Editorials, News, Releases, Soapbox, UK, USA

Are we missing out?

It’s difficult not to get a bit depressed scanning through the apple.com trailers. While in the UK our chances of seeing even limited releases of Asian films across the country seem to diminish on a daily basis, it seems that in the US the appetite for Asian, particularly Korean film, is still going strong…

Today Fists Of Legends, from director of Moss and the Public Enemy series Kang Woo-Suk, is released in US cinemas today. Just a few weeks back they had Park Hoon-jung’s New Order, starring the inimitable Choi Min-sik (who’ll be paying a visit to the UK very soon as part of the KCCUK’s Year of the 4 Actors!). And they’ve long had Ryoo Seung-wan’s hotly anticipated The Berlin File, starring another actor who’ll be coming over later in the year for Year of the 4 Actors, Ha Jung-woo.

On 26 April there’s Stephen Fung’s follow up to Tai Chi Zero, Tai Chi Hero, then 17 May Kim Ki-duk’s Pieta is released into US cinemas (albert after being available today Stateside in US iTunes).

Okay, so in most cases these are very limited releases, but at least it’s something. Sure, this might be coming from companies like Well Go USA, who seem intent on becoming the US equivalent of Cine-Asia, CJ Entertainment’s American distribution arm and smaller distributors like Drafthouse Films.

Currently even those films UK distributors have committed to releasing keep getting pushed back. UK audiences will have to wait till 21 June for Abbas Kiarostami’s Japan-based Like Someone In Love. And if you want to open the gamut wider to great Foreign movies, we have to wait till August for another London Film Festival favourite, Wadjda. (Mind you, I don’t see that coming out in the US anytime soon.)

Right now, festivals seem to be the best place for us to enjoy Asian film. No – not best – often only, and that’s pretty sad… Are we missing out? I think so…

About the author

Andrew Heskins
Founder of easternKicks.com, which he's been running since 2002. And it's all thanks to Monkey, Water Margin and those damn fantastic 80s Hong Kong action movies! Andy works as a graphic designer in London... More »

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One thought on “Are we missing out?

  1. I agree I definitely think we are missing out, I know there are fans out there because when I got to the mcm expo there's a huge asian cinema following maby its still not enough for us to get UK releases. I think asian cinema fans need to come together and we need to find the people who are fans but don't know of any groups or any communities that share there interest, I was like that.

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