This week in cinemas: ‘The Lunchbox’ (India)

The Lunchbox

This Thursday July 10 sees the Aussie cinema release of an Indian romantic drama, The Lunchbox, starring Irrfan Khan (the narrator in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi), Nimrat Kaur (Peddlers) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Gangs of Wasseypur). It is the debut feature from director Ritesh Batra, and it’s garnered some very positive attention internationally, including taking the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award at Cannes.

The film takes as its subject the dabbawala lunchbox delivery system … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Breakup Guru’ (China)

The Breakup Guru

In Aussie cinemas this week (and opening well in China and some USA cinemas according to according to Variety, despite the money-hoovering colossus of Transformers 4) is Chinese rom-com The Breakup Guru.

Starring Yang Mi and Deng Chao (who also co-directs with Yu Baimei), the trailer suggests that this film is going for My Sassy Girl territory, but I’m guessing that it swaps the tugging at heartstrings for louder comedy fare.

The Breakup Guru opens in most … (read more)

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Killers (2014)

Killers (Poster)

Indonesian/Japanese co-production Killers screened at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival in the Freak Me Out program, which is exactly the right place for it. Programmer Richard Kuipers said in his intro for the screening that their intention for Freak Me Out is to show films that sit at the extreme ends of genre cinema, from horror spectaculars heaving with gristle and gore to the weirder side of arthouse. He suggested that Killers could be a worthy entry on both fronts, … (read more)

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Overheard 3 (2014)

Overheard 3

By way of full disclosure: When Overheard 3 arrived in Australian cinemas and distributor Magnum Films were kind enough to send me a ticket for review, I was worried. I hadn’t seen the first two films, and this is generally a recipe for incomprehensibility as far as the third is concerned. I saw the first installment on iTunes as prep, and then discovered that I needn’t have worried: writer/director duo Alan Mak and Felix Chong have crafted a series of … (read more)

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Dancing in the Room (2013)

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Dancing in the Room

This year’s Sydney Film Festival has a track devoted to new films from China across a wide swathe of budgets, genres and styles, and Chinese director Peng Lei’s oddball portrait of the educated urban twenty-something, Dancing in the Room, just might be the cutest of them. It certainly looks to be the only one to include anything quite this adorable:

Dancing in the Room

Huabian (played by Jiang Yuchen) is a young woman who moves to Beijing after completing … (read more)

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JFF Encore, July

The Kirishima Thing

Sydney-siders, rejoice. And also, blow raspberries at the rest of us. Just for you, the Japanese Film Festival is opening the curtains on an encore performance from July 9-13¬†and the line-up is nothing short of amazing.… (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Overheard 3′ (Hong Kong)

Overheard 3

Arriving tomorrow May 29 in Aussie cinemas we have the latest installment in this series from writer/director duo Alan Mak and Felix Chong (the team behind the Infernal Affairs trilogy, and more recently The Lost Bladesman and The Silent War.)

Overheard 3 stars the series’ usual trio of HK A-listers Lau Ching-wan, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu, plus Zhou Xin and a supporting cast of familiar Hong Kong faces. As with the previous film, it’s a very loose sequel: … (read more)

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Asian Cinema at the Sydney Film Festival 2014

SFF 2014: 4-15 June

The full program for this year’s Sydney Film Festival has been announced, and as usual there are plenty of morsels available for fans of Asian cinema.

This year in particular there are a couple In Competition (including Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, in the director’s reputedly hard-won original cut), a program of modern Chinese films, a special presentation of a couple of Studio Ghibli anime classics, and a restored print of Indian auteur Satyajit Ray’s classic Charulata.

All up, there’s … (read more)

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