Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Need another Hero

Salon recently covered the phenomenal success of Zhang Yimou's Hero in US theaters and used the opportunity to chide Miramax for it's ham-handed efforts at releasing the film. Tears of the Black Tiger is mentioned in the article, so it's a good reminder:

To American fans of Asian cinema, the news that Miramax has acquired rights to any Asian film is an occasion for mourning. By now the studio has assembled a consistent track record of re-cutting, dumping on the market, or simply not releasing the Asian movies it acquires. Jackie Chan's Rumble in the Bronx and Supercop were cut. The 2000 Thai film Tears of the Black Tiger, a hit at the Cannes film festival, has never been released by Miramax. The US release of Shaolin Soccer, the biggest hit in Hong Kong history, was delayed and delayed before being dumped in theaters last spring shorn of 20 minutes. (At one point, the studio considered releasing it dubbed. Luckily, subtitled and complete versions are available on import DVD.) Infernal Affairs, a Hong Kong police thriller so popular it has already spawned two sequels, has been bumped from Miramax's August schedule, though it's scheduled to be released Sept 29 .... Hero has been postponed so often that Zhang's latest movie, House of Flying Daggers, starring Zhang Ziyi, has already played Cannes in May and will follow Hero into theaters in December (Sony Pictures Classics is releasing it).

Given the continuing popularity of Asian films, I would think that Miramax couldn't go wrong in releasing Tears of the Black Tiger, which it has held on to since it purchased the rights to the film in 2001. It could at least release it for festival and art house screenings, where it would surely meet wildly approving audiences. A nice DVD release should then follow.

It took the efforts of none other than Quentin Tarantino to finally get Hero released. Perhaps Quentin could next throw his weight behind Tears of the Black Tiger.

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