VCinema is an enthusiast site and podcast which discusses Asian media and culture.   VCinema started in the summer of 2009 as a streaming cult film webshow hosted by Coffin Jon.  The limitations of streaming technology at the time encouraged Jon and VCinema cohort Josh to  change VCinema into a podcast with a renewed focus on Asian film.  As a blog, VCinema launched in the summer of 2010 with the same focus on Asian cinema as the podcast.

Contact us at vcinemashow@gmail.com

Podcast Staff

Jon Jung (aka “Coffin Jon”) is the producer and host of the VCinema podcast and editor-in-chief of the VCinema blog.  He is an avid movie fan who specializes in Japanese cinema, but enjoys everything from artsy high-brow to mega-billion blockbusters to straight-to-video turds.  As an Asian-American, he got the best of all cinematic worlds as a child by receiving mega-doses of Ozu, Bruce Lee, Kamen Rider, and American drive-in movies in addition to a steady diet of punk rock, Japanese literature, and Buddhism.  He spent six years in Japan as an English teacher and translator.  In 2004, he returned to the United States to complete his Masters in Language Education and continue his career as a language educator and cultural anthropologist with a focus on language policy and language shift.  Jon is a former Myrle Clark Award recipient for excellence in creative writing and has recently contributed several essays to World Film Locations: Tokyo (Intellect, 2011).

[Click here to view Jon’s blog articles]

Josh Samford, co-host of the VCinema podcast, web wonder boy, graphics guru, and blog contributor, lived a much more traditional life in south-eastern Louisiana. Fighting off vicious man-eating crocodiles and venomous snakes on a daily basis when he ventured out into the sunlight, he spent the better part of his upbringing in front of the picture box. This is where he learned and began his obsession with horror cinema. A diet of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street during his formative years would help establish that love for horror, until his introduction to the internet where a free-reign circus of cinematic delights would then be open for his exploration. Where in Louisiana the name Lucio Fulci is unknown and foreign, through the internet Josh was able to discover an infinite number of obscure but brilliant filmmakers to quench his thirst for knowledge. Josh has been the head-writer and owner of his website Varied Celluloid since 2003, where he writes on a weekly/biweekly basis about various genre films. Now a lover of extreme cinema and contemporary Asian film, he hopes to establish VCinema as a respected podcast with a credible audience. That is, if he can continue to dodge the swamp beasts and Louisiana yeti monsters.

[Click here to view Josh’s blog articles]

Dr. Stan Glick became seriously interested in Asian films in the mid-90s after reading Sex and Zen & A Bullet in the Head. His first Asian film review, on Tokyo Blue: Case 1 starring the delectable Keiko Shiratori, appeared in Asian Cult Cinema magazine in 2000. He became a columnist about a year later, a position he held until Asian Cult Cinema ceased publication at the end of 2009.

Meanwhile, Stan began his own blog, AsianCineFest, at the end of June 2006. Living in New York, he has covered many of the festivals and film series there over the years, and has also interviewed several Asian film directors, actors, and actresses, including Lee Chang-dong, Tsui Hark, Joe Shishido, and Sora Aoi.

His association with VCinema began in 2011 when he contributed articles about and helped coordinate coverage of that year’s New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Film. He’s been a co-host of the VCinema Podcast starting with Episode 35: Exte.

[Click here to view Stan’s blog articles]

Blog Staff

Rowena Santos Aquino is a Los Angeles-based film lecturer who teaches courses on Asian cinemas, Film History, and Documentary Film. Her scholarship focuses on documentary film histories, productions, and cultures, which has been published in journals such as Transnational Cinemas, Asian Cinema, and LOLA, and in the 2016 anthology Film Music in ‘Minor’ National Cinemas. When not teaching, she is also a film critic specifically covering Asian cinemas and film festivals. While a Cinema & Media Studies graduate student, she embarked on the path of film criticism by writing for the UCLA-/USC-based Asian/Asian-American popular culture magazine Asia Pacific Arts. After she received her doctorate degree, she began writing for the Toronto-based film website Next Projection and continues to focus on coverage of Asian cinemas and documentary films. She has also written guest posts for Modern Korean Cinema, Movie Morlocks, and Nobody Knows Anybody, and served as a Publicity Coordinator for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. For a sense of her cinephilia, you can check out her film picks for the online film journal Senses of Cinema’s 2015 World Poll.

