Lately I've had kind of an affinity for Asian movies. I don't mean films where Jackie Chan or some other Asian star gets put in a Western situation.

Everyone must have seen a Bruce Lee movie when they were younger, well, that's also how I first got introduced to an Asian star. The movies in which he starred were ultimately Western concoctions, but I did enjoy them. Move foreward a couple of years and I went to watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (before it received an Oscar). That started me off in my interest.

Then I went looking for Asian movies, those made more for the Asian market. I wasn't disappointed. Here are some movies which I can highly recommend: House of Flying Daggers, Hero, Spirited Away, Zatoichi, Oldboy and others which I can't remember right now.

Also, on Belgium's MTV* on Friday and Saturday night from about 10 pm there's Asian Screen. It shows a random smattering of Asian movies. Don't get me wrong, not all movies are good, but they all have an aesthetic quality which I appreciate.

Well, I hope I have motivated some of you to go and watch an Asian movie. Give them a chance.

*Well actually it's the Dutch MTV, beamed across Belgium; don't get me started on the language issue or the lumping together of the Dutch and Belgian market.

lidge_34 says:

I really liked Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but haven't seen any of the rest.

bob says:

There is a certain aesthetic present in these HK flicks that you won't see in an American film. Hero was one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. Very tragic though, and it's not for everyone.

jpwain says:

On my asian cinema list:

  • A Day on the Planet
  • Bright Future
  • Getting Any
  • Hana Bi
  • Oldboy
  • Ong Bak
  • Sharkskin Man Peach Hip Girl
  • Party 7
  • Sonatine
  • Cutie Honey
  • All About Lily Chou Chou
  • Bird People in China
  • Last Life in the Universe
  • Swallowtail Butterfly
  • Tokyo Drifer
  • Sayonora Kuro

If you're into animated stuff (not stupid ^o^ animu), check out the rest of Studio Ghibli's work, especially Nausicaa Valley of the Wind and Porco Rosso, my two favorites.

Wirehead says:

I think I saw Nausicaa as "Warriors of the Wind" when I was about 8. It was probably the first animation I ever saw other than Tom & Jerry and I've loved it since.

OneNight says:

Thanks for the list jpwain! I think I'll have good look around to see if I can get my hands on them. You seem to have a lot of knowledge on the matter and hopefully I will be able to find them (but Oldboy I already listed and seen, damn excellent movie).

I am certainly not into anime, I only listed Spirited Away because it was highly recommended. Usually I don't go for animated film but this one didn't disappoint.

bnoel says:

if you like the above, check out ZATOICHI.. there are hundreds of films and short films on this guy... he is of course only legend, but the storyline is cool... i like the production of this from the 80's myself, but the latest one is cool too...


bob says:

What was the one with the Chinese guy who fights blindfolded with a older Japanese guy... later in the movie there is a fight on a bamboo scaffolding type thing, the main weapon a piece of wet, twisted cloth. I saw this with Chinese dubbing with Korean subtitling, and even so it was one of the best HK flicks I've seen. I just never caught the name.

lyrical warfare says:

Let us not forget Kung-fu Hustle...

And if you like asian/fighting movies you MUST see Ong-Bak. Definitely the best martial arts move I've ever seen, and I've seen most of the Jackie Chan/Bruce Lee/Jet Li stuff.

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