Conference Program: “Rethinking Film Genres: East Asian Cinema and Beyond” ; Sept. 14-15, 2017

August 31, 2017

Kim Jee-woon’s South Korean Western, “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” (2008), will be screened during the conference.

Thanks to the tireless work of the University of Hull, particularly Dr. Lin FENG at the School of Histories, Languages, and Cultures, the international conference “Rethinking Film Genres: East Asian Cinema and Beyond” will be held according to its original schedule between September 14-15 at UK’s University of Hull. This year’s conference involves over 50 people – speakers, chairs, keynotes, organizers – from many different nations, supporting the transnational and intercultural focus of the conference program. It will address a number of topical and relevant areas from genre construction and transnational movement to distribution and consumption practices and formations of identity.

Running alongside the conference will be two film screenings taking place in our state of the art cinema facility in Middleton Hall.

The conference looks forward with considerable enthusiasm to the wide-ranging papers and research areas that will be delivered during the conference and which forms part of a rich academic community – of both emerging and established scholars –from many different parts of the globe, and from many different cultural backgrounds. For the complete conference program and abstracts, please download HERE.


Alibaba USA

August 26, 2017

With Wang Jianlin’s Wanda Empire in question and Jia Yueting’s LeVision in financial and political trouble, China’s ambitious, or even aggressive, “takeover” of Hollywood has suddenly subsided. No one knows whether this symbolizes the Communist Party’s intolerance toward private capital or the ultimate showdown of political struggles on the top. Suffice it to say that doing business or making money in China always requires close connections with the government and ultimately with the Party. But this connection with the top may also backfire, because power always shifts and changes hands. Not a single “red capitalist” in China can forever expand his/her empire and influence under the Party, who is always wary of everything that is beyond its control.

Alibaba US Headquarters in Pasadena, California. Painted in its signature color of orange, it looks like a high-tech instead of an entertainment company. On the right hangs the two posters of its most recent Chinese production “Once Upon a Time.”

Alibaba at this moment seems to be able to shield itself from this round of storm. Unlike Wanda’s somewhat flamboyant style, Alibaba’s US headquarters, located in Pasadena, California, is relatively low-key, which echoes its cautious film “adventure” in Hollywood: only investing in some reliable Hollywood productions, such as the Mission Impossible and Ninjia Turtles franchises. Is Jack Ma going to be the second Wang Jianlin? I hope not.

The Movie Business Book (Fourth Edition) Launch Event

August 14, 2017

The official launch event of The Movie Business Book (Fourth Edition), edited and introduced by my former USC professor Jason Squire, at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York in July. The panel discussion is titled “Inside the Movie Business: The Upside of Disruption.”

The official launch event of “The Movie Business Book,” edited and introduced by USC professor Jason Squire, at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York in July, 2017.

Left to right, in photo:
Dan Ochiva, founder and president of NYC Production and Post News; former technology editor of Millimeter Magazine. “Entertainment Technologies: Past, Present and Future” p. 543.

Shari E. Redstone, president of National Amusements, the parent company of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp., and vice-chair of both boards. “The Exhibition Business” p. 401.

Jason E. Squire (moderator), “DIY: An Introduction” p. 461.

Jamie Wilkinson, co-founder and general manager of Vimeo-VHX, a pioneering platform in online self-distribution, allowing content creators to be their own distributor. “Online Self-Distribution” p. 445.

Harold L. Vogel, CEO of Vogel Capital Management; author of essential book Entertainment Industry Economics, long regarded as the definitive book on its topic. “Analyzing Movie Companies” p. 127.

I contributed a chapter on the Chinese film industry but unfortunately, couldn’t attend this exciting event. How risky and unstable this business is! In that chapter, I discussed the LeVision Pictures as one of the 5 leading and promising companies in the Chinese film industry, but the LeVision “Empire” seems to be in a sudden collapse.  Can it be viewed as “The Upside of Disruption?” How ironic it is!