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The easternKicks.com Podcast
67 minutes | Oct 5, 2022
Episode 42: London Film Festival roundup
James and Andy take a look at Asian films screening at the 66th BFI London Film Festival 2022, and Andy chats to the director of Liquor Store Dreams, So Yun Um. This episode’s handy timecodes 00:00:32 - Episode introduction 00:01:27 - On to the festival, and the many films from Korea (?) 00:18:14 - So Yun Um interview, Liquor Store Dreams 00:37:18 - Films from Japan 00:39:09 - Films from Thailand and beyond, plus documentaries and more 00:52:25 - Thoughts on the festival 01:06:07 - Outro The BFI London Film Festival 2022 takes place from 5th to 16 October. See the official site for listings.
50 minutes | Sep 15, 2022
Episode 41: Happy Anniversary, Squid Game?
On the first anniversary of the show debuting on Netflix and with a big win at the Emmys, we look back at the impact of Squid Game and ask what it really means for the future of both the creators and cast, and Korean film and TV in general... This episode’s handy timecodes 00:32 - Episode introduction 02:13 - For those that missed it...(what?) 14:02 - The success of the show, and creators and cast 26:40 - What does that mean for other shows? 44:57 - Wrapping up 48:37 - Outro
36 minutes | Jun 25, 2022
Episode 40: Making Waves
James and Andy chat exclusively about Focus Hong Kong's Making Waves, a Hong Kong screening programme coming to London from 8 to 10 July. Full disclaimer, they might have had something to do with it... This episode’s handy timecodes 00:31 - Episode introduction 01:43 - An introduction to Focus Hong Kong 05:00 - The Making Waves programme 06:19 - Comrades, Almost A Love Story and Peter Chan holo-presence 13:41 - July Rhapsody 18:32 - Anita 22:34 - Hand Rolled Cigarette 24:51 - Breakout Brothers 26:48 - The First Girl I Loved 28:24 - Tales from the Occult 35:43 - Outro Making Waves takes place at the Soho Hotel and Garden Cinema from 8th to 100th July. Check the website for more details.
43 minutes | May 11, 2022
Episode 39 - The Sadness special
To celebrate the global release of gruesome horror The Sadness on Shudder, James and Andy chat through the film, with an exclusive interview with the films director, Rob Jabbaz. This episode’s handy timecodes 00:31 - Episode introduction 01:54 - The Sadness, a quick explainer 08:39 - Rob Jabbaz interview 28:11 - Reactions to the interview 34:52 - easternKicks Picks! 42:40 - Outro The Sadness is available to exclusively stream on Shudder from 12th May.
78 minutes | May 3, 2022
Episode 38 – Spotlight on... Zatoichi
This time Jonathan Wroot, senior lecturer in film studies, joins James and Andy to chat in detail about the topic of his new book, Zatoichi! As well as the various influences and successors. And yes, we chat Rutger Hauer too! This episode’s handy timecodes 00:00:44 - Episode introduction 00:02:12 - Before we start, how did our guest get into Asian film? 00:06:05 - Kitano's Zatoichi, was it a remake? 00:13:10 - Let's go back to the start 00:17:08 - How star Shintaro Katsu's previous work fed into the film series 00:20:22 - Zatoichi begins 00:25:05 - A minor diversion on Shintaro Katsu's brother 00:29:09 - Something for everyone, the Daiei way 00:30:23 - How wacky did the films get? 00:32:46 - Are there roots to disabled swordsmen? 00:38:14 - The Marvel connection 00:40:45 - Good ol' Westerns 00:45:34 - Zatoichi The Last 00:47:54 - The female versions 00:52:13 - Let's talk about Rutger (and other influences) 01:07:26 - Recommendations on where to start 01:15:43 - Outro Jonathan's book, The Paths of Zatoichi, is available now from rowman.com/lexington. Use discount code LXFANDF30 and get 30% off! Music played on the show: Zatoichi’s Lullaby, sung by Shintaro Katsu. The most commonly known version of the Zatoichi theme song, which first turned up in Zatoichi and the Fugitives (#18). Festivo – the musical number from the end of Zatoichi 2003, written and composed by Keiichi Suzuki.
