Asian Invasion

Lang Thompson wlt4
Tue Jan 16 23:59:20 EST 2001

>All good reasons, and so were Joe's. But wasn't Shall We Dance the highest
>grossing foreign film just a while back? Why didn't that spark notions about
>"invasion" and (popular) "Asian alternatives"? And historically speaking the
>entry of foreign talent into Hollywood is hardly unusual, and has never
>really translated into interest into the national cinemas those director's
>came from.

Shall We Dance might have been the highest grossing Japanese (Asian?) film
in the US but I'm pretty sure the actual highest grossers were Like Water
for Chocolate then Il Postino and then Life Is Beautiful.  Can't find any
list to verify this but the grosses given on the IMDB supports it.  And
certainly you're right about foreign talent in Hollywood but I think the
key difference is that this is now Asians in key Hollywood positions which
is something new and article-worthy in the opinions of those perpetrating
these pieces.  Though "the masses"--and a surprising number of film
buffs--obviously don't care where The Matrix and Charlie's Angels got their
style and energy (such as it is) there have been enough articles about the
HK sources for anybody interested.  

My basic point though was that articles about an Asian "invasion" are in
good part due to writers and editors seeking a hook and for various reasons
this is it for now.  As everybody on this list knows there hasn't been any
sudden explosion of great filmmaking in Asia over the past 12 months; this
has been going on for years and the only change is attention from
mainstream American media.  After all France has been particularly fertile
over the past decade but while I've seen an occasional piece about it there
just haven't been these things to really spark interest, especially since
the theme of the Asian "invasion" pieces generally focus on how they are
(or could) revitalizing Hollywood or at least on their business potential.
I'm just hoping this all translates into more viewing opportunities (where
are those King Hu DVDs?).


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