Lead Writer Rex Baylon began his obsession with the cinema at a very early age. Born in the Philippines and immigrating to the United States when he was five years old his introduction to American culture and the English language came primarily from television. With both parents busy at work and nary a book in the house Rex compulsively watched so much television as a boy that he had learned to speak English fluently in a matter of 3 months. Coupled by the fact that his workaholic parents were also devoutly Catholic and movie fans to boot; every week the drudgery of having to go to Sunday mass would be offset by the inevitable trip afterwards to the local movie theatre where his family would indulge in whatever film made it through the multiplex pipeline. And so by the time this impressionable youth reached high school he was already plundering his local library and neighborhood video stores for whatever VHS tapes and DVD’s he could get his hands on; the more obscure the film the better.  Eventually, Rex’s cinephilic wanderings led him to NYU to study Dramatic Writing, but instead of going to class he would haunt the city’s many independent theatres and repertory houses consuming as many film’s as time and his wallet wouldallow. Besides his posts on VCinema you can find his work at his blog, Film Expression.

[Click here to view Rex’s blog articles]

VCinema-JB-PhotoLead writer John Berra is a lecturer in Film and Language Studies at Renmin University of China. He is the editor of the Directory of World Cinema: Japan (Intellect, 2010/12/15); co-editor of World Film Locations: Beijing (Intellect, 2012); and co-editor of World Film Locations: Shanghai (Intellect, 2014). John has contributed essays to The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology (Strange Attractor, 2011), The Companion to Film Noir (Wiley Blackwell, 2013), Electric Shadows: A Century of Chinese Cinema (BFI, 2014), and Ozu International: Essays on the Global Influence of a Japanese Auteur (Bloomsbury, 2015). He has also contributed entries to World Film Locations: Tokyo (Intellect, 2011), the Directory of World Cinema: South Korea (Intellect, 2013), and the Directory of World Cinema: China 2 (Intellect, 2015). His academic articles have appeared in Asian Cinema, Film, Fashion & Consumption, Film International, Geography Compass, Journal of Consumer Culture, and Science Fiction Film and Television. John has written for the BFI, is a regular contributor to The Chinese Film Market, an industry publication that is distributed at major international festivals, and has also contributed to Otaku MAG. He has provided essays for the Madman DVD releases of 7 Films by Ozu Yasujiro and An Actor’s Revenge. As a guest speaker, he has discussed Japanese cinema at Nippon Connection and the Japan Society. He has subtitled the award-winning Chinese independent feature The Love Songs of Tiedan (Hao Jie, 2012) and curated the ‘From Action to Arthouse‘ collection for Park Circus Films.

[Click here to view John’s blog articles]

Lead Writer Adam Douglas‘ love affair with film began in 1977 with Star Wars, his first film memory. His first bout of film criticism came three years later, when he proclaimed Flash Gordon to be “better than Star Wars.” (He came to his senses a few months later when The Empire Strikes Back pushed all thoughts of Sam J. Jones from his mind.) He has earned a living as a film critic (for the short-lived Daily Entertainment Network) and continues to write about film on various websites, although no longer for pay. He is also an established musician, former touring DJ and magazine editor, and currently carries the title of English teacher. He lives in Japan in a town so small the nearest movie theater is over an hour away.

[Click here to view Adam’s blog articles]

Writer and Photographer Miyuki Kobayashi is the person behind VCinema’s weekly One Moment of Asia photo series.  She was born and raised in Tokyo where she also graduated from an art school with a focus on oil painting.  At the age of ten, Miyuki saw a Crazy Cats film and has been a fan and student of film ever since.  Her main interest is classic Japanese film and specializes in knowledge about films from Toho, Shin-Toho, Daiei, and PCL.  In addition, she is a big fan of Asian film in general especially Chinese and Indian cinema.  Her photographs were taken on her travels through Asia in which she’s been to China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and others.  Most of them were taken in her native Tokyo where she has taken pictures in nearly all parts of the city.  She encourages requests of places in Tokyo of where people would like to see photographs.

She claims to be an amateur photographer and says she uses a Pentax K-7 in addition to various lenses.

[Click here to view Miyuki’s blog articles]

Colleen Wanglund is a self-described bookwhore, gorehound, and metalhead. She can usually be found with a book in her hand or on her laptop, either watching movies or writing about them. Colleen has also been known to frequent midnight screenings of some of her favorite flicks, as she lives in New York City—the best city for seeing movies.

