This month in cinemas: The Tale of Studio Ghibli Showcase (Japan)


If you’re a Studio Ghibli fan, or you follow Aussie distributor Madman’s news, you can’t have escaped the fact that they’re bringing some of Studio Ghibli’s best-loved and brand-new films to cinemas across Oz over the next couple of months.

But just in case… here’s Madman’s announcement of The Tale of Studio Ghibli Showcase — Celebrating the Genius of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata!

What it boils down to is four films, two from each director, and two documentaries:… (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Flirting in the Air’ (Hong Kong)

Flirting in the Air

Hong Kong low-brow comedy super-producer Wong Jing has a new film in Aussie cinemas on October 9.

Flirting in the Air, which stars Chapman To and Dada Chen (both from 2012’s popular, and Cat III-rated, Vulgaria). This time, however, To plays a womanizing pilot who is transported back to Ming Dynasty China, where he and his co-pilots can indulge in period-era womanizing. Like I said, a Wong Jing film — though he’s handed directorial duties over to Aman … (read more)

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Vladivostok: the final frontier

Pacific Meridian

As a child, I was the proud owner of a study desk with a laminated tabletop world map (Mercator projection). That map inspired a lifelong wanderlust, and back then I was fascinated by the isolated city of Vladivostok at the edge of the vast country, shaded in a sickly pale green, then known as the U.S.S.R, which was. Entranced by the exotic spelling, beginning with the adjoining “V” and “L” and ending emphatically with a mighty “K”, I was also … (read more)

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JFF 2014

JFF 2014

You’ve got to be up on the news already, but if you’re not, I’m here to spread the word – it’s Japanese Film Festival time of year again, and oh my God, the program line up has me a bit giddy!

ALL THREE RUROUNI KENSHIN MOVIES (Ok, sorry about the capslock there. I’ll try and calm down a bit). Lupin the Third live action movie!!! Tale of Princess Kaguya and Patema Inverted. Kirishima Thing, and by the same … (read more)

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Patema Inverted (2013)

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Maybe I’m a bit of a romantic, but the story of Romeo and Juliet, those most famous of star-crossed lovers, is a story that never seems to get old. There’s something fundamentally appealing about two people that want to be together but can’t, and Patema Inverted is, in a very literal sense, Romeo and Juliet for the far flung future. It’s not the Montagues and the Capulets keeping the would-be lovers Patema and Age apart however, but gravity.

Patema lives … (read more)

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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!

(Update: Village Cinemas has picked it up … (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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