Every six months I like to reflect on my favourite new Asian films of the period, and 2013 has proved a particularly strong year. Asian Cinema featured very strongly at the Cannes Film Festival, scoring a number of award victories and at Fantastic Fest in September, Asian films swept the board in the Gutbuster comedy categories.
Having seen well over 100 new Asian films in 2013, it is impossible to list everything that I have enjoyed or wish to recommend. Part of the reason for producing these lists every six months, rather than annually, is to give as much exposure as possible to the films I have enjoyed - but it is almost guaranteed that some genuinely great films will have to make way for others.
That said, eagle-eyed readers may notice a lack of Hong Kong product in this final list, and that disappoints nobody more than yours truly. While the first half of the year gifted us The Grandmaster, Drug War and The Way We Dance, local offerings in the second half of 2013 have been decidedly mediocre. Films such as Unbeatable, The White Storm and Firestorm may have performed well at the box office, but I came away from each of them somewhat dissatisfed. Rigor Mortis was probably my favourite Hong Kong film of the latter half of 2013, but sadly Juno Mak's beautiful horror throwback just missed the cut.
Fortunately, the rest of the region was more than capable of taking up the slack and this list features offerings from Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines and Israel, as well as the more popular origins, like Japan, South Korea and China.
And for the record, I was not a particular fan of Miyazaki's The Wind Rises (great-looking first half, but the romance put me to sleep), so that's why you won't find it here. So, without further ado, here are my favourite Asian films of 2013 that I was fortunate enough to catch in the second half of the year.
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