Colleen reinvented herself as a writer when she turned forty. She currently writes a column on Asian horror for Cinema Knife Fight and reviews books and movies (mostly horror) on Mondo Film and Video Guide, More Horror, The Horror Fiction Review, and Monster Librarian as well as a number of retrospectives. She is a mother of two twenty-somethings, has a cat that drives her nuts and a sweet little dog named Manning. Colleen is a feisty redhead and you can find her on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

 [Click here to view Colleen’s blog articles]

Adam Hartzell began focusing his writing on South Korean cinema after seeing retrospectives on the works of Im Kwon-taek and Jang Sun-woo at San Francisco film festivals in the late 1990’s.  In 2000, he became a contributing writer to the premier English-language website on South Korean cinema, Koreanfilm.org.  He has written for Kyoto Journal quarterly, online for GreenCine and fANDOR, and was a contributing writer for the San Francisco Film Society’s webzine sf360.org.  He has written often about Hong Sang-soo, including the main essay for the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival’s retrospective on Hong’s work in 2007 and a chapter on The Power of Kangwon Province for The Cinema of Japan and Korea (Wallflower Press).  He contributed quite a few pieces to the upcoming Directory of World Cinema: Korea (Intellect Books).  When not writing about Asian Cinema, he can be found guest posting for Brian Darr’s San Francisco film blog, Hell on Frisco Bay.  He has been featured as a guest on the VCinema podcast  discuss The Housemaid, the original by Kim Ki-young and the re-vision by Im Sang-soo, eventually convincing Jon to add him to the list of Regular Contributors to VCinema blog (we begged him. – Jon)

Harris Dang is a freelance writer and film critic residing in Australia. A self-professed film lover since he was six years old, watching Jackie Chan and Stephen Chow movies and experiencing The Princess Bride for the first time. He is currently running his own film review blog, Film-momatic Reviews and trying to bring awareness to film festivals like the annual Japanese Film Festival.

Epoy Deyto has been writing about films and anime since 2009 and has recently moved his writings from Kawts Kamote to Missing Codec. He’s currently taking his Master’s in Media Studies (Film) at the UP Film Institute.

Matthew Hardstaff is a writer, filmmaker, ninja and dungeon master living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He was a contributor to the Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow, as well as the Directory of World Cinema: Japan (Intellect 2010/12). Matthew believes that his skills as a lifelong Dungeons and Dragons fanatic, as well as his passion for martial arts, has honed his filmmaking skills and made him a better creator of the moving image. He ranks Akira Kurosawa, Shinya Tsukamoto, John Carpenter and John Woo amongst his favourite directors. When he isn’t writing, making films, or practicing his ninja skills, Matthew can be found spending quality time with his wife and daughter. His daughter Molly, incidentally, is in training to be a ninja (she’s a big Scott Adkins fan).

Jim Harper is a freelance writer and film critic based mostly in the UK. He specializes in cult and horror cinema from around the globe, and is the author of Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies (Headpress, 2004) and Flowers from Hell: The Modern Japanese Horror Film (Noir, 2008), and is a contributor to Intellect’s Directory of World Cinema series. His work has been published in MYM, Midnight Eye, Electric Sheep, Allmusic.com, Scream, Necronomicon and Deranged, as well as various anthologies. When he’s not freelancing like a masochist, Jim likes to relax with John Carpenter movies (“President of what?”), Killing Joke records and a cold can of Sapporo.

Matthew Leung is a film reviewer and blogger based in Los Angeles. He is originally from Hong Kong and has a bachelor’s degree from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. He currently works as the sponsorship coordinator for Locarno Festival in Los Angeles.

Sicheng Liu is a film blogger based in Mainland China who comes from Taiyuan. He spent four years in Guiyang, and has completed a Master’s Degree at Kingston University, London. He used to work for the Beijing Queer Film Festival. He is interested in Chinese indie films, independent documentaries, art-house cinema, and ethnic minority cinema.

Karen Ma is a film critic and independent film scholar specializing in Chinese cinema. Formerly a lecturer of Chinese Culture and Film at The Beijing Center of Chinese Studies, Ma is also the author of Excess Baggage (China Books, 2013), a novel about a Chinese family’s struggle in Tokyo. Ma is currently based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and studying screenwriting at the University of Michigan.

Pang-Chieh Ho is currently the social media and marketing manager at China Film Insider. Before, she was a film reviewer at Screen Comment. During her studies at New York University, she was interested in dissecting films and film industries from the angle of globalisation. Her favourite film genres are dark comedies, sci-fi, and fantasy films. She knows that one day she will eventually return to academic research or be forced to take her writing more seriously.

