It is not all martial arts, flying warriors, historical pageants and tea ceremonies. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and North and South Korea went through periods of great political turmoil and rapid modernisation in the 20th century. The films of these countries reflect these changes and the conflicts between modern lifestyles and traditional values. In some cases it is capitalism versus communism, in others materialism versus spiritual concerns.
This book provides an ideal reference work on all the major directors, with details of their films and checklists for the films of each country, useful for both ardent fan and serious student alike. Covers filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa, Wong Kar Wai, Kon Ichikawa, Takeshi Kitano, Shohei Imamura, Kim Ki-deok, Tsui Hark, Zhang Yimou, Takeshi Miike. It explores the common cultural heritage of the countries and their mutual influence. The films of China, Japan and Korea, for example, reflect their shared Buddhist and Confucian heritage. The films of China and North Korea are conditioned by Communist ideology. Early Korean cinema was dominated by the effects of Japanese colonial domination, and the Japanese cinema greatly influenced that of Taiwan.
Includes exclusive DVD featuring Cinema on the Road: A Personal Essay on Cinema in Korea by Jang Sun-woo