February 18, 2008

Interesting Article on Asian cinema

Came across this article today on Asian films:


According to the article, East Asian films are in danger of becoming formulaic and possibly even petering out due to censorship issues and a general tightening in film financing brought on by the uncertain global economic climate. Some snippets that I found especially interesting:

On the face of it, Asian cinema has had a remarkably successful year winning top prizes at each of the world's major film festivals - in Cannes, Berlin and Venice.

But behind the scenes, the film industry in many Asian countries is under pressure not the least because of the global credit crunch and the current uncertain world economic climate which has resulted producers becoming more worried about budgets and the box office.

This in turn has raised the prospects of many film producers becoming conservative about the movie scripts they are prepared to back just when international film critics would like Asian cinema to become more daring.

The result could be that instead of more experimental filmmaking, Asian cinema could retreat to the relative safety of romantic comedies and horror movies.

This is particularly the case with Korea, which in recent years has helped to spearhead the so-called new wave in Asian cinema.

But a dozen years after South Korea emerged as a new filmmaking nation, some industry analysts say that the country risks tempting the same fate as Hong Kong, which has been unable to shake off the downturn that hit the industry a decade ago.

At the same time, China is still battling to come up with the magic movie formula to produce films that meets its ambitions to become a global movie powerhouse and which strike a chord with western, Asian and national Chinese audiences alike.

Tuya's Wedding from Chinese director Wang Quan'an about a Mongolian shepherd family, which took home the Berlin's Film Festival coveted Golden Bear last year flopped
badly at the box office in China.

While the sheer size of the Chinese market has made co-productions with mainland China almost a necessary part of filmmaking for many Asian countries, looming large over China's film sector is censorship which appears to become even more rigorous recently.

Hmmm, good analysis and a valid viewpoint, guess 2008 may be a critical year for East Asian movies... you can find the rest of the article here.

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