Dr. Brian Hu discusses film piracy
April 18, 2017
Filed under A & E
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Brian Hu, the artistic director of Pacific Arts Movement, presenters of the San Diego Asian Film Festival.
Hosted in Arts 240 on April 4, Hu was a guest speaker for professor Jonathan Berman and his VSAR 422 class which is home to the Media Makers Series. The series features guest artists from various artistic disciplines who both discuss and teach about their work.
Hu did a short presentation on “The Myth of the Asian Film” which details who evokes the concept of Asian cinema and for what reason, and also explores the ways in which Asian cinema gets “othered” in the West. Although, a large portion of his presentation focused on viewing and discussing the film, The Master.
The Master is a Thai documentary that revolves around the story of Mr. Van, a man who sold pirated VHS tapes of films that had no distributors in Thailand. Van’s shop “Van VDO,” had a large effect on future Thai filmmakers and critics who would often buy multiple films that they couldn’t get anywhere else.
The Master has interviews with the filmmakers and critics who knew Mr. Van and bought from his shop. One of the questions asked was what they thought about the pirating of movies. Many of them said that in a way, it was an honor. To these cinephiles, it shows that the demand for their work is absolute.
Hu closed by discussing the film itself and how it relates to cinematic culture, the commonality of piracy among ordinary consumers and the levels/ranks of international cinema from big budget Hollywood films to independent third country art films.