Recent scholarship on the branding of contemporary cult Asian cinema for Western audiences has frequently drawn on Said’s seminal treatise Orientalism (1978) as a means to critique sensationalist marketing materials. Whilst the excessive character of paratexts produced by film distributors such as Tartan clearly facilitates such readings, in this article I argue that this oft-repeated criticism becomes problematic when employed indiscriminately to theorise, by extension, the audiences for these films. Drawing on a recent empirical study of responses to Asian Extreme cinema and its distribution in the UK and North America, I offer an intervention in this debate by constructing a more nuanced interpretation of the ways in which cult audiences articulate their attraction to cinematic representations of cultural difference.
- Asia Extreme
- audience studies