EasternKicks - The UK risk of alienating Asian Cinema
One of the many things I enjoy doing in my spare time is watching films. I love to keep a list and rate them over on Letterboxd, but I also enjoy writing about films, going to festivals, and primarily watching East Asian films.
Why exactly Asian cinema?
It's a hard question, as I remember watching a small amount of (stereotypically) Kung-Fu films and bootleg DVDs when younger, or there would be a poor dub of an old Celestial Pictures film somewhere on ITV4 or a similar channel, and I would be left alone to watch these far off worlds of glory and honour where no doubt a young child would become enthralled with the story.
In the past year, I've been writing for Easternkicks.com as an occasional contributer, helping with their social media and content/website coordination. It's enjoyable to analyse and watch these films that, whilst far removed from my own culture, feel so similar and yet have a lot of differences. I always say to people that Chinese, Japanese and Korean films seem so removed from Western Cinema, less explosions and more focus on emotion and storytelling. I'd take a good Pang-Ho Cheung film any day over the latest Christopher Nolan or Michael Bay film (try arguing once you've seen Aberdeen).
I'm not going to go much into detail during this post about the content of my feature, however I just want to state that after about 3 years of review writing (either for CUEAFS.com or EasternKicks.com) I've written my first editorial/feature! I never really have much externally to say about films, however the main topic of this feature was one that's caused a lot of controversy, split opinions, and I felt very strongly about it so was prompted to put my opinions out (For who exactly? Who cares...) in something a bit more contained, researched and educatedly written than a review. It's a piece based on Kim Ki-Duk's recent film Moebius, and the potential issue that arised recently (or may arise in the future) between the massive gap of wealth in UK Distribution companies, the BBFC censorship board and the reception of fans towards the films.
I'd like to feel this is my first broach out into journalism, but it's probably just a mish-mash of poor writing and badly drawn opinions, nethertheless I still enjoy the fact that I'm starting to branch out into something that's not just review writing anymore. You get to a point in anything, such as a hobby, where you become comfortable in what you are doing. Whether it be through satisfaction with your current skill level, an unwillingness to progress or just a stagnation in the learning progress; I feel that I had gotten to that place where I wanted to push myself, so the obvious step (to me at least) was to take the leap into writing something that wasn't a film review, and took an amount of effort to write.
Will there be more like this in the future?
I'd like to think so, I enjoyed writing the piece and researching into the topic, however I'd have to find something properly that interests me in the subject of Asian cinema in order to progress and write another feature, yet I already have one or two ideas, so maybe it could come sooner than you think...
Read my first EasternKicks feature below of Kim Ki-Duk's MOEBIUS, and how I feel that there is an issue amongst indie distributors and the UK censorship boards.