Kothanodi – The River of Fables (2015)

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An adaptation of a group of folk tales from Assam in India, Kothanodi is an intriguing confluence of old and new elements: traditional stories given a moody, modern interpretation, with the second half of the production funded via Indian crowdfunding platform Wishberry. It’s already screened at film festivals around the world (beginnings with its premiere at Busan in 2015), and it’s now being distributed directly by online platform MovieSaints, who kindly gave me the opportunity to review the film.… (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Shin Godzilla’ (Japan)

Stomping into Aussie cinemas today Oct 13 is venerable Japanese studio Toho’s answer to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Hollywood Godzilla flick: Shin Godzilla, their 29th film featuring everyone’s favourite scaly nuclear metaphor, and their third go-round at rebooting the origin story.

The talent on board includes co-directors Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cutie Honey) and Shinji Higuchi (the Attack on Titan live-action films) and stars Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi and Satomi Ishihara. The big green guy this time … (read more)

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OzAsia Festival 2016 now on in Adelaide!

It’s already started, and I’m sorry I didn’t see it earlier and post it, but we’re not too late!

There’s a great program of films showing as part of the OzAsia Festival currently running in Adelaide (17 Sep – 2 Oct), including an event this weekend that will probably be of great interest to HK film buffs: a short program of Johnnie To films and a masterclass with the director himself.

The films on show are listed here and include … (read more)

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Jackie Chan’s First Strike (1996)

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The original title positions this as the fourth in Jackie’s Police Story series, but apart from Stanley Tong returning as director after Police Story 3: Supercop and Bill Tung appearing in a few brief scenes as Jackie’s senior in the Hong Kong police, there is no connection to the previous movies. This is surely deliberate, allowing Jackie’s first American release post Rumble in the Bronx to build on the momentum begun by that film, without being billed as the fourth … (read more)

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The Japanese Film Festival 2016 is coming

It’s the time of year when the Japanese Film Festival in Australia rolls around again, this year for the twentieth time!

The hardworking JFF crew have released their festival dates for all six cities, plus their initial slate of films, with more info to come as we get closer to the dates. The schedule looks like this:

  • Canberra: 14-23 Oct
  • Adelaide: 21-30 Oct
  • Brisbane: 26-30 Oct
  • Perth: 2-6 Nov
  • Sydney: 17-27 Nov
  • Melbourne: 24 Nov-4 Dec

The initial crop of … (read more)

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Millionaires Express (1986)

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This movie is ridiculous. I mean that in the best sense of the word, as in over-the-top silliness, expertly crafted to make you grin with glee or cringe with incredulity depending on your familiarity with Hong Kong’s special filmic sauce — equal parts broad visual gags, verbal comedy that doesn’t quite translate, kinetic action and a pinch or two of political incorrectness, all boiling down to a bubbling broth of good old fashioned fun.

Just look at that cast list! … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Train to Busan’ (South Korea)

Speeding through Australian cinemas right now is South Korean hit zombie film Train to Busan, which has been garnering accolades both in Korea and abroad: ten million tickets sold domestically, an American cinema release and a bidding war over Hollywood remake rights. It’s safe to say that director Yeon Sang-ho has done well with his first live-action feature.

Kim Su-an in Train to Busan

The film is a propulsive action/horror thriller with a more than a dash of social … (read more)

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Train to Busan (2016)

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Korean film watchers might have spotted the news that zombie film Train to Busan screamed past the 10 million domestic tickets mark on Sunday, becoming the fourteenth Korean film to do so, ever. From all accounts, it seems to have been a bit of an unexpected hit, too: the zombie genre hasn’t been explored (even done to death?) in South Korea as it has in Hollywood, and it’s the first live action film from director Yeon Sang-ho, whose previous … (read more)

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