69 minutes | Mar 9, 2022
Episode 37 – The Long Walk special
Seriously cutting into their Giallo viewing time, James and Andy chat to Laos film director Mattie Do and her other 'alf, screenwriter Christoper Larsen in detail about their superb genre-crossing sci-fi horror, The Long Walk and much more. This episode’s handy timecodes 00:00:31 – Episode introduction 00:02:16 – Interview with Mattie Do and Chris Larsen 00:52:32 – The easternKicks take on The Long Walk 01:08:05 – Outro The Long Walk is available on digital now via Light Bulb Film Distribution in the UK, and Yellow Veil Pictures in the US.
81 minutes | Dec 23, 2021
Episode 36 - The End of the Year Show
This episode is a real meeting of minds, as Panos Kotzathanasis of Asian Movie Pulse joins James and Andy to chat about the trends and topics of the year, all bizarrely summed up by titles of soul and funk songs (?) Meanwhile easternKicks regulars Niina and Theo share thoughts on their favourite films of the year. This episode's handy timecodes 00:00:44 – Episode introduction 00:02:39 – What's in Santa's hat (don't ask!) 00:03:33 – Smoke.Netflix.Chill 00:18:26 – (Get on the) Partyline 00:34:55 – Niina on Howling Village 00:37:43 – Sitting in Limbo 00:45:07 – East West Shuffle 00:53:54 – Theme For "Five Fingers Of Death" 01:05:03 – Spice Of Life (Oh Yes, You're the Best) 01:06:21 – Theo on Drive My Car 01:19:56 – Outro
68 minutes | Dec 7, 2021
Episode 35 – All Aboard... for Hellbound!
Is this deja vu? A Korean streaming series taking Netflix by storm. No, it's not Squid Game, but Train To Busan director Yeon Sang-ho's Hellbound. James and Andy chat about the series and wonder, will there be another? Meanwhile James has some more easternKicks picks. This episode's handy timecodes 00:00:44 - Episode introduction 00:02:28 - Putting Hellbound in context 00:07:52 - A brief synopsis 00:11:29 - How it fits with Yeon's other work 00:22:29 - Just what are the demons? 00:24:12 - Comparison with Yeon original Jiok/The Hell animations 00:29:50 - Ah man, more 'VIPs'? 00:31:17 - Other throwaway elements (or are they?) 00:33:43 - On the cast (and casting choices) 00:37:05 - Will there be more? 00:46:06 - Other Korean series making waves 00:55:05 - easternKicks picks 01:07:52 - Outro
64 minutes | Oct 27, 2021
Episode 34 - The horror of Hong Kong!
Yes, it's that time of year again, and we turn our focus to modern Hong Kong horror, from the tail end of the Shaw Brothers right up to Fruit Chan's Coffin Homes. Meanwhile, Niina and Stephen share some of their favourites... This episode's handy timecodes 00:00:49 - Episode introduction 00:02:18 - Why Hong Kong horror? 00:08:00 - Into the 80s 00:10:34 - Niina on Seeding Of A Ghost 00:13:51 - The evolution from Shaw Brothers 00:25:01 - The glorious descent into Category III 00:27:17 - The 1990s 00:38:07 - Post-handover and the 2000s 00:46:03 - Stephen on Hex 00:49:56 - The last decade 00:56:04 - The future of Hong Kong horror...(?) 01:03:17 - Outro
58 minutes | Oct 15, 2021
Episode 33 - Do you like calamari?
This time we look at a certain very popular streaming series that seems to have taken over the world (or at least every news platform). That's right, it's Squid Game time! Meanwhile, James has a few more picks to choose from. And don't forget, you can still take advantage of a discount with our friends at Gweilo Beer! This episode's handy timecodes 00:45 - Episode introduction 01:52 - Let the Squid Game commence 06:52 - Hwang Dong-hyuk, hardly a talent from outta nowhere 11:28 - Korea's so hot right now... 16:06 - High production values, quirky style 19:59 - Wrong-footed pacing 26:48 - Subtitle 'controversy' 30:32 - Superb acting performances 35:28 - How about those other controversies? 43:11 - Do You Want More?!!!??! 47:00 - Time for more easternKicks Picks 57:26 - Outro Squid Game is streaming now on Netflix!
