Monday, February 05, 2007

Galloway and White in the Star-Ledger

For his excellent story on Asian horror films, "Ghosts or Gore: Asian horror flicks tap age old traditions," New Jersey Star-Ledger film critic and member of the New York Film Critics Circle Stephen Whitty interviewed two Stone Bridge authors: Patrick Galloway, author of Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand, and Jerry White, author of the forthcoming The Films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa: Master of Fear.

The story, online here, ran in the New Jersey Star-Ledger on Sunday (February 4), and will continue to run in various Newhouse papers.

"If you want these films with an Asian person, they'll sit through them shivering," says Patrick Galloway, the author of "Asia Shock" (Stone Bridge Press). "It resonates on a deep cultural level. Ghost lore, for example, looms very large in China, where you'd hear these stories from the time you were a child. And in Japan, the longhaired female ghost -- it's become a cliché, but she comes from Kabuki."

"Ah yes, the black-haired ghost," says Jerry White, a fifth-grade teacher in Glen Ridge -- and the author of the upcoming "Kiyoshi Kurosawa: Master of Fear" (Stone Bridge Press). "You see that a lot, you see dead little girls showing up a lot -- these are things that re-occur. And many of these films are looking back to old traditions, like 'The Ghost Story of Yotsuya,' or the folk stories gathered by Lafcadio Hearn."

The extensive article also includes a great quote from Thai director Oxide Pang (Bangkok Dangerous, The Eye):

"The Western people, they love the Asian ghost...In Hollywood, they try to make everything reasonable. Why is the ghost trying to kill you? Why is their face so horrible? It Asia, we're not concerned about this. The ghost is scary, you know? Scary is not reasonable."