Ian Pettigrew received his PhD in Film and Media Studies from the University of Miami. He has published articles in The Journal of Religion and Film, and Cinej: Cinema Journal. He also has a forthcoming essay on Yuen Woo-Ping to be published by Hong Kong University Press in a collection on Chinese filmmakers working in the US. He is currently finishing a book on the cinema of Italian filmmaker, Ermanno Olmi, that will be published by McFarland &Company.

Tamara Courage is a PhD candidate who also teaches film at the University of Reading. Her research examines Chinese independent cinema through the tropes of urban spaces, mobility and memory. As much as her interest lies in the independent film sector, she has absolutely nothing against watching blockbusters at her local cineplex.

Wilson Kwong is a cinema lover and film festival enthusiast based out of Toronto, Canada. He normally works in healthcare, but escapes from his day job by writing random thoughts about cinema on the internet. Within the realm of Asian cinema, his focus is on the Hong Kong film industry. He is currently touring Toronto’s film festival circuit and the rest of his work can be found on his website throwdown815.

Jason Maher is a UK-based film fan and freelance writer. He has combined the two to write about films at his blog Genkinahito as well as writing for Anime UK News the movie magazine Gigan. Having grown up watching films from Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, he has developed a love for East Asian cinema and specialises in writing news articles, reviews, and has even been known to occasionally interview a director or two. He spends his private time learning Japanese, watching films, and hanging out with friends and family whom he bores with film trivia. He can be contacted via Twitter.

Kate Taylor-Jones is Senior Lecturer in East Asian Studies in the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. Whilst her academic work explores various topics including the cinema of colonial Japan and girlhood in East Asian cinema, her guilty pleasure is any film that promises to give her advice on how to survive the apocalypse.

Maria A. Ruggieri is a Sinologist specializing in Chinese cinema and cinema in China. She has been based in China since the late 1990s, at that time as a student at Beijing Film Academy. Author of essays on Chinese Cinema raging from black-and-white silent, pre-1949 films, to Sixth Generation Chinese filmmakers to the most recent box office hits, she was previously a China territory correspondent for Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia (2006-2009). She is the program consultant and coordinator on Chinese Popular Cinema for the Udine Far East Film Festival and a contributor of essays and interviews to Nickelodeon (since 2001); she is also a correspondent for China territory of Festival del Film Locarno. As project manager, she organized the first edition of New Italian Cinema Events – N.I.C.E. China. Other projects include film retrospective organization, film translation, subtitling of Chinese feature and documentary films, and collaboration with the Beijing International Film Festival as Program Consultant on European Films of Forward Future Section.

Grant Watson is an independent film critic based in Melbourne, Australia. He is a two-time winner of the William Atheling Jr Award for Australian science fiction criticism and review. You can find his other reviews at FictionMachine and FilmInk.

Jonathan Wroot is a Lecturer and Academic Researcher based in the UK. He is constantly working to get his research published, especially within the areas of Asian and world cinema, film and media distribution and marketing, and new media developments. Alongside these pursuits, he enjoys reviewing films, and has done so as part of the Norwich Film Festival website and through his own blog. He also enjoys teaching many subjects concerning films – from cult cinema, to introductory film theory, audience research, and film history – which he has done at both the University of Worcester and the University of East Anglia. In addition to being awarded his PhD from UEA in 2014, Jonathan has also presented his research at several conferences across the UK. He hopes to continue to add to his already over-flowing DVD collection, and tell VCinema all about the films he finds!

Evan Shane Brehany is a film critic and independent filmmaker living in Warner Robins, Georgia. His past writing experience include his blog, G-FAN magazine, and Tohokingdom.com. Any questions can be forwarded to his facebook account (Evan Omar Brehany).

Legacy Staff

Rufus de Rham co-hosted several episodes of the VCinema Show. He is currently living in New York and Editor-in-Chief at one of our affiliates, cineAWESOME!

Pierce Conran was a contributing writer on our blog.  He currently lives in South Korea and works for the Korean Film Council.  He also writes for Twitch and his own blog, Modern Korean Cinema.

VCinema also thanks the following contributors: Colette Balmain, Christopher Bourne, Christopher Brown, Eric Evans, Rachel Fariss, Stan Glick, Michael Guillen, Matthew Hardstaff, Adam Hartzell, Mathew Holland, Tom Kent-Williams, David Lam, Miguel Martinez, Andrew Nette, and Marc Saint-Cyr.

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