Transnational Trajectories in Contemporary East Asian Cinemas
In the introduction to their 2008 edited volume, East Asian Cinemas: Exploring Transnational Connections on Film, Leon Hunt and Leung Wing- Fai cite the example of the South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s monster movie, The Host, as “one of the most talked-about ‘crossover’ films of 2006” that seemed destined for, “if not Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon- sized global success, then at least cult acclaim” (2008: 1).1 We now know, according to an interview with Bong on the New York Magazine’s blog, Vulture, published on March 12, 2010, that the film is supposedly being remade by Hollywood, and that although Bong has nothing to do with it, he will be happy whether the film is good or trash (Ebiri 2010). Judging from this evidence of yet another Hollywood remake of an East Asian blockbuster, Hunt and Leung’s earlier claim that cinema from East Asia “has arguably never had a more visible presence in the West than it does at present” remains valid in the year 2010 (2008: 2). Of course, as the name of the blog indicates, Hollywood does behave like a vulture in relation to other cinemas, devouring their cultures for its own profit and moving from one dish to the next wherever it finds a new exotic flavor. In recent years, Hollywood taste has swiftly moved from various East Asian cuisines (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hong Kong) to new dishes such as India’s Bollywood and new technologies such as 3-D. However, some tastes are here to stay, like the Chinese and Indian takeaways scattered across towns and cities in the West, and East Asian cinemas, as the current remake of The Host indicates, seem set to become a more permanent fixture on Hollywood’s menu.
KeywordsFilm Industry Film Festival American Film Taiwanese Director Chinese Cinema
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