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Journalism on Asian Cinema. Its history and contemporary challenges

The third and final block of the Asian Cinema Education International Course in Journalism and Film Criticism, which tells the story of journalism on Asian cinema.

At the moment the webinars can be watched without registration.

Participation in the course is free of charge. All webinars are conducted in English only – this is the working language of the whole course.

Journalism on Asian Cinema - course info

The basic premise is to chart the evolution of both Asian cinema and critical appraisal of Asian cinema, looking at the films and the people who have taken Asian cinema to the world – and digging into how they have done so. The end result should provide attendees with both a solid grounding in the history of Asian cinema and the foundations needed to critically appraise Asian cinema. The course is hosted by Mathew Scott, Asia-based writer and editor, who initiated the Far East Film Festival Campus for young journalists in Udine, Italy, an educational programme and cultural exchange which each year hosts aspiring writers from Asia and from Europe.

List of films and further reading for particular webinars

From Silent to Sound: A Case Study on the Emergence of Chinese-Language Cinema

  • Crows and Sparrows (Dir: Zheng Junli, China, 1949)
  • Street Angel (Dir: Yuan Muzhi, China, 1937)
  • Crossroads (Dir: Shen Xiling, China, 1937)
  • The Goddess (Dir: Wu Yonggang, China, 1934)
  • Films by Sun Yu from the 1930s
  • Diao Chan (Dir: Bu Wancang, Hong Kong, 1938)
  • The Rich House (Dir: Hung Suk-wan, Hong Kong, 1942)
  • The Light of Women (Dir: Ko Lei-hen, Hong Kong, 1937)

Looking at Asian Contemporary Cinema: From Hong Kong’s Golden Age to the Emergence of Commercial and Arthouse Forces across South East Asia

  • A Touch of Zen (Dir: King Hu, Hong Kong, Taiwan, 1971)
  • Asian Cinema 100, Busan International Film Festival, 2015

When East Meets West: A Look at the History of Film Criticism

  • Executioners from Shaolin (Dir: Liu Jialiang, Hong Kong, 1977)
  • The End of Summer (Dir: Yasujiro Ozu, Japan, 1961)
  • Wong Kar-wai Interviews, edited by Silver Wai-ming Lee and Micky Lee, University Press of Mississippi/Jackson, 2017
  • Ozu, Donald Richie
  • Director Ozu Yasujiro, Shigehiko Hasumi
  • Ozu's Angry Women, Hasumi (http://www.rouge.com.au/4/ozu_women.html)

The Dragon Lady Strikes Back: A Case Study on the Representation of Asian Women in Cinema Both in Asia and the West

  • Lucky Grandma (Dir: Sasie Sealy, 2019)
  • Hong Kong Women Filmmakers (https://hkwomenfilmmakers.wordpress.com)

Far East, Far Out: A Look at the Theme of "Exoticism"

  • Rashomon (Dir: Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1950)
  • Victor Segalen, Essay on Exoticism, Duke University Press, 2002

Then and Now: How Retrospectives and Archives Are Preserving the History of Asian Cinema

  • A Brighter Summer Day (Dir: Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1991)
  • A Better Tomorrow (Dir: John Woo, Hong Kong, 1986)
  • Manila in the Claws of Light (Dir: Lino Brocka, Philippines, 1975)
  • Xiao Wu (Dir: Jia Zhangke, China, 1997)
  • In the Mood for Love (Dir: Wong Kar wai, Hong Kong, 2000)
  • FIAF Bulletin, International Federation of Film Archives (https://www.fiafnet.org/pages/Publications/Read-or-download-the-latest-Issue.html),
  • Film Restoration: The Culture and Science of Audio Visual Heritage, Leo Enticknap Palgrave Macmillan, 2013

Talking Asian cinema: Three film critics dissect the stories of three Asian filmmakers, “Unsung Heroes” the world needs to know more about

  • Mr Suave (Dir: Joyce Bernal, Philippines, 2003)
  • Grateful Dead (Dir: Eiji Uchida, Japan, 2013)
  • Princess Aurora (Dir: Pang Eun-jin. South Korea. 2005)
Assignment for registered participants
  • Choose one of the films from the "suggested viewing" on the course program and, through the prism of what you have learned and listened to, review it in the context of its importance to Asian cinema history.
  • Choose one of the sessions we have staged and write an essay that summarises what you think are the most important points that have been made - and why you think this way.
  • Write an essay that explains to the reader how this course might have expanded what you know - and even how you view - Asian cinema.

