Meniscus Magazine’s Top 10 articles of 2015

It’s time for our list of the most-read articles in 2015!  Our two-time champion has been toppled, and this year’s Top 10 includes an eclectic mix of controversial films, charismatic public personalities and a longtime food debate first raised in 2008 that is going strong today…

10) G-Star Raw Spring 2008 – New York Fashion Week Review

Dropping one place but still among our most popular New York Fashion Week reviews of all time, the G-Star Raw Spring 2008 show was full of strobe lights and moving runways.  They don’t make fashion shows like this anymore…

9) Mika Ninagawa’s “Helter Skelter” – 2013 Japan Cuts Film Review

Six slots below last year’s finish is our 2013 Japan Cuts review of “Helter Skelter,” which featured the long-awaited return of controversial actress Erika Sawajiri.  Following yet another break from films, the 28-year-old Sawajiri finally hit the big screen again in 2015 in Sion Sono’s “Shinjuku Swan.”

8) A Paradorn Srichaphan interview: Tennis and beyond

A new entry to our Top 10, we caught up with retired tennis star Paradorn Srichaphan in his native Thailand shortly after Kei Nishikori reached the finals of the 2014 U.S. Open.  Speaking to us after captaining the Thai Davis Cup team to a victory over Pakistan, the second man of Asian descent to reach the Top 10 on the professional tennis tour – after Michael Chang and before Nishikori – spoke to Meniscus Magazine about his many post-retirement pursuits.

7) “Strayer’s Chronicle” – 2015 Japan Cuts Film Review

Despite a cast that included Masaki Okada and Shota Sometani, Takahisa Zeze’s “Strayer’s Chronicle,” a story adapted from a novel by Takayoshi Honda, features two groups of super-powered individuals that don’t do much of anything except fight one another or whine about how much fighting they have to do.  Still, this was our most-read film review from the 2015 Japan Cuts Film Festival, run by the Japan Society in New York.

6) Namewee’s “Banglasia” – 2015 NYAFF Review

Ban a movie, and watch your plan to suppress the masses backfire.  That is what happened with Malaysian maverick Namewee, who has since seen his star rise when the New York Asian Film Festival decided to screen his political black comedy “Banglasia.”  It was also a selection at the Singapore International Film Festival, where the rapper and director announced a Kickstarter fundraising campaign in the hopes of screening the movie globally for free.  Until then, you’ll just have to take our word on how delightfully insane this work is.

5) The Tim Tam Test: U.S.A. vs. Australia

Temporarily offline due to an oversight on our part, this much-discussed debate is back and once again one of our most popular articles.  The Tim Tam empire has expanded into other countries, but the Australian originals will always taste best.

 

4) “Five Minutes to Tomorrow” – 2014 Busan Film Review

The issues of time and identity surface in multiple ways in “Five Minutes to Tomorrow” by Isao Yukisada. The Japanese director decided to set his story in China – with a few shots in Mauritius – in a Mandarin-language film.  Loosely adapted from a couple of Takayoshi Honda novels, the main cast consists of a Chinese actress (Cecilia Liu Shishi (刘诗诗)), a Taiwanese actor (Joseph Chang Hsiao-chuan (张孝全)) and a Japanese actor (Haruma Miura, impeccably nailing Mandarin following several months of study (三浦春馬)).  Beautifully shot, this was an unexpected highlight from the 2014 Busan International Film Festival.

3) An interview with Daniel Henney: Comedy, career and Korea

For the first time since we began these Top 10 recaps, our interview with Korean American actor Daniel Henney is not ranked No. 1.  Despite this, our one-on-one interview with Henney conducted during the 2012 Asian American International Film Festival has proven its popularity over time.

2) Ji Chang-wook – KAAL E.SUKTAE Fall 2015 Seoul Fashion Week

We coincidentally had the fortune of covering two of Korean actor Ji Chang-wook’s (지창욱) appearances this year.  One was advertised in advance: a public appearance in Singapore as a skincare ambassador for Japanese brand Shokubutsu.  The other caught many of his fans off-guard, as the Healer and Empress Ki actor decided to attend two shows at the Seoul Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015 collections, which are not open to the public.  It was the second of these where we followed the actor from the red carpet to his front row seat, from which he diligently took in the women’s ready-to-wear show.

1) “Lang Tong” (靚汤) – 2014 Singapore Film Review

In addition to banned films, highly controversial movies will certainly attract notice.  Although it made its world premiere more than a year ago, an R21 rating and plenty of skin (often too much) made many people curious about the Singaporean film “Lang Tong,” which was our most-read article in Meniscus Magazine in 2015.  Which again just goes to prove: attempts to suppress artistic statements will backfire.  Even if such statements aren’t very good.