The easternKicks.com Podcast

A regular magazine programme about East Asian film, with the latest news, reviews and interviews

Episode 34 - The horror of Hong Kong!

October 27th, 2021

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

Episode 33 - Do you like calamari?

October 15th, 2021

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!

Episode 32 - Spotlight on… A Tale of Two Sisters

September 13th, 2021

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.

Episode 31 – Spotlight on… Daimajin

August 25th, 2021

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.

Episode 30: The best of NYAFF 2021

August 17th, 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. 

Episode 29: PTU and Johnnie To’s crime drama years

July 9th, 2021

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. 

Episode 28 - The World of Wong Kar-wai

June 25th, 2021

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. 

Episode 27: Time & Tide & Tsui

June 15th, 2021

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.

Episode 26: One-Armed Jimmy

May 29th, 2021

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.

Episode 25: Cliff Walkers and Zhang Yimou

May 8th, 2021

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. 

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