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DeathFuMaster

Best representations of Asian Film

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Hello everyone! I don't post on here much anymore, but I am in need of some expert opinions and I know this is the right place! :nerd:

I have the opportunity to come into a college level film class (with mostly film majors or minors) for 3 hours and teach a little about Asian Cinema. Part of these 3 hours will consist of me showing a movie. I have been rewatching movies for the past few weeks to find something I feel best represents Asian Cinema as a whole. It has occurred to me that this is pretty much impossible due to the diversity of all of the Asian countries, especially with so little time. Each country (and in many cases, each director or genre) could easily be an entire class on its own.

Still I need a film that would serve as an introduction. Something that would make them (hopefully) fall in love with Asian cinema and explore it further. Nothing too extreme, like say a Miike film. But also not something that might be boring to them. The class is a mix of boys and girls, some more open than others. The cinematography, acting, etc. should all be top notch; something a film student would study. Lastly, it should be 2 hours or less in length.

I have a few ideas myself, but I want to reach out to all of you! What do you feel are some of the best representations of Asian cinema? Or what films would you use to introduce someone to Asian films?

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Hello everyone! I don't post on here much anymore, but I am in need of some expert opinions and I know this is the right place! :nerd:

I have the opportunity to come into a college level film class (with mostly film majors or minors) for 3 hours and teach a little about Asian Cinema. Part of these 3 hours will consist of me showing a movie. I have been rewatching movies for the past few weeks to find something I feel best represents Asian Cinema as a whole. It has occurred to me that this is pretty much impossible due to the diversity of all of the Asian countries, especially with so little time. Each country (and in many cases, each director or genre) could easily be an entire class on its own.

Still I need a film that would serve as an introduction. Something that would make them (hopefully) fall in love with Asian cinema and explore it further. Nothing too extreme, like say a Miike film. But also not something that might be boring to them. The class is a mix of boys and girls, some more open than others. The cinematography, acting, etc. should all be top notch; something a film student would study. Lastly, it should be 2 hours or less in length.

I have a few ideas myself, but I want to reach out to all of you! What do you feel are some of the best representations of Asian cinema? Or what films would you use to introduce someone to Asian films?

I recommend something by Tsui Hark. Perhaps 'Peking Opera Blues' - You can't go wrong with that movie, it has everything and is very well made., Or try Once upon a time in China which is just a tad over the 2 hour mark.

Or you could try John Woo's 'The Killer', another fine example.

Although Wong Kar Wai movies are so critically acclaimed, I think many people will find his movies uninteresting on an entertainment level so I wouldn't pick his movies as an example.

If you want something more modern you could try something from Johnny To's extensive catalogue such as 'The Mission' or 'one of his collaberations with wai ka fai such as Fulltime killer'

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I have to admit that in the scope of your question, which involves choosing 1 movie out of a film industry which spans some 80 years across a breadth of countries, the first one that sprung to mind for me was also 'Chungking Express'.

I'd also second 'Hero', both are perfect choices for the uninitiated, and as you mentioned - not too extreme, not too boring.

As much as I have a deep rooted love for Hong Kong action cinema, which of course is why I think most of us hang out here, I'd actually shy away from showing one of these movies in the context of introducing it as a representation of Asian cinema as a whole. The era we know and love was a storm in a teacup, and considering what a small island Hong Kong is it's a miracle it ever happened at all, but I'm sure just as I am we're all thankful it did. As an introduction to Asian action cinema, yes, but Asian cinema as a whole, no way.

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... It has occurred to me that this is pretty much impossible due to the diversity of all of the Asian countries, especially with so little time. Each country (and in many cases, each director or genre) could easily be an entire class on its own.

Still I need a film that would serve as an introduction. Something that would make them (hopefully) fall in love with Asian cinema and explore it further. Nothing too extreme, like say a Miike film. But also not something that might be boring to them. ... The cinematography, acting, etc. should all be top notch; something a film student would study. Lastly, it should be 2 hours or less in length.

...

As you wrote it would be quite impossible to show not just the diversity of Asian cinema but also the plethora of time periods and movements as well.

But given your criteria which the time portion excludes such greats as Seven Samurai and A Touch of Zen, I would think of the following:

Akira Kurosawa: A safe bet and something like Yojimbo fits the time period, cinematography, references and everything a film student should expect in study in a film. You would hope film students had already seen this. Or you can pick Rashoman (dang it High and Low is over two hours)

Zhang Yimou: A film like To Live or Raise the Red Lantern (both are around 125 minutes) and you can also raise such issues as censorship and political issues.

Wong Kar-wai: Chungking Express

Kenji Mizoguchi: Ugetsu

I think any of the previous are ones that a film student should see.

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Asia is a large area with many countries and people. Hard to pick one movie that will encompass all that it has to offer.

You might need to either pick 1 movie in a similar genre from a couple countries and show those. Or possibly pick one representative of each country.

For example. Go with gangster flicks and pick one that represents each country.

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Jesus, do you guys post nothing but martial arts related films? Throw in some character study or drama in this bitch, come on guys step up your game!!!!

:tongue::bigsmile: sorry, thought this was martial arts related. my excuse is, its too early in the morning. :wink:

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Jesus, do you guys post nothing but martial arts related films? Throw in some character study or drama in this bitch, come on guys step up your game!!!!

Hey now .. :)

As you wrote it would be quite impossible to show not just the diversity of Asian cinema but also the plethora of time periods and movements as well.

But given your criteria which the time portion excludes such greats as Seven Samurai and A Touch of Zen, I would think of the following:

Akira Kurosawa: A safe bet and something like Yojimbo fits the time period, cinematography, references and everything a film student should expect in study in a film. You would hope film students had already seen this. Or you can pick Rashoman (dang it High and Low is over two hours)

Zhang Yimou: A film like To Live or Raise the Red Lantern (both are around 125 minutes) and you can also raise such issues as censorship and political issues.

Wong Kar-wai: Chungking Express

Kenji Mizoguchi: Ugetsu

I think any of the previous are ones that a film student should see.

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You guys offered so many great ideas! I did end up mentioning some of them. Knowing the people in the class as I do (especially the girls), I knew I needed to go with something light and easy to enjoy. So I focused the lesson on modern Korean cinema and showed the great film, Castaway on the Moon. If I had more classes, I would definitely introduce them to some martial arts cinema. Although, I did make a short video montage of some of my favorite Asian films, and Secret Rivals was included!

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