This week in cinemas: ‘Hollywood Adventures’ (China)

Hollywood Adventures

Opening tomorrow June 25 in Aussie cinemas is action-comedy road movie Hollywood Adventures, a US$30M Chinese studio production shot mostly in California, with American talent behind the camera. Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 3 through 6) is producing and Timothy Kendall (for whom this looks to be his first feature, though he’s done a lot of shorts/commercials/webseries work) directs.

The film follows the exploits of three Chinese tourists, played by Chinese stars Zhao Wei, Huang Xiaoming and … (read more)

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Court (2014)

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My first film at this year’s Sydney Film Festival was Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court, an Indian film that packs a great deal of social commentary — with an intelligent, understated touch — into a courtroom drama.

Narayan Kamble (played by Vira Sathidar) is an ageing folk singer in Mumbai who divides his time between teaching in the surrounding cities and performing fiery protest songs on makeshift stages with a troupe of musicians. As the film opens, we see one such … (read more)

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An Inspector Calls (2015)

An Inspector Calls

One of this year’s biggest Chinese New Year film releases has belatedly arrived in Melbourne’s Chinatown Cinema for a short season. Well, better late than never I suppose. A successful Chinese New Year movie will nearly always have the following ingredients: it must be family oriented, have big name stars, countless celebrity cameos and story-lines guaranteed not to tax the intellect.

An Inspector Calls is a strange choice for a Hong Kong movie, let alone a major Chinese New Year … (read more)

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Asian Cinema at the Sydney Film Festival 2015

SFF 2015

The full programme is out and the clock is ticking down to the opening of the 2015 Sydney Film Festival, in just under two weeks from the time of writing! This year’s festival runs from 3-14 June, and as usual we have run through the list and picked out the Asian feature films on show this year.

It looks like there are slimmer pickings from this year, too, with only one from China and two from Japan — but … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘When Marnie Was There’ (Japan)

When Marnie Was There

As presaged in our review the other day, this Thursday 14 May sees the release in Australian cinemas of When Marnie Was There, the latest feature from legendary Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli.

It’s director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s second film (after Arrietty), and it follows the adventures of Anna, a teenage girl sent to convalesce in a rural seaside town over a summer. While there, she strikes up a friendship with a mysterious flaxen-haired girl named Marnie; read my (read more)

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When Marnie Was There (2014)

When Marnie Was There

Studio Ghibli’s latest animated feature, When Marnie Was There, is released in cinemas across Australia on the 14th of May, 2015. See cinema websites for screening details.

Animator and director Hiromasa Yonebayashi came to prominence in 2010 when he directed Arrietty for Studio Ghibli, becoming (at 37) the youngest director of a Ghibli feature film. He’s worked with Ghibli for a lot longer though: Wikipedia lists him as an animator on Princess Mononoke in 1997 and a host of … (read more)

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Helios (2015)


After experiencing the boorish and juvenile jingoism of Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior, I was looking forward to the new big budget HK movie,¬†Helios… although I was a bit wary of the fact that its release date had been put back three times in the past six months. From directors Sunny Luk and Longman Leung (Cold War), Helios starts well but fades quickly.

The film opens with the theft of a South Korean manufactured nuclear¬†dirty … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Helios’ (Hong Kong)


Last Thursday a new flick from Hong Kong opened in cinemas: Helios, a thriller from director duo Longman Leung and Sunny Luk (who previously directed 2012’s Cold War).

In Helios, we’re not just talking police corruption any more. Chang Chen and Janice Man play criminals in possession of the raw materials for weapons of mass destruction, and the only people who can stop them are a coalition of anti-terrorist forces from HK, China and South Korea. The … (read more)

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