Reviews by Country
Author Archives: Justin
I love wuxia movies — unlike fantasy settings in other cinemas, Hollywood for example, it has been a prominent mainstay of Chinese cinema for decades. For the uninitiated, think back to Crouching Tiger or 90s Hong Kong: period Chinese setting, murky political intrigues, heroic figures battling for a higher cause… or perhaps just for supremacy. There’s something about these worlds that draws you in, whether it’s via the lyricism and allegory of King Hu’s films, or the labyrinthine intrigue and … (read more)
The Art Gallery of NSW has just announced a series of ten (free!) screenings here in Sydney focusing on the careers of four of Chinese cinema’s leading actresses, from the 1930s to today: Ruan Lingyu, Anna May Wong, Maggie Cheung and Zhao Tao. Films screen every week from 20 June to 26 August.
From their blurb on the website:
In 1930s China, the term mingxing (bright star, 明星) captured the allure of a new public figure: the screen diva. … (read more)
Festival season is upon us once again, and the fine folks at the Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) are putting on another great show for us starting this Thursday 17 August. This year the festival is popping up in eight Australian cities, starting with Sydney and ending in Hobart & Darwin in late September:
Sydney: 17-26 August
Adelaide: 1-3 September
Perth: 1-3 September
Melbourne: 7-14 September
Brisbane: 8-10 September
Canberra: 15-17 September
Darwin… (read more)
Melbourne fans of Japanese cinema, listen up: the Cinémathèque program at ACMI on Wednesday nights is starting a program of films by popular Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda films this week, entitled Dreams of Everyday Life: The Quixotic Cinema of Hirokazu Kore-eda. It runs from July 5 to July 19, and includes the following films:
7:00pm – Maborosi (1995)
9:00pm – I Wish (2011)
7:00pm – After Life (1998)
9:10pm – Still Walking (2008)
JULY 19… (read more)
This week (actually, it opened last week on April 6th) in Australian cinemas we a have a Japanese anime film, A Silent Voice.
The film tells the story of Shoya and Shoko, both of whom are elementary school students. When Shoko, who is severely deaf, joins the class as the new girl, she is bullied by mischief-maker Shoya for her disability. Later in life, Shoya seeks Shoko out to atone for his sins.
Directed by Naoko Yamada (K-On!, … (read more)
Melbourne martial arts film fans take note: distributor Vendetta Films have announced that they are running a one-off screening of brand-new Indonesian film Headshot, starring Iko Uwais (of The Raid, The Raid 2, and later SPL II). It’s on this Friday March 3 at Cinema Nova in Carlton as a once-off.
An adaptation of a group of folk tales from Assam in India, Kothanodi is an intriguing confluence of old and new elements: traditional stories given a moody, modern interpretation, with the second half of the production funded via Indian crowdfunding platform Wishberry. It’s already screened at film festivals around the world (beginnings with its premiere at Busan in 2015), and it’s now being distributed directly by online platform MovieSaints, who kindly gave me the opportunity to review the film.… (read more)
Stomping into Aussie cinemas today Oct 13 is venerable Japanese studio Toho’s answer to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Hollywood Godzilla flick: Shin Godzilla, their 29th film featuring everyone’s favourite scaly nuclear metaphor, and their third go-round at rebooting the origin story.
The talent on board includes co-directors Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cutie Honey) and Shinji Higuchi (the Attack on Titan live-action films) and stars Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi and Satomi Ishihara. The big green guy this time … (read more)