- Asian Cinema at the Sydney Film Festival 2013
- This week in cinemas: 'Miracle in Cell No. 7' (South Korea)
- Giveaway: 'Tai Chi 0' on DVD and Blu-Ray (Closed)
- This week in cinemas: ‘Drug War’ (China/HK)
- Mountains and monsters @ GoMA QLD
- Melbourne: Asian Cinema at the MQFF
- QLD news - GCFF and Supanova on again!
- This week in cinemas: 'Journey to the West' (China, 3D)
Reviews by Country
One of the most enjoyable times I spent in the cinema last year was watching the big-budget, star-studded, South Korean caper flick, The Thieves — where the energy, humour and all-round film-making smarts were a joy to experience.
Sold nearly everywhere as an Asian version of Hollywood’s Oceans franchise – well, that’s called marketing. As I saw it, The Thieves was a surprisingly effective counterpoint to the lethargic, middle-aged preening of director Soderbergh and his precious stars.
A nifty theft … (read more)
A professor runs afoul of Korea’s intensely partisan and nepotistic judicial system when he’s accused of assaulting a judge. With the help of an alcoholic, partially washed-up labour lawyer, the professor unravels a conspiracy worthy of a John Grisham thriller. Continue reading
Han Gi-su (Lee Min-ki), a street racer in a biker gang in his (relatively recent, judging by his looks!) youth, is a courier who’s good at his job and very, very fast on a motorcycle. One day, he picks up an unusual job: he’s couriering a young lady across the city to a K-pop concert that she’s supposed to be on stage for. As she gets on to the bike and puts on his helmet, though, there’s an ominous beep, … (read more)
Unflinchingly brutal and visually arresting, Yuen Sang-ho’s animated film The King of Pigs — the director’s first feature — definitely made an impression. It scooped up three awards at Busan in 2011, was invited to screen in the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes in 2012, and this year’s Sydney Film Festival programmed it as the first Korean film ever in competition. Where I missed out on it.… (read more)
For the KOFFIA festival I was given two films to review. Both films deal with young people. The other film, Silenced, dealt with the way adults can abuse the rights of the very young, in ways horrific and saddening. Here, in Bleak Night, it is the young people, mostly, whose own dealings with each other propel the tragic events at the film’s core.… (read more)
This is not a film that is easily reviewed. Dealing with an explosive topic — the physical and sexual abuse of children — and based on true events, it is one that cannot easily break the divide between the viewer’s own emotional response and a critical one. It’s fortunate, then, that Hwang Dong-hyuk’s direction is both thoughtful and forceful, worthy of the film’s text.… (read more)
War of the Arrows opens with a chase. Armed men bear down upon a teenager dragging a little girl who stumbles and falls. Before they are brought down, their pursuers are taken down by their father. Given that moment of relief, they are ordered to flee before seeing their father cut down by the attacking forces. Now orphans, they find themselves at a friend of their father’s where they are fostered.
Such a tragic opening lends itself to a revenge … (read more)
The Client begins with an oddly blank-faced young man clutching a bouquet of flowers, walking slowly through a crowded parking lot into an apartment crawling with police. It’s his anniversary, but his wife’s not there: instead, there’s a blood-soaked mattress and a police officer holding out a pair of handcuffs. … (read more)