NETPAC starts 2012 with the launch of a new journal – Cinemas of Asia.
Founded in 1990, NETPAC is a leading platform to discover, document and promote Asian Cinema. Annually, the NETPAC prize is awarded in more than 28 international film festivals. Filmmakers who have received this award in their starting years include Jia Zhangke (Xiao Wu at Berlin in 1998), Hong Sang-soo (The Power of Kangwon Province at Pusan in 1998), Lav Diaz (Batang West Side, Cinemanila 2001) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Mysterious Object at Noon, Yamagata 2001). A driving force behind NETPAC was Cinemaya, The Asian Film Quarterly. Until recently, it also served as NETPAC’s official publication. Cinemas of Asia carries on the fine tradition and pioneering spirit of Cinemaya.
In the first issue, we trace the beginning of film magazines and journals in Asia. Cinemas of Asia speaks with Keiko Akechi, the editor-in-chief of Kinema Junpo, probably the longest surviving film magazine in the world. An avid collector of film memorabilia, Wong Han Min reveals some of the pre-war film publications in Singapore. Dave Wells invites you to see 1950s Hong Kong Cinema through his film magazine collection. Veronika Kusumaryati highlights the emergence of specialised film magazines, such as Dunia Film and Film Varia, in the 50s after Indonesia gained her independence. Graiwoot Chulphongsathorn shares his thoughts on a 1933 issue of Pappayon Siam, an old Thai film magazine that he stumbled upon. Timothy Barnard singles out Gelanggang Film (Film Arena), a publication that critically assessed Malay films made in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s. Wen Tien-hsiang discusses the rise and fall of some of the significant film magazines in Taiwan. Darcy Paquet ranks 1955 and 1996 as the two most important milestones in the history of Korean film magazines. Rashmi Doraiswamy reminisces the days of putting together Cinemaya, one of the earliest English-language film magazines dedicated to Asian cinema.
Neel Chaudhuri reviews two recent NETPAC prize winners: Hospitalité by Koji Fukada and Boundary by Benito Bautista. Through the works of Hong Sang-soo, Daniel Hui wonders if images can go on without thought. Woo Ming Jin and I discuss some of the images in Woman On Fire Looks for Water. To round it up, Ho Yuhang shares his award-winning short film, As I Lay Dying. Film scholar Khoo Gaik Cheng introduces the film.
By courtesy of the AsiaPacificFilms.com, we have two more films we would like to share with you.
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I would like to thank Aruna Vasudev and Philip Cheah for inviting me to edit the journal.
Cinemas of Asia is a project that Neel Chaudhuri and the late critic Alexis Tioseco were working on. I hope Alexis would be happy with what we have done.
We welcome submissions of critical and creative essays, reviews and interviews, and articles on Asian cinema. Please send your suggestion to us.
I wish you a lovely 2012 ahead.
Tan Bee Thiam
Editor, Cinemas of Asia
The NETPAC Journal