You know, I’m tired of the people who market Asian films to solely to men. They act like only men, especially men in the golden demographic of 18-35, matter. I got news, people…….women watch Asian film. And not just the fluffy romantic comedies or coming-of age, angst-ridden teen dramas. I’m talking serious triad and revenge-laden fare. The recommendation for me to watch Chan-Wook Park’s Oldboy came from a Korean-American woman. So what’s up with that? Why do women like the genres of Asian film distributors and critics alike claim as the purview of men?
Well, I can’t speak for all the ladies, but I can tell you why I love films like Johnny To’s The Mission (See the Liang Shan Lounge this month), John Woo’s heartbreaking Bullet in the Head, and the Young and Dangerous series. I like the idea of brotherhood, that is, I get it. It’s not just for men. The idea that you have someone, or a group of people, who have your back. However, in most posse dynamics, there is always somebody who has to muck it up. What do you do? Well, you could whack them, or the sense of loyalty could be so strong that you are willing to overlook such, um, indiscretions. I like that tension that occurs when loyalty is one the line. Who do you trust? And who are you going to have to take out? Decisions, decisions.
Of course, there are women who just like to see people get messed up in the worst way. Me, I’m trying to cut down on the superkinetic violence found in films directed by the likes of Takashi Miike. But women are watching them. Be afraid, be very afraid.