(I’m going to talk about what I know, so most films/tv shows/etc listed will be from east Asia, and the 1990s and on)
Asia and people of various Asian cultures progress with the modern world. Deal with it. Or not, and stay on this track of yours where any successful Asian modern movie is remade and replaced with white people. It’s not like your pathetic attempts have garnered much prestige anyway.
Except for The Departed, which was utter bullshit. I don’t give a damn about it being an “epic masterpiece” or whatnot. It’s incredibly debatable. (TANGENT!) A short list of why:
- Scorsese does not deserve an award for basically ripping the HK film scene-for-scene, and line-for-line. Especially since he said he NEVER watched the original.
- White-washing. The amazingness of every actor in the film, including Eric Tsang finally rejecting his typecasted roles for a character he’s never played before, and excelling at it? GONE. Tony Leung? GONE. The Buddhist element that tied the entire film together and made it as incredible as it was? GONE. Other things I’m too lazy to list? GONE.
- The Academy Awards calling Infernal Affairs a Japanese film. Yeah, fuck you, too.
- And more, but, again, I’m too lazy to list them all here.
This is an obvious trend I’ve noticed with how the US decides what foreign Asian films to bring over, and what to remake.
LIST OF SCREENED FILMS IN THE US WITH NO INTENTION OF REMAKING*:
- House of Flying Daggers
- Farewell My Concubine
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- Shaolin Soccer
- Kung Fu Hustle
- Red Cliff (maybe?)
- Miyazaki’s works (Which I think could potentially be an outlier, depending on the movie.)
*Where an attempt was actually made to market it to profit in the box office.
LIST OF REMAKES/POTENTIAL REMAKES:
- Japan: Akira, DBZ, Death Note, Cowboy Bebop, Astro Boy, Gunnm (aka Battle Angel Alita), Battle Royale, Shall We Dance?, every fucking horror film in the world of Japan
- Korea: The Host, My Sassy Girl, A Tale of Two Sisters, and again, every fucking horror film in the world of Korea
- China + Hong Kong: Eat Drink Man Woman, Infernal Affairs, The Eye (the only semi-successful horror film in HK)
- Thailand: Bangkok Dangerous, Shutter
So what do most of these replace-the-slanty-eyed-with-white-people movies have in common: the modern era setting. In the western gaze, Asians are not allowed to modernize. We can’t wear sneakers, t-shirts, and jackets. We can’t have double-crossing cop/triad plots that revolve around current-day Hong Kong. We can’t fight with guns. We can’t have Japanese students who read books and don’t know how to use samurai swords. We can’t have futuristic, end-of-the-world movies with Asians using advanced technology. We can’t have weird mutated sea creatures come out of the Han River and wreak havoc among modern Korea. And we deeefinitely can’t have our horror films (I don’t really understand this one. What is up with the frenzied obsession of remaking Asian horror films?).
We can have samurai swords. We can have Chinese calligraphy. Martial arts, karate, Shaolin monk clothing, long, silk gowns, ancient Chinese architecture, beaded, big hair, chopsticks all up in the beaded, big hair, and concubines. The most advanced thing we got in terms of modern day Asian/Asian-American representation? FUCKING SOCCER. AND ONLY BECAUSE STEPHEN CHOW WAS SMART ENOUGH TO ADD KUNG FU TO IT. (Even then, it is no where as successful as as the movie he made after that, KUNG FU HUSTLE. Probably because the latter had waaaaay more KUNG FU in the title. And in the movie.)
Seriously, America. We’re pretty okay/good as modern countries. We make better handheld everyday-use electronics than you do. When your 1st generation iPod could only play mp3s and was black-and-white, iRiver (Korea) had one with a color screen, could play (low quality) videos, hold photos, had a radio, voice recorder, and played music of various audio formats (.mp3, .ogg, .ogm, .flac, .wav, etc.). Korea also sells you frakking amazing televisions. (I think Korea is pretty much ruler of all everyday-use electronics, so I’ll stop the list here.) Chinese cell phones can hold two sim cards. They come with free dictionaries. ASUS (“rock solid, heart touching”), one of the most dependable companies for laptops, is from Taiwan. Toshiba, Japan, is the same. The only one that kinnnda sucks is Acer, and I think that’s because they’re pretty much the Asian version of DELL. SO. The list is endless.
We’re not perfect. We’re not the best. But with the types of mainstream movies you, America, output that gives us any spotlight, there’s absolutely no acknowledgment that the modern, independent, imperfect forms we exist as today—with our fancy cell phones and boys/girls pop groups—exists at all. Outside of martial arts and the old eras of our cultural history, to you, we are not people who have examined ourselves and made countless amounts of indie and mainstream media that reflects upon our own cultural identities today. There is no acknowledgment that the successes we have had at our own modern television series or our own modern movies exist, because you take those INCREDIBLE successes and white-wash them till I’m looking at an albino polar bear in a bleached snow storm set upon a white background.
And that sucks, cuz usually your “adaptations” (lol) suck. I feel like we’re your no-so-secret library when you run out of ideas. We are the books and movies you borrow for research and completely plagiarize. Except there is no teacher out there who will fail you for it, because they like the fact that you’ve added their western faces into the stories.
These movies and shows you have remade or plan to remake were extremely successful in their respective countries for a reason. They’re not necessarily the best (Death Note, tv series+movies, is one of the biggest jokes on the internets), just as some US box office successes were utter crap. But they’re our successes. They’re a part of who we are today. They’re one aspect of our modern identities that the western world refuses to acknowledge. And if you can’t acknowledge that, when are the stereotypes going to end? When are we going to be more than just Engrish-speaking, martial-arts fighting, geisha performers for you? When are we going to be more than just “collectivism” and “Tiger moms?” Addressing the issues of Western media taking from Asia will not address all of the problems that white people have with us, but I do think it would be a pretty big step to have us represented accurately on tvs and in movies.
Oh. Thank goodness you haven’t tried to take from our terrible/terribly good tv dramas yet. I’d hate to see you try to come close to replicating what FOUR REGIONS OF ASIA have tried to do with Hana Yori Dango. Or our hella famous pop artists. Not that you would know, because pop artists aren’t from the era of KUNG-FU-ALL-UP-IN-MUH-MERIKA-MOVIES.
Not that this, of course, excuses and ignores the Asian remakes of western films. Although, I would definitely like to see Japan’s interpretation of that disaster of a fetish film, Memoirs of a Geisha. If for nothing else, just for the fucking ability of the actors and actresses to speak fluently in their own respective language.
I will end this with: I WANT TO DESTROY EVERYONE WHO IS INVOLVED IN THE REMAKE OF “THE HOST.” YOU GUYS OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED.