015
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sparkles_n15



Joined: 16 Aug 2007
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Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the hard work translating Tony's piece! (Sorry I still haven't read the original article in Chinese, so I really appreciate reading the English translation.)

Applause Applause
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yitian



Joined: 06 Jul 2011
Posts: 1636
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hanasan wrote:
... I also tried to translate Tony's article. Very good English exercise and I enjoyed the process a lot Smile .
Look forward to the film on 3rd next month Very Happy
...

Tina, this is great. Thanks a lot Very Happy sunny flower .
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Safran



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 2290
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MANY THANKS Tina ! flower

....for your enormous effort....completely translating this very warm and lovable Tony-article into English Very Happy
Guess we all Non-Chinese fellow fans highly appreciate Applause:

And not to forget: My cordial thanks to Eri also...once again flower
.....for her speedy and helpfulf "First Aid" Very Happy
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ham



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Eri
I think it'll be released on dvd only in Thailand.
Thanks for the trailer. Smile
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Eri



Joined: 28 May 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Tina.

It's great to be able to read the complete translation. Very Happy

I think choosing right word is the most difficult part of translation. The words depend on writer's personality in any languages.
So it is good English and Chinese exercise and also knowing about Tony. Wink
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hanasan



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eri wrote:

I think choosing right word is the most difficult part of translation. The words depend on writer's personality in any languages.


Yes, agree. And further more, we can only try to express the meaning clearly but can't avoid losing the beauty of the Chinese language after translation. It's really difficult to find suitable words for those Chinese idoms and phrases.

But it's really amazing that you can complete the translation so quick because Chinese is also foreign language for you!
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