Cannes entry may get US release in autumn

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 May, 2011, 12:00am


Peter Chan Ho-sun's Cannes Film Festival entry Wu Xia could be released in the US in the autumn, the director said after the film's premiere at Cannes over the weekend.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post after the film's world premiere at the Cannes festival on Friday, Chan said Harvey Weinstein - whose Weinstein Company acquired the US distribution rights in a deal at Cannes last week - told him Wu Xia could open in America 'in October or November'.

It was a tentative schedule, Chan said. 'Everything will be up to the exhibitors and distributors down the road.' The Weinstein Company will release Wu Xia in the US with the English title Dragon.

Set in Yunnan province in 1917, the film stars Takeshi Kaneshiro as a detective investigating the violent death of two robbers during a hold-up at a grocery store in a remote village. As he learns more about the case, he begins to suspect the person who was in the store during the robbery, a bumbling papermaker played by Donnie Yen Ji-dan, is more than he appears to be.

During the film's official festival press conference on Saturday, Chan said he was still editing Wu Xia in Thailand a week before the reels arrived in Cannes for the screenings.

Two minutes were trimmed from what should have been the final cut, he said, to make the film shorter for the festival's midnight slot, as viewers might be too tired or jet-lagged to appreciate the longer take. He would restore the cut footage for the film's normal release, he said.

As an out-of-competition entry, Wu Xia will not be competing for the festival's coveted Palme d'Or.

As of yesterday, British director Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin was seen as the frontrunner among films already screened. The film stars Tilda Swinton as an American mother making sense of her son's murderous shooting spree in school.

The odds might change as the festival enters its second week and much anticipated films from other festival heavyweights get into the fray. Among them are Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Lars von Trier's Melancholia and Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In.

The main competition's two Asian entries will also be screened this week. Naomi Kawase's village-life story Hanezu No Tsuki is hotly tipped as a prize winner, while Takashi Kiike's Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai has made history as the first 3-D film to compete for the Palme d'Or. The festival ends on May 22.