Please choose one of the tasks listed above and write a text of approximately 800 words. Deadline for submitting the course assignments: December 15, 2021

Course experts


Mathew Scott

A Hong Kong-based journalist and creative consultant covering Asian cinema. He coordinates the annual Campus program for aspiring journalists at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy.


Sam Ho

A curator, researcher and writer. Based in Hong Kong and the United States, he specializes in the study of Hong Kong cinema but has also written extensively on various aspects of cinema while also curating dozens of programs on various aspects of international cinema. Devoted to the international promotion of Hong Kong cinema, he has given many lectures and speeches all over the world.


Kiki Fung 

The Programme Consultant for the Hong Kong International Film Festival and a member of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society. She was former Head Programmer for Australia’s Brisbane International Film Festival and Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and has guest-curated for the Brisbane Festival and Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.


Roger Garcia

Roger Garcia was director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) and co-creator of the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA). He has been consultant and programmer for many film festivals in Asia, Europe and North America. He was the Far East Film Festival Udine (FEFF)’s first programmer of Philippines films, curator of several retrospectives and on-going special programmes. His writings have been published extensively including Asiaweek, British Film Institute, Cahiers du Cinema, Film Comment etc. He has produced experimental films in Hong Kong; studio films in Hollywood; and independent films in Asia including the Philippines. He also created the first series on Asian and Asian American cinema. Currently Advisor to AFAA, FEFF, and the Hainan Island International Film Festival.


Gina Marchetti

Professor at the University of Hong Kong, the author of Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction (California, 1993), From Tian’anmen to Times Square: Transnational China and the Chinese Diaspora on Global Screens (Temple, 2006), The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens: Race, Sex, and Cinema (Temple, 2012), and Citing China: Politics, Postmodernism, and World Cinema (Hawai’i, 2018).


Stephen Teo

The author of several books on Asian cinema, including Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions (BFI, 1997), Wong Kar-wai (BFI, 2005), Director in Action: Johnnie To and the Hong Kong Action Film (Hong Kong University Press, 2005), Chinese Martial Arts Cinema: The Wuxia Tradition (Edinburgh University Press, 2017). His latest book is Chinese Martial Arts Film and the Philosophy of Action (Routledge, 2021).


Sabrina Baracetti

The founding member and President of Udine Far East Film Festival, president of the cultural organisation C.E.C., an arthouse exhibition company, acquisitions consultant for the distribution company Tucker Film, co-founder and consultant for Ties That Bind and member of the Board of Directors at Friuli Cinematheque. She is a member of many festival juries, as well as being a nomination advisor for the Asian Film Awards.


Bede Cheng

Bede Cheng worked for many film institutions including the Hong Kong International Film Festival and Hong Kong Film Archive. He was instrumental in setting up the inaugural edition of Sundance Film Festival - Hong Kong in 2014. He is currently Managing Director of the film restoration laboratory L'Immagine Ritrovata Asia, and also a board member for the Hong Kong International Documentary Film Festival.


James Marsh

A freelance film critic and festival programmer who has been based in Hong Kong for more than 20 years. He writes for the South China Morning Post, is a resident film critic on RTHK Radio 3, and Asian Editor of ScreenAnarchy.com.


Elizabeth Kerr 

A film writer based in Hong Kong. She writes for The Hollywood Reporter, China Daily Hong Kong and Zolima Citymag. Those are real books in the video and yes, she's read most of them. Except for War and Peace.


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