June 09, 2006


Anthony Kaufman has a blog (jeezis! who doesn't, these days?) where he's repeating the rumor about the Weinstein Company's remake of THE SEVEN SAMURAI. In his post he does a nice job of summing up the problem with foreign film in America:

"The Weinsteins' have been on an Asian film buying binge lately, with the creation of their Asian label Dragon Dynasty, buying a large library of Chinese-language genre pictures and the acquisition of Korean actioner The City Of Violence and others. If this is what the Weinsteins mean when they say they have a love for foreign cinema, I have my major doubts, as it's all genre, action, and thrillers fit for the Weinsteins fan-boy audience -- not the adult art-house crowd."

Excellent! Thank you, Anthony. Because if we could just destroy the so-called "adult art-house crowd" maybe foreign film in America would live again. Seriously, I think it's Miramax's arthouse movies, catering to an elitist audience, that have painted foreign films as toxic to anyone looking for entertainment. There's a place for everything, but the 90's saw a rash of Merchant Ivory films followed by an outbreak of Miramax films like CHOCOLAT that cemented the formula of "foreign = art" in everyone's minds.

Sure, distributors like Tartan may be beating a dead "Asian extreme" horse, but if no one will bring over Asian comedies and romances then at least we've got a steady diet of Asian action and horror movies that will be exposed to sensitive children, along with their regular intake of anime and manga, letting them know that subtitles can be fun.

And let's face it, at the end of the day movies are entertainment. Being entertained can be a profound and movie experience, but it also needs to be a fun one, whatever your definition of fun may be.

June 9, 2006 at 10:59 AM in News | Permalink


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Dude, I totally agree. It's ironic that most Asian films are genre movies, and that they're really good at it too. And the art movies are made, it seems, specifically for the International, film festival circuit, art house audience. Even people in Asia are unaware of the cinema masters from their own countries. So who's pandering to who?

Posted by: Howard | Jun 9, 2006 1:05:35 PM

Totally off topic, but the closest and best adaptation of kurosawa's seven samurai that i ever saw was the 13th warrior, no ifs and buts about it. The final fight in the rain, hitting the "bandits" in their own cave its got it all.

Posted by: anangbhai | Jun 11, 2006 9:07:48 PM

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