Kung Fu'd

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Just last month, Miramax sent its attorneys after a Web site that offers fetishists superior information and opinion about HK cinema, Kung Fu Cinema (www.kungfucinema.com). The studio sent the site's owner, Mark Pollard, a letter accusing him of "selling, distributing and/or otherwise exploiting copies of the film Hero on DVD and/or VHS," because Kung Fu Cinema was directing readers to foreign Web sites where Hero could be legally purchased. After all, it's an old movie in China and has been available on DVD there for a while.

"The actions of Miramax are counterproductive and will likely motivate movie piracy," wrote Kung Fu Cult Cinema's editors, Janick Neveu and Peter Zsurka, in a December 2003 letter to Miramax. The studio, they insist, "simply ends up looking bad, frightening and shocking the Asian fan community. What we suggest to Miramax [is] instead of trying to rule the people by force, why don't they simply release the movies?"

It's a good question for which there is no great answer. Kasha says, "Harvey loves these movies" and insists that "Hero will be coming to a theater near you, it's just a matter of when." Till then, you can always buy Hero or Shaolin Soccer or The Legend of Zu--or just about any Asian movie Miramax owns but hasn't released--on DVD, and they won't cost you $20 million. Or even 20 bucks.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky