July 1st, 2014. A year on…

The state of the website.

So it has been exactly one year since the final episode of East Screen West Screen, the podcast which served as the central nexus for the existence of this website. Over the past year, I have been attempting to recharge my creative batteries and find a new use for the site. I also made the decision to try and allot more time to my family as my daughter celebrated her first birthday last year.

Podcasting ideas are still bouncing around in me head, but so far nothing has really taken hold. I do have a few other creative projects that I have been developing, but they are still not ready to be showcased publicly and I am not entirely certain if this site would be the ideal platform for them.

So while I haven’t been producing or developing any new shows, I certainly haven’t lost the podcasting bug. Over the past year I have had the good fortune to have been invited on as a guest host on several podcasts, including The Citadel Café, Podcast on FireValentine Cast, and Worldview Chat. But producing a podcast is quite different from hosting and, much like any creative venture, it requires effort be put into a variety of outlets before you have a finished product. Once you get the ball rolling, you can get into a sort of creative groove, which makes the process a bit easier over time. However, the idea of starting over, completely from scratch can be daunting indeed.

So while I haven’t yet settled on what the next project for Kong-Cast is going to be, it is my hope that I can develop something over the summer. In the interim, I’ve decided to get back into blogging. I find that writing does help me to reflect a bit more and gets my creative neurons firing. So hopefully future updates to the site, at least in written form, will be occurring on a somewhat regular basis.


The state of the S.A.R.

Beyond the status of the site, perhaps it is worth mention that today is July 1, 2014. This day bears significance for the citizens of Hong Kong as ‘Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day’. In other words, it is the day that, back in 1997, China took back Hong Kong from the Untied Kingdom. For most of Hong Kong it is a public holiday, but for some it is a day to go out and be political. This year has sparked the Occupy Central movement, an idea that morphed out of the old Occupy Wall Street movement a few years back and will likely have an equal amount of success…in other words, not much.

I do not begrudge the demonstrators their political views or their desire to march and occupy in the mid-day heat. But the rhetoric on both sides has really been ramping up of late. It’s gotten to the point that some fringe activists are calling for the British to ‘take back Hong Kong’ and others on the opposing side are jumping into the harbor in protest. What neither side seems to understand is that all of these antics are ultimately bad for business in the long term. As a financial hub, the rhetoric doesn’t reflect stability that financial markets like, and as a destination for tourists, well lets just say plastering political slogans and the clogging up sections of the city that tourists might frequent is also not good for business.

There are plenty of Hong Kong based blogs that have documented the changes that have occurred over the past 17 years (see links to some of them in the column to the right), and as a permanent resident, I’ve notices my fair share of emergent problems, but I won’t get into any of that here. I have several friends who will be out and about in today’s march, so I wish them the best in their freedom of expression. Stay hydrated and avoid the pepper spray. 🙂

The Asian Cinema Studies Conference 2014

Next month, the 2014 ACSS conference will be held in Macau.  Details on the conference can be found below.  I went to the last conference as an attendee (but not a presenter) in 2012 which was held here in Hong Kong at HKU.  It was a good event with many interesting papers on Asian film.  With my main interests being Hong Kong and Chinese film, I tried to sit in on as many related topics as I could.  This year my goal remains the same.  I had hoped to submit a paper, but work just did not allot me the time to put my nose to the academic grindstone as it were.  I’ll be travelling to Macau with my family in tow and splitting time between the conference and spending time with them relaxing.

Based on the current topical rundown, there does not seem to be as many Hong Kong focused papers as in 2012, which is disappointing, but not unexpected considering the trajectory of local cinema in the past few years.  Still, I am looking forward to the academic exchanges and if you plan on attending, drop me a line and we can hook up for tea or Portuguese egg tarts and talk some film.


The Asian Cinema Studies Conference 2014

Conference details


Ten ACSS conferences have been held since 1988, including five in the United States and one each in Australia, Canada, South Korea, P.R. China, and Hong Kong. Many of the papers presented at ACSS conferences have been published in Asian Cinema and other journals and books.

The 11th ACSS Conference: Post-Asia Film, Media and Popular with be held in Macau SAR on 14-16 July 2014.


About the Asian Cinema Studies Society (ACSS):


Inaugurated in 1984, ACSS has been dedicated to fostering research in Asian film and related media. It publishes Asian Cinema twice yearly, and features all types of Asian film, including full-length movies, documentaries, animation, and experimental. Nine ACSS conferences have been held since 1988, including five in the United States and one each in Australia, Canada, South Korea and China. Many of the papers presented at ACSS conferences have been published in Asian Cinema and other journals and books.


For more information on ACSS and for membership details, visit its website at http://www.umac.mo/fss/comm/acss/Conference.html


East Screen West Screen #152 – So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish Balls (Series Finale)

Episode 152 of the East Screen West Screen podcast. Talking films from Hong Kong to Hollywood and lots of stuff in between.

Kevin and I sit down one last time to hash out our final episode for East Screen West Screen. We have had a blast covering cinema in Hong Kong for the past 4 years, but as the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” Reasons for this decision are discussed in this final episode’s epilogue, but before that we wanted to end as we started, discussing films. To this end, we finish up with Johnnie To’s latest BLIND DETECTIVE [盲探]. Then we fly west to take on MAN OF STEEL.

We then take a moment to look back on the show, offer thanks to all those who become a part of it, and discuss the possibilities of things to come.