The Circulation of Post-Millennial Extreme Cinema

in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas
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Extreme cinema is an international trend which encompasses a wide range of cinematic genres: thrillers, dramatic narratives, so-called “art films,” and horror films. In the context of Asian extreme films, we find an especially highly-dynamic crisscrossing of influences. There is an assumption in the Western imagination that the Asian diaspora is unidirectional insofar as Asian populations gravitate toward the beacons of Western civilization. Trends in post-millennial extreme cinema however disrupt this particular diasporic narrative. This article argues that post-millennial extreme films are not simply a bidirectional flow, but rather a complex circulation of themes, aesthetic motifs, and filmmakers.

The Circulation of Post-Millennial Extreme Cinema

in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas



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James Quandt“Flesh and Blood: Sex and Violence in Recent French Cinema,” in New ­Extremism in Cinema: From France to Europeed. Tanya Horeck and Tina Kendall (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press2011) 18. Although this trend toward the extreme might seem new Andrea Butler reminds us (at least in the French context) that its roots go back to the Grand Guignol French theatre of terror. See Andrea Butler “Sacrificing the Real: Early 20th Century Theatrics and the New Extremism in Cinema” Cinephile 8 no. 2 (Fall 2012): 27.


Chi-Yun Shin“Art of Branding: Tartan ‘Asia Extreme’ films,” Jump Cut 50 (Spring 2008):


Quandt“Flesh and Blood” 24–25.


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Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden“General Introduction: What is Transnational Cinema?” in Tansnational Cinema The Film Readered. Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden (New York: Routledge2006) 2.


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