58 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
Episode 32 - Spotlight on... A Tale of Two Sisters
This episode we look back on Kim Jee-woon's classic Korean horror more patterned wallpaper than John Lewis, A Tale Of Two Sisters, with help from Stephen Palmer and Yonah Sichrovsky. We also announce a new association with Gweilo Beer! Don't forget to get your discount! But most importantly, will someone explain what's going on to Yonah? Find out! This episode's timecodes 00:45 - Episode introduction 03:43 - An introduction to A Tale of Two Sisters 07:50 - The house of William Morris 13:18 - A very British Asian horror? 16:07 - The perfect moment 24:10 - When did the American Remakes start? 27:16 - The legacy of Two Sisters 33:56 - A good time to revisit 37:26 - Does it hold up? 44:33 - We finally work out the ending for Yonah (spoilers!) 48:27 - What else would we like to see getting the special edition treatment? 56:59 - Outro A Tale Of Two Sisters is available now on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.
60 minutes | Aug 25, 2021
Episode 31 – Spotlight on... Daimajin
Phillip O'Connor joins Andy and James for a detailed look at everyone's favourite diminutive kaiju, Daimajin, recently restored and on Blu-ray. Okay sure, he's tall, but he's definitely no Godzilla... This episode's timecodes 00:31 - Episode introduction 02:05 - Daimajin's origins 06:28 - Shall we talk about the, erm, plot? 12:27 - Some of the different elements of the films 22:08 - Daimajin's design and special effects 31:20 - Production and shooting 33:45 - Obligatory Steven Segal cameo 36:40 - Original release and popularity 39:38 - Where'd the wee fella go? 43:52 - Godzilla composer Akira Ifukube's film scores 47:57 - Masks and cleft chins 49:27 - The three directors 52:10 - What next? 56:59 - easternKicks Picks 59:06 - Outro The Daimajin Trilogy is available now on Limited Edition Blu-ray from Arrow Video.
59 minutes | Aug 17, 2021
Episode 30: The best of NYAFF 2021
In this episode, we turn our eye to some picks from the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), including an extended chat about Benny Chan's final film Raging Fire. Meanwhile Maja Korbeca chats to the "Grandmother of Hong Kong Cinema" Ann Hui, recipient of the NYAFF 2021 Star Asia Lifetime Achievement Award. This episode's timecodes 00:31 - Episode introduction 02:16 - Back to live festivals with NYAFF and Raging Fire 15:36 - Hand Rolled Cigarette and Limbo 22:59 - Shadows and more from Hong Kong 28:59 - Maja interview with Ann Hui 41:41 - Some picks screening from South Korea, including Spiritwalker, The Prayer and Midnight 49:38 - More picks including Three Sisters and Escape from Mogadishu 51:50 - Picks from Japan, including Last Of The Wolves and Junk Head 52:10 - Picks from Taiwan, including As You Like It, The Silent Forest and My Missing Valentine 58:13 - Outro The New York Asian Film Festival continues with both in-person screenings and online until 22 August.
67 minutes | Jul 9, 2021
Episode 29: PTU and Johnnie To's crime drama years
In this episode contributor Kaj van Zoelen joins James and Andy to revisit PTU and the classic crime dramas of Johnnie To. Will we ever see its like again? Meanwhile Stephen Palmer shares thoughts on a decidedly different example from To, My Left Eye Sees Ghosts. This episode's timecodes 00:00:35 - Episode introduction 00:01:38 - PTU review 00:24:01 - PTU and the HK crime drama resurgence of 2000s 00:52:10 - Stephen Palmer on My Left Eye Sees Ghosts 00:58:54 - James and Kaj share some easternKicks Picks 01:06:08 - Outro PTU is available now on UK Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment.
68 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Episode 28 - The World of Wong Kar-wai
In this special edition, we celebrate the return of Wong Kar-wai's classic in newly remastered versions to cinemas. Special guest Bede Cheng, Managing Director at L’Immagine Ritrovata Asia, the laboratory responsible for the new editions, joins us for a chat about the restoration process. Meanwhile, contributors Colette, Theo, Phillip, Yonah, Ethan and Stephen share their thoughts on the filmmakers work. We also have the perfect podcast fuel from Bun House / Wun's Tea Room & Bar. This episode's timecodes 00:00:56 - Episode introduction 00:02:08 - Phillip on As Tears Go By 00:07:19 - Bede Cheng interview part one - What is restoration? 00:26:30 - Ethan on Wong Kar-wai 00:30:49 - Bede Cheng interview part two - Working with WKW 00:33:23 - Theo on Fallen Angels 00:35:57 - Bede Cheng interview part three - More on working with WKW 00:47:11 - Yonah on 2046 00:48:13 - Colette on Wong Kar-wai 01:01:55 - Stephen on Chungking Express 01:07:26 - Outro Wong Kar-wai films screen at the BFI Southbank and ICA Cinema throughout July.
