The easternKicks.com Podcast

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

Episode 41: Happy Anniversary, Squid Game?

September 15th, 2022

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

Episode 36 - The End of the Year Show

December 23rd, 2021

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

Episode 35 – All Aboard… for Hellbound!

December 7th, 2021

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

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 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 21: The Woman Who Ran and Hong Sang-soo

December 22nd, 2020

This episode Tania Hall joins James and Andy for a discussion on that most idiosyncratic of Korean directors, Hong Sang-soo, and his latest film The Woman Who Ran. What is it that makes his films compelling, and where should you start?

The Woman Who Ran is currently streaming on MUBI from 20 December. Sign up now with MUBI via easternKicks and get 30 days FREE!

This episode's timecodes

00:31 - Episode introduction
01:08 - Discussion on The Woman Who Ran
24:54 - Where should you start with Hong?
32:32 - The influence of Hong Sang-soo on other directors
42:21 - Outro

Episode 18: Hungry Ghost Halloween!

October 25th, 2020

Feeling brave? This time we’re celebrating Halloween as Andrew and James find some hungry ghosts of their own with unfinished business – namely Asian horrors that were overlooked in the post-Ringu boom of the early 00s! Meanwhile, some of the easternKicks team share their own unsung ghostly classics.

This episode's timecodes

00:00:31 - Episode introduction
00:02:11 - The Asian horror 'boom' of the 2000s 
00:06:28 - The New Blood (2002)
00:12:10 - Stephen on Inner Senses
00:18:02 - The Red Shoes (2005)
00:28:21 - Noroi: The Curse (2005)
00:34:43 - Niina on Yotsuya Kaidan
00:37:54 - Rule #1 (2008)
00:42:33 - Bunshinsaba (2004)
00:47:50 - Horror Hotline… Big Head Monster (2001)
00:51:37 - Asian horror on the streaming services: might we see a return to the 00s?
00:54:58 - Picks from Netflix and Prime
01:12:07 - Ant on Queen Of Black Magic and Boxers Omen
01:14:21 - Outro

This podcast includes original audio from trailers for the films.

Episode 14: All aboard for Peninsula!

August 20th, 2020

We climb aboard one of the eagerly awaited Asian film releases this Summer, Peninsula. Looking back on the career of director Yeon Sang-ho, having made his name with animated films such as King Of Pigs, The Fake and Seoul Station before his breakthrough live-action global hit Train to Busan. We also hear how author and Neo magazine writer David West got into easternFlicks, and from another of our Udine Far East Film Festival Campus correspondents.

This episode's timecodes

00:00:32 - Episode introduction
00:01:17 - Peninsula intro
00:04:33 - Yeon Sang-ho's career
00:16:14 - Boarding the Train to Busan
00:23:38 - ...and onto the Peninsula: a review
00:36:17 - David West: How I got into easternFlicks
00:41:16 - Udine FEFF correspondent: Linda Santu Lama
00:45:08 - Outro

Episode 12: House Of Hummingbird

August 11th, 2020

This episode Phillip O'Connor joins us for a discussion about acclaimed coming-of-age drama House Of Hummingbird, while Roxy Simmons talks to the film's writer/director Kim Bora. We've got some picks from Prime, Netflix and more, and the first of our Udine Far East Film Festival Campus correspondents. Meanwhile, listen all the way through for a very special offer from our friends at Terracotta.

This episode's timecodes

00:00:32 - Episode introduction
00:01:46 - House Of Hummingbird discussion
00:28:16 - Kim Bora Interview
01:14:22 - Udine FEFF correspondent: Adora Tan
01:17:40 - easternKicks Picks: Double World, A Chinese Ghost Story trilogy and Labyrinth Of Cinema
01:24:13 - A special offer from Terracotta Distribution!
01:24:36 - Outro

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