Lin turns to Lebanon for fashion win

The gown glittered on the red carpet. (Instagram)
Updated 24 April 2018
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Lin turns to Lebanon for fashion win

  • Taiwanese model and actress Chiling Lin shut down the red carpet at the closing ceremony of the eighth Beijing International Film Festival this week wearing a dress by Lebanese designer, Rami Kadi
  • The 43-year-old star posed for photographs in a glittering, light pink gown with sparkling embroidery woven to resemble fronds of ivy

DUBAI: Taiwanese model and actress Chiling Lin shut down the red carpet at the closing ceremony of the eighth Beijing International Film Festival this week wearing a dress by Lebanese designer, Rami Kadi.

The 43-year-old star posed for photographs in a glittering, light pink gown with sparkling embroidery woven to resemble fronds of ivy. The one-shoulder, figure-hugging dress was given extra oomph with its single sheer sleeve, which trailed down to the ground and added drama and flair to the outfit.

“Taiwanese model and actress @chiling.lin flaunts sexiness and charm in a Rami Kadi salmon ... gown to grace the closing ceremony of the eighth Beijing International Film Festival,” the design house posted on its Instagram account, alongside a photograph of the star.

The actress complemented the stunning dress with loose, free-flowing hair, minimal make-up and jewelry — drop earrings and a bracelet — by Hollywood favorite, Harry Winston.

The model and actress spent her high school years in Toronto and returned to Taiwan soon after. She is considered one of the most famous faces in Asia and was a brand ambassador for both China Airlines and Longines. The famous face also served as Taiwan’s goodwill ambassador to Japan and established the Chiling Charity Foundation in 2011.

She was joined at the event by Taiwan-born actress Shu Qi, who attended as a member of the jury headed by director Wong Kar Wai and as the star of one of the films showcased at the festival, “The Island.” The actress is a household name and even won the best supporting actress award at a Golden Horse Awards ceremony, regarded as the East Asian equivalent of the Academy Awards.

As for the Beijing International Film Festival, “Scary Mother,” a Georgian-Estonian drama, was named best film, according to media reports.

The film follows the story of a woman who places her passion for writing ahead of her family and its lead performer, Nato Murvanidze, was also named best actress at the festival.

The Tiantan awards were presented on Sunday night, at a closing ceremony just outside the Chinese capital.

British wartime drama “Journey’s End” won two prizes, one of which went to actor Paul Bettany for his supporting role.

“Dede,” a drama set in the Caucasus, also won big on the night, with Mariam Khatchvani being named best director and Konstantin Esadze earning the cinematography prize.

Joe Cole was named best actor for his role in the film “Eye on Juliet.” Meanwhile, Iranian actress Mina Sadati, who starred in “The Searing Summer,” was named best supporting actress.

 “Operation Red Sea,” a Hong Kong-Chinese Box Office hit, won the best special effects prize.


Interview with the director and stars of ‘The Lion King’

Twenty-five years later, director Jon Favreau has brought “The Lion King” to life again for a new generation. (Supplied)
Updated 58 min 56 sec ago
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Interview with the director and stars of ‘The Lion King’

  • Jon Favreau, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner discuss Disney’s latest blockbuster remake.
  • ‘We’re trying to live up to people’s imagination of what they remember ‘Lion King’ being,’ says Favreau.

DUBAI: There are few movies as resonant as Disney’s 1994 classic “The Lion King.” From its beautiful animation and memorable songs by Hans Zimmer and Elton John to its devastating emotional punch, the film has become a touchstone for an entire generation, one of the few films that unite nearly every person who has seen it across the world.

Now, 25 years later, director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “The Jungle Book”) has brought “The Lion King” to life again for a new generation. Sitting in London, the first thing Favreau asks Arab News is whether we were part of the “Lion King” generation, and we were, mentioning to Favreau just how expansive the film still feels to us.

 Chiwetel Ejiofor, Director and Producer Jon Favreau and Donald Glover attend the World Premiere of Disney's "THE LION KING" in Hollywood. (AFP)

“That’s part of the challenge here! We’re trying to live up to people’s imagination of what they remember ‘Lion King’ being. We would watch it next to one another and there’s certain sequences that hold up incredibly well that we tried to follow shot-for-shot like (the opening sequence) ‘Circle of Life,’ but there’s other areas where we had the opportunity to update it and make it feel a bit more grounded in reality,” Favreau tells Arab News.

Remaking it for a new generation seems obvious, but — to borrow from another Disney classic — it was a Herculean task for Favreau and the huge animation team that supported him. This version remains fully animated, but uses cutting-edge technology to make the entire film photo-realistic. The characters, story, and songs remain, but the film looks more like a David Attenborough nature documentary than an animated movie.

It wasn’t just the technology that proved challenging, either. Making sure that audiences still connect with these beloved characters without the expressiveness of classic Disney animation was something that gave Favreau pause.

(Supplied)

“I worked on ‘Jungle Book,’ so I had some experience in this area,” he says. “Pretty early on, we got to try some different things and when you go to human, you think it would make you feel more but it really feels kind of bizarre, at least to me. I was limited if we were to go photo-real. If you go stylized like Pixar it’s great, you can do whatever you want. If we go ‘Madagascar’ you can make them stick their tongues out. The minute you start hitting photorealism, you hit the uncanny valley when you push the performances beyond what the real animal could do. Part of what makes it look so real is we limited what we allowed the animators to do.”

To be sure that audiences would connect with the characters, Favreau relied a lot on the voices that supported them, bringing in an all-star cast including Beyoncé as Nala, Donald Glover as Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa.

“If you look at a character like Pumbaa, to me he’s the most fun example, because when people saw pictures of Pumbaa they were like, ‘Oh my god! That’s horrifying! That thing looks like a monster!’ But when you watch the movie and you hear Seth Rogen’s voice coming out of it and the way the animators animated his body and what the character represents and feels, you have a tremendous connection to it. It’s a testament to the power of using techniques that we borrowed from documentaries or other films, where we limit ourselves to not anthropomorphize the characters,” says Favreau.

(Supplied) 

Eichner and Rogen both tried to remain true to the characters, but also stay true to themselves. “My idea from the beginning was that Jon cast us for a reason,” says Eichner. “He could have cast pretty much any actors. Anyone would have killed to do these roles and be in this movie. It wasn’t the right time to try a new persona. It would have been very strange had I all of a sudden had a deep resonant baritone. I figured he wants Seth to sound like Seth and me to sound like me — or at least what our public comic personas sound-like — and hopefully they’ll complement each other, which they did. Our goal was not to try a new character but to be as funny as possible together.”

As funny as Rogen and Eichner are in the film, it is still aimed firmly at kids — something Rogen hadn’t really considered prior.

Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen at the World Premiere of Disney's "THE LION KING" in Hollywood . (AFP)

“It wasn’t something that even occurred to me until we were making the movie and I was performing the bully scene,” he says. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is for kids!’ I have never done anything that was ever trying to instill any wisdom into kids in any way shape or form.”

The film’s wisdom, like the original, is far-reaching, exploring truths not only of family and loss, but of the corrupting nature of ambition and power, which Ejiofor explored in his role as Scar.

“Often, when people are obsessed with power and status, they aren’t really worried about what they do with it, they’re just concerned about getting it. It’s not something that’s connected to any kind of nurturing aspect for a community or anybody else. It becomes about the nature of obsession — obsession with power and status, and maybe status more than power, even though they are related,” says Ejiofor. “That’s one of the things that’s engaging and fun about the film and its themes.”