Words like interesting & original often pop up when talking about Asian movies.
But what does it really mean, cinema-wise?
Because Asian films offer great visual ideas, some links for you;
SOUTH KOREAN THRILLER ISN’T ALL ABOUT VIOLENCE
From Oldboy to I Saw the Devil, South Korean thrillers contain some extremely violent scenes. It would be a shame to reduce the genre to this only fact. So, taking the example of The Unjust, we look at the way visual composition & camera angles use the urban jungle to establish who/what are the characters. A treatment often seen in 70s political thrillers.
WHEN JOHN WOO PRODUCES A SWORD-FIGHTING FILM
It’s called Reign of Assassins, it works like an old school love/tragedy story, and provides some inspirational narrative ideas. Essentially, on the power of suggestion, and how the audience is influenced by small simple visual details, affecting its understanding of the whole story. It wouldn’t be surprising if John Woo did more than co-producing the film: to reach this level of effectiveness & simplicity, it takes talent and experience.
HOW TO CREATE A GREAT ACTION SCENE?
These days, action sequences tend to be overly edited to the point the audience can’t understand anything. Sometimes, it’s not a matter of budget, it’s just a matter of talent. Take Fumiko’s Confession, it’s a student short anime film, and it’s 2-min of clear & fluid action. We decided to look at the editing, to see some of the visual tricks used to reinforced the continuity.
SAVING PRIVATE JACKIE CHAN
It’s been a while, Jackie Chan is finally re-working on some Chinese film projects! Among them, there’s the epic propaganda 1911, honoring the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China (ZZZzzZZ). While this film is exactly everything you can expect from a nationalist drama, Chan had at least one opportunity to have fun. There’s this short & unexpected fight scene that seems completely out of place, we explain why it’s the best part of this project.
NOT JUST ANOTHER LIVE-ACTION PROJECT
You may have long noticed how Japanese films are nowadays mostly live-action versions of anime, manga (or jdrama). A lack of inspiration, originality & guts? Clearly. It’s the direct consequence of a cross-media model, which completely ignores the particularity of each media used. Using the example of Gantz, we’re showing you what all of that means! Read the article.
WHY CHARACTERS MATTER IN A WAR DRAMA
There’s a South Korean war film taking the opposite direction of Brotherhood of War. Less tear-jerking, less simplistic too, The Front Line is focusing on its characters to create a real drama, to reveal the people behind the uniforms/sides – breaking the usual good/bad guys approach. The film accomplishes that by using visual narrative patterns, which aren’t always that obvious to spot, yet, it affects the way you feel/understand the story. That’s cinema.
THE JAPANESE POP CULTURE IN ACTION
Redline is more than just another eye-candy, no-brainer, epic anime film. It has been acclaimed by critics or fans, mentioning how great it is, because it’s full of references and so on. Yet, very few reviews have explained that point, quite frustrating! To find some of the answers, we’ve tried to understand how/why this film is superflat, why it reflects Japanese pop culture — to go further on the subject.