“With more than 4 billion people in Asia – 60 percent of the global population – a celebration of Asian cinema is long overdue.” We couldn’t agree more with this statement made earlier this year by Wilfred Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society. Even though Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and even mainland China have made and continue to make significant contributions to cinema, few people, particularly in the Midwest, have been exposed to these films. Many simply don’t know where to start. And that’s what prompted “Fielding on Film” to begin this “series” on Asian film.
As your guide, my intention is to, every week, highlight a particular film from any number of Asian countries, from Taiwan to Thailand, providing you with a synopsis and a discussion of its merits. I will also spend some time on specific directors and, if the interest is there, explore various aspects of Asian film, from anime to wuxia.
Asian cinema is rich in its diversity, producing everything from art house, Oscar-award nominees such as last year’s “Curse of the Golden Flower” to truly bizarre cult films such as “Visitor Q.” (Oh, that wacky Takashi Miike). It’s also been a fantastic resource for Hollywood. “The Ring,” “Dark Water,” “Pulse,” “The Lake House,” “The Grudge,” and, yes, even Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster film “The Departed” began life in Asia. Consider this: Without the Japanese, we wouldn’t have the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” “Pokemon” or even “The Transformers.” If you’re looking to expand your DVD rental choices, look smarter at parties, or simply learn more about the world, this is the place to stop. So come and join me and “Fielding on Film” for an exploration of Asian cinema.
Next week’s subject – Japanese horror director Takashi Shimizu
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