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Asian Cinema: A Field Guideby Tom Vick
Synopses & Reviews
The First Complete Guide to Asian Film
Asian cinema has never been more popular than it is today. In recent years, films such as Spirited Away, Hero, Kung Fu Hustle, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have made surprising inroads into the American box office. Directors such as Jim Jarmusch, with Ghost Dog, and Quentin Tarantino, with Kill Bill Vols. I and II, have paid unabashed tribute to the Asian directors who have influenced them. On the world festival circuit, Asian films regularly win prestigious awards and are presented at film festivals from Sundance to Cannes.
Asian Cinema: A Field Guide is the first book to provide a complete overview of the past, present, and future of the world's most dynamic and influential filmmaking region. Over 300 films from China, India, Japan, Korea, Iran, and Taiwan, as well as the emerging films of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka, are all included here.
"Vick, a film programmer at the American Museum of Asian Art at the Smithsonian, offers a useful overview of movies produced in Asian nations, discussing history and themes. Beginning with chapters on familiar film cultures, such as mainland China, Japan and India, Vick broadens the lens to include emerging filmmakers in Korea and Taiwan. While honoring homegrown genres, such as Hong Kong's kung-fu spectaculars, Vick also champions art-house directors, such as Wong Kar-Wai, responsible for the evocative In the Mood for Love. An added bonus is an examination of films from Indonesia, Vietnam and the former Soviet Union's republics, as well as a deeper look at Japanese cinema, which was reinvigorated with the 1985 smash hit Tampopo. Vick's enthusiasm is infectious, and his descriptions make readers want to see the movies firsthand. He contends there is 'no such thing as a 'foreign' movie,' since even an Iranian film can 'appeal to our common humanity.' Vick provides an informative and lively primer on global cinema, paying tribute to its distinct artistry." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Vick, film programmer for the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution, overviews the past, present, and future of Asian film. For organizational purposes, he divides the Asian continent into four broad categories, starting with the countries with large, long-lived, and influential film industries like Japan and India, then covering countries whose cinema flourished in postwar booms, such as Korea, and concluding with the films of recent arrivals such as Iran and Taiwan, and the emerging regions of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Each chapter begins with a brief historical background of each region, to provide context for the films and filmmakers discussed. Vick focuses on films that are relatively easy to see, primarily on DVD, but also at film festivals or in repertory screenings. The book is illustrated with more than 100 b&w film stills and photos. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Tom Vick is one of the foremost experts on Asian cinema. He is the film programmer for the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution, where he organizes film series and retrospectives of Asian films. He lives in Rockville, Maryland.
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Arts and Entertainment » Art » Asia and Far East