Author Archives: Justin

This week in cinemas: ‘The Admiral: Roaring Currents’ (South Korea)

The Admiral: Roaring Currents


The Korean Cultural Office Australia have announced on their Facebook page that smash-hit period war film The Admiral: Roaring Currents will be screening in Sydney at Event Cinemas George Street from this Thursday, September 18. Details are a bit thin, but my guess is that this is Sydney only for the time being, and it’ll be a short run — so get in there before it disappears, Sydney Korean cinema fans!

(By smash hit, I mean that this film is … (read more)

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The Terror, Live (2013)

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The Terror, Live

The Terror, Live is a nail-biter of a thriller that screened in South Korea about a year ago, managing five million domestic tickets sold — a pretty decent showing given that it opened against Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (which set domestic opening records, and eventually ended up at 9.3M admissions). Terror is a very different film, though: recalling Hollywood “maniac on a phone” films of yesteryear (think Phone Booth, or perhaps even Speed), it sets almost the entire film … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Grandmaster’ (Hong Kong/China)

The Grandmaster

Opening on September 4 in Australian cinemas is Wong Kar Wai’s take on the Ip Man story, The Grandmaster. It’s been a long time coming: the film’s Chinese release happened in January 2013, and it’s taken this long for it to wend its way through the mysterious process of international distribution.

The story is a very loose biopic of real-life martial artist Ip Man, famous for being Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun teacher and more recently the set of Hong … (read more)

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The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (2014)

The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

The last couple of animated films I’ve seen from Korea have been Yeon Sang-ho’s powerful, perhaps even brutal films The King of Pigs and The Fake, both of which use the medium in a very distinctive style to present and criticise aspects of Korean society. This film, The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow is no less confident a feature debut for director Jang Hyung-yun, but it is much lighter fare, focusing as it does on romance, heartache, geostationary orbits … (read more)

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The Wrath of Vajra (2013)

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The Wrath of Vajra

Slick-looking and super-masculine, The Wrath of Vajra feels like a “fight movie” from a much earlier time, supplemented with mostly modern production and cinematography. A time when men were men and fought each other for reasons that were delivered in an early barrage of impenetrable exposition, getting it over with at the start so that we can get on with the kicks and punches.

The setting is the 1940s, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Japanese are finding that … (read more)

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Korean Film Festival in Australia 2014

KOFFIA

In one short week’s time the Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) kicks off this year’s season of films in Sydney on August 13, to be followed by screenings in five other cities this year: Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide!

The important dates are:

  • Sydney: Aug 13 – Aug 21
  • Canberra: Aug 13 – Aug 14
  • Brisbane: Aug 27 – Sep 2
  • Perth: Sep 3 – Sep 6
  • Melbourne: Sep 9 – Sep 16
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The Protector 2 (2013)

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The Protector 2

The news arrived last week that celebrated Thai action choreographer Panna Rittikrai has passed away, at the far too young age of 53. He had been the driving force behind Thailand’s new wave of action movies, touched off by his work with his student Tony Jaa in 2003’s Ong Bak. Amidst a cinematic sea of elaborate fantasy wirework, CGI-enhanced stunts and elaborate, unrealistic weaponry, Panna’s films brought a grounding in reality back to modern action cinema: hard-hitting Muay Thai, … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom’ (China, 3D)

The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom

There’s a serious Chinese film release in Aussie cinemas this week: Thursday July 31 sees the release of The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom (quite the title!), a big-budget 3D spectacular that will look hauntingly familiar to fans of 1993 classic The Bride with White Hair, since it shares the same source material.

This adaptation of the wuxia novel comes from experienced HK director Jacob Cheung, and stars Fan Bingbing in the lead, ably supported by Huang … (read more)

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