Transnational cult paratexts: Exploring audience readings of Tartan’s Asia Extreme brand

Emma Pett

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalTransnational Cinemas
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Asia Extreme
  • affect
  • agency
  • audience studies
  • encoding/decoding
  • orientalism
  • paratexts

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