- This week in cinemas: 'Firestorm' (3D, Hong Kong)
- Interview: Director Anthony Chen on 'Ilo Ilo'
- 'The Raid 2: Berandal' (Indonesia) teaser released
- Japanese Film Fest: Full Syd/Mel program
- This week in cinemas: 'The Act of Killing'
- This week in cinemas: 'Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon' (China)
- This week in cinemas: 'Out of Inferno' (Hong Kong, China)
- International Chinese Film Festival 2013 (Sydney, Melbourne)
- This week in cinemas: 'My Lucky Star' (China)
- Japanese Film Festival 2013
Reviews by Country
Opening on 12 December (the same day as its release in China, and a week before its HK release!) in cinemas across Australia is hard-boiled, firepower-heavy Hong Kong police film Firestorm. It’s even being shown in 3D, though it sounds like it’s a post-production conversion rather than something they shot for from the get-go.
The film is the directorial debut for Alan Yuen from his own screenplay, and it stars HK megastar Andy Lau, along with Gordon Lam, Hu … (read more)
Ed: Yee-Yin saw Ilo Ilo (read her review first!) at the 2013 Stockholm International Film Festival, and she was lucky enough to secure an interview with the film’s director, Anthony Chen, on November 7, 2013.… (read more)
Based on the director’s own childhood memories and experiences, Ilo Ilo is a low-key and intimate look at family life in the age of modernization in Singapore, in the midst of the late 1990s’ Asian Financial Crisis. It tells the story of Terry, a domestic worker from the province Ilo Ilo in The Philippines and her adjustment to her host environs and new life as a maid in a middle class household, hired by fulltime working parents to mind their … (read more)
This surprisingly entertaining offer from writer-director Hong Sang-soo (Nobody’s Daughter Hae-Won, Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors) is a little like watching a Woody Allen movie, without as much whining. Western mainstream audiences might find themselves a little torn between the gentle humour and the lack of normal narrative cues towards the end, but words like charming and quirky are definitely not just intellectual terms being bandied about at the critic’s level.
Kore-eda is in my very humble opinion the most sensitive and humane filmmaker working in Japan today. His body of work is relatively small, but each film has been the product of a quiet and unassuming story-telling genius that rather than exploits people’s ugliness imbues them with the possibility of hope and redemption. He plumbs emotional depths in a way that exposes the human soul as achingly beautiful; his insight is both gentle and unflinching, and his deft, minimalist handling … (read more)
Making the leap beyond regional borders for Asian filmmakers is not as easy as it sounds. The road to global domination, particularly with an assist from the Hollywood marketing machine is littered with the broken, bitter careers of many an auteur. For every Ang Lee there are countless Ringo Lams and John Woos. Added to that pile in the last little while are Kim Jee-woon (A Bittersweet Life, I Saw the Devil), whose underrated The Last Stand… (read more)
Jia Zhangke is almost bulletproof. He’s attained a status akin to Wong Kar-wai or Michael Haneke wherein critics fall all over themselves to fawn over the brilliance and daring of their Art and anyone who disagrees is a Hollywoodised philistine. What many people — writers, academics, occasionally filmgoers — forget is that movies are the Shakespeare of our time: mass entertainments that may have a deep message for those seeking it. The key there is “mass”, and if no one’s … (read more)
Sion Sono’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell is, I think, a little like modern art – staring at it, you’re pretty sure you’re missing the point. Not that Sono’s work has necessarily been thematically deep to date, but it’s hard to look at a film about a filmmaker making a film without trying to read into it a little industry commenatary. The problem is, if you are, it’s difficult to work out what the hell Sono is trying to … (read more)