- 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
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)
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)
When Gus Van Sant remade Alfred Hitchcock’s slasher masterpiece Psycho in 1998, I have to admit to a certain level of bemusement. Why, when the original film was perfect in both pitch and execution, would anyone anywhere feel the need to remake it almost shot for shot? It seemed like an exercise in redundancy and in the end I walked away from that film with the only opinion that made sense to me — Van Sant was such a Hitchcock … (read more)
Satoshi Miki’s Adrift In Tokyo ranks rather high on my to-see list of films. Why? Well, I have heard so many good things about it and it seems to be a fan and critic favourite, which to me is a sure sign of a good movie. While I am still waiting to tick that film off my list, I have had the chance to see the director’s new film, Ore, Ore, at this year’s Japanese Film Festival. My thoughts? … (read more)
If you have seen Chef Of The South Pole (JFF 2009’s Opening / Closing Film, in Melbourne / Sydney respectively) and thought it was nice, then you should definitely check out the latest from the film’s director Shuichi Okita - A Story Of Yonosuke. This nicely made film will give you that very nice feeling, and may even urge you to be nice to everybody around you. You see, I have crammed in as many ‘nice’ words as possible … (read more)
It’s been a while since I last saw a film coming out of Japan that I have found truly inventive, truly exciting and truly satisfying. Perhaps not since Love Exposure, the 4-hour masterpiece from Sion Sono, way back in 2008. So I can’t express how grateful I am to the Japanese Film Festival for the opportunity to see The Brain Man, the latest film from Tomoyuki Takimoto, director of JFF 2011’s crowd favourite Star Watching Dog.
Any … (read more)
Shield of Straw is the closest thing to a Hollywood blockbuster that prolific director Takashi Miike has ever made. Working with a large budget, Miike has created something big, bold and at times beautiful. Unfortunately, like many Hollywood films, Shield of Straw also suffers from issues of implausibility and often it simply feels overblown.
When the granddaughter of a wealthy man is brutally assaulted and murdered, he offers one billion yen to anyone who kills the alleged perpetrator, a known … (read more)
You might think that a movie about compiling a dictionary – even the first ever “living dictionary” – is going to be about as compelling as watching paint dry. Under normal circumstances you’d probably be right, but normal circumstances don’t take The Great Passage’s sterling cast and sensitive filmmaker Yuya Ishii’s deft handling of everyday social interactions into account.