This week in cinemas: ‘The Golden Era’ (China/HK)

The Golden Era

Distributor China Lion have announced on their Facebook page that Ann Hui’s new film The Golden Era will be arriving in Australian cinemas this week, on October 16. This drama from the prominent Hong Kong New Wave director closed the Venice Film Festival this year and it has been selected as HK’s entrant for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars as well.

The film follows the life of progressive Chinese writer Xiao Hong (played here by Tang Wei, from Lust, (read more)

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Lady Maiko (2014)

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Unless you’re also into the many, varied, and sometimes odd-to-outsiders forms of all singing, all dancing, live on stage entertainment that have in recent years been spinning off from anime and manga franchises, you might find yourself surprised to realise that Japan doesn’t mind the odd Western style musical or two.

Musical theatre is not terribly rare in Japan of course — kabuki has been around since at least the early 1600’s, and the famous all-female Takarazuka Theatre troupe has … (read more)

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The Tale of Studio Ghibli

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Perhaps you’ve never thought about what you’re watching in those two hours in the cinema when Studio Ghibli, arguably the most renowned Japanese animation studio on the planet, is working its narrative and visual magic on you. After all, it’s easy to be caught up in a Ghibli film, transported. It’s what they do, what they’ve always done, and it’s easy to forget the hundreds of people and the thousands (and thousands) of work hours that go into making a … (read more)

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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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