Bam! I’m into making lists now. xD
To push distributors, and tickle their curiosity, as well as showing them it can also be good business to bring Asian flicks. Plus, cinephiles would love a little more variety in their local theaters, and I bet regular moviegoers wouldn’t mind one or two non-Hollywood blockbusters… after all, we already watch everything subtitled! We don’t have an issue with them like some… other… people.
If Americans (and Canadians) complain about the little variety of Asian films outside martial arts, or auteur cinema – well, really. Stop complaining. It’s even worse down here. If you got 5 releases a year (just an assumption), then we get one… if we’re lucky. Sorry, I’m not so campy with J-horror… I’m a little tired. I must be too old for it now. LOL
10. Maenbalui Kkgeum (A Barefoot Dream) – South Korea – 2010
Selected as South Korea’s submission to the upcoming Academy Awards, A Barefoot Dream sounds like your crowd pleaser — sorry, haven’t seen it yet — Based on a true story, it tells the story of former soccer player and failed entrepreneur Won-Hang Kim who ends up going to East Timor to coach a youth soccer team. Talk about your underdog story. Of course it has a happy ending! Probably after many hardships, but still probably won’t fail to make people shed a few tears and put a stupid grin on anyone’s face by the end. Win for distributors!
9. Yip Man (Ip Man) – Hong Kong – 2008 & 2010 Part 1 & 2
Okay, I am so totally cheating on this one, but if you don’t want Ip Man 1 and Ip Man 2 to count as one film, I’ll choose the first one. This film, also based on real life Wing Chun Master Yip Man… Master of Bruce Lee, Hello? — I say “based” because the story takes a few liberties, but that Yip Man existed, he did. In the first part, Donnie Yen plays Yip Man as the Japanese Imperial Army occupies parts of China between the 30s and 40s. The second part, which is even more loose on the history part, tells the story of Yip Man settling himself in Britain-occupied Hong Kong… where he would eventually meet Bruce Lee ;P
The film not only is a crowd pleaser — it’s pretty popular because Yip Man’s such an iconic figure, and Donnie Yen is pretty huge — but it also garnered critical attention. If you like action films, the fight scenes are like a breath of fresh air on overly-wired fight scenes that populate films nowadays. If you like historic/biographical dramas, there’s stuff for you too… so it’s win-win!
8. KYATAPIRA~ (Caterpillar) – Japan – 2010
Caterpillar created a splash in Berlin when actress Shinobu Terajima took home Best Actress — the second Japanese actress to win the prize after Sachiko Hidari in 1964. Based on a banned short story by Rampo Edogawa, set in after World War II when a Japanese soldier returns home from China terribly mutilated — no limbs, mute and deaf — but still with sexual appetite. To this, his wife allows him to perform whatever he wants, as she feels it’s her duty to take care of him.
This would satiate your film local film critics for at least 6 months. Win for you, win for them! I mean, us.
And how about this for promoting it? “Based on the BANNED SHORT STORY by…” Sure to get the crowd in. xD