Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Not Cool Enough For Hollywood?

KevJumba's message is sadly relevant (visit his homepage - cute overload warning). It's not just an American issue. We are being denied Chirayliq potential on a global level. (Found here)
The fact remains that Hollywood productions get distributed around the world, while Asian productions - especially Central Asian, but also the more "marketable" Chinese, Korean and Japanese - frequently are limited to art house cinemas and private initiatives. For example, I wonder if we will ever get to see Goemon anywhere in Europe. (It's a fantasy spectacle based on the legend of Ishikawa Goemon, a thief who stole from the rich and gave to the poor and dared to defy the powerful warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi.) Needless to say, Goemon is full of cool, handsome, cute, sexy and all-round awesome Asian guys and girls.
EDIT: The Trailer was too wide to embed, so you'll just have to go to YouTube by yourself.

You have to keep in mind that Japanese movie budgets are usually only a fraction of the cost of a major Hollywood production. Expect Final Fantasy, not Star Wars. The director of Goemon, Kazuaki Kiriya, is famous for Casshern, a science-fiction epic which doesn't let the special effects get in the way of a good plot and compelling characters. Here's the trailer:


Rozmin said...

I remember that we did get Casshern in some theaters where I was living in the States. No idea if the same will happen with Goemon, though.

ainur said...

That's great! To be fair, alternative film festivals and cinemas usually show this kind of movies in Europe, as well.

As a point of comparison, Hayao Miyazaki's classic animation Porco Rosso premiered in Sweden just a few years ago. In Finland, it has already been shown on national television several times since the 80's. It depends very much on where you live and how aware your local community is.

I would assume that France, for example, is much more open-minded towards Asian cinema in general than Scandinavia. But this is just an assumption. Maybe Tinet can share her view on the situation in Germany?

Tinet said...

It seems that also here, not that many non-Hollywood and non-German movies make it into the big mainstream cinemas. (Looking at the program of Cinemaxx Berlin, of the about 40 films featured, the utmost majority is Hollywood, and on second place are German films. Then a few big European movies, a couple of US-Asian or German-Asian coproductions, and ... there is actually one Turkish film - Günesi Gördüm! Yay for acknowledging your large local ethnic minorities!)

But in the big cities (of course not only in Germany) there are quite a few alternative and independent cinemas that regularly show films from strange countries. There is a Russian cinema called Kino Krokodil in my neighbourhood, which specialises in Russian-language films.

There are also many independent cinemas that have "themes", like "Japanese gore", or some Japanese films are included under a theme (I once saw Lady Snowblood during the theme "Wild Women" at the cinema Peliculoso in the Köpi squat).

These cinemas are usually not able to advertise themselves much, so many people might never find out that they exist.