It's a bumpy ride to the top (I hope). In May, the Chinese edition of Dream of the Dragon Pool
fell to #29 on the publisher's best seller list. However, the great news for June is that it has risen to #17 on that same best seller list! Fingers crossed for the July number, which will appear at the beginning of August.
I've been going through movies for my upcoming Fall East Asian Heroes class at Boston University and am closing in on a final list of movies, which will be revealed on the first day of class. I enjoyed 13 Assassins, but will not be using it in class. I also enjoyed an oldie, The Fate of Lee Kuan, a King Hu classic - I won't be using that one either. Samurai Spy (1965) is amazing for its cinematography and story, but not for my class. And Reign of Assassins is cool, but also not for my class.
This might leave you wondering, "Well, what are his standards for his class?" Since the class is first and foremost a writing class and the movies are our primary source material to consider the nature of the East Asian hero, I'm picking movies that exemplify some aspect of that type of heroism. If I was giving a class in East Asian heroic cinema in a film department, then probably all the movies I mentioned above would be candidates. But I'm not.
I teach within the Boston University Writing Program and our objective is to teach well composed, intelligible forms of academic writing. So the movies I show are the primary source materials that my students use to investigate the nature of the East Asian hero/heroine. Along with each film, there are readings (our secondary sources) that the students will use to support their arguments/theories/claims regarding those primary sources (the movies). Thus when I pick a movie to use within the course it has to represent some aspect of the East Asian heroic tradition and be supported by secondary source materials to assist in the student analysis of the movie.
In early September, when the course starts, I will post my film list on this blog.