Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Press Conference: Genghis Khan - To the Ends of the Earth and Sea

[This was part of the FILMART Event]

The press room was abuzz with predominantly Japanese media teams, all eagerly anticipating the start of the conference for the movie on the Mongolian conqueror, Genghis Khan - To the Ends of the Earth and Sea. Made with a 3 billion Yen budget and shot over four months on location in Mongolia, Genghis Khan stars Japanese idol Takashi Sorimachi and Korean actress Ara, in a Japan-Mongolia co-production to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the founding of Mongol.

Accompanied by producers Haruki Kadokawa and Ryuhei Chiba, the conference began with the screening of the movie trailer, and photo opportunities for the dozens of photographers present, their flashes dazzling the ballroom, to the constant sounds of beating drums, no doubt a rousing tune used in the movie's soundtrack.

The producers were given a headstart in the fielding of questions on the underlying theme and message of the movie, which Ryuhei Chiba explained was one of brotherhood and family, given that Genghis Khan was also known as a family man, besides all conquering warrior.

Most of the questions were for the star Takashi Sorimachi, who hadn't been in Hong Kong for a long time, and was hoping to catch up with Andy Lau, with whom he co-starred in Full Time Killer back in 2001. He shared that he was doing a television series when he first heard of this movie project, and he agreed to do it when he was asked if he was willing to try the role. To prepare for it, he read many books on Genghis Khan, and being on the set helped him to crystallise his thoughts for the role. There were some mindset shifts required as the era was very different, especially on relationship issues like polygamy, and when hate amongst men equates to war. He revealed that the harsh weather and environment in Mongolia made shooting tough - he actually lugged cases of Japanese food to bring over!

Naturally, in such harsh environments, a question was posed as to how the stars managed to maintain their good complexion. Takashi Sorimachi was gleefully surprised that the question was posed to him, instead of his beautiful co-star Ara, as he did not take any special precautions nor special care, though he mentioned that the weather was dry, and it was easy to catch a cold. Ara too did not do anything in particular besides her usual routine of using facial masks and to wash and cleanse her face carefully.

The stars were asked their favourite and memorable scenes in the movie, and it was unanimous that the blue skies and vast grasslands of Mongolia were favourites. In addition, Ara liked the realistic battle scenes, as well as those in the film which exhibited strong human drama.

To wrap things up in the short conference, the stars were asked for their impression of Hong Kong. Ara shared that this was the first time she was in Hong Kong and had heard about the great food and scenery, but had not much time to prepare for the trip because of her busy schedule. Takashi Sorimachi too agreed that the food gourmet is great, and has no problems with the local cuisine.

Yet another addition to epic movies on historical characters, Genghis Khan - To the Ends of the Earth and Sea has been picked up for distribution in over 60 countries, let's hope that Singapore is one of them!

Here's a video with excerpts from the press conference. Enjoy!

Text: Stefan
Photos / Videos: CK Yip / Stefan

No comments: