The easternKicks.com Podcast

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

Episode 24: Spotlight on… Battle Royale

April 16th, 2021

We revisit Kinji Fukasaku's classic Battle Royale and its sequel in honour of the new 4K UHD release. Why is it such a classic, even after 20 years? 

This episode's timecodes   

00:01:14 - Episode introduction
00:02:50 - Ready to rumble? It's time for Battle Royale
00:34:07 - Battle Royale II: Requiem. Why?
00:54:54 - easternKicks picks
00:55:54 - Outro

Battle Royale is released on Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray 5-disc boxset from Arrow Video from 26 April 2021, with a brand new 4K UHD restoration of the theatrical and director's cut, two cuts of Battle Royale II on separate Blu-rays, and the soundtrack CD.

Episode 23: Indonesian Folk Horror special

April 13th, 2021

This episode we explore Indonesian Folk Horror, from the classics of the 80s to the new films of Joko Anwar, Timo Tjahjanto, as well as an exclusive interview with Kimo Stamboel about The Queen Of Black Magic.

This episode's timecodes   

00:00:31 - Episode introduction
00:02:47 - The Queen Of Black Magic review
00:08:52 - Comparison with the original The Queen Of Black Magic
00:16:06 - James chats to Kimo Stamboel
00:52:34 - Indonesian Horror, then and now; Satan's Slave and Satan's Slaves
01:00:39 - May The Devil Take You and May The Devil Take You Too
01:07:38 - Impetigore
01:16:19 - Outro

The Queen Of Black Magic is available to stream now from Shudder, along with the original and Anwar's Satan's Slaves and Impetigore. The original Satan's Slave is available from Severin Films on Blu-ray and DVD. 

Episode 22: Tokyo Dragon Chef vs Crazy Samurai

April 13th, 2021

James and Andy are joined by Life Of Action and action co-ordinator Mike Fury to chat about Tokyo Gore Police director Yoshihiro Nishimura similarly-titled (but somewhat less gory) Tokyo Dragon Chef, as well as looking back on the career of Japan's 'Tom Savini'. We also discuss the latest from frequent Nishimura collaborator Tak Sakaguchi, Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1, aka Crazy Samurai Musashi, featuring a 77-minute one-take.

This episode's timecodes

00:00:31 - Episode introduction
00:02:00 - Tokyo Dragon Chef review
00:17:10 - Yoshihiro Nishimura's career and previous work
00:32:22 - What happened to the Japanese 'splatterpunk' scene?
00:44:26 - What are the chances of online or Blu-ray releases?
00:53:44 - Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1 review
01:11:13 - Outro

Tokyo Dragon Chef is available now on digital and DVD from Terracotta Distribution. Crazy Samurai: 400 vs. 1 is on Well Go USA's streaming service Hi-YAH now, with a Digital, Blu-ray and DVD from March 2.

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 20: The Gift Guide

December 15th, 2020

The nights have drawn in, and Christmas is but a few sleeps away, so for this episode, Andy and James have put together a list of 12 perfect gifts for the Asian film fan in your life - even if it's just yourself! Meanwhile, our Stephen picks his own list of Christmas wishes! And stay listening, for some very special giveaways!

You can find all the selections with links at easternkicks.com/giftguide, as well as how to enter our giveaway competitions...

This episode's timecodes

00:33 - Episode introduction
01:56 - 1. Parasite soundtrack LP (Sacred Bones)
05:55 - 2. Junji Ito clothing (Crunchyroll)
09:50 - 3. The Untold Story Blu-ray (Unearthed Films)
13:58 - 4. Category III films on Blu-ray (Panorama)
17:08 - 5. Sadako Imperial Stout (Weird Beard Brew)
19:37 - 6. Godzilla 74 Tiki Mug (Mondo)
23:36 - 7. Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954–1975 (Criterion)
27:32 - 8. Akira 4k Limited Edition set (Manga UK)
30:39 - Stephen's Christmas wish list
34:54 - 9. Screen Anime subscription
37:36 - 10. MUBI subscription
41:39 - 11. Char Siu Kits (Wun's Tea Room & Bar)
43:42 - 12. easternKicks tee shirts (!!!)
45:41 - Outro

Episode 19: Spotlight on…The Bride with White Hair

November 29th, 2020

This episode author and film lecturer Colette Balman joins us for a special episode on one of Hong Kong cinemas most beloved films: Ronny Yu's The Bride with White Hair – recently released by Eureka Classics. Including some audio from star Brigitte Lin herself, we discuss the magical pairing with the late Leslie Cheung. There are some new discoveries on Netflix and Amazon prime, and we also hear from the last of our Udine Far East Film Festival Campus correspondents.

This episode's timecodes

00:00:44 - Episode introduction
00:02:23 - The Bride with White Hair discussion
00:37:17 - Brigitte Lin, translated by Sophia Wong Boccio
01:02:21 - Udine FEFF correspondent: Fan Hong
01:06:58 - easternKicks Picks
01:15:30 - 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 17: Into the Leijiverse!

October 20th, 2020

This episode we have the pleasure of chatting to Helen McCarthy, well-known author of so many of our favourite books on anime, on her latest work about the life and work of manga artist Leiji Matsumoto. Creator of some of the biggest franchises in anime, including Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers), Space Pirate Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999, but still criminally overlooked in the UK and USA. A collaborative effort with co-editor Darren-Jon Ashmore, with various contributors including Jonathan Tarbox, Ed Hoff and Stefanie Thomas. (You can pre-order the book at https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/leiji-matsumoto.) Meanwhile, members of the easternKicks team pick their favourite animes!

This episode's timecodes

00:00:31 - Episode introduction
00:02:10 - Phillip on Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still
00:06:07 - A chat with Helen McCarthy (pt 1)
00:13:54 - Star Blazers opening theme
00:14:27 - A chat with Helen McCarthy (pt 2)
00:26:50 - Space Pirate Captain Harlock opening theme
00:28:02 - A chat with Helen McCarthy (pt 3)
00:37:58 - Theo on Ping Pong
00:39:55 - A chat with Helen McCarthy (pt 4)
00:55:24 - Yonah on Hunter x Hunter
00:57:04 - A chat with Helen McCarthy (pt 5)
01:04:48 - Outro

Episode 16: A pop-up chat about Asian Pop-up Cinema!

September 7th, 2020

We talk to Sophia's Choice founder Sophia Wong Boccio about Chicago-based Asian Pop-up Cinema and the changing shape of film festivals in the Covid-19 era. We also look back on the career of the late and much-loved Hong Kong action director Benny Chan, as well hear from another of our Udine Far East Film Festival Campus correspondents.

 

This episode's timecodes

00:31 - Episode introduction
01:26 - A chat with Sophia Wong Boccio: Asian Pop-up Cinema
42:51 - A look back at Benny Chan's career
55:58 - Udine FEFF correspondent: Diego Aparicio
59:56 - Outro

Episode 15: NYAFF Action Award-winner Geran!

August 26th, 2020

We talk to the filmmakers and star behind new Malaysian martial art film Geran, recipient of the New York Asian Film Festival Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema. We spoke to director Areel Abu Bakar, action choreographer and lead bad guy Azlan Komeng, and actor Megat Shahrizal, with interpreter Syeela Dzul, about bringing the art of Silat to the big screen. We also find out how Life Of Action and action co-ordinator Mike Fury got into easternFlicks, and hear from another of our Udine Far East Film Festival Campus correspondents.

This episode's timecodes

00:00:31 - Episode introduction
00:01:31 - Geran intro
00:03:26 - Geran interview
00:44:54 - Mike Fury: How I got into easternFlicks
00:49:08 - Udine FEFF correspondent: Josep Santcristofol
00:51:31 - Outro

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