83 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Episode 27: Time & Tide & Tsui
On this episode James and Andy are joined by easternKicks contributors Phillip O'Connor and Fedor Tot to chat about the new release of Tsui Hark's 2000 action classic Time and Tide, and the director's career at point, with his fleeting dalliance with Hollywood and USA films, pairing with Jean-Claude Van Damme on Double Team and Knock Off. This episode's timecodes 00:00:33 - Episode introduction 00:03:50 - Time and Tide review 00:37:05 - Enter JCVD 00:40:52 - Double Team review 00:45:26 - Knock Off review 01:13:33 - easternKicks Picks 01:22:50 - Outro Time and Tide is available now on UK Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment. Double Team and Knock Off are available on Uk Blu-ray from 88 Films.
63 minutes | May 29, 2021
Episode 26: One-Armed Jimmy
Join Andrew, James and easternKicks contributor Yonah Sichrovsky for some mainly 'armless fun, as we chat about kung fu classic One Armed Boxer, and director and star, the notorious Jimmy Wang Yu! This episode's timecodes 00:00:52 - Episode introduction 00:02:41 - One Armed Boxer review 00:19:20 - Jimmy Wang Yu: The main who would be Bruce? 00:34:28 - Will we ever see the popularity of kung fu films return? 00:44:09 - easternKicks Picks: James 00:54:54 - More easternKicks Picks: Yonah, including Demon Slayer 01:02:17 - Outro One Armed Boxer is available now on UK Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment.
70 minutes | May 8, 2021
Episode 25: Cliff Walkers and Zhang Yimou
We look at the acclaimed director's latest film, Cliff Walkers, as well his genre work over the last decade. While easternKicks regulars Phillip O'Connor, Maja Korbecka and Stephen Palmer join us for their thoughts on Zhang's work. This episode's timecodes 00:00:32 - Episode introduction 00:02:50 - Cliff Walkers review 00:28:10 - Other works 00:30:10 - Stephen Palmer on the 2008 Olympics 00:36:03 - A Simple Noodle Story aka A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop aka 'Zhang Yimou's Blood Simple' (sigh) 00:41:20 - Maja Korbecka on The Road Home 00:47:40 - The Flowers Of War 00:51:00 - Phillip O'Connor on The Great Wall 00:53:05 - The Great Wall 00:57:30 - Shadow 01:00:15 - One Second and Under The Light 01:09:30 - Outro Cliff Walkers is released in cinemas now, screening in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand via CMC Pictures.
56 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
Episode 24: Spotlight on... Battle Royale
We revisit Kinji Fukasaku's classic Battle Royale and its sequel in honour of the new 4K UHD release. Why is it such a classic, even after 20 years? This episode's timecodes 00:01:14 - Episode introduction 00:02:50 - Ready to rumble? It's time for Battle Royale 00:34:07 - Battle Royale II: Requiem. Why? 00:54:54 - easternKicks picks 00:55:54 - Outro Battle Royale is released on Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray 5-disc boxset from Arrow Video from 26 April 2021, with a brand new 4K UHD restoration of the theatrical and director's cut, two cuts of Battle Royale II on separate Blu-rays, and the soundtrack CD.
77 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
Episode 23: Indonesian Folk Horror special
This episode we explore Indonesian Folk Horror, from the classics of the 80s to the new films of Joko Anwar, Timo Tjahjanto, as well as an exclusive interview with Kimo Stamboel about The Queen Of Black Magic. This episode's timecodes 00:00:31 - Episode introduction 00:02:47 - The Queen Of Black Magic review 00:08:52 - Comparison with the original The Queen Of Black Magic 00:16:06 - James chats to Kimo Stamboel 00:52:34 - Indonesian Horror, then and now; Satan's Slave and Satan's Slaves 01:00:39 - May The Devil Take You and May The Devil Take You Too 01:07:38 - Impetigore 01:16:19 - Outro The Queen Of Black Magic is available to stream now from Shudder, along with the original and Anwar's Satan's Slaves and Impetigore. The original Satan's Slave is available from Severin Films on Blu-ray and DVD.
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